Victoria’s first ever pet census identified an estimated 4.3 million pets across the state, providing a greater understanding of their unique needs.
With over 37,000 responses, the survey found that Victoria’s most popular pets are dogs, accounting for 41 per cent, followed by cats at 24 per cent.
Harriet Shing, Acting Minister for Agriculture, said the immense love and care Victorians have for their pets is reflected in the numerous responses to the first Pet Census, highlighting the vital role pets play in the lives of Victorians.
“The Census data will empower us to better cater to a diverse range of pet owners in our community, ensuring quality support and services for every pet, regardless of species.”
Among the preferred dog breeds were the Cavoodle, Labrador, Greyhound, Border Collie, and Golden Retriever. The majority of cat owners adopted their cats from an animal or rescue shelter.
In a demonstration of the love Victorians have for their pets, pet owners collectively spent an estimated $6.6 billion in the past year alone on pet products and services for their companions.
The positive impact of pets on the lives of Victorians was also demonstrated in the census, with an overwhelming 98 per cent attesting to the benefits of pet ownership, with companionship and love ranking the highest at 79 per cent, followed by improved mental health and emotional support at 57 per cent.
Outside of cats and dogs, there were 83,000 reptiles and amphibians and 43,000 insects and spiders, chosen for their unique appeal and low-maintenance care.