How Many Dogs Are There in Australia in 2022?


Pet ownership is far from being restricted to the North American continent. Indeed, Aussies are actually more likely to share a home with a dog than the average American! The exact demographics differ sharply, so we’ll dive into that more below, as well as explore common dog breeds that you might find in the Land Down Under.

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How Australian Dog Ownership Compares with the U.S.

Aussies love their dogs just as much as we do, and maybe even more. Australia is home to over 27 million people, and 5.1 million dogs. An astonishing 40% of Australian households own a dog, compared with 38.4% in the U.S.

Pet owners in America own the most dogs in the world numerically, which makes sense because they’re a larger country with roughly 330 million people. According to the American Pet Products Association, there are 83.3 million dogs in the US.

The demographics of pet ownership contrast between the two countries in curious ways. For example, in Australia, families with kids who live in rural areas are the most likely group to own a dog, while young singles or couples who live in urban environments are the least.

labradoodle dog and woman owner at the park
Image Credit: Lopolo, Shutterstock

In America, however, it’s statistically more likely to find a household with a dog than with a child under 18. The only time that trend reverses is in adults ages 33-45, and in some minority groups such as black and Asian demographics. Hispanic populations were the only groups that typically have both dogs and children under 18. White, non-Hispanic populations were over twice as likely to share a house with a pet than with a child.

The reason for this trend in the U.S. is due to the large numbers of Baby Boomers, who are now retired and don’t have any more children or even grandchildren necessarily, under 18. Many choose to spend their retirement years in the companionship of a lap dog. At the same time, the Millennial generation is in its prime childbearing years, but many are choosing to adopt a fur baby instead due to cultural values and increased inflation.

Most Popular Dog Breeds in Australia

golden retriever dogs lying on the floor with pet sitter
Image Credit: atyana Vyc, Shutterstock

The most common dogs in Australia somewhat overlap with the most popular dogs in the U.S., with the Labrador Retriever perennially topping both lists.

Here are some more popular breeds you might see while exploring the Outback:

In recent years, Australian opinion about purebred dogs has been shifting to mixed breeds or designer breeds such as the Malshis, so it’s possible the beloved purebred retriever may decrease in popularity in the next decade or so.

How Many Dogs Can You Own in Australia?

You may be surprised to learn that you need a permit to own more than two dogs in most parts of the country, although the exact number differs by region. Some areas like Victoria may be a little more lenient, allowing you to own up to four dogs before requiring you to register for a permit. Although there are laws in the U.S. governing how many dogs you may legally own, it’s typically more up to the state or even city than a widespread decree.

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Conclusion

Australians love their canine companions, with retrievers and shepherds at the top of the list and smaller designer dogs and mixed breeds quickly gaining favor. Rural families with children are statistically more likely to own a dog than young urban dwellers, which is curiously the opposite in the United States. More than 4 in 10 Australian households host at least one dog, but depending on where you live, you’ll likely need a permit if you’re planning on having more than two.


Featured Image Credit: fotorince, Shutterstock



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