The results are in! Victorians love their pets

Published on 27 February 2023

RSPCA Victoria 2022 Pet Poll results have arrived

RSPCA Victoria’s 2022 Pet Poll of over twelve thousand Victorian pet owners has concluded, showing the state values pets and highlights the powerful nature of pet ownership. The poll included a series of questions designed to explore the nature of pet ownership in the state and delve into the details of the dog versus cat debate.

Questions in the poll ranged from whether respondents celebrate their pets’ birthdays with treats and gifts to whether they allow them to sleep on their beds. More serious questions related to concerns like pet wellbeing, such as what if something happens to their owner and what to do if a pet is sick or injured.

Pets in Preston love a chat

Preston residents revealed themselves to be among the chattiest pet owners in the state when every response from postcode 3072 said they speak to their pet every day, and 79.5% said they celebrate their pet birthdays. Meanwhile, pets in neighbouring Thornbury appear to love a good snooze, with 89.4% of owners saying they allow their pets to sleep on their beds.

Responses were received across Victoria, with participants hailing from metro and regional areas. Pet owners in postcodes 3977, 3350, and 3030 were the most engaged (1.5%, 1.4% and 1.4% of all responses, respectively from Cranbourne, Sandhurst, Ballarat and surrounds, and Werribee); however, interest from the community was strong across the state with 584 Victorian postcodes represented in the poll’s data.

Experience matters when it comes to pet ownership

Younger generations are much more likely to adopt their pets, with 46% of Millennials open to considering this path to ownership compared with 31% of the Silent Generation. However, the poll showed only 17% of the Silent Generation is concerned about managing challenging behaviours in their pets compared to nearly 41% of Millennials.

Perhaps to no surprise, Millennials and Gen X were the most responsive in the survey, comprising 37.1% and 25.8% of all responses received ahead of Gen Z (14.3%), Baby Boomers (20.8%) and The Silent Generation (2.0%). Chief concerns of The Silent Generation and Baby Boomers related to the wellbeing of their pets if something were to happen to the owner (52% and 44% of responses). In contrast, Gen X and Gen Z were more concerned about what to do if their pet becomes injured or sick (63% and 47%, respectively).

Some responses were shared across all generations. An average of 86% of respondents said they rely on their vet as their primary source of information for animal advice, while 98% said they talk to their pet every day. 98% of people also reported that their pet brings them joy and companionship.

Top dogs in Victoria

As anyone who has walked past a dog park recently can attest, Victoria is a dog-loving community. The Pet Poll confirmed that dogs are the most popular pet by a large margin, with 78% (9,409) of respondents owning at least one dog. While the ongoing debate about dogs vs cats continues, a whopping 42% (5,015) of Victorians open their homes to feline friends. Gen-X and Millennials revealed themselves to be the state’s chief cat lovers, with just over 63% of all cat owners identifying as Gen-X or Millennial.

Happy as a (guinea) pig

The poll revealed Victorians like to celebrate pet birthdays, with over 74% of dog owners and 82% of rabbit owners saving their pet’s birthday in their diaries and celebrating with treats and gifts. Only 64% of horses received the same treatment. Meanwhile, guinea pigs appear to hold at least one key to happiness, with 99.3% of owners declaring that their pet brings them joy!

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