The decline of Dog ownership in Australia Continues 2013

Dog Ownership TrendsIf you are in the Australian community, you may not have noticed the decline of dogs, because for many years, there have been very few people walking their dogs in public.

Lack of off lead parks and other things to do with people's time and money are some of the reasons, but I would like you to consider two other major forces. The cost of living/ mortgages, and the use of computers.

The graph at the top shows the declining dog population in Australia. This is a well know graph used by many dog associations. Yes there are unregistered animals in Australia, but that number is unlikely to have significantly risen to account for the major decrease in dog ownership statistics. Dog ownership statistics are also mirrored by declines by cat ownership in Australia.

There are many health reasons for keeping a dog both physical and mentally, however dog ownership requires a high degree of owner dependability and walking that does not suit everyone.  Some cultures are also anti-dog but again the increase of these cultures in Australia is unlikely to be the main source of decline.

Mortgages V renters V dog ownership

House ownership AustraliaThis ABS graph shows an increase of people with mortgages and people who are renting. I am sure that I could also show you graphs of the decline of full time employment in preference for casualisation in the  Australia workplaces.

Essentially all of this means less stability, less income and less allowances (by investment property owners) for keeping dogs.

Australia's economy is one of the most robust in the world, and adult unemployment figures apparently at an all time low, so it might not be surprising that the cost of buying a house is so high. Unfortunately with high housing costs (whether buying or renting) disposable income drops appreciably and things like recreation, and yes dogs, are less affordable.

The rise of computers V dog ownership.

This does not happen to be just a Gen Y thing, however with their casualisation of employment and preference for world travel, you can easily see how dog ownership might become problematic.

While computer usage has been around since the 1980's and the internet since the mid 1990's mainstream internet usage, and the rise of the smart phone are only very recent phenomena.

With the average dog life around 12 or so years, and internet usage in Australia reaching 60% since 2006, the perfect storm for 'other activities' has occurred to take the shine off dog ownership.

I regularly see  middle aged men and women in dog parks who complain that they have had to take over their children's dog walking activities.

Internet Usage AustraliaCONCLUSION

As councils create more restrictive dog laws and close down dog parks, the increasing pressure of less disposable income and more things to do with your time (on the computer) are rapidly taking the shine off dogs.

The shame is that anyone who has every owned a dog, and put some effort in, has been rewarded handsomely many times over.


Article by Bruce Dwyer. If you wish to use any of this information please use a LINK reference to

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