Skip to content

Australian Companion Animal Council

The Australian Companion Animal Council Incorporated is a non profit organisation. It’s a leading voice for the pet care industry on the benefits of socially responsible pet ownership in the Australian community.

While Australian society has seen many changes in recent years, the value Australians place on their relationships with their pets remains constant. Pets are part of the family in 63% of Australian households, providing benefits to their owners and the communities they are part of.

Pet Ownership in Australia

  • 12 million Australians are associated with pets.
  • 63% of the 7.5 million households in Australia own pets.
  • Australia has one of the highest incidence of pet ownership in the world.
  • Typically, the major carer of the pet is female, married with children, living in the suburbs and most likely employed.
  • 91% of pet owners report feeling ‘very close’ to their pet, reinforcing that pets are an integral member of the family unit, however constituted.
  • Pets were a normal part of childhood for more than 83% of Australians.
  • Of the Australians who do not currently own a pet, 53% would like to do so in the future.

ACAC Publications

2010 ACAC Report provides an updated evaluation on the importance of the pet care industry by assessing consumer expenditure, employment, social benefits and trends.

Download report here.

The focus of this Handbook is pets and how they contribute to social capital. This emphasis on social capital goes to the heart of the Healthy Spaces & Places Project – a national approach that recognises the influence the spaces & places we build for living, working & playing (the built environment) can have on our lifelong health.

As a joint initiative of the National Heart Foundation, Australian Local Government Association and Planning Institute of Australia (funded by Australian Government Department of Health & Ageing) the project aims to get more of us become more active more regularly: dog walking, cycling and using public transport – active movement helps make us fitter & healthier lifelong.
This Handbook shows how pet ownership gets people physically active and mentally healthy – underpinned by sound research that shows the benefits of active, healthy lifestyles.
Good quality built-environments have a compelling role to play in facilitating such initiatives. In Living Well Together you will find lots of case studies of how cities, towns and neighbourhoods are using pets to improve the well-being of communities and build social capital.
With more pets living in Australia than people, pets continue to be a significant part of our lives. Australia has one of the highest levels of pet ownership in the world with almost 2/3 of Australian households currently owning at least one pet. Not only are pets wonderful companions they also provide significant psychological and physiological benefits to owners. In addition, pets engender caring and responsibility in our children, improve feelings of safety and help create social bridges in our communities. (ACAC Report 2009)

ACAC also produce two very useful guides about r
enting with pets:

The Australian Companion Animal Council held its first think tank – ACAC Strategy 2011 – at Doltone House in Sydney on September 15. 

The topic was Putting Pets Backinto our Lives – How declining pet ownership is impacting our society andeconomy.