Australia has more pet than people, with domesticated animals numbering 2 million more or about 25 million of the four-legged creatures or fins living with 63 per cent living in Australian homes.
According to the survey commissioned by Australia's Animal Health Alliance, the country has 4.2 million pet dogs, 3.3 million pet cats, 10.7 million pet fish, 4.8 million pet birds and 2.2 million other small mammals such as pigs and reptiles.
The situation is not as skewed in favour of animals like in neighbour New Zealand where sheep outnumber people 4:1.
With Aussies buying gourmet food, buying insurance policies and pampering their pets with reflexology, acupuncture and hydrotherapy, the country's pet industry has grown to $8 billion a year.
Besides Australia having one of the highest rates of pet ownership in the world, 90 per cent of Aussies who own pets regard them a part of the family and treat them better. Pet ownership is at 68 per cent for those who reside in free standing homes and 39 per cent for those in condo units or apartments.
The main reason Aussies have pets is for companionship, said the Australian Pet Ownership Survey scheduled for release on Sunday.
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