Oceania has a robust pet market, mainly thanks to Australia and New Zealand.
Oceania is a geographic region comprising Melanesia, Micronesia, Polynesia and Australasia. Spanning both the eastern and western hemispheres, Oceania covers an area of 8,525,989 square kilometres and has a total population of 40 million.
On the islands that have a population of less than a million, the demand for pet products is small. Rather than having pet shops, they are more likely to have mixed businesses such as produce stores, general food and hardware stores and small supermarkets selling a limited range of pet products and pet food. The indigenous people on these islands tend to have ‘village pets’ that are fed on scraps.
Papua New Guinea
With a population of over eight million, of which 95% are indigenous, Papua New Guinea is not a large pet market. The RSPCA in Port Moresby is the only private vet in the country and sells pet products through the clinic. There are no pet shops. Supermarkets sell some products but there is often a shortage due to the lack of foreign exchange to pay for products.
Despite having a population of just 4.7 million, New Zealand has a robust pet market.
In June 2016, the New Zealand Companion Animal Council (NZCAC) released its second ‘Companion Animals in New Zealand’ report, which revealed that 64% of the country’s households own at least one pet, amounting to 4.6 million pets in total: 1.1 million cats, 0.7 million dogs, 1.5 million fish and 0.6 million birds. Down slightly from 68% in 2011, this fall can largely be attributed to a 4% decline in households that own cats, although cats remain the most popular household pets in the country overall.
Almost two in five Australian households have dogs (38%) and nearly three in ten households have cats (29%), with an average of 1.3 dogs and 1.4 cats per household. More than one in ten households also keep fish (12%), with an average of eight fish per household. A similar proportion of households keep birds (12%), with an average of 3.9 birds per household. For the first time in 2016, this NZ study also examined small mammals and reptiles as pets (separating them out from the ‘other pets’ category used in 2013) and found similar rates of ownership of each (both 3%). The average number of small mammals per household is 1.9, and that for reptiles is 1.7. A similar proportion of households (3%) said they own another type of pet, with examples including horses, goats, sheep and hermit crabs.
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