About the Blog


Keep up-to-date with the latest news and views on positive pet ownership and the many ways animals of all types are helping people across Australia. 

Don’t forget to follow us on Twitter and Instagram to show your support for Pet Positives. 

Blog posts for November 2015


MEDIA RELEASE : Australia not very Pet Friendly


Dr Chris Brown launches new research into the state of play for pets in Australia

Monday 9th November  – New research1 released today revealed that Australia is not as pet friendly as it needs to be to stop the decline in pet populations.

Launched by well-known Veterinarian Dr Chris Brown, the 2015 Pet Positives Score, produced by Mars Petcare has identified the most important factors that contribute to pet friendliness and reveals just how our cities stack up against them.

With recent research pointing to a decline in cat and dog populations in Australia2, experts are concerned that fewer pets could have a detrimental effect on the health and wellbeing of Australians. Decades of research has found that pets offer a range benefits to their owners from childhood well into old age.Pet owners have been shown to exercise more3, have greater self-esteem and are able to cope with social rejection better than non-pet owners4.

Places’ being pet friendly is one of the best ways to encourage pet ownership. The Pet Positives Score ranked cities and states based on a range of 9 pet-friendly criteria with scores coming in surprisingly low across the board. Melbourne and the Gold Coast came in as the most pet friendly locations. While Sydney, regional Queensland and regional South Australia came in at the bottom of the leader board1.

Adelaide and Canberra took the title for most dog friendly cities, while Melbourne came in as most cat friendly city with a score.

Dr Chris Brown commented on the importance of addressing pet friendliness in our cities saying, “Pets can help their owners stay physically and emotionally healthy. However, there are a range of reasons that people can be deterred from pet ownership and we need to find ways to keep Australia pet-friendly so that future generations can continue to enjoy the benefits of a furry friend.”

The Pet Positives Score findings highlight the importance of improving pet friendly access to outdoor public areas, considered by far the most important attribute to pet owners4.

Sylvia Burbery, Managing Director of Mars Petcare Australia, commented on the results of the research saying, “It is clear from the Pet Positives Score results that while Australians love our pets, we aren’t doing enough to ensure that our communities and families continue to reap the benefits of pet ownership. While some cities like Melbourne have access to public transportation and a wide variety of indoor and outdoor public areas for pets, others still have a ways to go in ensuring pets stay front of mind.”

National rankings for most pet friendly area2:







Gold Coast*






WA (not including Perth)








Hobart (and wider Tasmania)


VIC (not including Melbourne)




NSW (not including Sydney)


ACT (not including Canberra)


QLD (not including Brisbane

and Gold Coast)




SA (not including Adelaide)


* includes Tweed Heads

** includes Queanbeyan

*** includes Maitland


Recent research1 showed that over a third of dog owners (39%) and cat owners (40%) view their pet like a family member and over a quarter of dog (36%) and cat (26%) owners see their animal like a child or a baby.

You can follow Mars Petcare’s Pet Positive campaign on Twitter and Instagram:






More information and interview requests contact:

Ishtar Schneider                                 Sonya Friesen

Palin Communications                        Palin Communications

02 9412 2255 / 0422 944 023             02 9412 2255 / 0423 495 392  

ishtar@palin.com.au                          sonya@palin.com.au


About Mars Petcare Australia

Mars Petcare is the world’s leading pet food and veterinary care business that strives to make A Better World for Pets® every day. Mars Petcare believes that pets make our lives better and that pet ownership brings joy and benefits which should be accessible to everyone. Mars Petcare has a number of leading brands including PEDIGREE®, WHISKAS®, DINE®, ADVANCE®, OPTIMUM®, SCHMACKOS® ROYAL CANIN®, EUKANUBA® IAMS®. Key specialty brands include the WALTHAM Centre for Pet Nutrition®, a leading scientific authority on pet nutrition and wellbeing.  Mars Petcare has more than 37,000 Associates worldwide.


The WALTHAM Centre for Pet Nutrition

The WALTHAM Centre for Pet Nutrition is a leading scientific authority in pet nutrition and wellbeing and has been advancing the frontiers of scientific research into the nutrition and health of pets for over 50 years. Located in Leicestershire, England, the renowned state-of-the-art science institute focuses on the nutritional and behavioural needs of pets and their benefits to humans, enabling the development of innovative products which meet these needs in a practical way. In collaboration with the world’s foremost scientific institutes, WALTHAM has pioneered many important breakthroughs in pet understanding and nutrition and leverages this knowledge through Mars Petcare brands to make a better world for pets.



  1. Mars Petcare Australia, 2015 Pet Positives Score Summary, November 2015
  2. Mars Petcare Australia, Pet Population and demographics: Australian Cats & Dogs. 2014.
  3. Cutt, HE, Knuiman, MW, Giles-Corti, B, 2008, ‘Does getting a dog increase recreational walking?’, International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity, vol. 5. pp. 17-27.
  4. McConnell, AR, Brown, CM, Shoda, TM, Stayton, LE, Martin, CE, 2011, ‘Friends with benefits: on the positive consequences of pet ownership’, Journal of Personality & Social Psychology, vol.101, no.6, pp.1239-1252
Continue reading

Pet Population Score Infographic: Australia not very Pet Friendly

Continue reading

®Registered Trademark. ™Trademark. ©2022 Mars, Incorporated. All rights reserved.