Dog food maker Scratch has revealed the results from Australia’s largest ever dog survey, with more than 20,000 respondents providing insights into the weird, funny and surprising ways Aussies relate to the nation’s 4.8 million dogs.
The Great Australian Dog Survey was conducted over two weeks in May in order to help Scratch continue advocating for the health, wellbeing and legal standing of Australian dogs.
“The results from our survey give us a definitive insight: we’re officially a nation dog obsessed! Australia has the highest rate of dog ownership in the world, and the huge enthusiasm for our survey has revealed just how integral our furry friends are to us, both individually and socially,” says Scratch’s co-founder Mike Halligan.
With respondents from each Australian state and territory, across all age groups, Scratch’s Great Australian Dog Survey revealed insights into the most popular dog breeds, names and behaviours, as well as how Aussies think of their four legged friends – from the policies we want changed to the personal ways we treat, and engage with, our furry friends.
● Half of Australians would take a pay cut to spend more time with our dogs during the week
● Dogs are officially an extension of ourselves, with 3 in 4 people choosing breeds with a similar personality to their own
● 81% of Australians think their dog deserves to be seen as more than ‘property’ by Australian law
● 83% of Aussies find others more attractive if they have a dog
● 33% of under 35s have an Instagram account for their dog
● 72% believe dogs should be allowed in pubs and cafes
● 64% of us have made new friends because of our dog
● 74% of us let the dog on the bed
● Even when no-one’s around and we’ve run out of bags, 65% of Australians will use leaves to clean up after their dog
● The most popular dog breed in Australia is Labrador Retriever, followed by Border Collie and Cavoodle
● Ruby is the most popular name for Aussie dogs, with Bella in second place and Charlie in third
● Only 30% of Australians trust the nutritional information on dog food packaging
The survey also looked at Australian dogs’ penchant for destroying household items. Here’s a snapshot of responses:
- ● A Costco sized salmon fillet
- ● He ate my BBQ
- ● $500 worth of underwear
- ● Toilet paper during COVID-19
- ● My relationship with my neighbour
Since launching in 2018, Scratch now feeds 5,000 Australian dogs through its subscription-only service. Dogs subscribed to Scratch receive a personalised recipe based on breed, age and weight with deliveries timed to when they need it. The recipes use whole ingredients, made from 97% Australian produce. It’s the only dog food on the Australian market to offer 100% transparency in its labelling, disclosing the percentage of each ingredient.
Over the past month, sign-ups have increased by 100 percent on the same period three months prior, as COVID-19 has encouraged a surge in dog adoption and ownership.
By cutting out the middleman, Halligan and co-founder Doug Speigelhaeur are able to spend up to 40% more on higher quality ingredients. In 2018, a pet food senate enquiry handed down a scathing report that highlighted the industry’s shortcomings of self-regulation and a resulting lack of trust from consumers.
“Scratch is shaking up a market in which most of what you pay is for business costs, and not the food itself. The traditional dog food model is all about bulk making food as cheaply as possible, while making it hard for you to know what you’re really feeding your furry friend. We cut out the unnecessary expenses so we can put dogs first,” says Halligan.
The approach caught the eye of 3x world champion surfer Mick Fanning who in 2019 made a minority investment in Scratch after feeding the product to his dog for 10 months and seeing marked improvement in her skin conditions and overall health.