Anyone who has had a pet knows they are more than a cute face around the house: they become a member of the family.
On Tuesday, people were encouraged to celebrate the contribution their furry, feathered and finned friends had made to their life for Love Your Pets Day.
Australians certainly do love their pets, with one of the highest pet ownership rates in the world.T
The Australian Veterinary Association says 62 per cent of households in Australia had a pet in 2016.
At that time, there were an estimated 24 million-plus pets in Australia: about one for every person.
Almost two in five households had a dog and nearly three in 10 had a cat.
But in terms of sheer numbers, fish were the most numerous among pets: there were 8.7 million pet fish in Australia in 2016.
The AVA has found people are spending an increasing amount of money on their pets.
In 2016, Australians spent more than $12.2 billion on pet products and services, a whopping 42 per cent increase on 2013.