Celebrating the start of National Pet Month, the Pet Food Manufacturers’ Association (PFMA) has released its 2019 pet data, based on interviews with 8,000 households.
The data confirmed a “stable pet population”, which equates to 40% of households benefiting from pet ownership. This year, National Pet Month has put its focus on the positive impact of pets on mental wellbeing.
Top 10 pets
Nine million dogs (25% households)
7.5million cats (17% households)
600,000 rabbits (1% households)
500,000 indoor birds (1% households)
500,000 domestic fowl (0.4% households)
400,000 Guinea Pigs (1% households)
300,000 hamsters (1% households)
300,000 tortoises and turtles (0.7% households)
300,000 lizards (0.6% households)
200,000 snakes (0.4% households)
Key pet population data:
- 12 million households (40% of UK households) have a pet
- Dog ownership is highest among 45-54 year olds at 30% and falls to 23% among Gen Z and 22% for Millennials
- Cat ownership is also highest among 45-54 year olds at 21% with the younger groups 15% and 17% respectively
Michael Bellingham, chief executive of PFMA and trustee of National Pet Month, said: “A recent government survey found 77% of people sometimes feel lonely and sadly those aged 16 to 34 were more affected than those aged over 50.
“Whatever your age, pets are good for you in so many ways; providing companionship, helping to reduce stress levels and instilling a sense of calm. Pets also give owners a reason to stay active and interact with others, giving a sense of purpose and boosting self-worth.”
Tanya Michelsen, associate director and head of brand research at YouthSight, a youth agency that specialises in understanding Gen Z and millennials, added: “Today, we are all looking for different ways to relieve stress and make our lives happier and more relaxing. In fact, 62% of 16-24 years olds tell us they regularly do as little as possible in their free time.
“For millennials, who are increasingly having children later in life, a pet is the perfect companion. They provide an everyday routine, non-judgemental company and give owners a reason to exercise and have fun. They provide stability in a fast paced, ever changing world.”