New Survey Reveals Pet Ownership Numbers Decline in England

Lori Ennis
by Lori Ennis
While pet ownership has reached all-time highs in the United States, new research from England shows that pet ownership has declined in the last five years.

In the United States, more and more people are pet owners, and some even choosing their homes to meet the needs of their pets before the needs of their other human family members.

Related: Survey Finds Dogs Influence Home Buying More Than Children

But new research from Mintel shows that in England, pet ownership has gone down nearly ten percent in the last five years, and just barely half (56%) now have a pet. In 2012, the percentage was 63%.

Cats and dogs still are the best loved pets, with dog narrowly taking the lead as most beloved with 31% of pet owners having dogs and 29% of pet owners having cats. In 2012, 33% of pet owners had dogs, while 31% had cats.

Sad news for fish, as it seems that only 10% of households have fish as pets, down from 17% in 2012, while only 7% of pet owners in England have small animals like guinea pigs or rabbits.

Families are the largest numbers of pet owners, with 73% of households in England with children under the age of 16 having pets, but it seems that in those over 65 years old, only 36% still have a pet as a furry family member.

Emma Clifford is the associate director of food and drink at Mintel and says that smaller household sizes and people having families later in life is having a negative impact on pet ownership. More, she says that people are renting more properties versus owning, which also affects pet ownership numbers. Ironically, in the United States, pet ownership is growing as people are putting of having children in favor of pets.

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All statistics aside, those who do have pets treat them like family members, and over half all dog owners believe outdoor exercise for dogs and owners is important, while a third of pet owners are worried about their pets’ weight and look to weight loss programs for them.

Additionally, over half of pet owners say pets make them feel happy (66%), loved (55%), relaxed (54%) and comforted (51%), and 71% of pet owners say they would take their pets everywhere with them if they could.

Lori Ennis
Lori Ennis

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