Young Pet Parents Behind China’s Exploding Pet Population Trend

Mary Simpson
by Mary Simpson
What was once illegal (and still seen as bourgeois), China sees a growing trend in owning pets. And a recent survey finds that the numbers will continue upwards in the future.

Talk about tenacity. Did you realize that as recently as the 1980s, keeping a pet dog in China was illegal because they were considered bourgeois and a modern day menace? By the 1990s and early 2000s, laws were loosened and the number of people owning a pet pooch began to grow. Even when the government introduced a one dog per household ruling a few years back, residents were determined to incorporate animals into the family unit and recent surveys show there are now as many as 100 million pets registered in China.

Related: Largest Collective Pet Wedding Takes Place In China

In fact according to Beijing-based Zhongjinqixin, an international information consultant, the number is expected to grow at an annual rate of 10 percent in coming years. Hey, maybe one day the average of one pet for every 13 residents in China will match the 1.3 pets per single resident in the US – yes, America has an estimated 400 million registered pets!

Some interesting stats pulled from this survey include:

  • 62 percent of pets owned by residents of China are dogs
  • 19 percent are cats
  • 6 percent are tortoises (seriously, it’s a trend!) followed by birds, fish and rabbits
  • In terms of age, 92 percent of most pet owners are younger than 45. So maybe a demographic thing that is seeing younger Chinese residents embrace the concept of pet ownership.

While China’s pet industry revenues are predicted to reach more than $2.5 billion in 2015 (compared with $60 billion in the US) United Nations stats suggest that by 2030 China’s middle class – considered most capable of affording pets – will be four times the size of America’s. Imagine if they also lift the one pet rule! But back to tortoises… beyond lettuce, where would one spend their share of the $2.5 billion? Balls? Frisbees? Leashes? GPS collars? Just saying.

Mary Simpson
Mary Simpson

Sharing space with three seriously judgy Schnoodles and a feline who prefers to be left alone. #LivingMyBestLife

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