Industry News

The pet industry in the Benelux: an update

[Source: by GlobalPETS News Team ]

How is the pet industry doing in Belgium and the Netherlands? How has it been affected by COVID-19?

Almost half of the households in the Netherlands own 1 or more pets. The latest results from a survey conducted by I&O Research show that in 2021 a quarter of Dutch households owned 1 or more cats. Dogs come in second: 18% of Dutch households own a dog.

A Belgian Ivox survey confirms that we all love pets more than ever, with 52% of Belgian families owning at least 1 pet. Most owners are young families with children (64%). Yet, remarkably, the average owner has not 1, not 2, but 3 pets. This could be anything from fish or parakeets to tarantulas or ferrets. Cats and dogs are still the most popular, with 1 in 3 families in Belgium (31%) owning a cat, and almost a quarter (23.6%) owning a dog.

The COVID effect on pet ownership

In the Benelux countries, as in other regions, there has been a rise in the total number of pets since the start of the pandemic. Pets provide comfort, support and companionship in difficult times, and people have been able to spend more time caring for them while working and staying at home.

Dutch studies show that attitudes to pet ownership have changed positively for 1 in 5 consumers as a result of the COVID pandemic. For example, 8% of Dutch households acquired a pet during the first year of the pandemic (in 2019 this was just 6.4%). Although lack of time remains the most frequently mentioned reason for not having pets, this has been said less since the COVID crisis began.

The pandemic has also had a positive effect on pet ownership in Belgium: 11.6% of Belgian households welcomed a new pet during the first year of the pandemic, and a quarter of them (25%) did so very much because of the pandemic.