Pet Food Manufacturers’ Association surveys 8,000 households to discover continued rise in ownership of cats and dogs, as well as top 10 pets.

The Pet Food Manufacturers’ Association (PFMA) has revealed the results of its annual pet population survey of 8,000 households.

Data confirmed a stable population of 12 million pet-owning households in the UK (41%), with 9 million dogs, 7.5 million cats and 400,000 guinea pigs.

‘Tremendous support’

PFMA chief executive Michael Bellingham said: “Over recent months, our lives have been disrupted by unprecedented social, economic and emotional challenges as a result of COVID-19.

“Throughout this period, the tremendous support provided by our pets has been widely documented. Pets have helped many of us navigate these strange times by bringing much-needed comfort, happiness and routine.”

‘Welcomed alternative’

Trends expert Joeri Van den Bergh of InSites Consulting looked at the impact of COVID-19 on pet owners. He said: “In our COVID-19 lockdown research, we witnessed confined pet owners paying extra attention to physical and mental well-being by playing with their cats and walking their dogs.

“Many mentioned having more time with their pets as the positive side of working remotely from home. With restricted contacts, pets turned out to be even more important companions than ever before, providing a welcome alternative for hugs from our human, but distant, friends and relatives.”


Top 10

The top 10 pets were:

Rising numbers

PFMA data showed an increase in the number of pet dogs and cats over the past six decades as follows:

Further evolution

Mr Bellingham said: “Looking at the numerous positive stories of pet interaction throughout this period of change, it is likely that more people will see the benefits of pet ownership.

“We look forward to watching the landscape evolve further over the next 50 years. At, whether the UK is on lockdown – or not – we have excellent advice for owners looking to keep their pets healthy and well.”



Vet times: