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23 UK Pet Industry Statistics to Know in 2022: Trends, Market Size & More

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This article’s statistics come from third-party sources and do not represent the opinions of this website.

More and more people are getting pets every year, and the types of pets are changing as well. While we used to stick to cats, dogs, and fish, we are starting to get much more versatile, owning birds, snakes, lizards, goats, and more. If you live in the UK and are curious to know just how big the pet market is, you’ve come to the right place. We’ll cover several UK pet industry statistics to help you learn more about this ever-growing sector.

We’ve broken down the statistics into the following categories:

The 23 Most Common UK Pet Industry Statistics

  1. Pet ownership has been increasing in the UK since 2015.
  2. Pets help owners with their mental health.
  3. The majority of pet owners live in the cities in the UK.
  4. In the past few years, pedigree cat and pedigree toy dog breeds are gaining popularity in the UK.
  5. People spend more than £3 billion on pet food each year.
  6. Wet food dominates the pet food market in the United Kingdom.
  7. Amazon is a major player in pet sales in the UK.
  8. The RSPCA took in more than 29,000 cats, 10,000 dogs, and 700 horses and microchipped more than 218,000 animals in a single year.
  9. Within the pet industry in the UK, dog food brings in the most money.
  10. Mars is currently the biggest player in the pet food industry.
  11. Whiskas Complete is the most popular dry cat food in the United Kingdom.
  12. Experts expect organic cat litter to take a larger market share from 2021 to 2027 due to increased demand.
  13. The most popular types of organic litter are wood and paper.
  14. 20% of pet owners in the United Kingdom spend at least £20 per month on outfits for their pets.
  15. Most dogs in the UK require some form of grooming every 4-6 weeks.
  16. People in the United Kingdom spend billions each year on dogs and cats.
  17. People spend about double the amount of money on dog food versus cat food.
  18. People in the United Kingdom keep 15–20 million fish in aquariums.
  19. More than 200,000 reptiles and 200,000 snakes are in the United Kingdom as pets.
  20. Statistics show that 69% of dog owners underestimated the cost of owning their pets.
  21. Experts estimate that there are thousands of dogs without a home in the UK.
  22. As many as 91% of dogs are microchipped in the UK.
  23. Many animals in the United Kingdom face dwindling populations due to increased agriculture and other habitat-destroying properties.
uk pet industry stats
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The United Kingdom Pet Market is Rapidly Expanding

1. Pet ownership has been increasing since 2015.

(ONS)

Pet ownership has been increasing since 2015, with people spending more than £7.9 billion per year on their miniature companions, up more than 150% from early 2000.

2. Since the pandemic, the majority of new pet owners have said their pets improve their mental health.

(BBC)

Of the more than 3.2 million people that purchased a new pet during the pandemic, 74% of owners said their pet helped them with their mental health, while 5% found owning a pet was too challenging and gave it up to new owners.

3. More pet owners live in cities in the UK.

(Pet Business World)

More than 55% of pet owners live in the city and about one-third are under the age of 40.

4. In the past few years, pedigree cat and pedigree toy dog breeds are gaining popularity in the UK.

(Pet Business World)

Pedigree toy dog breeds are gaining popularity, with small breed numbers increasing more than 141% since 2016. Pedigree cats are also gaining in popularity, with numbers of Persian cats tripling and the number of pedigree cats as a whole growing by more than 25% since 2016.

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Pet Food Industry Analysis in The United Kingdom

german shepherd eating dog food outdoors
Image Credit: Victoria Antonova, Shutterstock

5. People spend more than £3 billion on pet food each year.

(PFA)

People living in the UK spend around 3.2 billion pounds on pet food each year, and this number is steadily increasing year after year.

6. Wet food dominates the pet food market in the United Kingdom.

(BBC)

Wet food makes up more than 30% of food sales in the UK. Dry kibble is close behind, and together they make up more than 50% of total sales. The remaining food sales are prescription diets, treats, and “other.”

7. Amazon is a major player in pet sales in the UK.

(Statista)

Amazon is a heavyweight player in pet sales during the pandemic in the UK, especially with many stores suffering from empty shelves. The company has 21 distributors in the United Kingdom, and the website receives more than 579 million visits each year. These distributors provide the people of the UK with more than £12 million of merchandise per annum.

8. The Royal Society of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA) took in more than 29,000 cats, 10,000 dogs, and 700 horses in 2019 and microchipped more than 218,000 animals in a single year.

(RSPCA)

The RSPCA took in more than 29,000 cats, 10,000 dogs, and 700 horses in 2019. These animals need homes and adopting from the RSPCA can save you money while freeing up recourses for other animals in need. The organization also microchipped more than 218,000 animals and found homes for more than 39,000 pets in need.

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Dog Food Market Share

dog eating
Image Credit: dmytro Zinkevych, Shutterstock

9. Within the pet industry in the UK, dog food brings in the most money.

(PFMA)

Since more people in the United Kingdom own dogs (33% of households) than cats (27%), and most dog breeds are considerably larger, dog food brings in the most money at more than £1.5 billion per year.

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Top Pet Food Market Report in The United Kingdom

persian cat eating dry food
Image Credit: Patrick Foto, Shutterstock

Pet Food Market Share by Brand

10. Mars is currently the biggest player in the pet food industry.

(Mars, Pet Business World, Pet SCI, Heristo, Hill’s Pet)

Mars is currently the biggest player in the pet sector with 42% in the pet food industry, making several extremely popular brands, like Temptations, Crave, Catsan, Greenies, Pedigree, Royal Canin, Sheba, Special Kitty, Whiskas, and many others. Nestle is second, with 32% of the market, while Heristo and Hill’s Pet Nutrition are also popular.

11. Whiskas Complete is the most popular dry cat food in the United Kingdom.

(Statista)

The most popular dry cat foods in the United Kingdom include Go-Cat, Purina, Iams, Royal Canin, and others, with Whiskas Complete coming in as the leader.

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Cat Litter Statistics

Two cats using a self cleaning litter box
Image Credit: Lightspruch, Shutterstock

12. Experts expect organic cat litter to take a larger market share from 2022 to 2027 due to increased demand.

(Market Watch, Feline Pine)

Feline Pine is leading the way in this burgeoning niche market with several other companies, including Blue Buffalo, Nestle, Mars, and others, also creating organic litter.

13. The most popular types of organic litter are wood and paper.

(Market Watch)

While wood and paper are at the top, other popular options include bamboo, grass, and corn. These litters produce less harmful dust that shouldn’t bother your pet’s nasal passages, and many are softer on your cat’s feet and don’t track as far into your home. They are better for the environment, and you can even flush some brands for added convenience. The downside to this litter is that it’s often non-clumping, and until it catches on more, it can be harder to find and more expensive.

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Pet Grooming Statistics

Long haired grey cat being combed happy human
Image Credit: Jakub Zak, Shutterstock

14. 20% of pet owners in the United Kingdom spend at least £20 per month on outfits for their pets.

(Geo Marts)

One in five people in the United Kingdom spends at least this much on garb for their pets.

15. Most dogs in the UK require some form of grooming every 4-6 weeks.

(Geo Marts)

Due to breed and maintenance requirements, about 60% of dogs in the UK require some form of grooming every 1-1.5 months.

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Pet Spending Statistics

happy little girl hugging her golden retriever dog
Image Credit: Tatyana Vyc, Shutterstock

16. People in the United Kingdom spend billions each year on dogs and cats.

(Groom Arts)

People in the United Kingdom spend more than £10 billion each year on dogs and £8 billion on cats.

17. People spend about double the amount of money on dog food versus cat food.

(Finder)

People spend an average of £274 per year on dog food and £125 on cats.

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Other Pet Statistics

happy shelter dog
Image Credit: pixexid, Pixabay

18. People in the United Kingdom keep 15–20 million fish in aquariums.

(PFMA)

UK residents keep 15–20 million fish in aquariums. Almost all of these aquariums require powered filters, lights, and special water treatment chemicals and test strips.

19. More than 200,000 reptiles and 200,000 snakes are in the United Kingdom as pets.

(PFMA)

More than 200,000 reptiles and 200,000 snakes are kept in the United Kingdom, and each of these animals requires a special habitat that often requires plenty of humidity and high temperatures. Ultraviolet producing heat lamps, humidifiers, and electronic moisture detectors are common, resulting in hundreds of thousands of dollars in equipment each year.

20. Statistics show that 69% of dog owners underestimated the cost of owning their pets.

(Dog Tips)

The data shows that just under 70% of dog owners underestimated the cost of owning their pets, which averages between £70 and £105 per month. This underestimation is a big part of why many pets are being turned into the RSPCA each year.

21. Experts estimate that there are thousands of dogs without a home in the UK.

(Dog Tips)

Experts estimate that there are at least 100,000 dogs without a home at any time in the UK.

22. As many as 91% of dogs are microchipped in the UK.

(Home Again)

In the United Kingdom, experts estimate that as many as 91% of dogs have a microchip, which is much different than the United States, where only 3% of dogs turned into animal shelters have the chip. These chips are fairly inexpensive, easy to insert, and make it much more likely a lost dog returns to its owner.

23. Many animals in the United Kingdom face dwindling populations due to increased agriculture and other habitat-destroying properties.

(Frog Life)

The hedgehog, a popular pet in many parts of the world, is losing numbers at an alarming rate. Some experts suggest that the population is decreasing by as much as 5% per year.

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Frequently Asked Questions on the UK Pet Industry

How Much Is the Pet Industry Worth?

The pet industry in the United Kingdom is worth more than £4.5 billion when you combine food, grooming, vet visits, and regular supplies. (Statista)

How Much Do Owners Spend Each Year?

The market contains more than 12 million dogs and 12 million cats, and people in the United Kingdom spend more than £2,000 per year caring for their pets. (Statista)

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Summary

As you can see, there are quite a few impressive facts about the pet industry in the United Kingdom, and as more people start owning a pet, those numbers will become even higher. With over £3 billion spent each year on pet food alone, companies in the pet industry have a solid future, and with the increased awareness about what we feed and use around our pets, they are more likely to stay healthier have longer lifespans.


Featured Image Credit: Chendongshan, Shutterstock

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