Euromonitor International

Euromonitor International

January 30, 2012 07:48 ET

UK Pet Population Shifts, Dog Population Declines and Pet Obesity on the Rise, Reports Euromonitor

LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM--(Marketwire - Jan. 30, 2012) - The role of 'man's best friend' is shifting to other animals outside of the dog population, and pet owners are also now dealing with fatter dogs and cats. Euromonitor International's latest report Pet Care in the United Kingdom examines the UK pet products market and suggests that increasing pressure on time and money has UK pet owners turning their attention to low-cost and low-maintenance pets such as cats, and even reptiles. The report also emphasises that rising obesity in the UK pet population is in large part a result of pet 'humanisation'.

The proportion of households in the UK owning a dog has dropped, particularly large dogs (those heavier than 23kg), which experienced a decline from 2.8 million to 1.8 million during 2006 through 2011. This number fell by over 200,000 in 2011 alone, according to Euromonitor International data. Meanwhile, cat ownership is on the rise, with the proportion of households owning cats going from 24.6% to 25.4% during the same period. Longer working hours and limited budgets put added stress on the financial obligation of owning a pet. "Not all owners can afford these costs," said Lee Linthicum, head of food research at Euromonitor. "It puts downward pressure on the country's dog population, because of the demand on time and money that is required for these animals. It burdens those owners that want to offer the best for their pet but cannot afford to do so."

"Obesity is also emerging as a major issue for pet owners in the UK, driven in large part by the fact that many are feeding their pets 'human' food," adds Linthicum. "It does offer opportunities for the pet products market, as 'humanisation' fuels pet owners' desires to spend more on their pets; but it also perpetuates the increasing costs associated with owning a pet."

Euromonitor expects 2012 to see the launch of more "diet" pet food products, including low-calorie and portion-control offerings, aimed at tackling the obesity problem among the country's pet population.

A full table of contents for the report can be found at:

Pet care reports covering 80 countries can be found at:

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About Euromonitor International

Euromonitor International is the world's leading provider for global business intelligence and strategic market analysis. We have more than 39 years of experience publishing international market reports, business reference books and online databases on consumer markets.

We deliver market research solutions to support strategic planning for today's increasingly international business environment. Our research offers in-depth market analysis on consumer goods and services industries worldwide, as well as economic, demographic and socio-economic data and insight on countries and consumers.

Euromonitor International is headquartered in London, with regional offices in Chicago, Singapore, Shanghai, Vilnius, Santiago, Dubai, Cape Town, Tokyo, Sydney and Bangalore, and has a network of over 800 analysts worldwide.

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