According to an online survey of more than 27,000 people across 22 countries conducted by global research firm GfK, more than half (56 percent) of people internationally have at least one pet living with them.
Pet ownership is highest in Latin America, with 80 percent of the online population in both Argentina and Mexico owning a pet, together with three quarters (75 percent) in Brazil. The next biggest pet countries are Russia, where just under three-quarters (73 percent) own a pet, and the U.S. at 70 percent.
Asian countries appear to have the smallest percentage of their online population who own pets. In South Korea, just 31 percent report having a pet living with them, followed by Hong Kong at 35 percent and Japan at 37 percent.
“Although the Asian countries come lower in this list, these countries comprise a significant and growing share of the global pet market,” said Pushan Tagore, vice president of pet care research at GfK. “This is due to the overall size and growth rate of their human population.
“Looking at data from our full range of pet care research, the key markets to watch over the next 12 months are China, India and LATAM. In these markets, rising disposable income is moving consumers away from table scraps and home-cooked food for dogs and cats, and toward prepared pet food. This is being driven by the convenience factor, as well as rising awareness of the need to feed their pets with the appropriate nutrition.”
The survey also found that women are slightly more likely to have a pet dog or cat living with them (34 percent of women versus 32 percent of men have a dog; 25 percent of women versus 22 percent of men have a cat). However, men are more likely than women to have pet fish (14 percent versus 11 percent).
A third of the online population across all 22 countries reports having a dog, compared to just under a quarter (23 percent) who have a cat. Only 12 percent overall keep pet fish and six percent have a pet bird.
Dogs are the most popular pet in Argentina, where two-thirds (66 percent) of the online population are dog-owners, compared to one third (32 percent) who have a cat. Mexico comes in just under two-thirds (64 percent) having a dog living with them; in Brazil, that figure is 58 percent.
Cats are most popular in Russia, where more than half (57 percent) have a cat living with them, compared to less than a third (29 percent) who keep a dog. The next biggest country for cat-owners is France, where four out of 10 (41 percent) people keep a cat, followed by the U.S., at 39 percent. However, in the U.S., dog owners still outnumber cat owners, as half (50 percent) of online Americans have a dog living with them.
Keeping fish as pets is most popular in China, standing at 17 percent of the online population, and is closely followed by Turkey (16 percent) and Belgium (15 percent).
Bird owners are most prevalent in Turkey, where one in five (20 percent) keep a pet bird. Spain and Brazil each claim 11 percent, giving Turkey a lead in terms of the number of bird lovers.
To view the full survey, click here.