A recent survey has revealed that there are 100 million pets registered in China, with 10 percent accounting for pets raised by residents of Guangdong Province, having the most pets of any province on the Chinese mainland, the China Daily reported.
According to the survey, an average of one in every 13 people in China is raising a pet, with dogs and cats accounting for about 80 percent of the total number, although there has been a rapid rise in having tortoises as pets in the recent years.
The survey, undertaken by Zhongjinqixin, an international information consultant based in Beijing, showed that in terms of pet popularity, Guangdong is followed by Jiangsu, Zhejiang, Shanghai, Beijing and Shandong.
Among cities, Guangzhou, Guangdong's capital, is among the top five in pet ownership on the mainland, while next to it are Beijing, Shanghai, Chongqing and Wuhan.
He Yinjin, the head of the survey organization, said that the number of pets is expected to continue to grow at an annual rate of at least 10 percent in the coming years.
He cited that there are more than 400 million pets registered in the United States, 1.3 times more than the country's population.
The survey also found that among pet owners, nearly 62 percent raise dogs, more than 19 percent raise cats and more than 6 percent have tortoises at home. The other popular pets include birds, fish and rabbits.
"Many residents are now raising tortoises as pets at home, as tortoises indicate longevity in the minds of Chinese," a man surnamed Li, a resident of Guangzhou, said. He has a pair of tortoises as pets for the past three years. "My family has treated the tortoises as our family members," he said.
According to the report, pet ownership is increasing despite the costs, as the survey found that 11 percent of Chinese families spend more than 10,000 yuan ($1,574) annually on pet care, while about 32 percent spend 1,000 to 3,000 yuan annually.
Industry insiders have predicted that the mainland's pet industry revenue will reach more than 15 billion yuan in 2015.
In terms of age, most pet owners are younger than 45. The survey also found that 6 percent were younger than 25, 37 percent were between 25 and 30, 24 percent were between 31 and 35, and 18 percent were aged 36 to 45. Only 8 percent of pet owners are older than 45.