On an annual basis, FEDIAF releases data on the European pet population, the latest ‘Facts & Figures’ report 2017 highlights that the pet population is at a healthy level.

Cats remain the most popular pets in European households with a stable population of 74.4 million in the EU and 102.7 million in Europe and Russia. Dogs are growing in popularity with 66.4 million dogs in the EU (84.9 million in Europe and Russia) in 2017 compared to 63.7 million (82.2 million) in 2016.

In terms of other pets, small mammal and reptile ownership has increased slightly, the population of ornamental fish (measured by number of aquaria) has remained relatively stable at 9.4 million. Pet birds, however, have seen a 10% decline in the region bringing the total population to 35.4 million.

Pet ownership boosts the European economy

The growth in pet population is good news for the European economy with the pet care sector contributing a significant turnover of €36.5 billion.

In 2017, the pet food industry alone delivered € 20.5 billion in turnover, an increase of €1 billion on the previous year, with related products and services remaining stable at €16 billion.

Mechthild Exner-Herforth, new President of FEDIAF advised: “The importance of pet ownership is evidenced by the large number of direct and indirect employment created. The pet food sector is responsible for providing approximately 100,000 jobs in the industry and we estimate a further 900,000 jobs in related pet care sectors. Included in this are the suppliers to the pet food industry, approximately 200,000 veterinarians in Europe, 60,000 specialist pet stores, the pet accessories industry, trade shows, pet press, breeders, animal welfare organizations and transport.”

‘FEDIAF Facts and Figures 2017’ is available here.