UK pet ownership at 62% overall in 2022, dogs top list

Dogs remained the most common pets with 13 million animals, followed closely by cats with a population of 12 million.

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Andrea Gantz
Andrea Gantz

Adapted from a press release: 

In the United Kingdom, more than six in ten households (62%) own some kind of pet, according to the UK Pet Food Manufacturers’ Association (PFMA). PFMA conducted a survey of nearly 9,000 UK households. Dogs remained the most common pets with 13 million animals, followed closely by cats with a population of 12 million. Also featuring in PFMA’s top ten charts are 1.6 million indoor birds, 1.4 million domestic fowl, 1 million rabbits, 900,000 guinea pigs, 700,000 pigeons, 600,000 hamsters, 600,000 tortoises (and turtles) and 600,000 horses (and ponies). The survey of almost 9,000 UK households confirmed that dogs top the charts with 13 million, followed closely by cats with a population of 12 million.

All together there are almost 4 million birds being kept as pets by approximately 1.5 million households – an increase of almost one quarter (23%) on the previous year’s figures. Small mammals are also strong with a total of 2.5 million rabbits, guinea pigs and hamsters kept by around 1.5 million households.

Fish were not measured as individual animals by the PFMA survey, but there were 8 million indoor fish tanks (17% households) and 6.5 million outdoor ponds (12% households). These figures are up by around 60% on last year when 5 million owned an indoor tank and 4.1 million had a pond. 

Ten million, 34% of UK households own a dog, compared to 28% (8.2 million) owning a cat. Households with both a cat and dog are up slightly to 11% (3.2 million). Looking at households with children, 77% have a pet (6.9 million), which is an increase of 12% on 2021 figures, when 6.15 million families owned a pet.

The online survey has been run for two consecutive years. In 2021 the size was 5,093 and in 2022 is 8,983 for the main annual population figures. For 2022, caution is required when comparing 2022 data to previous years due to the change in sample size. Percentages of households owning pets can be compared between 2022 and 2021.

Top 10 pets in the United Kingdom

  1. 13 million dogs (34% households)
  2. 12 million cats (28% households)
  3. 1.6 million indoor birds (2.9% households) 
  4. 1.4 million domestic fowl (1.4% households) 
  5. 1 million rabbits (2.4% households) 
  6. 0.9 million Guinea pigs (1.3% households) 
  7. 0.7 million pigeons (0.9% households) 
  8. 0.6 million hamsters (1.5% households)
  9. 0.6 million tortoises and turtles (1.4% households) 
  10. 0.6 million horses and ponies (1.1% households) 

 

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