German pet dog numbers grew 700,000 in 2019; Cats #1

Total revenues for the German pet food supplies sector reached EUR5.2 billion in 2019, including pet food and treats.

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(Javier Brosch |
(Javier Brosch |

Total revenues for the German pet food supplies sector reached EUR5.2 billion in 2019, including pet food and treat sales, according to the German Pet Trade and Industry Association (ZZF), organizers of Interzoo. In 2019, Germany’s brick-and-mortar pet retailer channel increased its total revenues by 2.4% to EUR4.325 billion, up from EUR4.223 billion in 2018.

Pet food revenues by German market segment

  • ready-to-eat pet food - EUR3.308 billion
  • supplies and accessories - EUR1.017 billion
  • online - EUR 705 million, up from EUR 625 million in 2018
  • wild bird seed - EUR 125 million, up from EUR 100 million in 2018

German pet ownership rates

The German pet food market is fueled by pet ownership as more Germans take in multiple pets. Market researchers with Skopos surveyed 7,000 people in representative households, on behalf of the Industry Association of Pet Care Producers and German Pet Trade and Industry Association (ZZF).

The analysts found that in 2019, 34 million dogs, cats, small mammals and pet birds lived in German homes, along with ornamental fish and terrarium species. Forty-five percent of all households in Germany had at least one pet in 2019. In households with children, 61% had a pet in their home in 2019. In 2019, the proportion of two-person households and households with three or more people that have pets both grew to 35% (34% in 2018). Pet owners made up 30% of Germany’s single-person household population in 2019, down from 32% in 2018.

“We also see a trend toward having several pets,” ZZF President Norbert Holthenrich said in a press release. “The number of households with more than one pet increased to 15% in 2019 (12% in 2018). The trends show that pets continue to play an important role in many peoples’ lives.”

Cats were the most popular pets in Germany, with 14.7 million cats in 23% of German households. Dogs increased in prevalence from 2018. In 2019, Germany’s dog population hit 10.1 million, living in 20% of German households. Germany’s dog population increased by 700,000 over 2018. Small animals live in 5% of households in Germany, with a population of 5.2 million. Germany’s pet bird population in 2019 was four million, making up 4% of households. There were 1.6 million aquariums and 1.2 million garden ponds with ornamental fish in 3% of households in Germany. In 2019, the number of terrariums increased by 200,000 to reach 1.2 million in 2% of surveyed households.

EU dog, cat and other pet food sales in 2019

European Pet Food Industry (FEDIAF) analysts estimated that pet food sales in the EU reached 8.5 million metric tons (9.4 million US tons) with a turnover value of EUR21 billion (US$23.6 billion) in 2019. Over the past three years, the EU pet food industry grew by 2.6% on average annually.

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