Study reveals Puerto Rican pet owner preferences

A comprehensive survey conducted by the Chamber of Marketing, Industry, and Food Distribution (MIDA) offers a deep dive into the habits, preferences and spending patterns of pet owners in this island nation.

The study found 29% of pet-owning households in Puerto Rico preferred cats, but dogs were the dominate choice, present in 85% of pet-owning homes.
The study found 29% of pet-owning households in Puerto Rico preferred cats, but dogs were the dominate choice, present in 85% of pet-owning homes.
Andrea Gantz

The pet food market in Puerto Rico reveals a dynamic interaction between pet owners and their preferences, underlining the significant role pets play in many households across the island.

A comprehensive survey conducted by the Chamber of Marketing, Industry and Food Distribution (MIDA) of 1,350 households in 2023 offers a deep dive into the habits, preferences, and spending patterns of pet owners.

The survey revealed 48% of Puerto Rican households have pets, translating to approximately 643,000 pet-owning homes. Ownership is notably higher among Millennial and Generation X demographics, where 54% and 55% of households, respectively, own pets. Regional differences also emerge, with pet ownership peaking in the eastern (53%) and western (56%) regions of Puerto Rico, particularly among families with incomes above $25,000 (53%), and those comprising two or more members (54%) or families with children (59%).

Dogs dominate as the preferred companions, present in 85% of pet-owning households, with an average of 1.7 dogs per home. Cats follow, with 29% of households averaging 1.9 cats. The survey also highlights the presence of birds (8%), fish (5%), and rabbits (4%), with fish owners having the most pets on average (3.5 per household).

Puerto Ricans prefer commercial dry pet food

In terms of nutrition, 72% of dog owners prefer commercial pet food, with a significant majority (84%) opting for dry food. A combination of dry and wet food is chosen by 13%, and a small fraction (3%) prefers wet food exclusively. Pedigree is the most popular brand, followed closely by private labels and others such as Purina One, Dog Chow, Alpo and Royal Canin, with 31% of households choosing premium or specialized brands.

Cat nutrition follows a similar pattern, with 82% of owners feeding their cats dry food, and Friskies being the top choice among brands. When unable to find their preferred brand, 81% of pet owners will look elsewhere, emphasizing brand loyalty and the importance of availability.

Supermarkets stand as the primary channel for pet food purchases, with price, location, and product availability being the leading factors influencing buying decisions. The average monthly spend on pet food and supplies per household is $92, with purchases made approximately 1.4 times a month.

This detailed analysis provided by MIDA not only sheds light on the pet ownership landscape in Puerto Rico but also highlights the consumer behaviors that drive the pet food market, offering valuable insights for businesses aiming to cater to this segment's unique needs.

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