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PFMA Annual Report 2001:
Dogs & cats - the gap widens

THE PET Food Manufacturer’s Association (PFMA) have published their annual report for pet food sales and pet keeping trends covering the year 2001. As before, the report is now published online, with graphics and interesting statistics and links for every pet owner to browse.

The PFMA’s introduction on their website states: “The broadening knowledge about pet animal nutrition and food technology enabled the industry to develop and diversify in leaps and bounds. Today, with the industry nourishing a large pet population and with around 90% of all pet owners feeding prepared pet food at least once a week, pet food is one of the most significant market sectors. The market for prepared pet food was worth just over £1.5 billion in 2000. Pet food offers the total daily calorie requirements for a pet in a product which is easy to use and enjoyed by your pet.”

Petfood market

The trend for increased pet food sales continued ever upwards in 2001, with combined dog and cat food sales accounting for a massive total of £1,456 million, and 1272,000 tons. The PFMA’s 2001 Breakdown for prepared pet foods includes sales and tonnage of bird food (as birds are the third most popular pet animal in the UK), although bird food sales are dwarfed by the greater dog and cat food sales.

Growth of the market

Over the years, pet food sales have consistently increased. This trend is accounted for by increases in the pet population, a growing use of pet food as part of the overall diet, a greater variety of diets and the benefits and value for money that pet foods offer. However, prepared pet food accounts only for approximately 60% of the dogs’, and 65% of the cats’ regular calorific intake.

* During the year 2001, there were 7,900 people directly employed in the manufacture of pet food. This consists of 5,400 male employees and 2,500 female employees

Pet keeping trends 2001

As always, the PFMA’s statistics on Briton’s pet keeping tastes and trends makes for fascinating reading.

Just under half the households in the UK own a pet, ranging from dogs, cats and rabbits to the more exotic snakes and spiders. Dogs and cats have traditionally been the most popular British pets. Their population has remained fairly stable over the past six years and in 2001 amounted to 13.6million. However, over the past 10 years changes in lifestyle and how households are structured has affected the relative populations of dogs and cats with the cat population gradually increasing to out-number dogs.

Dog ownership had shown a gradual decrease over recent years, with more people living alone, and with more couples both going out to work. Urban living and modern working lifestyles favour the free living, independent cat over the more dependent dog. Cat ownership is greater in the more urban South. Dog ownership tends to be more popular in urban areas - 65.2%.

• Of the 24.5 million UK households, just under around 45% own a pet. In 2001 the number of households owning pets was: Dogs: 4.8million. Cats: 4.8million. 540,000 households own a budgie.

• Of the households owning a dog, 78.5% have only one dog and the remainder have two or more. Of the households with cats, 62.2% have one cat and the remainder have two or more. The highest levels of cat ownership is in the 35 -44 age group. The highest levels of dog ownership is in the 45-54 age group.

• The 2001 dog population is broken down into: Toy 5.7%, Small 20.8%, Medium 26%, Large 43.6%, Giant 3.8%

• It has been estimated that approximately 59% of dogs are pedigrees.
The most popular breeds are:

1. Labrador Retriever
2. Yorkshire Terrier
3. Border Collie
4. (Joint) Jack Russell and German Shepherd

92% of cats are moggies or “non pedigrees”

Pet (millions)
Dog 6.1
Cat 7.5
Budgerigar 0.75
Rabbit 1.1
Fish 24.7
Gold 14.7
Tropical 9.3
Marine 0.7
Guinea pig 0.73
Hamster 0.86
Canaries 0.26
Other birds 1.06

There is a growing trend among pet owners towards owning unusual or exotic animals.
Snakes, reptiles and tropical fish are all growing in popularity, however ownership of exotic pets demands time and commitment from the owner. Prospective owners should be aware that such animals often require specialist attention and should seek appropriate veterinary advice before acquiring them.

The results of the US Pet Food Institute survey released in February 2001, show that in 2001, the US pet cat and dog populations continued to grow. The number of pet cats is over 75 million, while the number of dogs grew from 59 million to 60 million.

According to a survey carried out by the European Pet Food association, FEDIAF, there are currently 47 million cats in Europe, and 41 million dogs. Around 55 million European households own a pet.