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Britain's Pet Owners - UK - July 2017

“The undeniable feel-good factor linked to pet ownership can be harnessed in very compelling marketing messages. Advertising themes that centre on pets deserving the very best to thank them for the emotional benefits they bestow on their owners are likely to chime. There are also growing opportunities for products and services that have specific emotional benefits for pets.”
– Emma Clifford, Senior Food and Drink Analyst

This Report discusses the following key topics:

  • Brands can partner with health, fitness and weight loss initiatives for pets and their owners
  • Harnessing the popularity of photo and video sharing can build engagement
  • Big opportunities for products and services that focus on emotional wellbeing for pets

This report also looks at owners’ concerns regarding their pets, their interest in a range of activities, services and products for pets and their attitudes and behaviours towards their animals.

The majority of Britons own a pet, with dogs and cats continuing to battle it out as the nation’s favourite pet. Pet ownership is, however, in long-term decline, putting pressure on the pet industry. The proportion of consumers who have a pet in their household has dropped seven percentage points between December 2012 and April 2017,

Pet ownership is highest among people in the family lifestage. The growth in number of children aged 5-14 over the next five years should therefore help support pet ownership. However, shrinking household sizes and the trend for consumers to start their families later in life will counter this development.

Pet ownership drops significantly among the older generation, with the growing population of over-55s presenting an ongoing challenge to the pet industry.

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Table of contents

  1. Overview

    • What you need to know
    • Executive Summary

        • The market
          • A downward trend in pet ownership
            • Figure 1: Pet ownership, by type of pet, December 2012-April 2017
          • Presence of children drives up pet ownership
            • Housing/living situation has a major influence
              • Spending on pets under threat when incomes are squeezed
                • The consumer
                  • Strong emotional rewards linked to pet ownership
                    • Figure 2: Words pet owners describe how their pets makes them feel, April 2017
                  • Overall health is pet owners’ primary concern
                    • Figure 3: Concerns regarding pets, April 2017
                  • Pets’ appearance is high on the agenda
                    • Most dog owners’ holiday choice is based on their pet
                      • Figure 4: Behaviours relating to pets, April 2017
                    • Self-service dog washes attract interest
                      • Exercise classes for dogs and their owners spark high interest
                        • Figure 5: Interest in activities, services and products for pets, April 2017
                      • Pet toys have multiple benefits
                        • Pets in the workplace are widely seen to improve job satisfaction
                          • Figure 6: Attitudes towards pets, April 2017
                        • What we think
                        • Issues and Insights

                          • Brands can partner with health, fitness and weight loss initiatives for pets and their owners
                            • The facts
                              • The implications
                                • Harnessing the popularity of photo and video sharing can build engagement
                                  • The facts
                                    • The implications
                                      • Big opportunities for products and services that focus on emotional wellbeing for pets
                                        • The facts
                                          • The implications
                                          • The Market – What You Need to Know

                                            • A downward trend in pet ownership
                                              • Presence of children drives up pet ownership
                                                • Housing/living situation has a major influence
                                                  • Spending on pets under threat when incomes are squeezed
                                                  • Market Drivers

                                                    • A downward trend in pet ownership
                                                      • Figure 7: Pet ownership, by type of pet, December 2012-April 2017
                                                    • Having just one cat or dog is preferred
                                                      • Figure 8: Number of pets owned, by type of pet, April 2017
                                                    • Presence of children drives up pet ownership
                                                      • Figure 9: Overall pet ownership, April 2017
                                                    • Ageing population presents a challenge
                                                      • Housing/living situation has a major influence
                                                        • Figure 10: Pet ownership, by location lived in, housing situation and household size, April 2017
                                                        • Figure 11: Trends in tenure, 1980-2015/16
                                                      • Spending on pets under threat when incomes are squeezed
                                                        • Figure 12: Annual percentage change in CPI and AWE (regular pay), monthly basis, January 2012-April 2017
                                                    • The Consumer – What You Need to Know

                                                      • Strong emotional rewards linked to pet ownership
                                                        • Overall health is pet owners’ primary concern
                                                          • Pets’ appearance is high on the agenda
                                                            • Most dog owners’ holiday choice is based on their pet
                                                              • Self-service dog washes attract interest
                                                                • Exercise classes for dogs and their owners spark high interest
                                                                  • Pet toys seen to have multiple benefits
                                                                    • Pets in the workplace are widely seen to improve job satisfaction
                                                                    • How Pets Make their Owners Feel

                                                                      • Strong emotional rewards linked to pet ownership…
                                                                          • Figure 13: Words pet owners describe how their pets makes them feel, April 2017
                                                                        • …while negative feelings are rare
                                                                          • Positive emotions provide the foundation for powerful marketing messages
                                                                            • Women and small households have the strongest emotional response to pets
                                                                              • Pet ownership can align with the booming health trend
                                                                              • Concerns Regarding Pets

                                                                                • Overall health is pet owners’ primary concern
                                                                                  • Technology has a growing role to play in health monitoring
                                                                                    • Figure 14: Felcana dog and cat health monitor
                                                                                    • Figure 15: Concerns regarding pets, April 2017
                                                                                  • Weight warrants more concern
                                                                                    • Many pet owners welcome more information
                                                                                      • Weight loss programmes can offer structured support
                                                                                        • Scepticism over calming products, but still sizeable interest
                                                                                        • Behaviours Relating to Pets

                                                                                          • Pets’ appearance is high on the agenda…
                                                                                            • Figure 16: Behaviours relating to pets, April 2017
                                                                                          • …and is influencing new product development
                                                                                            • Figure 17: Share of pet food launches with claims relating to skin and coat health and teeth and tartar prevention, 2012-17
                                                                                          • Emphasis on appearance is great news for the pet care industry
                                                                                            • Popularity of dog shows likely to boost interest in grooming
                                                                                              • Sharing pictures of pets on social media is rife
                                                                                                • Pets becoming social media influencers
                                                                                                  • Brands can leverage the popularity of photo sharing to build engagement
                                                                                                    • Most dog owners’ holiday choice is based on their pet
                                                                                                      • With implications for car design too
                                                                                                        • International holidays with pets are on the rise
                                                                                                          • Pet sitters can be an attractive alternative
                                                                                                            • Pet cams can assuage owners’ concerns
                                                                                                            • Interest in Activities, Services and Products for Pets

                                                                                                              • Self-service dog washes attract interest
                                                                                                                  • Figure 18: Interest in activities, services and products for pets, April 2017
                                                                                                                • Exercise classes for dogs and their owners spark high interest
                                                                                                                  • The Kennel Club champions group exercise classes
                                                                                                                    • Foodservice can embrace consumers’ love for their pets…
                                                                                                                      • A need to be mindful of not deterring custom
                                                                                                                        • The leisure industry can also build on being pet-friendly
                                                                                                                        • Attitudes towards Pets

                                                                                                                          • Pet toys seen to have multiple benefits
                                                                                                                              • Figure 19: Attitudes towards pets, April 2017
                                                                                                                            • Feeding can also provide mental stimulation
                                                                                                                              • Pets in the workplace are widely seen to improve job satisfaction
                                                                                                                                • Pet companies taking a lead in this respect
                                                                                                                                  • However, there are some major pitfalls
                                                                                                                                    • Time off work for a new pet can help build goodwill
                                                                                                                                    • Appendix – Data Sources, Abbreviations and Supporting Information

                                                                                                                                        • Consumer research methodology
                                                                                                                                          • Abbreviations

                                                                                                                                          Britain's Pet Owners - UK - July 2017

                                                                                                                                          US $2,963.91 (Excl.Tax)