The fall in pet ownership in UK households

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fall in pet ownership

For most of us, a life without pets is unimaginable but unfortunately for some this is a decision they have to make.  A recent study by Mintel showed that British pet ownership is on a decline. Since 2012 pet ownership has fallen by 7 percent, that is just over half (56%) of UK households that now have a pet. So we’ve looked into some of the factors that are contributing to these stats.

The Fall in Pet ownership statistics:

  • Fish ownership has taken the biggest hit and fallen from 17% in 2012 to just 10% in 2017.
  • Cats and dogs are still going head to head for the nations favourite; with dogs just taking it for man’s best friend with 33% of men having a dog as a pet and only 27% owning a cat.
  • Cats still have the lead over dogs with women owning 32% versus 29%.
  • Even smaller animals like Guinea pigs, rabbits and mice have seen better days falling from 10% in 2012 to just 7% in 2017.
  • As it stands, it seems that it’s family households with children under the age of 16 that still hold the majority of pet ownership at 73%.
  • Pet ownership among the older generation over 65’s has significantly dropped to 36% owning pets.

fall in pet ownership

So why has pet ownership fallen?

The average age of starting a family is happening a lot later for most couples. The delay in starting a family often delays the decision to have a pet as well.

The rise in rented accommodation is a major factor for the fall in pet ownership in both families and individuals that love animals. While tenants without pets have a one in four chance of securing a property, your chances are significantly lower if you also have a pet. With there being tighter restrictions at rented properties is has meant that some people have had to re-home their current pet or can’t get a pet.

Although pets are living longer, in most cases living very well looked after lives, pet illness has been contributing to the fall in pet ownership. Pet loss and feelings of bereavement are very real emotions and often the thought of going through them again puts owners off from getting another pet.