The Pet Food Manufacturers’ Association (PFMA) has released its 2018 pet population data, based on interviews with 8,000 households, which confirms a 400,000 rise in the dog population that now stands at nine million.
According to the data, 26 per cent of households now own a dog, representing an increase of around 300,000 households. From the research, PFMA said it is clear that a rise in dog ownership among families is the key driver. The number of households with children owning a dog has grown by 11 per cent to 2.3 million, 230,000 more than last year.
However, dogs are not the only pets to have moved up the charts. The cat population is at its highest for five years at eight million. The PFMA said that 18 per cent of households own a cat, which equates to 140,000 more cats and 75,000 more households.
PFMA chief executive Michael Bellingham said: “I was not surprised to read about the growth of the dog population among households with children as personally I have recently joined this movement. Tessa, a Schnoodle, is very much part of our family and I am delighted that 11 per cent more families in the UK are benefitting from dog ownership.
“Pets in varied shapes and sizes – from lizards and snakes to hamsters and cats – can bring so much joy to children. With the demands of modern life and the pull of digital companions, we are so pleased that more children will benefits from the social, emotional and physical benefits of pet interaction.”