PFMA has released its 2019 research, based on interviews with 8,000 households, which found that 12 million households (40% of UK households) have a pet .
Dog ownership is highest among 45-54 year olds at 30% and falls to 23% among Generation Z and 22% for Millennials. Cat ownership is also highest among 45-54 year olds at 21%, with the younger groups 15% and 17% respectively.
Michael Bellingham, chief executive of PFMA and trustee of National Pet Month, said: “A recent government survey found 77% of people sometimes feel lonely and sadly those aged 16 to 34 were more affected than those aged over 50.
“Whatever your age, pets are good for you in so many ways; providing companionship, helping to reduce stress levels and instilling a sense of calm. Pets also give owners a reason to stay active and interact with others, giving a sense of purpose and boosting self-worth.”
Tanya Michelsen, associate director and head of brand research at YouthSight, a youth agency that specialises in understanding Gen Z and Millennials, added: “Today, we are all looking for different ways to relieve stress and make our lives happier and more relaxing. In fact, 62% of 16-24 years olds tell us they regularly do as little as possible in their free time.
“For Millennials, who are increasingly having children later in life, a pet is the perfect companion. They provide an everyday routine, non-judgemental company and give owners a reason to exercise and have fun. They provide stability in a fast paced, ever changing world.”