There are now 34 mio pets in the UK including 12 mio cats and 12 mio dogs, 3.2 mio small mammals such as guinea pigs and hamsters, 3 mio birds and 1.5 mio reptiles. There are also 5 mio aquariums. This equates to 17 mio households responsible for a pet's welfare.
According to the PFMA, over a third (38 per cent) of new owners claimed that having a new pet was like having a new baby. Largely driven by Gen Z and Millennials, 59 per cent of new owners are aged 16-34 and 56 per cent of new pet owners have children at home. Although 74 per cent claim their pet has helped their mental health through the pandemic, the study raises pet welfare concerns.