It may be a Cliché but the old saying about the UK being a nation of animal lovers would appear to be accurate at least it applies to more than 52% of households in this country, for that is the proportion of homes that own a pet.
What types of pets do we own? Recent market data shows that there are 6.1million Cat owning households, 5.2 million Dog owning households, 4.1 million Bird owning Households , 1.9 million rodent owning Households and 1.39 million Bird owning Households. In addition a little fewer than half a million households choose to share a home with reptiles or snakes.
Of the major domestic Pets Cats and dogs there are 9.58 Million cats and just under 6.8 million dogs, these on there own account for nearly 70% of the spend in the pet supplies market
No wonder the Pet Supplies Market is expanding with new pet products coming on stream all the time.
A recent survey of Pet owners who took their animals to a vet, found that nearly one-third said they spend more time with their pets than with their friends. Animals are playing a larger role in our lives and working people are choosing to provide them with a good life
As a nation we seem to enjoy the benefits of sharing our lives with our pets. Seemingly we thrive on the affection, companionship and security we receive in return for food, comfort safety and exercise. Whatever our lifestyle, whether we are busy families, professionals or singletons, it seems there is a pet to suit. The Nations 12.5 million pet owners spent an estimated £ 4 billion on pet Supplies in 2006 according to the Pet Industry Joint Advisory Council.
When we think of pet Supplies we tend to think of Pet Food, With over half of UK households owning a pet, and approximately 90% of pet owners feeding prepared pet food at least once a week, the market for prepared pet foods is significant. The current market is valued at just over £1.5 billion.
Increasingly we are moving towards feeding our pets Premium dry complete products, these continue to show growth as the associated health benefits of a premium dry diet become increasingly appreciated.
We tend to buy our pet supplies from a variety of sources but the Pet supplies market is something of a rarity in this day and age, proving to be one of the few remaining fragment distribution channel market places. In plain English these means that we tend not to buy all our pet supplies from the major supermarkets. This can be put down to the increasing moves towards specialty or breed specific foods and the huge range of equipment, homes, tools, accessories and toys used by pet owners. In practice even the largest Supermarkets don’t have the space to offer anything approaching the range of the average pet shop.
We also tend to want to seek advice when purchasing on behalf of our pets and subsequently many people still seek the advice of the local pet Shop. The increasing trend towards online shopping in most market places was a little slower to take off in the Pet Supplies industry because of this. However large numbers of pet owners are now choosing to but their pet supplies online, with websites that are set up to facilitate customer interaction and question answering doing best.
Terry King runs Parcel Pets [http://www.pets2home.co.uk], a leading UK pet supplies [http://www.pets2home.co.uk] web site and has had pets all his life. He lives with his wife Louise, dog Sam, Cat Sabrina and 5 fish!
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