Note: This article’s statistics come from third-party sources and do not represent the opinions of this website.
From veterinarian bills to pet therapy, it can feel like there are so many options for spending our money on our pets. They are an integral part of family life in the UK, but how much do owners spend on them? We’ve looked into pet spending in the UK to see exactly where owners in the UK are spending their money and how much. We’ve broken the statistics into these three categories:
15 Surprising UK Pet Spending Statistics
- The annual value for pets and pet-related products is estimated to have reached £9.66 million in 2021.
- The majority of owners spend about £26–£50 on their pets per month.
- It’s estimated that the UK spends £10 billion a year on their pet dogs.
- 58% of owners buy birthday and Christmas presents for their pets.
- 52% of UK adults own a pet.
- In 2020, the price of puppies increased by 131% compared to the previous year.
- The UK pet food market is now worth a total of £3.3 billion.
- In the last 2 years alone, Amazon UK pet food sales have grown by 67%.
- In 2018, the dog treat market value reached a high of £462 million.
- Vegan cat food can be up to 10 times more expensive than traditional food, but one in 20 people purchase it for their pet cats.
- Over half of pet owners admit to underestimating how much it can cost to own a pet.
- The highest earners spend the most on their pets, an average of £14.40 per week.
- Owners spent over £4 billion on veterinary care and other services in 2021.
- Pets at Home is one of the leading pet retailers in Europe and saw revenue of over £1.14 billion in 2021.
- 35% of pet owners admit to spending more money on therapy for their pets than themselves.
Pet Spending Statistics
It’s now believed there are over 50 million pets in total in the UK, which is a considerable drop since 2013 when the pet population peaked at 73 million. Despite this drop, the UK pet industry is thriving as this value of £9.66 million represents a 270% increase from 2005.
2. The majority of owners spend about £26–£50 on their pets per month.
Some people prefer to shop in-store than online, but online sales have helped boost the pet industry’s profits. Owners of large breed dogs spend more every month on supplies than those owning smaller breeds or cats.
3. It’s estimated that the UK spends £10 billion a year on their pet dogs.
Pet owners spend £8 billion on their cats and nearly £200 a year on pet clothes. However, dogs remain the most popular pet in the UK, followed by cats, birds, and fish.
4. 58% of owners buy birthday and Christmas presents for their pets.
(Modern Retail and the Mirror)
During the Christmas season of 2022, it was estimated that UK owners spent £875 million on their dogs and cats despite the current cost of living crisis.
5. 52% of UK adults own a pet.
27% of adults in the UK own a dog, with an estimated population of 10.2 million dogs, while 24% of adults own a cat, with an estimated population of 11.1 million cats. On average, it will cost an owner at least £11,000 to look after a cat throughout its lifetime, whereas a dog will cost between £5,000–£12,200.
6. In 2020, the price of puppies increased by 131% compared to the previous year.
In May 2020, there were 420 prospective buyers for every puppy available, which means the average price of puppies increased by an incredible amount. In 2019, the average price an owner would expect to pay was £808 compared to 2020, where the price had risen to £1,875.
Food Industry Spending Statistics
7. The UK pet food market is now worth a total of £3.3 billion.
The largest markets are dogs at £1.59 billion and cats at £1.27 billion. Following this are outdoor birds at £345 million, fish at £69 million, small mammals at £54 million, and indoor birds at £13 million.
8. In the last 2 years alone, Amazon UK pet food sales have grown by 67%.
Dog and cat food generates revenue worth £11.5 million per month (£138 million per year) on Amazon UK. Pet supply sales have also increased by 79%.
9. In 2018, the dog treat market value reached a high of £462 million.
(Statista and Modern Retail)
This value has increased every year since 2007. Most owners buy treats at a pet store (41%) or supermarket (34%), while only 10% of people get theirs online. 23% of people buy treats as part of a weekly shopping trip, while 32% shop for them monthly.
10. Vegan cat food can be up to 10 times more expensive than traditional food, but over one in 20 people purchase it for their pet cats.
(Retail Times and vegan.com)
With 6% of people investing in vegan cat food, it shows a change in the pet food industry. However, the trend is not supported by most veterinarians, who recommend feeding carnivorous felines a high-protein diet composed primarily of meat.
General Spending Statistics
11. Over half of pet owners admit to underestimating how much it can cost to own a pet.
The Dogs Trust states that since July 2021, it has experienced a 100% increase in traffic on its “giving up your dog” page. Training and caring for pets can be overwhelming for some owners, and financial issues are one of the reasons pets are surrendered to shelters.
12. The highest earners spend the most on their pets, an average of £14.40 per week.
It might be unsurprising, but the UK consumers with the highest 10% of gross income spend the most on their pets and pet food per week.
13. Owners spent over £4 billion on veterinary care and other services in 2021.
Insurance doesn’t cover all costs, so even if you have pet insurance, you will still be expected to cover some costs yourself. Vaccinations and dental work, for example, aren’t generally covered by insurance companies.
14. Pets at Home is one of the leading pet retailers in Europe and saw revenue of over £1.14 billion in 2021.
Pets at Home operates more than 452 stores in the UK and has seen an increase in revenue over the last decade, going from £517 million in 2011 to £1.14 billion in 2021.
15. 35% of pet owners admit to spending more money on therapy for their pets than themselves.
As people returned to the office after the lockdown, they worried about its effect on their pet’s mental health. Owners are apparently more willing to pay for therapy to combat their pet’s stress levels than their own therapy.
Frequently Asked Questions About UK Pet Spending Statistics
How Much Is the Pet Industry Worth Worldwide?
In 2021, the pet care market was worth approximately $150.67 billion globally and is expected to expand at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 5.1% from 2022 to 2030. (Grand View Research)
Has the Cost-of-Living Crisis Forced People to Spend Less on Their Pets?
71% of owners are willing to spend more on their pets than on themselves. It’s estimated that people spend almost £500 annually on luxury items like special treats and toys for their pets. (Retail Times)
Why Do People Own Pets?
According to PDSA, 87% of owners believe their pet has made them mentally healthier. So, while people are arguably feeling the pinch from the cost-of-living crisis, pets are one expense the British public will not give up any time soon. And this is probably for the best because it’s a scientific fact that pets can be good for your physical and mental health! (PDSA)
The pet industry clearly has a strong future ahead of it, as spending increases across the UK despite the cost-of-living crisis. While dogs and cats continue to be a firm favorite, UK pet parents also enjoy caring for the birds and fish in their lives. It’s clear by how much people spend, as people invest in their animals’ mental welfare and diets, that the UK loves its pets, just like the rest of the world.
Featured Image Credit: Tyler Olson, Shutterstock