The Business of Pets
By Caroline Knight
In the UK, we spent almost £8 million on pets and related products back in 2020. According to the Office for National Statistics, this represented an increase in spending of around 170 per cent within a fifteen-year period. It seems that most of us will lavish not only attention on our animals but also provide them with activities and enrichment as a matter of course. Naturally, it is man’s best friend, the dog, that remains the most popular pet, closely followed by cats and, since the Covid-19 lockdown, indoor fish.
As pet love has grown, so has the associated industry. Emerging trends show that we now show far more concern over nutrition for our pets than ever before. There are new food brands emerging with increasing frequency, rising to the challenge of providing good nutrition including supplements and superfoods.
Pet owners are more likely to take their animals to an array of activities. Dogs, being the most portable of pets, now benefit from doggy swimming pools, a range of classes such as scent work and agility, fun fields for safe play and animal-friendly cafes. Even the National Trust has introduced a new ‘three pawprint rating’ to show at a glance the most dog-friendly venues.
There is clearly a significant financial commitment that goes hand in hand with pet ownership. Pets are no longer consigned to the kitchen – they’re truly part of the family.