Cats lead the popularity scale with 74.4 million in the EU and 102.7 million in Europe and Russia combined. The dog population grew from 63.7 million to 66.4 in the EU between 2016 and 2017, while dropping from 84.9 to 82.2 in Europe and Russia.
Ownership of small mammals and reptiles has increased slightly, ornamental fish (measured by the amount of aquaria) remained stable at 9.4 million. Pet bird ownership declined by 10% and is now at 35.4 million in the region.
Pets and the European economy
The overall growth of the European pet population boosts the economy with a turnover of € 36.5 billion in the pet care sector.
In 2017, with an increase of €1 billion on the previous year the pet food industry delivered € 20.5 billion in turnover, related products and services remained stable at €16 billion.
The industry provides around 100,000 jobs in direct employment, another 900,000 working in related pet care sectors, including suppliers to the pet food industry, approximately 200,000 veterinarians in Europe, 60,000 specialist pet stores, the pet accessories industry, trade shows, pet press, breeders, animal welfare organizations and transport.