Pet love continues unabated

Central Association of Zoologists in Germany (ZZF)


Dogs, Cats & Co. in Almost Every Second Home / Pets are becoming increasingly popular among families with children

This is our latest press release from the pet industry:

Wiesbaden/Düsseldorf, April 21, 2022 –
Germans love to live with animal roommates. This was confirmed again last year: in 2021, 34.7 million dogs, cats, small mammals and pet birds lived in homes in Germany.
There were also many aquarium fish and terrariums. Overall, 47 percent, and thus nearly half of all households in Germany, had at least one pet. This is the result of a representative survey conducted by the market research institute Skopos for the Federation of the Pet Supplies Industry (IVH) eV and the Central Association of Zoologists in Germany eV (ZZF) in 7000 households.

The cat is still the favorite pet of Germans

The cat remains Germany’s number one pet: a total of 16.7 million plush feet live in 26 percent of German households. In 42 percent of all households with cats there are two or more cats.

Dogs were the second favorite animal with 10.3 million four-legged friends in 21 percent of households. According to the current survey, the proportion of mixed dogs has increased from 42 to 44 percent.

4.6 million small animals such as rabbits, guinea pigs, hamsters and mice live in 5 percent of households.

Ornamental birds, such as macaws, canaries and baby parrots, numbered 3.1 million in 3 percent of households in 2021. Additionally, in the same period there were 1.4 million aquarium fish tanks in 3 percent of households in Germany and 1.2 million terrariums Animals in 2 percent of households. In addition, 2.3 million aquariums were identified in 4 percent of households last year.

“In times of work from home and limited communication, people spend a lot of time with their pets. In addition, many new animals have moved into homes, which is especially noticeable in the growing number of cats,” states Norbert Holtenrich, President of the Central Association of Caterriers. Zoology in Germany (ZZF). “The need to live with small animals, pet birds, aquarium fish and terrariums continues unabated. Market data and a survey of pet owners show that Germans are more than willing to conscientiously invest in the nutrition, care and provision of their pets. When the focus is on animal welfare and needs, keeping With pets it enriches people’s lives in particular,” Holthereich explains.

Pets are becoming increasingly popular among families with children

Pets are especially popular among families with children. In 2021, 69 percent of all families had an animal roommate, an increase of 3 percentage points over the previous year.

In addition, pets can also be found in many single households: 33 percent of all singles will have a pet in 2021. This underscores the important role that dogs, cats, and the like play as social partners, especially for those who live alone.

The trend towards several types of pets can also be observed: According to a survey conducted by market researchers, at least two types of pets live in 15 percent of all households – 2 percent more than in 2020.

Many pets live in multi-person homes

Most pets in Germany live in multi-person homes. As in 2020, the proportion of families consisting of two persons is 34 percent, and the proportion of families consisting of three persons and more is 36 percent. Furthermore, 29 percent of pets are kept in single households (2020: 31 percent).

The age of pet owners is almost unchanged

The age structure of pet owners has remained virtually unchanged in recent years. Many pet owners are still in their mid-life: 19 percent are between the ages of 30 and 39, 18 percent are in the 40 to 49 age group, and 22 percent are in the 50 to 59 age group. The proportion of pet owners up to 29 years old is 18 percent. At 24 percent, pet owners over the age of 60 still represent the largest group of pet owners.

Feed and supplies sales increased significantly

Sales numbers for the pet food and supplies industry have increased dramatically in the past year.

In 2021, total fixed retail sales increased by 6 percent compared to the previous year, thus amounting to 4.786 billion euros. Sales of ready-to-eat food amounted to 3.685 billion euros; Supplies and accessories amounted to 1.101 billion euros. Added to this is 1.055 billion euros sold online and 162 million euros for wild bird feed. The total turnover of the German pet industry in 2021 was about 6 billion euros.

“Also in 2021, many German households focused on pet care, healthy nutrition and setting up animal-friendly equipment,” says Georg Muller, president of the Industry Association for Pet Supplies (IVH) eV for pets. In particular, sales of snacks for dogs and cats have risen sharply again. There has also been an increase in investments in aquariums, toys and other things for pets,” says Muller. We can only hope that this positive development will continue. Our industry is currently facing unusually large challenges – from the availability of raw materials to massive increases in Sometimes the cost is in energy, packaging and logistics,” says Mueller, summarizing the current situation.

Overall, according to Georg Müller and Norbert Holthereich, the growing number of pets and the development of the pet industry market in Germany shows that the love of animal companions has not ceased and that people in this country take good care of their animals and conscientiously care for them – perhaps even now even in special times like the current pandemic .

Media contact:

Antje Schreiber  
0611 447553-14 
Eva Schmidt 
0611 447553-15


Zentralverband Zoologischer
Fachbetriebe Deutschlands e.V.
Mainzer Straße 10
65185 Wiesbaden - Germany

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