The World Pet Markets Trend

Countries Experiencing Growth in the Pet Industry

Golden Retriever Getting a Bath at Self Service Dog Wash.
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World pet markets are growing at a dramatic rate, with a number of countries witnessing higher than ever pet ownership and spending.

The U.S. and U.K. have long been the leaders of the world pet market. In fact, the American Pet Products Association (APPA) reported that Americans alone spent $69.5 billion on the pet industry in 2017 — higher than ever before.

But there are a number of other countries that are also competing as global pet forces, which makes sense when you consider worldwide sales of pet-related products and services reached $109 billion in 2017. According to Euromonitor International, the Asia Pacific region is the third-largest market for the pet industry.

Industry insiders attribute the growing world pet market to the global humanization of pets. This means more cultures now regard companion animals as beloved family members. 

Below are some of the world's largest pet markets outside of the U.S.

China 

According to news and pet industry reports, China’s pet industry began to take off since the late 2000's. Not only is the trend attributable to the country’s ongoing economic development — affording the average citizen greater disposable income — the Chinese have joined the pet lovers of the world in regarding their critters as beloved family members.

Fun Fact: China made international headlines in March 2011 thanks to Big Splash, the red Tibetan Mastiff whose unnamed coal baron owner paid a record-breaking $1.5 million for him.

The Chinese pet market continues to grow at rapid rates, in part due to these factors:

  • China’s pet legislation was updated and dog licensing fees were lowered from $285 (USD) per year to $35 (USD) in most suburban areas.
  • China has a low birth rate and a growing number of middle-class adults are choosing to spend money their pets.
  • Some reports indicate the highest increase of pet ownership is with the elderly Chinese population. However, geographically, most of the country's pet owners are in the eastern part of the country in urban areas.
  • Fish and other aquatic animals have long been revered in the Chinese culture.

    China is also becoming a pet trade show force. Pet Fair Asia, a pet trade show held each year in Shanghai, has grown steadily since its 1998 debut. It boasts over 700 vendors from 27 different countries selling and promoting their pet wares.

    China may surpass the United States as the world's largest pet market. The industry has seen significant gains, with a rise in spending on pet care and supplies to the tune of $25 billion in 2017 — an increase of 27% from the year before.

    India 

    India is another booming pet market in the world where mom and pop pet retail operations rule. Research reports indicate that Indian consumers have been slow to embrace commercial pet foods, opting to feed their pets homemade fare.

    But the commercial pet food market is slowly growing. In fact, the value of the nation's pet food market could reach about $270 million (USD) by 2019, according to a report by TechSci Research. This is due to the growing number of families living with pets in urban areas.

    Meanwhile, Euromonitor reported this relative newcomer to the world pet market arena is growing at a rate of about 12% each year. India's total sales in pet care products reached $287.9 million in 2017 alone. Among the growing pet-related products and services in India are:

    • Pet grooming, along with fancy pet spa services
    • Pet behaviorists
    • Yoga for dogs
    • Pet magazines

    Dog-friendly restaurants, where pet parents can treat their pooches to gourmet meals, are also becoming more popular in India.

    Pet healthcare is also trending in the country, with many vets and health providers offering in-home services for treatment, especially for pet owners who can't transport pet by public transport — animals are generally not permitted in taxis and buses in many parts of India.

    Russia 

    Another growing force in the pet market is Russia, which has witnessed dramatic growth in the pet food industry.

    With more Russians taking on the responsibility of pet ownership, concern for their wellbeing is also rising. Many Russian pet owners are trading scraps and human leftovers for dedicated pet food. And that is having a big impact on how the country's pet food industry has been shaping.

    • Nestle vowed to increase pet food production in Russia in response to growing demand for domestic food. The company began construction on a new facility in 2017 and is expected to complete it by 2019.
    • Mars increased production of one of its five pet food factories in Russia to full capacity in 2018 and invested another $19.5 million in the project.

    Overall, the Russian pet food market was valued in 2016 at $920.2 million, and could reach as high as $1.18 trillion by 2022, according to research group Mordor Intelligence. This is due, in part, to the rise in demand for domestic pet food, which saw an increase of roughly 20% in 2016.

    Other Up-and-Coming World Pet Markets

    Other growing markets in the world pet scene are:

    • Japan: Extravagant pet spending on luxuries continues to increase with more of a preference toward cats.
    • Brazil: The country has one of the largest pet populations in the world and sales increase 12 to 17% each year.
    • Vietnam: This is, in part, due to its friendly business climate, an abundance of natural resources and its economy. 

    Meanwhile, herptiles are still hotter than ever across the globe. More people than ever (especially in crowded urban meccas) now boasting snakes, lizards, tortoises and other herps as pets.

    This is just the tip of the iceberg for world pet markets, which are expected to evolve and increase dramatically in the coming years.

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