BRUSSELS — Europe is home to approximately 340 million pets, according to the European Pet Food Industry Federation’s (FEDIAF) Facts & Figures 2022 report, including cats, dogs, birds, small mammals, fish and reptiles. These four-legged, flighty and finned companions were responsible for €29.1 billion ($31.0 billion USD) in pet food sales in 2022, totaling 10.5 million tonnes of product.
Cats rule the roost across the region with a population of 127.2 million, followed by dogs at 104.3 million. These pets are spread across 91 million households, or nearly half (46%) of the European population. FEDIAF estimated 26% of European households owned at least one cat, while 25% owned at least one dog. Across the European Union, approximately 25% of households own at least one dog or cat.
“We are delighted to see that so many European households are benefitting from the companionship of a pet,” said Alice Tempel Costa, deputy secretary general of FEDIAF. “At FEDIAF, we promote the hugely important role that pets play in society. Not only do they provide love and friendship, but they can also form unique bonds with owners. FEDIAF regularly monitors and shares the latest research on the physical and mental health benefits of pet interaction.”
The European pet food industry clocked volume growth of 3.5% from 2021 to 2022, with a three-year average growth rate of 5.1%. According to FEDIAF, these statistics are supported by 150 pet food companies operating an estimated 200 facilities across Europe. These operations directly employ 118,000 people, with another 950,000 indirectly employed by the industry.
Russia’s cat population far exceeds that of other countries, with nearly 23.2 million felines inhabiting the vast nation. Next is Germany with 15.2 million cats, France with 14.9 million, and the United Kingdom with 12 million. Russia is also home to the largest dog population at nearly 17.6 million, followed by the United Kingdom with 13 million, Germany with 10.6 million, and Spain with 9.3 million.
In terms of ownership per household, Poland reported the highest number of households (49%) owning at least one dog, followed by Romania at 43% and the Czech Republic at 42%. Romania reported the highest rate of cat ownership per household with 48% owning at least one cat, followed by Poland at 40% and Hungary with 35%.
Read more from FEDIAF’s Facts & Figures 2022 report.
Read more global pet food and treat news from outside North America.