NEW PFMA Pet Population Data Highlights Pet Peak but the Number of Owners Giving up Their Pet is Huge Concern

Today, the Pet Food Manufacturers’ Association (PFMA) releases its annual inhabitants knowledge, with a file 35m pets within the UK in 2022.  Pet possession is at a peak and 17.4m households (62%) personal a pet[i][i]. In the UK there at the moment are 13m canines and 12m cats, 1.6m indoor birds, 1.4m home fowl, 1m rabbits, 900k Guinea pigs, 700k pigeons, 600k hamsters, 600k tortoises and 600k horses.  Whilst 4.7m households (17%) have acquired a brand new pet for the reason that begin of the pandemic, sadly 3.4m (12%) have given up a pet over the past 12 months.[ii][ii]

Although over a half (57%) of recent pets have been welcomed into houses with youngsters (2.7m households), Gen Z and Millennials symbolize 53% of these proudly owning new pets (2.6m households).  25% (1.2m) are 16–24-year-olds and 29% (1.4m) are 25–34-year-olds.  Almost one quarter (23%) of the folks in these age teams have been unable to maintain their pet and 71% of all relinquishments can be attributed to this demographic (2.1m households). Looking at which pets had been relinquished, 60% had been canines and 45% had been cats.  However, anecdotally, rehoming centres are seeing extra small mammals similar to rabbits.

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Nicole Paley, PFMA deputy CEO, feedback: “Reflecting the current ONS report with its new purchasing basket containing a pet collar[iii][iii], we aren’t shocked to see these robust figures. However, on nearer inspection, we’re involved in regards to the variety of house owners who’ve given up their pet.  We are eager to analyze why house owners are giving up their pets and the place they’re being relinquished.  We imagine that many pets are being offered on to recuperate funds, along with being taken to rehoming centres.  We are working intently with the CFSG (Canine & Feline Sector Group) plus different animal welfare charities to determine what the pet care sector can do to help house owners and stop this from occurring.”

The essential purpose 16–24-year-olds gave up a pet was a change in dwelling preparations with 34% citing this issue. 23% claimed monetary obstacles and 22% recognized a change in working preparations. Behavioural considerations had been a purpose for 13% of those that relinquished on this age group.  For these barely older aged 25-34 years previous, each working and dwelling preparations had been a difficulty affecting 41% and 39% respectively.  The analysis revealed that 40% of householders don’t have pet pleasant workplaces with an additional 11% not sure.

Nicole continues: “At the PFMA, we imagine there’s a want to spice up the supply of pet-friendly insurance policies at work and in rental lodging. There are some wonderful campaigns targeted on this. We additionally want to make sure that potential pet house owners are conscious of the total implications of pet possession and the numerous accountability that comes with a brand new member of the family.  We are lively in supporting pet possession training campaigns similar to National Pet Month and we work to advertise the numerous wonderful sources offered by the community of UK charities and welfare organisations.  Woodgreen, for instance, have a service whereby struggling house owners are supported in their very own houses.  Rehoming centres ought to all the time be the primary port of name for house owners unable to manage.”

Linda Cantle, Director of Pet & Owner Support Services at Woodgreen Pets Charity explains: “Sadly, we’re seeing the variety of requests for consumption enhance, which has been most important for canines and small pet species (rabbits particularly). Unfortunately, we can not all the time accommodate pets right away, leading to concern about how these pets are being rehomed as an alternative. Online or personal gross sales could also be worse for pets’ welfare within the long-term, particularly if they’ve vital medical or behavioural wants that go on untreated.

“On a extra constructive notice, we at Woodgreen have seen demand for our outreach, behaviour recommendation and on-line workshops enhance. Well over 200 folks obtain help every week, indicating that many house owners are eager to work at retaining a pet. We’d encourage any proprietor experiencing issues with their pets to succeed in out as quickly as doable for steering, as many widespread points will be improved within the residence with trusted recommendation and help.”

Pet welfare professional at RSPCA, Dr Samantha Gaines, provides: “The relinquishment figures are very worrying however, sadly, not stunning as we at the moment are beginning to see a rise in requests for assist and rehoming and significantly with rabbits. Bringing an animal residence to hitch your loved ones is a big dedication and accountability and the rise in possession throughout the pandemic did trigger considerations that some folks could not have absolutely thought-about whether or not they would have the ability to correctly take care of them for the remainder of their life.

We perceive that circumstances can change and, generally, this leaves households having to make the heart-breaking resolution to surrender their pets. However, we additionally know that animals are sometimes signed over to charities, rehomed and even deserted as a result of folks took on a pet with out the mandatory analysis or appreciation of the accountability and dedication.

Following the surge in pet acquisition throughout lockdown, with many individuals now returning to regular life, and with the price of dwelling rising at a surprising charge, on the RSPCA we concern that is simply the beginning of a pet welfare disaster; and we’re frightened that it’ll be charities like us which are left choosing up the items.”

Nicole concludes: “Pets are fantastic additions to the household, however it’s a big accountability and other people have to do their analysis.  As we’ve got highlighted in our analysis findings, the burden is simply too nice for some folks. To handle this, the pet business is working collectively to teach as many new house owners and potential new house owners as doable.”

For prime ideas, house owners ought to go to https://www.pfma.org.uk/pet-care and for extra pet knowledge please go to https://www.pfma.org.uk/statistics. There are additionally many sources on-line for pet house owners who’re struggling similar to:

Marc-André

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