People in the UK increasingly keep smaller breeds of dog, where 51% of

dogs now weigh less than 10 kilograms.

Advances in nutrition, care and medicine helped dog and cat lifespan doubleduring the past four decades in the United Kingdom, where dogs now live anaverage 12 years, while cats’ nine lives last them 15 years. However, changesin pet ownership patterns also played a role. In Mars Petcare’s ‘State of thePet Nation’ report, analysts described how the types of dogs being kept alsoinfluenced longevity statistics, as well as pet food demand.

People in the UK increasingly own smaller breeds of dog, where 51% of dogs nowweigh less than 10 kilograms, perhaps not surprising in a country ruled by aCorgi lover. Those smaller breeds tend to live longer, increasingopportunities for specialized formulations like age- or breed-specific dogfoods. A Yorkshire Terrier, for example, may live 20 years, whereas a GreatDane may live only six to eight.

This pet ownership trend follows a similar pattern to other countries whereurbanization, social change and economic factors drive demographic shifts inhuman populations.

Human population changes influence UK pet food market

The number of people living alone in the UK increased 16% during the past 20years. At the same time, younger generations tend to delay marriage andchildrearing. Frequently, these young people dote on dogs and cats as furbabies. As the British increasingly live alone and in urban and suburbanareas, they choose to bring smaller breeds of dog into their homes.

At the same time, humanization and premiumization push owners to look for petfoods that meet the same standards they set for their own food. Natural petfood claims resonate with customers, but need to be backed up by science andcertification, not green-washing. Ideally pet foods and treats strike abalance between healthy and decadent.

Luxury no longer means just decadent, but also fresh, natural or functionalingredients along with rich variety, wrote Mars analysts. The shift to smallerdogs and premium diets can be seen in pet food sales trends. Single-serve, wetdog food was the top growing subcategory of pet food in Nielsen’s sales data,as of May 2020.

These pet food trends seems likely to continue as the human demographicchanges driving them also continue.

Source:Tim Wall Petfood Industry.

Image: Bigstock

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