Since 2002, the Dutch Pet Association (NVG) and the Dutch Pet Trade Association (Dibevo) conduct an annual survey on Netherland’s pet population. Although the pet population stayed nearly the same with 45% of households owning a pet, the 4,751 surveyed pet owners revealed some interesting facts.

First of all, although upkeep expenses for pets have increased, only 0.5% of pet owners have given up their pet, and only 2.4% have at least thought about doing so. Though 97% do not regard giving up their pet as proper option, the rising costs have influenced pet owners. 10% declared, they would spend less for themselves in order to buy the same high quality foods for their pets.

The survey also showed, that Dutch pet parents showed more interest in animal welfare. 50% of the surveyed have argued for a ‘welfare quality mark‘ at pet stores, around a third thinks that pet stores should declare where the pets come from. Another quarter wishes a best-practice example for keeping a new pet.

Not only are pet owners more aware of pet welfare in pet stores but also at their own homes. 64% of pet owners taking care of rabbits declared they paid attention that their pet has at least one companion, an increase of 9% compared to the previous year.

The research has discovered a slight increase in online shopping for pet food and supplies, although offline pet stores are still favoured because of their high-quality products and well-educated employees. However, especially larger products are more often bought in online shops.

Dog owners like to buy their dog food in pet stores, while 21% of cat owners prefer a pet store and 29% choose to buy at supermarkets.

There has been a slight increase in online shopping for pet food and supplies in the Netherlands. However, physical pet stores remain popular due to the quality of their products and the knowledge of their employees. Larger items, such as crates or scratching posts, are often purchased online.

Most dog owners prefer to buy dog food at a pet store. In contrast, 29% of cat owners choose to buy at the supermarket, compared to 21% who buy at pet stores.

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