Although the number of pet owners increased in times of pandemic, the trend of decreasing pet ownership has begun several years ago. This year, Japan’s pet industry expects the number to further decrease while the prices of pet food increase.

Chairman of the Japan Pet Food Association Hiromitsu Kodama stated in his New year’s message, that Japan’s economy in total will recover after COVID but the pet industry has to face another 12 difficult months.At this jucture, the greatest problem might be the shrinking interest in petownership.

“One of the reasons why the number of pet owners is not increasing is the decline in the desire to keep pets. Willingness to keep dogs in the future among households that do not currently keep dogs is at 7% (9.9% in 2019) and 5.5% (7.5% in 2019) for cats, respectively,” said Kodama, according to survey results.

In 2022, the number of pet households increased by 10% compared to pre-pandemic times. According to the results, 426,000 new pet dogs in 2022 (350,000 in 2019) and 432,000 new pet cats (394,000 in 2019) found new homes.

Pursuant to Kodama, cosumers were affected by extremly high increases of pet food prices (3%-10%). The association could promote the premium pet food of its member companies.

A survey from October has shown that Japanese dog owners spent 5,257 yen (almost $40) for ist four-legged friends (an increase of 2.9% to 2021) and a cat owner 4,233 yen (about $32).

Kodama stated that the association aims to bring pet food demand on pre-pandemic levels. Its members shall extend its offering with high quality pet food and encourage the customers to follow these values. The association itself will help by making the value of keeping a pet accessible to Japanese citizens

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