Pet spending increased 19% from last year
Bloomberg reports that China spends $29 billion on pampering their pets whilst the country’s birthrate declines.
In 2019 alone, pet owners will spend 202 billion yuan ($28.6 billion) on their pets – an increase of 19% from 2018.
Although owning a pet dog was illegal in Beijing up until the 1980’s, China now has the world’s largest dog and cat population of 188 million. By 2024, China is expected to have 248 million pet dogs and cats. In contrast, the US is only expected to have around 172 million.
88% of pet-owners in China are women. Half of the pet-owners are single and 90% consider their pets as “on par with children or family member”.
Conversely, China’s birthrate is currently at its lowest in six decades with 15 million babies last year.
Unlicensed pet farms are reportedly leading to over-breeding of dogs in China and are contributing to rising health concerns among the animals.
Climate change awareness advocates warn about the impact pet ownership has on the environment. In the US, carnivorous dogs and cats contributed to 30% of the overall hit to the environment due to animal production.
“With China just being the size that it is, those pets will potentially have a huge impact,” said University of California Los Angeles professor Gregory Okin.