The percentage of British households with a pet has fallen from almost 55 per cent in 1999 to fewer than half (48 per cent) today. The trend could affect pet stores and grocers, who are the main suppliers of pet food
Another reason that pet ownership has declined is because of the falling number of children, because parents are more likely to buy pets than childless couples or single people.
Mintel senior retail analyst Katy Child said: 'Childhood today is very different from previous generations. Moreover, children do not have much time to take care of a pet when they are growing up in a society where watching TV, having mobile phones and playing with games consoles seem like a necessity.'
In the past five years the pet food and petcare market has increased approximately 24 per cent to reach an estimated£3.6 billion. The pet food sector accounts for 51 per cent of the total market and has grown 15 per cent in five years. The pet accessories sector has grown by 16 per cent over the five-year period to be worth almost£250 million.
Child explained: 'Among the gloom of pet ownership shines the very bright light that is the continued willingness of owners to indulge themselves and their pets. This has resulted in the increase of the number of owners spending more money on pet food and accessories.'