Italian families and their pets: possession and geographic distribution of cats and dogs

In the last twelve years, sensitivity towards pets in Italy has grown. Consequently, so has the commitment of institutions and associations in protecting pets as well as citizens when welcoming them into their homes. Living with pets is becoming increasingly more common, a tendency that is expected to grow and which differs throughout the country. In 2018, the number of dogs in Italy continued to grow while the number of cats and other pets slightly diminished. 

Living with pets, a growing tendency

Euromonitor has estimated that more than 60.2 million pets were present in Italy in 2018, a number that remains an approximation because Italy does not yet have a national registry for pets and pets do not appear in the ISTAT census. Nonetheless, these numbers confirm substantial stability in the total number of pets and reinforce the ISTAT hypothesis that estimates a 1:1 ration for pets and people residing in Italy.

Among the various types of pets, the figures stand out for the number of cats and dogs present in our country- 7.3 million cats and 7 million dogs. The Assalco-Zoomark 2019 Report also shows that the larger the family, the more likely they are to have pets.

Italian families love cats and dogs

It appears that 39% of Italian families, approximately 20.3 million people, have a cat or a dog. As mentioned above, there seems to be a greater preference for dogs. 5.9 million families (27.1%) own dogs while approximately 4 million families  (18.3%) own cats. There is a greater concentration of pets in North-East Italy, where these percentages have increased from 38.8% to 46.4%. Percentages of ownership are lower in North-West Italy, equivalent to 34.9%. 

Italians and their pets

Living with pets comes with responsibilities. Fortunately, animals in Italian families appear to be well-protected. There is still progress to be made, but different awareness campaigns and the good example of principled owners contribute to reducing the percentage of people that still underestimate the importance of taking care of their pets.

According to the DOXA study on “Italians and Pets”, which explored the main aspects that attribute to the responsible ownership of cats and dogs in Italy, pet owners in Italy show a great sense of responsibility and dedication towards pets, but more efforts need to be made towards their well-mannered co-existence in society.

As for the rest, in Italy, 90% of owners register their dogs in the regional registry for pets. Nutritional needs are attended to carefully: 76.1% of dogs and 90% of cats are fed manufactured pet foods, specifically formulated to ensure a safe, healthy and balanced diet, differentiated on the basis of age, race and lifestyle.  And to ensure a good state of health, most pet owners bring their pet to the vet at least once a year for a check-up.

© Domedica s.r.l.

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