Dogs 'beat cats in pet popularity'
Published 04/04/2011 | 10:57
Dogs are enjoying a boom in popularity and overtaking their old foe the cat.
Nearly a quarter of UK households, or 22.9%, had a dog last year - a rise of 2.1% in the last five years, and a whisker ahead of cats at 22.7%, according to research for the Pet Food Manufacturers' Association (PFMA).
But the tendency for people to own more than one cat meant that the feline population remained higher than that of dogs, at 8.6 million compared to 8.3 million dogs.
Small and medium sized dogs such as terriers and spaniels have become more popular, according to the report, driven partly by fashion trends and by lower costs and greater convenience.
But the figures from the PFMA, released in a Mintel survey, show both dogs and cats have a long way to go before catching up on fish.
There were more than 40 million fish owned as pets in the UK in 2010 making it the most popular pet due to its relatively low maintenance and upkeep costs.
Ben Perkins, an analyst with Mintel, said: "The momentum is definitely behind dogs. It looks likely that the number of dogs is going to over take the number of cats as well at some point this year."