Toronto, 24.05.2016

61% of Canadians Own a Pet: GfK Survey

  • Cats edge dogs by a whisker
  • Pet ownership almost equal between men and women

 It was close, but Canada hasn’t gone to the dogs. 

According to a recent online survey by GfK, more than half (56%) of over 27,000 people surveyed in 22 countries have at least one pet. Canadians surpass the global average, with 61% of the population owning a pet. The research shows Canadians also prefer felines to “man’s best friend”; 35% of Canadians have a cat (compared to just 23% internationally), while 33% own dogs (the same as the global average).

Female versus male pet ownership

Canadian women are 6 percentage points more likely than the global average to own a pet, with 62% saying they have an animal companion, compared to 60% of Canadian men and 57% of men globally.

Cats are the most popular pet for both genders, with 37% of Canadian women owning a feline friend and 34% of men. Felines are closely followed by dogs, with 35% of Canadian women and 31% of men having at least one canine. The survey also shows that women prefer traditional pets, such as cats and dogs, while men in Canada are more likely than women to own fish and birds.

US tops Canada

While the majority of Canadians own a pet, Americans are even more prolific when it comes to pet ownership. More than two-thirds (70%) of all Americans own a pet, with dogs being the most popular type. Fully half (50%) of the US population owns at least one dog -- 17 points above the global and Canadian averages. Cats are also more popular in America than Canada, with 39 per cent of Americans owning cats. Contrary to the Canadian trend of women being the most frequent pet owners, it is male Americans who lead in pet ownership -- 72% versus 69%.

Asian populations less likely to own pets

Across the 22 markets surveyed, South Koreans were found to be the least likely to own a pet, with over two-thirds (68%) without a pet. Other markets that scored low on pet ownership are Hong Kong (64%) and Japan (63%).

On average, dogs were the most popular pet to own internationally (33%); the leading nation for dog-ownership is Argentina, with 66%  of the population owning a canine. Overall, 23% of global respondents had a cat, with Russians owning the most felines (57%). Internationally, women are more likely than men to own a dog or cat; but, on average, more men than women own fish.

To view the full findings for each of the 22 countries, please visit the GfK Global Studies Overview or contact Pushan Tagore for more information on GfK’s research into the pet care market.

About the study

GfK conducted an online survey with over 27,000 consumers aged 15 or older in 22 markets. Fieldwork was completed in June 2015 and data are weighted to reflect the demographic composition of the online population age 15+ in each market. The markets included are Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, China, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Netherlands, Poland, Russia, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Turkey, UK and USA.

About GfK

GfK is the trusted source of relevant market and consumer information that enables its clients to make smarter decisions. More than 13,000 market research experts combine their passion with GfK’s long-standing data science experience. This allows GfK to deliver vital global insights matched with local market intelligence from more than 100 countries. By using innovative technologies and data sciences, GfK turns big data into smart data, enabling its clients to improve their competitive edge and enrich consumers’ experiences and choices.

For more information, please visit or follow GfK on Twitter.


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