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Companion Animals

Companion animals bring joy to their owners, provide emotional support, reduce feelings of stress and loneliness, and increase social contact.

The animal health industry actively promotes responsible pet ownership through the responsible use of medicines ensuring good health for our pets. Follow our We Care campaign on Facebook for further information on responsible pet ownership.                                 

About pets
In general terms ‘companion animals’ are all animals which are kept by people for companionship and enjoyment. They are often referred to as pets, with cats and dogs being the most popular pets. Others include:

    • small mammals: rabbits, hamsters, guinea pigs and ferrets, among others.
    • fish: including goldfish, rainbow fish, etc.
    • birds: such as parrots, monk parakeets and domestic canaries.


In the EU there are more than 200 million pets in total (204,947,400) and 72 million homes have companion animals.


In Europe there are:
  • 66 million cats
  • 60 million dogs
  • 9 million ornamental fish (number of aquaria)
  • 39 million cage birds
  • 21 million small mammals

Source: FEDIAF Facts and Figures 2012

Worldwide there are 223 million dogs and 220 million cats (excluding strays).

Source: Vetnosis




  • In France there are more than 31 million fish, over 11 million cats and over 7 million dogs.
  • In the United Kingdom there are over 40 million fish, 8.5 million cats and another 8.5 million dogs.
  • In Germany there are more than 8 million cats, over 5 million dogs and over 5 million small mammals

Sources: FACCO (France), PFMA (United Kingdom) and IVH (Germany)


  • In France almost one in two households have a companion animal.
  • In the United Kingdom almost 1 in 2 households (46%) own a pet.
  • In Germany more than one third of households have a pet.

 For further national figures view the FEDIAF facts and figures 2012

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