BRUSSELS — Fifty-eight percent of Belgian households own one or more pets, according to recent data from the Belgian Petfood Association (BEPEFA)’s 2023-2024 Pet Population Survey. The study represents the association’s third annual pet report and was conducted by iVox in April 2024. 

Pet ownership in Belgium has increased 6% compared to 2021, according to the report. Additionally, 17% of households adopted a new pet in the past year, and for 31% of these households this represented their first endeavor in pet ownership. 

Breaking down the country’s pet population by type, the report found that cats are the more popular four-legged companion, as 32% of Belgians owned one or more cats. This is compared to 31% of Belgians who owned one or more dogs. 

Regarding pet nutrition, the report examined pet parents’ most important purchasing factors. Forty-nine percent reported price as the most important factor, a 4% decrease from BEPEFA’s 2022-2023 report; 45% reported life-stage specific products as the most important, which remained flat from last year; and 40% reported foods their pets enjoyed as the most important, a decrease of 1% from 2022-2023. 

Read more global pet food and treat news from outside North America. 

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