Press release: The real value of cats and dogs in Germany
No. 173 - 13.09.2019
Göttingen professor investigates the economic and social significance of pets
It is estimated that 23 percent of all German households have a cat, 19 percent a dog, 6 percent other small animals and 10 percent birds, fish or reptiles. One indication how much these animals are appreciated by their owners is the expenditure they are willing to invest in their hobby. According to a study by Professor Renate Ohr from the University of Göttingen, keeping pets in Germany led to an overall economic demand and added value of around 10.7 billion euros in 2018. This corresponds to almost 0.32 percent of the gross domestic product and is responsible for approximately 210,000 (full-time) jobs. Dog ownership is responsible for about 52 percent and cat ownership about 36.5 percent.
"Clear increases in turnover are seen, particularly in veterinary medicine, including animal health insurance, but also in animal burial services,” says Professor Ohr. "Added to this are economic and social benefits, with dogs and cats in particular promoting interpersonal social contacts and contributing to the physical and mental well-being of their owners. So keeping pets is worth it: emotionally, socially, in terms of health and also economically – by means of contributions to the gross national product and to jobs," continues Ohr.
The study "Heimtierstudie 2019: Ökonomische und soziale Bedeutung der Heimtierhaltung in Deutschland" (Pet Study 2019: The economic and social significance of pet ownership in Germany) builds on the study "Wirtschaftsfaktor Heimtierhaltung" (Pet ownership as Economic Factor) from 2014. In addition to updating the main economic effects, the study focuses on animal health, animal insurance, services for pets and the social effects of pet ownership on the health and well-being of pet owners. A separate online survey of the owners is included, in which 5,290 owners of dogs and cats took part. The study was supported by AGILA Haustierversicherung.
The study (in German) is available online at www.uni-goettingen.de/de/aktuelles/65380.html.
Professor Renate Ohr (Emeritus)
University of Göttingen
Faculty of Economics