Pet’s life

For the 81.8% of Italians, pets are members of the family, a percentage that reaches almost 95% among those who actually live with a pet. This is what emerges from the Assalco / Zoomark report produced in collaboration with Doxa, Iri and the veterinary doctors of the ANMVI. Focus on the request for recognition of the rights of pets. Dogs and cats, above all.

Dog’s life, so to speak. For the 81.8% of Italians, pets are members of the family, a percentage that reaches almost 95% among those who actually live with a pet. For 8 Italians out of 10, pets are sentient beings, capable of feeling emotions and affection for the owners. This is what emerges from the Assalco / Zoomark report, produced in collaboration with Doxa, Iri and ANMVI’s veterinary surgeons on the occasion of Zoomark International 2019. But there is more. Especially among dog and cat owners there is a strong demand for recognition of the rights of pets. And there is a clear awareness that having a pet implies responsibility and dedication.

DUTIES FIRST – Pets in Italy see fish on the podium (there are 20 million), followed by birds (12.8 million), cats (7.3 million), dogs (7 million), small mammals (1.8 million) and reptiles (1.3 million). On balance, there are over 60 million pets and therefore there is a 1 to 1 ratio with the Italian resident population. Among pet owners, awareness of their duties starts as soon as they are acquired. Especially if we talk about dogs and cats, present in about 39% of families. The step is taken if there are suitable conditions: fundamental among Italian dog owners is being able to count on spaces (48.7%) and adequate lifestyles (30.7%). Same attitude in the case of cats. Diligent even with the bureaucratic requirements: almost 90% insert their dogs in the regional registers and the same happens for more than 1 out of 2 cat owners, although for the last ones it is not mandatory. Fundamental are health and nutrition. Vaccinations are carried out regularly in about 90% of cases, at least 1-2 veterinary checks a year (in more than 60% of cases) and exercise is daily for more than 60%. Furthermore, 76.1% of dogs and 90% of cats are fed with industrial foods, specifically formulated to be safe, balanced, complete and differentiated according to age, breed and lifestyle. Moreover, the pet food turnover is monstre: it has been estimated at over 2 billion euros and grows more than the grocery.

SAFEGUARD OF THE CONSTITUTION – From the survey signed by Doxa emerges the need for greater institutional and legal recognition of pets which is a requirement for those who live with a pet and that finds the consent of the majority of the Italian population. 73.6% of Italians believe it is a necessary step to recognize and protect them in our Constitution; 59.5% of dog and cat owners would like to include them in the family status. Other requests: 1 Italian out of 2 is aware that products for pet feeding and veterinary care are taxed with a 22% VAT rate, like a luxury item. Among these, 74.9% are in favor of facilitation measures, a rate that increases to 84.1% among pet owners.

Gianmarco Ferrari, President of Assalco, commented: “The love for pets in Italy is enormously widespread. The relationship of Italians with their pets is based on the awareness that having a pet in the family implies responsibility and dedication. As an industry we have the duty to contribute to the spread of the principles of responsible possession, in particular of educated coexistence in society, working alongside institutions, bodies and associations engaged in this field”.

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