The annual PFMA Pet Population study has been commissioned since 2008. The survey methodology is kept consistent to ensure that no bias is introduced into the process, which will adversely affect the data quality.
The survey is carried out by Kantar, a globally recognised leader in consumer research, and is managed for the PFMA by external consultants. Our questions form part of Kantar’s weekly ‘omnibus’ study.
The questions pertaining to the annual population survey are kept constant.
To ensure a robust set of results, approximately 8000 households across the UK are sampled each year (in 2020 this increased to 12000). This sample is based on naturally occurring demographics however there are quotas imposed for the different Government regions to ensure good geographic coverage. These figures are considered by industry standards to be very strong with a Confidence Interval of 95% and 1% Margin of Error.
The study is carried out at the same time of year (late January and early February).
The only change in 2018 was been that our methodology for assessing the number of fish has changed and we are looking at one year’s worth of data. Next year we will be able to confidently publish numbers.
From the Kantar omnibus results, the proportion of households owning a pet (of whatever species) is applied to a calculated number of households in the UK (with the sources of data being the 2011 census and other Government published documents predicting the change in household numbers). These estimates are then multiplied (per species) by the average number of animals per household from the survey.