Pet care is a lucrative business. Historically much of the spending on pets has come from developed world economies like the U.S. and U.K., but as the FT reports here, pet ownership has risen dramatically in developing countries. A growing middle class in emerging markets is driving worldwide pet ownership higher.

Since 2003, the number of pet dogs in emerging market countries has jumped 51% compared to a 5% rise in the developed world.

“In poor countries people are more focused on a chicken that will lay eggs or a pig that might eat their waste. It’s only as they get a little bit richer that that changes. Pets might be seen as a relative luxury purchase,” said Charles Robertson, chief economist of Renaissance Capital, an emerging market-focused investment bank.

Paula Flores, head of pet care research at Euromonitor, said: “the rise in disposable income [particularly in Asia] has been significant over the last 10 years. That is pretty important. If people are struggling to buy food for themselves, they are not going to buy it for a pet.”

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According to, the world’s largest pet food companies are Mars Petcare (private), Nestle Purina PetCare(Nestle), Big Heart Pet Brands (JM Smucker), and Hill’s Pet Nutrition (Colgate).