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Decreasing Interest in Pet Ownership in Japan Amid Economic Uncertainty

Despite the increase in pet ownership during the pandemic, Japan's pet industry is expecting a decline in the number of pet owners and an increase in pet food prices. According to the Chairman of the Japan Pet Food Association, Hiromitsu Kodama, the pet industry is facing 12 difficult months as the economy recovers from COVID-19. The greatest problem facing the industry is the shrinking interest in pet ownership.

According to survey results, the willingness to keep dogs in the future among households that do not currently keep dogs is at 7%, compared to 9.9% in 2019. The figure is even lower for cats, at 5.5%, compared to 7.5% in 2019. Despite an increase of 10% in the number of pet households in 2022 compared to pre-pandemic times, this is still not enough to make up for the decline in interest.

The survey also found that consumers have been affected by the extremely high increases in pet food prices, which have risen by 3%-10%. The association aims to promote the premium pet food of its member companies and encourage customers to follow these values. The association itself will help by making the value of keeping a pet accessible to Japanese citizens.

In conclusion, the pet industry in Japan is facing a decline in interest in pet ownership, which is compounded by economic uncertainty and rising pet food prices. The Japan Pet Food Association is taking steps to address these issues, including promoting high-quality pet food and encouraging citizens to see the value in keeping a pet.