Asia's aggregate pet population now exceeds 488 million, according to Euromonitor, evidence of the growing trends of pet ownership and pet care spending worldwide.
As people grow wealthier and couples have fewer children, pets become more popular, an article from Forbes says. The article points out that cultural differences affect pet ownership, such as those in Indonesia where many Muslims feel dogs are unclean, but that even in China, pet ownership is rising with 6.6% of households now owning a dog. The largest pet care market is found in Japan, where petfood, grooming and veterinary care were estimated to be worth US$18 billion in 2009. Euromonitor valued the pet market in America to be worth US$48.3 billion at that time.
Western companies like Mars and Nestle not only dominate most European and North American petfood markets, but also markets in Asia. Domestic competitors are emerging in Japan, where infant care and feminine hygiene company Unicharm now highlights its pet division on its website, and in South Korea, where food manufacturer CJ CheilJedang made Forbes' "Fab 50 companies for 2011" list.