French people love pets, and with more than 44 million of them, France is the European country that has the the greatest number of pets.

What sort of pets do French people have? The table below shows the most popular ones according to a survey undertaken among French pet owners in 2004.

21,4 millions de poissons

8,1 millions de chats

fish in bowl

1,5 millions de rongeurs

7,6 millions de chiens

surfing mouse
5,7 millions d'oiseaux bird Source: Quid 2005


Why do French people own their animals?

Here are some of the reasons that people gave according to the results of a survey undertaken in France during 2004.

Because I love animals
61,4 %
60,5 % 61 % 33 % <46 %
So I can have some company 43,5 % >38,2 % 37 % 10 % 25 %
I like looking after them 40,4 % 37,7 %      
Because I've always had one 31,8 % 28,9 %      
For my personal well-being 29,2 % 26,2 %      
It gives me a sense of pride 28,7 % 23,2 %      
For the kids 23,7 % 21,3 % 30 % 48 % 73 %
Source: http://www.facco.fr.

The most popular animal companions in France are dogs and cats. More than half of all French households have a pet - with about 44% owning cats and / or dogs.

How much the French love their dogs is evident from the way the pets always accompany their owners wherever they go. They go shopping with their owners - even inside the shops, including food shops.

The French people mostly likely to have a pet are those who live on farms - three quarters of them have pets - mostly cats or dogs. The French people least likely to have a pet are professionals and executives.

Shopping with a dog

What are the attractions of having a dog?

Here are some proposed by the same survey:

you feel less lonely, a dog is great company
it creates a link with society, having a dog can help you find friends.
dog ownership is great for the morale, you feel less stressed when you have an animal.
It's a great way to stay fit physically, you have to take the dog out and walk it.
With children, dogs are their guardians, friends and help their development.
Besides, a dog is man's best friend.

French people love their dogs, in fact they love them as much as, if not more than, their children. Mongrels are by far the most widely owned type of dog, but pedigree dogs are also popular, with....guess what! the French poodle is at the top of the list!

The Top 10 pedigree dog pets in France.
% of owners.
1 Poodles
9,3 %
2 Labradors
7,8 %
3 Yorkshire terriers
5,6 %
4 King Charles Spaniels
4,6 %
5 German Shepherds
4,1 %
6 Other sheepdogs
3,3 %
7 Toy dogs
2,7 %
8 Cocker spaniels /Fox-Terriers
2,2 %
9 Boxers
2 %
10 Colleys
1,6 %
Source: http://www.facco.fr.

Dogs are very much a "family" animal in France, and half of all dogs live in households that have three or more people living in them. In fact, most French people who own dogs say they bought them because they are good company for their children.


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