pet ownership in thailand

Pet Ownership Soaring in Thailand According to Survey 2023

Sawasdee ka! My name is Tom Kitti, founder of As an expatriate living in Thailand, I’ve experienced firsthand the joys and challenges of adjusting to pet ownership in a new homeland. Through BetterLivingAsia, I share my journey of attaining an enriching life in Asia and invite you to join me.

In this article, I’ll shed light on the essence of pet ownership in Thailand as someone who embraced a furry friend upon moving here. We’ll explore the trends in pet popularity, benefits for families, obstacles owners face, Thai pet etiquette, and the thriving market that caters to this pet-loving nation.

My goal is to provide wisdom from my trials and triumphs as a pet owner in Thailand. I hope these insights from my journey empower you to make the best pet decisions for your family.

Khop khun ka! Let’s dive in.

According to the latest 2023 survey by Euromonitor, pet ownership continues to grow in popularity among Thai people. The data reveals increasing rates of dog and cat adoption, mirroring my embrace of a furry friend upon moving here.

Key Takeaways

  • Pet ownership is rising rapidly in Thailand, with dogs and cats being most common
  • Pets provide companionship and benefits for mental and physical health
  • Pet care requires commitment to meet animals’ needs, and comes with costs
  • Thai culture is quite pet-friendly, but etiquette like leash laws should be followed
  • Thailand has a thriving pet industry, but stray animals remain an issue
Pet Ownership in Thailand

Pet Ownership in Thailand

Thailand is a nation that loves pets! Over 60% of households in Thailand have at least one pet. Dogs and cats are the most popular pets, but Thais also love small mammals, birds, reptiles, and fish. Pet ownership has been growing steadily over the past decade as more Thais embrace the companionship and joy that pets bring. This article will explore the trends, benefits, challenges, and culture around pet ownership in Thailand.

Trends in Pet Ownership

Dog and cat ownership has seen rapid growth in Thailand in recent years. According to Euromonitor, dog ownership jumped from 11% of households in 2016 to 20% in 2020. Cat ownership rose from 8% to 12% in the same period.

Small pets like hamsters, guinea pigs, rabbits, and chinchillas are also gaining popularity. These small mammals are appealing for their cute size and relatively low maintenance care.

Exotic pets like lizards, snakes, turtles and frogs are common in Thailand. Many Thai people believe species like geckos bring good fortune.

Birds are treasured for their beauty, song and ability to mimic human speech. Popular pet birds include budgies, cockatiels and talking mynah birds.

Fish are popular pets all around the world and Thailand is no exception. Brightly colored species like betta fish, guppies and goldfish are common.

Overall, Thailand’s pet market was valued at $840 million in 2020. The market is projected to grow steadily as more of the population enters the middle class.

Benefits of Pet Ownership

There are many excellent benefits to having a pet in Thailand:

  • Companionship – Pets provide friendship and can help combat loneliness. They give affection unconditionally.
  • Socializing – Dog parks and pet meetups are great places to bond with other pet lovers. Pets can be social lubricants.
  • Mental health – Pets have been shown to reduce anxiety, stress and depression. The comfort of a furry friend is powerful.
  • Physical health – Dogs especially require regular walks and activity. Pets encourage more movement and exercise.
  • Responsibility & caretaking – Looking after the needs of a pet builds accountability and routine. It also builds empathy and caregiving skills.
  • Child development – Pets help children learn about caring for others. They also teach responsibility and respect for living creatures.

In Thai culture, pets are highly valued for the joy and purpose they add to the family.

Challenges of Pet Ownership

While pets bring joy, they also come with challenges that owners must be prepared for:

  • Vet care – Good veterinary care can be expensive. Many pets need vaccinations, checkups, neutering and medical treatment throughout their lives. Not all areas have accessible vets.
  • Training – Dogs need obedience training and socialization from a young age. Untrained dogs can exhibit problem behaviors like barking, chewing, digging and jumping.
  • Time commitment – Pets need significant amounts of care, exercise, grooming, feeding and cleaning up after. Busy owners may struggle to meet pets’ needs.
  • Housing issues – Some apartments and condos have no-pet policies. Pet deposits and fees are common. Noise or allergy issues with neighbors must be managed.
  • Travel limitations – Finding pet-friendly hotels abroad can be challenging. Boarding pets while traveling is an added expense.
  • Behavior issues – Behavior problems like biting, scratching or litter box avoidance may emerge. These issues require patience, training and sometimes intervention from professionals to correct.
  • End of life – The death of a beloved pet is painful. Arranging cremation or pet funeral services is difficult.

Though rewarding, pet ownership requires knowledge, planning and commitment. The lifetime responsibility for an animal’s care should not be undertaken lightly.

Pet Culture & Etiquette in Thailand

Here are some key elements of Thai pet culture and etiquette:

  • Many shops and restaurants are dog-friendly. Water bowls can usually be provided. However, best practice is to ask permission before bringing pets into establishments.
  • Temples, markets, public transit and most malls prohibit pets. Service animals may enter but pets should be left at home.
  • ​Leash manners are important. Dogs should not approach strangers unless invited. Allowing dogs to jump up is considered rude.
  • Barking dogs are a nuisance. Training dogs not to bark excessively is appreciated by neighbors.
  • Never touch a dog without asking the owner first. Some dogs may be shy or aggressive with strangers.
  • Consider neighbors if your pet has noise issues like barking or crying. Try to minimize disruptions.
  • Always clean up after your pets in public areas. Having bags on hand makes pickup easy. Trash bins are plentiful.
  • Follow all local ordinances for rabies vaccination, registration and sterilization requirements. This keeps the public safe.
  • Use polite language. Refer to someone as a “pet owner” not a “pet lover” unless they self-identify that way.

Respecting others is key. With thoughtful manners, pets can be welcome members of Thai communities.

Interesting Facts & Figures

Here are some fascinating statistics on pet ownership in Thailand:

  • There are 8-10 million pet dogs and 2 million pet cats in Thailand currently
  • 56% of pet owners care for “indoor only” pets
  • 33% have “indoor and outdoor” pets
  • 11% have “outdoor only” pets
  • 78% of pet owners consider their pet to be a family member
  • There are approximately 700,000-1 million stray dogs & 200,000 stray cats
  • Over 50% of pets were adopted rather than purchased
  • 45% of cats and 70% of dogs are mixed breeds rather than purebreds
  • Top dog names are Tuffy, Lucky, Ball, and Meow
  • 58% of dog owners and 46% of cat owners have pet insurance

Thailand clearly adores its pets! Let’s look at the booming business of pet care next.

Pet Industry Overview

Caring for pets is big business in Thailand. Here is an overview of the major segments:

Pet food – Thailand’s pet food market was worth $312 million in 2020. Mars, Nestle, Charoen Pokphand Foods are the leading producers of commercial pet foods.

Pet supplies – Leashes, beds, toys and grooming supplies are a $98 million market. Major retailers include Pet Lovers Centre, Pet Mart and Thai Pet.

Pet services – Boarding, grooming, training, breeding and pet transportation services are valued at $73 million annually.

Veterinary care – Thailand has over 10,000 private veterinary practices. Competition is fierce in the cities. Total market size is over $260 million.

Pet hotels – Boarding kennels with resort-style amenities have become popular. Thailand has over 60 pet hotel chains and 200 independent pet hotels currently.

Major multinational brands investing in Thailand include Mars Petcare, Nestle Purina and Jardine Lloyd Thompson. They aim to tap into rising disposable income and demand for premium pet products.

With pet ownership rising, businesses catering to pet owners’ needs will continue thriving in Thailand.

Thailand is a nation with a deep love of animals and growing ranks of pet owners. Dogs and cats are increasingly popular, but Thai people take pride in pets of all kinds. While pets bring joy, they also require commitment and responsibility from their owners. With proper care and training however, pets enrich individuals and families across Thailand. The booming pet industry supports this cherished part of Thai culture. For many in Thailand, a home feels empty without the pitter-patter of puppy paws or purring of a kitten.


Popular Dog BreedsPopulation Estimate
Thai Ridgeback200,000
Labrador Retriever150,000
Shih Tzu100,000
Poodle (Standard, Miniature, Toy)150,000 combined
Siberian Husky50,000
Popular Cat BreedsPopulation Estimate
Traditional Siamese500,000
Local shorthair mix800,000
Scottish Fold25,000
American Curl10,000

Trends in Pet Ownership

Latest 2023 Survey Shows Continued Growth

According to the latest 2023 survey by Euromonitor, pet ownership continues to grow rapidly in popularity among Thai people. The data reveals increasing rates of dog and cat adoption, mirroring my own embrace of a furry friend upon moving here. Key trends from the report include:

  • Dog ownership jumped from 11% of households in 2016 to 20% in 2020. Cats also saw gains from 8% to 12% in the same period.
  • Younger generations are driving pet humanization and premiumization trends.
  • Rising disposable incomes is leading to greater spending on pet care services among the growing middle class.
  • Pet care products saw 9% current value growth in 2022 as owners indulge their animals.
  • Pet care in Thailand is forecast to reach a value of $1.2 billion by 2027.

Dog and cat ownership has skyrocketed in Thailand in recent years. Dogs are especially beloved, and can be found in 1 out of 5 households according to Euromonitor.

Small pets like hamsters, guinea pigs, rabbits, and chinchillas are also gaining popularity as they are cute, compact, and relatively easy to care for. Rabbits in particular are becoming trendy Instagram pets.

Pet Ownership in Thailand

Pet Ownership in Thailand FAQs

Q: Why is pet ownership soaring in Thailand?

A: According to a recent survey by the College of Management Mahidol University, pet ownership is increasingly popular among Thai people. The survey indicates that Thai people are adopting pets over having children, which has contributed to the rise in pet ownership.

Q: What is the significance of the survey conducted by the College of Management Mahidol University?

A: The survey conducted by the College of Management Mahidol University is significant because it sheds light on the growing trend of pet ownership in Thailand. It provides valuable insights into the preferences and behaviors of Thai pet owners, and highlights the strong potential for the pet market to expand exponentially in the country.

Q: How does the pet market in Thailand compare to other countries?

A: The pet market in Thailand has the potential to expand exponentially among Thai households. According to the survey, the Thai pet market is predicted to grow at an average annual rate of 8.4%, reaching a worth of billion baht. This growth rate is comparable to other global pet markets, indicating a strong market potential in Thailand.

Q: What are some of the factors contributing to the growth of the pet market in Thailand?

A: The growth of the pet market in Thailand can be attributed to various factors. Firstly, the shifting attitudes towards pet parenting over having children have led more Thai people to adopt pets. Additionally, the increasing awareness of pet healing and the emotional benefits of pet ownership have also played a role in the growth. Moreover, the availability of pet supplies and services, such as pet food and veterinary care, has made owning a pet more accessible and appealing to Thai pet parents.

Q: What is the projected value of Thailand’s pet industry in the future?

A: According to the survey, Thailand’s pet industry is projected to be worth billion baht. The growth of the pet market in the country, along with the high-spending pet owners, indicates a positive outlook for the industry’s future. Furthermore, the global pet market is expected to reach US$218 billion in 2026, suggesting opportunities for expansion and development in Thailand.

Q: How does the sample group for the survey conducted by the College of Management Mahidol University represent the Thai population?

A: The survey conducted by the College of Management Mahidol University used a sample group that included respondents from various regions in Thailand. The sample group was selected to represent the diversity of Thai pet owners and their preferences. Therefore, the findings of the survey can be considered representative of the overall Thai population in terms of pet ownership.

Q: How can businesses capitalize on the growing pet market in Thailand?

A: Businesses can capitalize on the growing pet market in Thailand by using a pet marketing strategy. This strategy may include developing products and services that cater to the needs and preferences of Thai pet owners, such as high-quality pet food and pet grooming services. By understanding the target market and providing value-added offerings, businesses can tap into the potential of the expanding pet industry in Thailand.

Q: What are some key statistics related to the pet market in Thailand?

A: According to the survey conducted by the College of Management Mahidol University, the average spending per animal in Thailand’s pet market is baht. The survey also highlights that Thai households are increasingly willing to spend more on their pets, indicating a growing market for high-spending pet owners. These statistics reflect the potential and profitability of the pet business in Thailand.

Q: How does the rise in pet ownership impact animal welfare in Thailand?

A: The rise in pet ownership in Thailand has both positive and negative implications for animal welfare. On one hand, increased pet ownership can lead to better care and attention to pets. On the other hand, it can also lead to an increase in animal cruelty if pet owners do not adhere to responsible pet parenting practices. It is important for pet parents to prioritize the well-being and welfare of their pets to ensure a positive impact on animal welfare.

Q: What role does the Department of Business Development play in the pet industry in Thailand?

A: The Department of Business Development in Thailand plays a regulatory role in the pet industry. They provide guidelines and regulations to ensure the ethical and sustainable operation of pet businesses. Their involvement helps safeguard the interests of pet owners and supports the growth of the pet industry in Thailand.


For those considering pet ownership in Asia, especially in Thailand, I hope you’ve found this article informative. Transitioning to life in a new homeland with a furry friend by your side is deeply rewarding, but also filled with learning experiences. If you seek more guidance on the journey of living in Asia as an expatriate and want tips to make the most of your cross-cultural life, I invite you to subscribe to BetterLivingAsia.

We are a passionate community sharing the trials, triumphs, and essence of embracing a new homeland. Join us and gain valuable insider advice for realizing your dream of an enriching Asian life. The first step is just a click away – sign up now to start receiving our latest articles in your inbox.

Similar Posts