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The UK Pet Industry Report 2023

The UK Pet Industry Report 2023

Table of Contents

  1. Who we Are
  2. Key Findings
  3. Who we Are
  4. Breeder Activity
  5. Pet Price Development
  6. Trust & Safety
  7. Special Report: XL Bully Suppy & Demand

1. Who We Are

  • Pets4Homes is part of Pet Media Group, the largest pet rehoming group globally
  • In the UK, Pets4Homes rehomes more than 1 million pets per year equating to c. 1/3rd of all puppies advertised in the country
  • Each month over 4 million unique pet buyers visit Pets4Homes to find a lifelong companion
  • Our mission is to give pets the best life possible, by creating a trusted and safe ecosystem for them to find the loving and caring homes they deserve

2. Key findings in this report

  • Interested buyers per available pet has grown by c.30% in 2023 as # interested buyers has been stable, while breeding activity has fallen by c.30% vs. 2022
    • This is good news for currently active breeders, as prices recently have started to increase again after a two year decline post covid
  • The Goldendoodle puppy and the Main Coon were the most sought after breeds in 2023 with 995 and 582 potential buyers per pet advertised, respectively
  • The French Bulldog and Chihuahua continue to lose share as most common breeds as part of a long-term decline for flat-faced and toy breeds, whereas Cocker Spaniel cements its place as #2 most popular bred breed for second year in a row
    • American Bully reverses gains in recent years, losing 3 places to become the 5th most common breed, as result of XL Bully ban
  • The English Bulldog and the Savannah cat were the most expensive dog and cat breeds respectively in the UK in 2023, costing an average of £1,642 and £799 per pet
  • Still no sign of ‘pandemic puppies’ being given up due to cost of living crisis. Share of dogs older than >6 months being re-homed or adopted remains the same as pre-covid
  • Following the XL Bully ban it is too early to say whether breeding and/or demand has shifted to other breeds as a selection of similar breeds show no indication that they are picking up “lost” supply or demand as of yet

3. Demand for Pets

Number of potential pet buyers has started to increase in 2023 after 2 years of post-pandemic decline and buyers per pet increasing sharply

Number of potential pet buyers.png

Puppies attract the largest number of  buyers per pet, whereas each kitten has more buyers in winter rather than summer due to seasonality in kitten births

Popularity per pet

The Goldendoodle remains the most sought after pet, with 995 buyers per puppy. The Dobermann and the Savannah climbs the most in ranking by 5 and 9 places, respectively

Top 10 most demanded dog breeds.png

Definition: Ranking based on breeds that attracted the most amount of unique listing views divided by the number of active kittens/cats in the period. Note, excludes rare breeds representing less than 0.5% of all cats published.

Top 10 most demanded cat breeds

Definition: Ranking based on breeds that attracted the most amount of unique listing views divided by the number of active puppies/dogs in the period. Note, excludes rare breeds representing less than 0.5% of all dogs published.

Large geographical differences in terms of most sought after puppies where Goldendoodle is most popular in London, but only on place 10 in Birmingham

Geographical demand for pets.png

Definition: Ranking based on breeds that attracted the most amount of unique listing views divided by the number of active listings in the period. Note, excludes rare breeds representing less than 0.5% of all dogs published.

Pedigree breeds make up the majority of pets advertised (74%) and attract the lionshare of buyers (72%)

Pedigree breeds vs. cross-breeds, share of buyers.png

Pedigree breeds vs. cross-breeds, share of adverts.png

4. Breeding Activity

Advertised dogs/puppies in 2023 was slightly below pre-covid levels, and has decreased by c.50% since the peak of 2021

Advertised dogs:puppies for sale, weekly.png

Note: Large drops seen every year before christmas, partly because Pets4Homes do not allow pets to be advertised as gifts

Advertised dogs:puppies for sale - last 5 years

Among the breed groups the largest gain in terms of breed group is the hybrid breeds (e.g. non-pedigree crosses) which now comprise 26% of all puppies sold. On the contrary, there has been a sharp decline over the past 10 years of Toy dogs decreasing from 24% to 11%.

Share of puppies sold by breed group, weekly

The sharp fall in Toy dogs can be attributed decline of Chihuahuas as well as decline of common flat-faced puppies (i.e. Brachycephalic breeds) which run a significantly higher risk of encountering health issues compared to other dogs.

Top 10 advertised dogs:puppies for sale by breed, Jan-Dec 2023

Top 10 advertised dogs:puppies for sale by breed, Jan-Dec 2023+2

Encouragingly ‘pandemic puppies’ are not being put up for sale despite tougher economic climate. Share of dogs older than >6 months being re-homed remains the same as pre-covid.

Advertised dogs by age-1

Advertised dogs by age-2

Cats being rehomed have rebounded to pre-covid levels after peaking in summer 2022.

Advertised cats:kittens for sale, weekly

Advertised cats for sale - last 5 years.png

The British Shorthair is the dominating cat breed for sale in the UK, increasing its share from 31.7% to 32.2% in 2023

Top 10 advertised cats:kittens for sale by breed.png

Top 10 advertised cats:kittens for sale by breed 2

Similar trends seen across all pet types. Notable decrease seen in Rabbits for sale following awareness campaigns of responsible rabbit purchases.

Advertised Rabbits and Reptiles.png

Advertised Poultry and Birds.png

Advertised Rodets and Horses

Pets4Homes forecast a return to a growth in number of pets being rehomed in 2024 by extrapolating current trend

Changes in demand vs. changes in supply

The English Bulldog represents 5.6% of stud adverts vs. only 2.8% of puppies for sale indicating the breed will become more common going forward

Stud dog adverts listed, weekly

Top 10 stud dog adverts by breed.png

5. Pet Price Development

Puppy prices have recently started to increase after a two year decline post covid. American Bully is the breed dropping most this year given XL Bully ban whereas Border Collie prices have been stable.

Average puppy prices £, weekly

Top 10 breeds decreasing the most in price

KC registered puppies from licensed breeders command a significant premium compared to mixed breed puppies from non-licenced breeders

Average price depending on puppy KC vs. non-KC

Average price depending on seller licencing status.png

Kitten prices are seasonal by nature, however year on year differences not as volatile as for puppies. Abyssian breed has seen an increase in 48% over the last year.

Average kitten prices £, weekly

Top 10 Breeds with changes in price

English Bulldog puppies and Savannah kittens are the most expensive breeds in the UK in 2023 with prices of £1,642 and £799 on average, respectively

Top 10 most expensive cat breeds.png

Top 10 most expensive dog breeds

6. Trust & Safety

2023 Trust & Safety numbers at a glance

Adverts moderated: 250k
o/w each contains on average 3 puppies/kittens

Hours spent assessing/stopping fraud: 33.4k

Adverts reviewed / blocked: 27.9k
breached one of our ad posting rules in our terms & conditions 

Animal Welfare Reports: 3.9k
users reporting some type of suspicion concerning the animal welfare of the pets listed, a reduction of 33% vs 2022

Why would a listing would be reviewed or blocked?

We follow PAAG’s advertising standards, enforce our own strict rules related to animal welfare as well as have developed AI tools to detect suspicious listings (e.g. image analysis) centered around 5 key principles in our ethical compass:

  • Every pet deserves the best life possible
  • We have a zero-tolerance approach to any puppy-farming or unethical breeding of pets
  • Pets should not be imported for the purpose of being sold 
  • Pets must be treated with respect and love as the family members they are 
  • Pets should be healthy

Share of ID Verified Sellers

Significantly lower share of adverts blocked by Trust & Safety team

Share of adverts uploaded which are blocked or reviewed by the Trust & Safety team have decreased dramatically from >30% in 2021 to c.15% in 2023 as a result of introduction of ID Verification of sellers and Pets4Homes Safe Payments. Total number of animal welfare reports has also decreased to <1% (of which <0.1% were confirmed genuine animal welfare concerns, e.g. puppy health issue). The increase in November and December is attributable to the XL Bully Ban.

Significantly lower share of adverts blocked by Trust & Safety team

# of rescue dogs has remained fairly stable since 2020. The Greyhound remains the most common breed for rescue at 9.9%

Pets advertised for adoption by Charities.png

Dogs for adoption by breed

7. XL Bully Ban

Following the announcement of the ban of the American Bully XL, there was a marked decline in both the available puppies for sale as well as demand for the breed.

Advertised XL Bully puppies, weekly.png

Total number of weekly rehoming requests.png

XL Bullys dogs (older than 6 months) for sale or put up for adoption has remained stable even after the announcement was made

Advertised XL Bully dogs for sale or adoption, weekly.png

Total number of weekly rehoming.png

The price of XL Bullies puppies dropped by 50% when the ban was introduced 

Average XL Bully puppy prices £ weekly.png

Average XL Bully dog prices £, weekly.png

* since the announcement of a ban, American Bully XLs listed on Pets4Homes could not be sold for less than £200, in order to ensure that there were no attempts made to purchase animals in order to benefit from the Government compensation scheme for owners. This £200 minimum was not a legal requirement, but one which Pets4Homes voluntarily adopted to ensure the wellbeing of British animals.

No indication yet that similar breeds* are picking up lost supply or demand as of yet

Total number of weekly rehoming requests

Advertised puppies of similar breed for sale, weekly

To conduct this study, Pets4Homes analysed the data of 6,845,312 pets rehomed through the platform from January 2019 until Dec 2023.


Additionally, traffic figures on Pets4Homes were gathered through Google Analytics, while demand for each pet was measured by the number of contacts and advert views that each individual pet generated.

About Pets4Homes

Pets4Homes ( is the UK’s largest online pet marketplace, relied upon by more than 4 million people monthly to rehome over 1 million pets each year. Founded in 2005 and acquired by Pet Media Group in August 2019, Pets4Homes prioritises responsible practices and works to ensure trust, safety, and convenience for buyers and sellers. Through its focus on safeguarding animal welfare, Pets4Homes has earned a rating of 4.4 out of 5 stars on Trustpilot (with over 10,000 reviews and counting).