Pet dogs and cats outnumber newborns in Taiwan

Pet dogs and cats outnumber newborns in TaiwanPet dogs and cats outnumber newborns in Taiwan
via Anusha Barwa on Unsplash
Pet ownership has surpassed the number of newborns in Taiwan, with nearly 100,000 more pet dogs and cats registered than human infants. 
Key points:
  • According to data from the Ministry of Agriculture’s pet registration information system, there were 232,196 dogs and cats registered, surpassing the count of 135,571 newborns.
  • Demand for veterinary care has increased in Taiwan.
The details:
  • As of 2023, there were 94,544 registered pet dogs and 137,652 pet cats, with felines notably outnumbering infants.
  • Taiwan is on track to transition into a “super-aged society,” with demographic shifts impacting healthcare demands and priorities. 
  • As the demand for veterinary care has surged, there has also been a significant rise in veterinary professionals. There are now 5,773 veterinarians in Taiwan, with 69% specializing in companion animal medicine. 
  • Urban areas like Hsinchu City have a higher concentration of veterinarians, with 89% specializing in companion animals. Major municipalities like New Taipei, Kaohsiung and Taipei also exhibit a significant presence of veterinary professionals catering to pet care needs.
  • The rising demand for pet medical care has led to increased investment in medical facilities. Industry projections suggest an anticipated increase in the number of animal hospitals nationwide, with estimates reaching 2,000 by the end of 2024. 
Pets as family members: 
  • This expansion reflects the evolving role of pets in Taiwanese households. Pets are recognized for their therapeutic effects and companionship.
  • “People now treat dogs and cats as family members, and they could live as long as humans,” said Taipei Veterinary Medical Association Chairman Yang Hsiao-po. “Raising dogs and cats has healing effects.”
  • While not wanting to have children is one of the reasons why many people choose to become pet owners, Yang also notes that “people would choose to have pets to accompany their elderly parents so that their parents can have a normal and more social life.”
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