40 Million Fish: Why Has Britain Gone Fish Crazy?

According to the Pet Food Manufacturers’ Association, in 2014 it is estimated that 14% of UK households have pet fish, with the total population coming in between 40 – 50 million pet fish (including indoor tank fish and outdoor pond fish) altogether. Dogs and cats, of course, top the leader board with 24% and 17% of households owning these animals respectively.

This rising trend for fish as pets has been put down to the ease and availability of caring for fish, compared with other animals. A convenient option for those in flats or rented accommodation, fishkeeping is on the up.

On the other end of the scale, showpiece fish tanks have become very popular with the rich and famous. Costing around £50,000 and upwards, they have become a fashionable interior design feature. David and Victoria Beckham and Madonna are said to have extravagant aquariums in their homes.

The internet has been a major factor in the popularity of fish as a pet. It makes information about caring about fish much easier to get hold of, as well as products for your fish tank. Global trade has made exotic fish more readily available, too. Rather than sticking to simple goldfish, you can now own tropical fish from all over the world.

Fish as pets are accessible for those on a tight budget, as well as those with lots to spend, which is perhaps one of the reasons why they are so popular as a pet.

These figures, released by the Pet Food Manufacturers’ Association, are estimates made over two years, using a sample of 6,000.

Why Do Fish Make Great Pets?

Straightforward to Keep – The maintenance of your fish is easy when compared to other animals like dogs or cats. They are self contained; they don’t make a mess of your home while you’re out; you don’t have to worry about your pet annoying the neighbours, etc. When you go on holiday, you don’t need to get anyone to look after your fish.

Cheap and Readily Available – Every pet shop has fish for sale, making them readily available, and some types of fish can be very cheap. Aquarium equipment can get pricey, but it’s nothing in comparison to larger pets.

Aquariums Lower Blood Pressure – Studies have shown that watching fish in an aquarium helps lower anxiety and blood pressure levels.

The popularity of fish as pets comes down to the fact that they are easy to look after, beautiful to look at, and are accepted even in rental homes.