What is the Most Popular Pet in the Netherlands?


The Netherlands, known for its picturesque landscapes and progressive policies, has a rich history of pet ownership. Pets are cherished companions and play an integral role in the lives of many Dutch households. In this article, we explore the most popular pets in the Netherlands, the costs associated with pet ownership, and the rules regarding pets in apartments.

Pet Ownership in the Netherlands

Pet ownership is widespread in the Netherlands. According to the latest statistics, nearly 51% of Dutch households have one or more pets. This statistic reflects the country’s strong attachment to animals.

The Dutch have a long-standing tradition of keeping pets, dating back centuries. Historical records indicate that dogs and cats were common pets even in the 17th century. This cultural connection to animals continues to influence modern pet ownership in the Netherlands.

Most Popular Pet in the Netherlands

The most popular pet in the Netherlands is undoubtedly the domestic cat. Cats are beloved for their independent nature and the companionship they provide to their owners. The popularity of cats can be attributed to their suitability for both urban and rural environments. They require relatively low maintenance and are known for their affectionate yet self-reliant behavior. Dutch cat owners appreciate a variety of breeds, including domestic shorthairs and specific breeds like the Dutch Royal Lion cat. Each breed offers unique characteristics and charm.

Other Popular Pets

In addition to cats, there is a diverse range of pets that have found their way into the hearts and homes of the Dutch people. The choice of pet often depends on individual lifestyles, living conditions, and personal preferences. Let’s explore some of the other popular pet choices in the Netherlands:

  • Apart from cats, dogs, rabbits, and small rodents like guinea pigs are also popular choices for pet owners in the Netherlands.
  • Birds, reptiles, and fish have their own enthusiastic following.
  • The choice of pet often depends on the owner’s lifestyle, living conditions, and personal preferences.
  • Dogs, for example, are favored by active individuals who appreciate a loyal and energetic companion.

The Role of Pets in Dutch Society

Pets play a significant role in Dutch society by providing companionship and emotional support to their owners. They help reduce stress, loneliness, and anxiety, making them important members of the household. In the Netherlands, working pets, particularly service dogs, play vital roles in assisting people with disabilities. These dogs are highly trained and perform tasks that enhance the quality of life for their owners.

Modern trends in pet ownership include a focus on pet care, training, and accessories. Dutch pet owners invest in high-quality pet food, grooming services, and pet insurance to ensure their pets lead happy and healthy lives.

Pet Welfare and Regulation

The Netherlands has robust laws and regulations to ensure the welfare of pets. These laws cover areas such as animal cruelty, pet breeding, and responsible ownership. Owners are legally required to provide proper care, shelter, and medical attention to their pets. Several Dutch organizations work to promote responsible pet ownership and the welfare of animals. These organizations offer advice, education, and support to pet owners, emphasizing the importance of ethical treatment and care for animals.


The Cost of Having a Pet in the Netherlands

Pet ownership in the Netherlands comes with financial responsibilities. These include the costs of food, grooming, veterinary care, and pet insurance. On average, Dutch pet owners spend between €500 and €1,200 per year on their pets, depending on the type and size of the pet.

Average Cost Breakdown for Pet Care and Maintenance

Owning a pet in the Netherlands comes with various costs associated with their care and well-being. To provide a more detailed understanding of the financial responsibilities, let’s break down the average costs:

  • Food: The cost of pet food varies based on the type and size of the pet. High-quality pet food is encouraged for better health.
  • Veterinary Care: Regular check-ups and vaccinations are essential for a pet’s health.
  • Grooming: This includes grooming services for dogs, such as grooming salons and pet-friendly products.
  • Pet Insurance: Many Dutch pet owners opt for pet insurance to cover unexpected veterinary expenses.

Pets in Apartments in the Netherlands

Dutch apartment complexes often have rules regarding pet ownership. While the Dutch are generally pet-friendly, some apartment buildings may have restrictions or require additional pet deposits. However, these rules can vary by building and are at the discretion of property management.

Apartment dwellers should consider the needs of their pets, such as exercise and access to outdoor spaces. Being mindful of neighbors and common areas is also essential to maintain harmonious living.


In the Netherlands, pet ownership is deeply ingrained in the culture, providing companionship, and emotional support, and contributing to the overall well-being of Dutch households. The country’s laws and regulations reflect a commitment to the welfare of animals, ensuring that pets are well-cared for and protected.

While there are financial costs and apartment rules to consider, the Dutch people’s love for their pets remains steadfast, making the Netherlands a pet-friendly and responsible pet-owning nation. The harmonious relationship between the Dutch and their pets continues to thrive, enriching the lives of both humans and animals alike.


  • Lizette Schuurman

    Hi! I am Lizette (35), a born adventurer and addicted to traveling. I have been traveling around the world since I was 16, the freedom is wonderful. Get up and see what the day brings, enjoy the little things and meet like-minded people.I prefer to sit with my feet in the sand and a coconut in my hand. No luxury, just a simple hut by the sea. I also like to dive into the water, armed with my camera, in search of turtles, colorful fish and corals.I have already crossed quite a few things off my ‘bucket list’, from swimming with whale sharks and climbing a volcano to skydiving above the Great Barrier Reef in Australia. Nothing is too crazy, I love going outside my comfort zone and trying new things.I currently live with my boyfriend in Friesland, where we have our home base. Every year we travel for a few months, usually to Asia. Knowing more? On my own travel blog you will find inspiration & tips about tropical destinations, paradisiacal beaches and hidden places!

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