Europe is a dog-friendly place. Countries across the region have more dogs per capita and per square mile than most other parts of the world (although in some European nations, the total pooch population has been shrinking along with the species that owns them).
Not surprisingly, Europeans pay more to feed their dogs: Eight of the top 10 dog-food nations (by spending per dog) are from the continent, according to market research firm Euromonitor International. Norway (pdf) ranks in first place.
Dog ownership can be seen as an economic indicator, and high EU incomes mean that people have long been able to afford pets—and to feed them pricey chow. This post is the second in Quartz’s Dog Week, a five-part series exploring global trends in dog ownership.
Norwegians spent the equivalent of $639 a year on food per pup, according to Euromonitor—almost 50% more than the second-place Swiss—buying costlier organic and “diet” dog chow that can come in meal-sized packs instead of giant sacks, a trend that pet food marketers call “premiumization.” In contrast, Vietnamese spend just $0.75 per dog. In poorer countries, many pets often still live off table scraps, making dog food itself a luxury product (though, in India for example, wealthy pet owners sometimes have human food cooked for their dogs—that degree of pampering is not reflected in the Euromonitor survey, which focused only on pet food).