Updated May 16, 2013World pet markets are now growing dramatically, with a number of countries witnessing higher than ever pet ownership and spending. While the U.S. (where pet spending totaled $53.33 billion for 2012) and U.K. have long been the leaders of the world pet market, a number of other countries are emerging as global pet forces with which to be reckoned. In fact, worldwide sales of pet related products and services reached $81 billion in 2010, despite the global recession. Worldwide London-based market research firm Euromonitor International has been monitoring world pet markets with growing interest, and reports that the trend has increased exponentially within the last five years. Industry insiders attribute the growing world pet market to the global humanization of pets, whereby more and more cultures now regard companion animals as beloved family members. Here are some of the hot, up-and-coming world pet markets. China. According to news and pet industry reports, China’s pet industry began to really take off within the last five years. Not only is the trend attributable to the country’s ongoing economic development, affording the average citizen greater disposable income, the Chinese have joined the pet lovers of the world in regarding their critters as beloved family members. (As you may remember, China made international headlines in March 2011 thanks to Big Splash, the red Tibetan Mastiff whose unnamed coal baron owner paid a record-breaking $1.5 million for him.) According to a report on PRNewsWire, this market has grown a whopping 28 percent in the last five years. This is at least somewhat attributable to China’s new pet legislation, whereby dog licensing fees were lowered from $285 (USD) per year to $42 (USD). China is also becoming a pet trade show force. Pet Fair Asia, a pet trade show held each year in Shanghai, has grown steadily since its 1997 debut, with approximately 500 vendors from 20 different countries now selling and promoting their pet wares. India. This is another booming world pet market, where mom and pop pet retail operations rule. Research reports indicate that Indian consumers have been slow to embrace commercial pet foods, opting to feed their pets homemade fare. But the commercial pet food market is growing, slowly but surely, due to increasingly hectic lifestyles and two-income families. Thus, this is a wide open industry on the world pet stage that is just waiting to be tapped. Meanwhile, Euromonitor reports that this relative newcomer to the world pet market arena is expected to grow at a 10 to 15 percent annual rate in the coming years, and will eventually become a leading supplier of pet products around the world. Among the growing pet-related products and services in India are: pet food factory in the town of Vorsino with the goal of doubling production of the company’s wet pet food within the next three years. Mars, meanwhile, reported that net profits for its Royal Canin Russian subsidiary JSC Roskan increased by a mind-boggling 33 percent in 2010. As of this writing, Russia also was set to join the world pet trade show industry with the inaugural ParkZoo show, the first of which was set to take place in Moscow in November 2011. So this should be a very interesting world pet market to watch in the future. Other Up-and-Coming World Pet Markets Among the countries exhibiting increased exponential pet industry growth is Japan. Other up-and-comers on the world pet scene are Brazil, which is growing at a rate of 17 percent per year; Mexico (which scheduled its first Pet Expo for June 2012) and Latin America in general, which has witnessed a 44 percent increase in pet spending between 2006 and 2011 to $11 billion USD, according to an article in the Economist. Vietnam is yet another international pet market of note, thanks to its friendly business climate, abundance of natural resources and economy, which you can read about by clicking here. Meanwhile, herptiles are hotter than ever across the globe, which you can read about in my article Reptiles Around the Word. This is just the tip of the iceberg for world pet markets, which are expected to continue to evolve and increase dramatically in the coming years.