Pet ownership is on the rise with two thirds of consumers globally owning a pet in 2016, compared to 60 percent in 2014.

Millennials — those aged 18-34 — are driving the trend, according to GlobalData research, by delaying marriage and children until later in life and instead turning to pets.

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Pet ownership among millennials hit 70 percent in 2016; an increase of eight percentage points over two years.

While dogs and cats continue to be the most popular pets; interestingly bird ownership is also on the rise.

The rising interest in birds is likely to be linked to the suitability of small birds to apartment living; as urbanisation and rising living costs mean people, particularly young millennials, are living in smaller spaces and want pets that will fit this urban lifestyle.

Bird ownership IS highest among millennials – 12 percent of 18-34 year olds claimed to own a bird in 2016.