Pet-related businesses, ranging from pet sellers to condominiums that allow tenants to keep animals, are expected to form a market worth 992.9 billion yen this year, up 2.7 percent from fiscal 2002, a market research firm said Wednesday.

The market has been growing since 1991, reflecting Japan’s falling birthrate and aging population as well as the spread of nuclear families and increased leisure time, according to Yano Research Institute Ltd.

The pace of growth has been accelerating in recent years as more people adopt dogs, cats and other animals as pets.

In fiscal 2002, the market was worth 966.4 billion yen, up 3.3 percent from the previous year, Yano said. For example, pet food sales were worth 370.3 billion yen and pet products chalked up sales of 211.1 billion yen.

With some keepers calling pets “companion animals” to describe their closer relations, related products and services “from the cradle to the grave” are now available, including medical services and cemeteries.

The market for pet-related businesses will continue to grow because people will spend more to improve their pets’ living environments, Yano said.

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