Despite or perhaps as a result of the stress and unusual health precautions Americans experienced in 2020, people focused more than ever on their pets. For the first time, pet industry sales exceeded $100 billion, according to American Pet Products Association (APPA) 2020 State of the Industry Report.
This tidal wave of spending is expected to continue for the near future. Morgan Stanley forecasts that pet industry spending will nearly triple to $275 billion by 2030. A recent AlphaWise survey reported that almost two-thirds of 18-to-34-year-olds plan to get a pet in the next five years, driving a 14% increase in pet ownership. At the same time pet owners, especially younger ones, will spend more – increasing annual household spending from $980 per pet to $1,909 by 2030.
Pet ownership has become a major financial investment for owners, and the following trends show that the size of the investment will only grow. If you’re planning to get a new dog, this information should help you estimate the costs involved so you can save the money you’ll need to be a responsible dog owner.
Many people decided to add new pets to their household during the pandemic, and almost 50% of new dog owners said their decision was influenced by the pandemic. The number of U.S. households that have at least one dog (69 million homes) increased to 54% in 2020 from 50% in 2018.
Millennials make up the demographic containing the most dog owners, although as Gen Z members come of age more of them are acquiring dogs.
Another change resulting from the pandemic and influencing new dog owners is that more homes now have someone there during the day – up to 39% from 32%.
Pet owners shopping online increased by almost 20%, up to 86%. Before the pandemic, 60% of pet owners usually purchased pet products at brick-and-mortar stores. During the pandemic, in-person shopping dropped to 41%, while 80% of dog owners bought dog food online.
A significant number of pet owners (35%) spent more on their pet – including food, wellness-related products and other pet care items – in the last 12 months.
Veterinarian care also became a larger expense, with some pet owners saying they made three visits during the year. Routine veterinary visits make up the second-largest segment of a dog owner’s expenditures after food.
Doggy daycares experienced a growth in the percentage of owners who used their services – from 22% to 28%.
(APPA Table 94: Share of Dollars)
The percentage of dog owners with purebred pets stayed the same since 2018 at 56%.
Male dog owners are more likely to own a purebred dog, and more female dog owners say they own a mixed-breed dog.
Millennials are more likely to own a purebred dog, while Gen Z and Gen X are more likely to own mixed breeds.
Geographic area also shows a split, with the Northeast and South having a higher percentage of purebred dogs.
In 2020, more dog owners opted to feed premium dog food, with an increase to 41% from 37%. “In the two largest global pet food markets — the U.S. and China — freeze-dried products continue to reach out and gain more and more share, as this interest in raw food and the very premium nature of those products continues to accelerate,” says Jared Koerten, senior head of pet care research at Euromonitor International.
The APPA survey showed that the percentage of overweight dogs and those on a specially prescribed diet also increased slightly.
Treats were another growth segment of the pet food industry, growing in double-digits, according to Koerten.
Another large increase (from 34% to 44%) occurred in the number of dog owners who give their pets vitamins or other supplements, including joint health supplements.
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