Published: April 2006

A shaggy dog story: Pet spending at all time high

When creating a household budget, don't forget the animal food—and the groomer and the veterinarian and even the massage therapist. The American Pet Products Manufacturers Association (APPMA) pet spending figures prove just how much Americans love their pets. Based on figures so far, Americans' spending on pets in 2006 is estimated at $38.4 billion.

The American Pet Products Manufacturers Association (APPMA), which has tracked pet industry stats for more than a decade, released new figures showing a continued rise in pet expenditures. Pet spending has more than doubled from $17 billion in 1994 to an estimated $38.4 billion in 2006.

Projections for pet spending in 2006:

  • $15.2 billion for food>
  • $9.3 billion for supplies and over-the-counter medications
  • $9.4 billion for veterinarian care
  • $1.8 billion for live animal purchases
  • $2.7 billion for other services

The National Pet Owners Survey shows 27 percent of dog owners and 13 percent of cat owners buy their pets birthday presents, and 55 percent of dog owners and 37 percent of cat owners buy their pet holiday presents.

Total pet spending in 2005 was $36.3 billion. Both veterinary care and other services had stronger than anticipated performances in 2005. New and expanded veterinary services such as joint replacement surgeries, delicate eye procedures, and senior health care helped increase total spending by almost 8 percent over 2004.

Other innovative new services continue to increase market penetration with pet spas and hotels, grooming, pet therapy and related services.

Pets today are definitely well pampered. "Pet ownership continues to increase especially among key demographic sectors including baby boomers and young professional couples," said Bob Vetere, APPMA president. "It is interesting to note that food continues to show growth in the high-end areas with vitamin fortified formulas, gourmet lines and natural/organic food."

Vetere points to a trend in the humanization of pet products. "Both baby boomers whose children have moved on with their lives and young professionals who are delaying having families in favor of careers are turning to pets to fill the void at home," he said. "With these families' higher-than-average disposable incomes, their pets are enjoying elaborate high-end and high-tech products as well as innovative devices designed for convenience for the pet owner."

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The American Pet Products Manufacturers Association (APPMA)

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