Americans spent $58 billion to pamper and protect pets in 2014. The American Pet Products Association’s annual report on pet industry spending says Americans spent $58 billion in 2014 on their 397 million pets. Americans love their pets! Granted its a large range from freshwater fish and reptiles to cats and dogs. The industry trade group released the survey Thursday at the Global Pet Expo. Its the largest annual trade show in Orlando, Florida. The data came from a variety of groups, market research studies and media reports.
Americans love their pets
The association measures five areas of spending. Last year, people spent $22 billion on food. $15 billion on veterinary care. $14 billion on supplies such as beds, bowls, collars, and medications. $4.8 billion on other services. Lastly $2 billion on animals themselves.
The “other services” category grew the fastest in 2014 and includes payments on grooming, boarding, walking, training, day care and even trips to the spa — where pets can get facials and massages, said Bob Vetere, president and CEO of the pet products association, based in Greenwich, Connecticut. Most of what Happy Hound Dog Resorts offers is in the “other category”. We offer the dog boarding, grooming, training, and daycare. People realize that dogs need more care than just sitting at home as “Dog potatoes”. The canine spent centuries on the earth being bred to herd, run and play, not sit at home all day.
VET VISITS FLAT
The report says trips to the veterinarian were unchanged or slightly down last year. Expenditures per visit have increased as owners green-light more expensive procedures. Those treatments ranged from the lifesaving to the exotic, like plastic surgery. Part of the reason for flat vet visits is the worry about over-vaccination. People are concerned that giving pets “stuff” makes them more likely to become sick. So vets have come up with 3-year vaccinations. But many vaccinations are still either 6 months or 12 months. Much like humans who need to see a doctor, so do dogs.
A robust human-animal bond still exists, especially with dogs and cats, and people are doing more to prolong their pets’ lives, from surgery to food, Vetere said. People are researching food, getting better 4 and 5 star products, like the Victor Dog Food that Happy Hound Dog Resorts offers.
WHAT’S FOR DINNER
If food for pets sometimes sounds good enough to eat, it’s because it is. San Diego-based Honest Kitchen and Vero Beach, Florida-based Caru Natural Dog Stews are two pet food brands considered human-grade by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration because their grub is made with ingredients palatable by people and produced in facilities meeting higher safety requirements.
Americans spent the most on food for their pets last year, and much of it mirrored human trends, such as gluten-free, wheat-free, little sugar or reduced-calorie. The feast might come dry, wet, raw, baked, flaked, shredded, diced, sliced, frozen or freeze-dried.
PET SALES DOWN
Sales of the animals themselves dropped from $2.23 billion in 2013 to $2.15 billion in 2014, which was expected because spending in the category has fallen slightly each of the past several years, Vetere said. There is likely no one reason, he said. But adoptions at shelters and rescues are strong, many cities banned the sale of dogs from puppy mills and the lifespans of dogs and cats have lengthened.
As pets have become more important parts of U.S. families, spending on them has exploded. There has been more than a threefold increase since the group’s first survey was released in 1994, when people paid out $17 billion. Spending grew 4.2 percent, from $55.72 billion in 2013 to $58.04 billion last year, Vetere said. As the economy improves, look for the pet business to grow along with people’s wallets and purchasing power. Americans love their pets and it shows. This is a great business that anyone can enter, start as a dog walker or pet sitter, but then look to hold on because it can be a great ride!