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Pet Industry Spending Figures Released by the American Pet Products Association

Posted by SusanStokes on April 2, 2019

A recent press release by the American Pet Products Association (AAPA) revealed the 2018 pet industry-wide spending reached a record-breaking high of $72.56 billion compared to $69.51 billion in 2017, an increase of over 4 percent. APPA's annual industry figures cover pet spending in the market categories of food, supplies/over-the-counter (OTC) medications, veterinary care, live animal purchases and other services

Following are excerpts from the press release:

"Millennials continue to be the largest pet-owning demographic and this shows in the data," said Bob Vetere, President and CEO of the American Pet Products Association. "We know this generation is willing to pay more for quality products and services to improve the health and well-being of their pets. Today more than ever, pet owners view their pets as irreplaceable members of their families and lives, and it's thanks to this that we continue to see such incredible growth within the pet care community." 

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Spending on pet food continues to make up the majority of dollars spent in the industry, with premium dog food accounting for the most frequent type of food purchased, followed by generic and natural food. Statistics revealed interest in natural, locally-sourced treats and chews has never been higher across U.S. pet owners.

Veterinary care remains the second highest source of spending in the pet care community, coming in at $18.11 billion and surpassing growth in any other category at a rate of 6.1 percent. The frequency of vet visits has likely increased as well affordability, making care more accessible to a broader audience. The trend of pet insurance is projected to increase with pets living longer and requiring more complex and extended medical care.  

"Scientific research from the Human Animal Bond Research Institute (HABRI) shows that the bond formed between people and their pets yields valid health benefits to both pets and their owners," said Vetere. "It's a partnership; if you take care of your pets' health, they're going to take care of yours." 

Spending on supplies and OTC medications was the third highest source of pet spending. Up 6 percent from 2017, $16.01 billion was spent on items such as beds, collars, leashes, toys, travel items, clothing, food and water bowls, pet tech products, and other accessories. The use of pet medications and supplements to ensure longer, healthier lives for pets continues to increase. In addition, pet owners are more likely to use digital devices and technology compared to non-pet owners, which explains the rise in popularity of pet technology products.     

Pet services outside of healthcare including services such as grooming, boarding, walking, training, pet sitting and yard services saw a slight decrease, dropping 0.8 percent. Increased competition in this category has driven providers to lower prices and offer deals.

The live animal purchases category experienced a 4.3 percent decline compared to the year before. Contributing $2.01 billion in 2018, this category makes up the smallest area of total pet industry spend. Acquisition of dogs varies by generation with more millennials turning to shelters and rescues, while baby boomers and Gen Xers look more to breeders. However, millennials purchase pets at an independent pet store three times more often than Boomers or Gen Xers.      

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Susan, Taurus and Gemini


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