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APPA Report Details a Shift in Pet Ownership from Baby Boomers to Millennials


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In the past few years, pet ownership in the U.S. has undergone a generational shift. No longer do baby boomers represent the largest portion of pet owners; now millennials are the largest segment. With more millennial pet owners than ever before, it is critical for the pet industry to understand how millennials differ from the other generations when it comes to pet ownership.

With that one mind, the American Pet Products Association (APPA) has released Volume Two of its Generational Report that delves deeper into data trends and buying behaviors of pet owners by generation.  

“It’s critical that the pet industry pay close attention to trends in pet ownership by generation as the Millennial generation continues to grow as does their buying power,” said Bob Vetere, president and CEO of APPA. “We recognize, as do many industries, that millennials continue to surpass baby boomers in numbers and isn’t a generation we should ignore. The goal of this report is to help the pet industry understand where the buying power is, and how to best capitalize.”

Based on the 2017-2018 National Pet Owners Survey, the Generational Report analyzes all aspects of pet ownership by generation [millennials, gen X, baby boomers and builders].

Topics reported include: media usage, online purchasing, types of pets owned, health benefits of pet ownership and reasons for not currently owning a pet.

Reporting data by generation has become more common across many industries in an attempt to learn how consumers behave differently according to their age, and Volume Two of the Generational Report specifically explores dog and cat ownership by generation, including: 

  • Where the pet was obtained and the average amount spent
  • Veterinarian visits
  • Flea and tick product usage 
  • Calming products
  • Types of food
  • Treats and chews
  • Specific expenses for dog and cat ownership
  • Toy and gift purchases
  • Car travel and visiting pet-friendly places
  • Benefits and drawbacks of ownership
  • What a pet owner would do if their pet died

The report includes everything from how each generation becomes aware of pet products; types of products purchased; toy and gift purchases; top expenses; brand name importance; where their pets are obtained and more. The full report of more than 65 pages of information is available for purchase for $400 for APPA members and $600 for non-members. 

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