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Packaged Facts: Pets as Family Phenomenon Means Increased Spending on Pets


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The human/animal bond phenomenon continues to be a key catalyst for growth in the pet food industry, according to market research firm Packaged Facts’ Pet Food in the U.S., 12th Edition report.

Not surprisingly, the majority of today’s pet owners characterize their pets as family members, and those who do so tend to be willing to spend more money on their pets, both to ensure their health and well-being and to pamper them, reported Rockville, Md.-based Packaged Facts. In Packaged Facts’ National Pet Owner Survey, 79 percent of dog owners and 77 percent of cat owners report considering their dogs or cats to be part of the family. This is true especially when it comes to older pets.

“Older pets have profound effects on the pet industry,” said David Sprinkle, research director for Packaged Facts. “As pets age, the human/animal bond only deepens, often creating an increased willingness among pet owners to do whatever it takes to keep their pets healthy and happy for as long as possible. Older pet populations drive human-style advancements in pet food, veterinary care, medications and supplements supported by newer payment options such as pet insurance. These trends promise not just longer and healthier lives for pets, but also a rosy outlook for pet health products and services overall.”

Most pet owners also believe pet ownership to be mutually beneficial for animal and human alike, Packaged Facts reported. For instance, Packaged Facts found that most pet owners believe that pets help their health. Survey data shows that 85 percent of dog owners and 82 percent of cat owners agree that their pets have a positive impact on their mental health. Similarly, 80 percent of dog owners and 74 percent of cat owners agree that their pets have a positive impact on their physical health.

With such benefits to owners, it’s not surprising that pets are rewarded. Packaged Facts found that 77 percent of dog owners and 68 percent of cat owners enjoy purchasing pet products that pamper their pets. And 43 percent of pet owners would even rather spend money on pet toys and other products for their pets than on things for themselves.

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