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Packaged Facts Reveals Four Trends Driving Pet Population and Pet Ownership Growth


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Between 2006 and 2016 the number of households with pets grew at a significantly greater rate than the total number of households in the United States, according to Pet Population and Ownership Trends in the U.S., a brand new report by market research firm Packaged Facts. The research found an even greater disparity between growth in the number of households with and without pets. 

By the end of last year, pet owning American households had increased by almost 9 million over the past decade. In total, Packaged Facts estimates there are around 67 million households with pets, which is 55 percent of all U.S. households. Dogs are the most commonly owned pet, followed by cats, and at much lower rates other types of pets such a fish and birds.

Throughout the report, Packaged Facts analyzes, evaluates and forecasts trends related to the pet population and the people who own them. Here are four of the key growth trends featured in Pet Population and Ownership Trends in the U.S.:

 

Multi-Pet Households Key Growth Factor

An increase in the number of households with more than one pet has played a key role in maintaining the size of the pet population over the past decade. For example, the number of households with more than one dog grew by five million during this period, compared to an increase of 4.8 million in the number of one-dog households, according to Packaged Facts. And beyond merely growing the pet population, owners of multiple dogs, in particular, are more likely to shop online and splurge on their canines and thus are aiding growth in the retail pet product industry as a whole.

 

Aging Baby Boomers More Likely Than Previous Generation to Own Pets

Aging Boomers appear to be re-writing the book on pet ownership among older Americans in a way that likely will hearten marketers and retailers in the pet industry, said Packaged Facts officials. A decade ago, just 34 percent of adults in the 70-plus age group owned pets. In 2015 and 2016, when the oldest cohort of Boomers began to turn 70, this percentage jumped to around 40 percent. If this incipient trend continues, the overall rate of pet ownership likely will increase in coming years. According to Packaged Facts, one reason for this trend is the developing appreciation of the health benefits of pet ownership for an aging population. 

 

Hispanics, Multicultural Consumers Boost Ownership of Canines, Felines and Birds

Roughly 61 percent of the growth in the population of dog owners in the past decade came from multicultural population segments. Likewise, the number of Hispanic cat owners increased 71 percent while the number of non-Hispanic white cat owners was essentially flat. Packaged Facts data also reveals that Hispanics have a substantially above-average likelihood of owning pet birds. Pet ownership has become a marker of increasing acculturation within the Latino population. The vast majority of Latino pet owners in the United States are either U.S.-born or are bilingual or English-dominant foreign-born Latinos. As acculturated Hispanics continue to make up a larger and larger share of the rapidly expanding Hispanic population in the U.S., the number of Hispanic pet owners likely will continue to grow exponentially. 

 

Millennials View Pets as Good Practice For Having a Family

Along with 35- to 49-year-olds, Millennials (those in the 18- to 34-year-old age group) have the highest likelihood of owning a pet. Moreover, Packaged Facts' data reveals that 43 percent of 18- to 34-year-olds who do not have a pet now say they want one in the future. One reason why Millennials have a strong attachment to the idea of pet ownership is that 69 percent agree that "having a pet is a good way to get ready to have a family."

The second edition of Packaged Facts’ Pet Population and Ownership Trends in the U.S. analyzes trends in the size and characteristics of the pet population and estimates the size of the population of dogs and cats. It includes an analysis of trends in pet ownership and a demographic profile of the population of pet owners as well as highlights of the consumer behavior and attitudes of pet owners.

Additional information about Pet Population and Ownership Trends in the U.S.: Dogs, Cats, and Other Pets, 2nd Edition, including purchase options, the abstract, table of contents, and related reports can be found on Packaged Facts' website.

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