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Report: Pet Ownership Up, Spending Down

Posted: May 14, 2012, 5:35 p.m. EDT

Pet ownership is on the rise, but owners are spending less on account of the struggling economy, according to a trio of studies published by

Pet spending is down, according to report
Three factors are propelling the pet ownership market, according to the report, including “pet parenting,” an increase in pet ownership among minority households and the prevalence of pet ownership among affluent Americans.

Ninety-two percent of dog owners and 90 percent of cat owners consider their pets to be part of their families, according to the survey of 2000 pet owners conducted online in February and March. This “pet parenting” phenomenon can lead to owners having more willingness to spend on their pets, according to However, prevailing economic conditions continue to drive pet spending in the opposite direction.

Thirty-six percent of respondents said they are spending less on pet products because of the economy, according to the March survey. In February 2011, 35 percent were spending less, and in 2010, just 27 percent said they were spending less.

Other results from the survey, which asked owners for their level of agreement with the statement “I am spending less on pet products because of the economy,” include:

Level of Agreement




Strongly agree 6% 13% 11%
Somewhat agree 21% 22% 25%
No opinion/not applicable 18% 22% 25%
Somewhat disagree 36% 25% 26%
Strongly disagree 19% 19% 14%

Meanwhile, the number of minority dog- or cat-owning household rose 28 percent from 2006 to 2011, an addition of about 3 million households, and households earning $70,000 or more annually account for over half of overall pet industry spending.


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