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3:34 PM   April 23, 2014
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Crunching the Numbers
Jumping into the dog-only market may pose risks for retailers, depending on the local demographics. If there aren’t enough dog-crazed consumers in your community, you may not be able to turn a significant profit. Buy how does one go about calculating the number of dog-centric consumers in a community?

Estimations based on national trends can be helpful in deciding if you’re ready to specialize. Though several unique local factors may complicate the process for counting dog ownership statistics, a ballpark estimate can tell you if you’re doomed to fail or destined to succeed. Consider the following, when sizing up your local market.

  • There are more than 74,800,000 dogs in the United States.
  • Nearly 40 percent of U.S. households have at least one dog.
  • Of that 40 percent, 25 percent own two dogs and 12 percent own three or more dogs.
  • More households own dogs than any other pet.
  • Over the course of a dog’s lifetime, consumers spend more than $1,900 on their dogs’ supplies, each year.

Formulas for calculating the number of dog consumers in your area can further assist you in deciding whether to specialize in dog-only products. The following techniques are employed by veterinarians to determine the feasibility of animal clinics in various areas throughout the country. Developed by the American Veterinary Medical Association, these formulas are meant to be used for ballpark estimation of local pet ownership, only. Further information may be needed to determine the suitability of a dog-only business in your local area.

You may, for instance, need to obtain figures on the median household income for your immediate area – available from your local economic development authority. The general strength of the local economy can be a significant factor when assessing the feasibility of a non-essential business, like a specialty dog boutique.

By the Numbers

  1. Obtain the population of the community in which you live from the U.S. Census Bureau Current Population Survey.
  2. To find the number of households that own dogs, multiply the number of households by .372.
  3. To find the number of dogs living in your community, multiply the answer from the above step by 1.7 (the average number of dogs found in dog owning households). <HOME>

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