While the COVID-19 pandemic is still prevalent in the U.S., it should not affect holiday spending on pets, according to a new study by the American Pet Products Association (APPA). The study results are from the third volume of APPA’s “COVID-19 Pulse Study of Pet Ownership During the Pandemic.”

“Even though we may not get back to a pre-COVID ‘normal’ in the foreseeable future, our pets are helping us get through these challenging times,” said Steve King, president and CEO of APPA. “With 74 percent of owners reporting that pets are helping to reduce stress and increase our sense of well-being, it comes as no surprise that study respondents overwhelmingly said they don’t plan on making changes to their approach to routine pet care.”

As the season of giving arrives, the study reveals that pet owners plan to show their companions some extra love this holiday. Forty-six percent of pet owners surveyed plan to purchase a holiday gift for their pet this year, regardless of the pandemic or economic state, compared to 47 percent of pet owners who bought gifts for pets in 2019.

“It is clear that people still plan on including their treasured family pets in this holiday gifting season, but what is unexpected is how much they plan to spend on them,” King said.

Pet owners plan to spend an average of $41 on gifts for their pets this holiday, according to the study. Moreover, demographic groups planning to spend $50 or more include pet owners in gen Z, millennials, those with young children and those who live in urban communities.

Aside from the anticipated spend this holiday season, two-thirds of all pet owners say their pet spending has not changed in the past month, according to the study. Pet owners are able to get the items they want at the outlets where they wish to shop, officials pointed out. Over half of pet owners consider themselves to be very brand loyal when shopping for their food, and 72 percent agree their pet’s diet is very important to them so they do not plan to make any changes regardless of their financial circumstances, officials further noted. More than 60 percent of pet owners are shopping for pet care items in brick-and-mortar stores while the percentage of those shopping at online-only outlets like Amazon and remains consistent at 15 percent, according to the study results.

The third volume of the study includes research conducted in September. The first and second volumes reflect research conducted in May and June of 2020. APPA officials said that they are offering the full results of all three volumes free of charge to anyone interested. The holiday spending data captured in the third volume is also available. For details, visit here.

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