A recent survey reveals that more people are becoming pet parents and spending more on their dogs and cats than ever before.
Animal guardianship and spending have been trending steadily upward for years, but they have taken a particularly big jump since the spring of 2020, thanks mostly to the COVID-19 pandemic. The American Pet Products Association’s biennial National Pet Owners Survey for 2021-2022 reveals some fascinating highlights indicating that dogs and cats (and other critters) are more popular among Americans than they’ve ever been and the trend is showing no signs of slowing! Here are some key points from the survey:
The number of households with companion animals has increased by a whopping 67% in the US. An estimated 70% of households now have a dog, cat, or other companion animal.
Millennials make up the largest cohort of animal parents at 32%, followed closely by Boomers at 27% and Gen Xers at 24%. 14% of all total respondents obtained a new animal during the pandemic with an estimated 47% of these animals being dogs, and 40% cats.
Companion animal spending also increased over the past year, with 35% of animal parents stating they spent more on their animals — including food, wellnessrelated products, and other pet care items in the last 12 months than in the preceding year.
The percentage of animal parents shopping online increased by almost 20%, from 72% in the prior year to 86% in this year’s study. Before the pandemic, 60% of animal parents usually purchased pet products in person at brick-and-mortar stores. During the pandemic, in-person shopping dropped to 41%, while 46% preferred to buy online with purchases shipped to their home.
51% of animal parents said they are willing to pay more for ethically sourced and eco-friendly pet products.
Pet insurance purchases among both dog and cat parents have also increased, nearly doubling among cat guardians in particular.