It’s no secret that pets play an important role in the lives of most Americans and have done so for many years. Most if not all US-based pet owners will readily say that they think of their beloved dogs, cats, fish, birds, and other animal companions as part of the family.
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For these people, pets are sources of endless joy, unconditional love, and constant companionship. And because pets are so integral to the lives of their owners, pet owners are more likely to treat pet care as a major financial investment.
People’s increasing willingness to spend on their pets is naturally good news for anyone with interest in starting a pet-related business. Whether you’d like to sell pet accessories like wholesale dog collars and personalized harnesses, provide grooming or daycare services, or enter some other sector, your odds of succeeding in the industry are currently quite favorable. Here’s why:
General Increase in Pet Ownership
Current research suggests more Americans are getting pets than ever, in large part due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The overall number of US-based families keeping at least one dog rose from 50 percent in 2018 to 54 percent in 2020, totaling around 69 million households. Furthermore, a recent study by AlphaWise reported that about two-thirds of 18-to-34-year-olds surveyed had plans of getting a pet in the next five years, boosting pet ownership by another 14 percent.
When asked, almost half of new dog owners said that pandemic-related factors significantly influenced their decision to get a pet, including having more time at home due to remote work. Many also cited social isolation, loneliness, and the desire to relieve stress as important drivers behind their choice.
Greater Willingness to Spend on Pet Care
Since pet ownership is booming across the country, it only stands to reason that pet-related spending is likewise reaching unprecedented heights. Amidst the lockdowns in 2020 in response to the global spread of the COVID-19 virus, for instance, the pet industry reported sales figures of up to 103.6 billion dollars. Morgan Stanley has subsequently predicted that the industry may see as much as 275 billion dollars in sales by 2030 as rates of pet ownership continue to rise nationwide.
It’s especially interesting to observe that these significant upticks in spending are occurring across nearly every sector within the pet industry. Pet owners all over the country are demonstrating their willingness to spend on more than just basic needs like food and veterinary care. Demand is high even for products and services like pet toys, treats, grooming services, pet-sitting or walking services, and many more.
Furthermore, data shows that pet owners are also becoming more particular about the quality of the pet products and services they invest in. Up to 61 percent of American pet owners have asserted, for instance, that they’re willing to buy more expensive food if it’s better able to fulfill their pet’s specific dietary needs. The number of American dog owners electing to feed their pets premium food also increased significantly in 2020, rising from 37 to 41 percent.
Emerging Products and Services
Traditional pet products like food, grooming items, beds, and accessories like collars and leashes have dominated pet industry sales for quite some time. In recent years, however, entirely new pet products and services have begun to enter the industry. These up-and-coming offerings include specialized pet toothpaste, sanitary wipes, and pet photography services.
Even the newest products have already begun to generate good sales, especially in internet marketplaces. Pet owners looking to buy pet wipes, for instance, will find hundreds of brands for sale online. This high rate of success, even for supposedly niche products, suggests there’s more than enough room in the pet industry for intrepid entrepreneurs to innovate and experiment.
Growing Online Pet Market
Prior to the pandemic, around 60 percent of pet owners tended to do their pet-related shopping at physical stores. The percentage of pet owners who chose to shop for pet products in person would subsequently drop to only 41 percent during the pandemic years. Meanwhile, the percentage of those who preferred online shopping rose as high as 86 percent. In particular, around 80 percent of dog owners reported that they had begun regularly buying their dog food online.
There’s also abundant data to suggest that this preference for online shopping among pet owners is no short-lived trend and will persist past the pandemic years. Pet food and pet supplies are the second and third most purchased types of consumer packaged goods (CPG) in the e-commerce industry today. Going forward, customer preference for shopping for pet products at e-commerce sites and other online stores is estimated to grow another 9.4 percent in the next few years.
On the whole, the above trends suggest that more and more people are willing to go to great lengths to pamper their pets. Experts also generally agree that these high rates of pet-related spending are expected to continue and even grow further over the next few years. Hence, if you love animals and the idea of supporting fellow animal lovers, there’s no better time than the present to consider opening a pet business.