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55 Pet Industry Statistics: 2020/2021 Industry Growth, Market Data & Forecasts

by Arthur Zuckerman

Humans were not always friendly with any kind of mammal, reptile, avian, or aquatic animal. But with long-term coexistence, humans and animals have learned to depend on each other. Indeed, it has come to the point that humans consider animals not just as helpers but as companions or friends.

The pet industry could have had its beginnings in the filling of the need of humans to ensure the safety of their pets. It was not always a grand sector—it was not until the 1960s that the United States saw its first pet store franchise. Thereon, many stores catering to pets and their owners popped up.

And from simple pet foods, business owners developed new products and services to include grooming services, grief counseling to owners, and even pet insurance. The pet industry is also poised to transform further as it overcomes issues and challenges. Below, we will learn what these are through some pet industry statistics that show its current state.

pet industry statistics

Pet Industry Growth

In the 1840s, the only kind of animal that pet stores carried were birds. And it was not until two decades later that an enterprising individual came up with the first commercially prepared dog food. Since then, the pet industry has grown into a robust sector. Indeed, its earnings rise continuously year on year, and employment in the field has risen too.

  • In 2018, the pet industry earned $90.5 billion.
  • The following year, its revenue hit $95.7 billion.
  • For 2020, it is expected to reach $99 billion.
  • The revenue of the pet industry increased by over 4% between 2015 and 2016.
  • It has a sustained average annual growth of 5.4% since 2002.
  • In May 2019, there were 16, 530 animal trainers employed with a mean annual wage of $36,240.
  • Animal breeders numbered 2,160 in May 2018, and they had an annual wage of $43,080.
  • Veterinary assistants and laboratory animal caretakers’ numbered 97,030. They earned around $29,690 annually.
  • Veterinary technologists, on the other hand, numbered 106,680 in May 2018. They took home $35,560 per year.
  • There were 212,450 animal caretakers employed as of the last count. They had a mean annual wage of $27,060.
  • The US had around 74,450 veterinarians employed in May 2019, who earned $104,820 per year.

Source: American Pet Products Association

Types of Businesses in the Pet Industry

The pet industry encompasses a wide range of services, including food, grooming, and veterinary care. Nowadays, there are even product lines dedicated to the health and wellness of pets, such as shampoo, grooming tools, and vitamins.

  • Globally, the pet care market had a revenue of $125 billion in 2018.
  • Of that amount, 73% or $91 billion belonged to pet foods and treats sales.
  • Dry dog food had the highest take home with $35 billion.
  • In the US, pet food and treats had the highest sales in 2018 as well, with $34.5 billion.
  • The US pet industry, as a whole, is worth $75 billion.
  • By 2019, the pet food market was worth $36.9 billion, and the projection for 2020 will reach $38.4 billion.
  • After pet food and treats, veterinary care and product sales had the highest revenue at $27.7 billion, $29.3 billion, and $30.2 billion for 2018, 2019, and 2020, respectively.
  • In 2019, the pet grooming and boarding market reached $8.384 billion. However, it is expected to have an 8.8% decline in 2020.
  • The pet supplement industry is worth $636 million.

Source: American Pet Products Association

How Much Are Pet Owners Willing to Spend?

Judging by the state of the pet industry alone, it can be surmised that pet owners are willing to go the financial length for their pets. But, of course, the amount varies per household.

Before we move on to how much people are spending on their pets, let us get to know pet owners a little bit.

  • 53% are female, and 47% are male.
  • 19% of individuals aged 21 to 29 years have pets. The age group with the least pet ownership is 18 to 19 years, at just 1%.
  • 43% of pet owners are employed full-time, 11% have part-time employment.
  • People from New York and California love their pets because 13% and 12% of respondents, respectively, live in these states.
  • 20% of respondents say their households earn $50,000 to $74,999 a year.

Demographics of Pet Owners in the US

Source: Statista

Created by CompareCamp.com

What kinds of pets do these people keep in their homes?

  • 61% have more than one pet in their households.
  • 74% of those who participated in the survey own dogs, 61% have cats, and 13% take care of fishes.

Source: American Pet Products Association

Now on to spending:

  • Apart from essential supplies like food and water, 62% of pet owners have grooming products, 73% have cages, terrariums, and the like, and 43% have transport baskets.
  • 17% of pet owners use up to $5 a month for toys. Interestingly, some owners go above and beyond by shelling out over $251 per month.
  • When it comes to supplies expenditure, most pet owners (18%) put the ceiling at up to $50. Some people forego supplies, as 23% said they have no expenses in this area.

Sure, pet owners like to lavishly spend on food and supplies for their pets, but how much are they willing to shell out for veterinary visits?

  • In 2019, US veterinary services revenue hit $46 million.
  • The 2020 forecast is $44 million, and that number is expected to rise to $46 million in 2021.
  • The top reason for bringing dogs to the veterinarian is skin allergies. There were 140,000 claims with an average expense of $255.
  • Meanwhile, most cat owners took their feline animals to the vet because of bladder or urinary tract problems. The treatment had an average cost of $495.

Source: Harris Williams

Which Kind of Pet Visits the Vet Often?

Cats and dogs visit the vet often. But apart from them, birds, specialty or exotic pets, and horses received veterinary care, too.

  • Dogs went to the vet 1.5 times per year. For cats, visits were 0.7 times annually.
  • Birds received veterinary attention 0.1 times while the rate for horses is 0.7 times.
  • Exotic pets had the least visits with just 0.02 times.
  • Among the 172.3 million visits to the vet, 123.3 million or 71.6% of those belonged to dogs.

Source: American Veterinary Medical Association

Rising Trend: Pet Insurance

Owners do worry about their pet’s health. Unfortunately, not everyone has the resources to ensure that they can bounce back to 100% whenever they get sick or encounter an accident. That is why another service has been on the rise: pet insurance. Indeed, some employers even include it in their benefits package to attract more talented individuals.

  • There are 12 pet insurance companies operating in North America.
  • In the US and Canada, the pet insurance industry had a combined gross written premium that reached $1.42 billion in 2018. In the previous year, the figure was $1.15 billion.
  • By the end of 2018, 2.43 million pets had insurance. This number went up by 17% from 2017.
  • 88.9% of pets that have insurance are dogs.
  • In 2018, accident and illness insurance premium for dogs cost $566.34, while for cats, it cost $354.48.
  • The boxer has the most expensive insurance premium, with an average of $55 per month.
  • The mixed-breed dog has the most economical insurance premium, which goes for an average of $39 per month.
  • The average monthly insurance premium for all dogs is $43.

Source: NAPHIA

Issues and Challenges in the Pet Industry 

Though the pet industry is robust, like any other sector, it has its own set of problems and challenges. In particular, it is seeing growth because of the help of ecommerce. However, for some businesses, this is a bane rather than a boon. What’s more, pet owners have become more cautious when it comes to their pets’ food. This is brought about by the presumed relationship of grain-free diets and canine dilated cardiomyopathy. It has to be noted, though, that the US Food and Drug Administration has not yet established a positive correlation.

  • Ecommerce is expected to have 26% of pet product sales by 2023. In 2019, it took 20% of the total sales.
  • Brick-and-mortal pet specialty businesses lost some revenue, slipping from 29% in 2019 to 25% by the time 2023 closes.
  • Annual sales growth of pet food and treats increased by 5% in 2017, but 2018 sales slowed down. The 2.6% growth rate is expected to continue until 2023.
  • Pet supplies like apparel, anti-tick, and anti-flea products, crates, supplements, and others grew by 3.2%. Revenue from these products reached $17.5 billion in 2018.
  • Ecommerce accounted for 21% of non-food pet supplies in 2018.
  • In contrast, ecommerce only accounted for 17% of pet food in the same period.

Aside from ecommerce being a force to contend with, concerned connected consumers are also making their voices heard in the pet industry. And social media is their favorite platform. As a result, consumers believe social media posts more than product advertisements.

  • 62% of connected consumers would believe what they see in social media more than a brand’s advertisements.
  •  57% of super leaders, who are the most involved among connected consumers, write reviews every week.
  • Among them, 65% would share a positive experience with a brand, and 78% expect a reply from companies.

These numbers bring to light the need for pet food brands to become more transparent when it comes to ingredients and sourcing, as well as in food processing and labeling.

What’s in Store for the Pet Industry?

Despite the pandemic, forecasts for the pet industry as a whole remain positive. Sure, there will be declines in certain areas, or some categories may plateau. Nevertheless, pet owners continue to spend more on their furry, feathery, or scaly companions. It is not just the food they are willing to spend more on–supplies and comforts like toys, beds, cages/aquariums, and grooming products, the sales of which have also increased.

Moreover, pet owners are more concerned about their pets’ health. This can be seen in the positive forecasts for veterinary services revenue. On top of that, pet insurance is a rising trend, with dog owners willing to spend nearly $570 in premiums. Meanwhile, cat owners’ expense for premiums has only breached the $350 mark.

Though consumers are spending more, they are also becoming more demanding. This is particularly apparent when it comes to pet food. Pet owners can air their opinions online, and since they do so mostly on social media, they can reach a broad audience. What’s more, consumers are more likely to believe their fellow purchasers rather than the ads that brands put out.

In that case, pet businesses have to step up. They have to meet the demands of pet owners or at least meet them halfway to earn their full trust. Only then can they be assured of continued patronage.


References:

  1. A Short History of the Pet Industry
  2. U.S. Pet Industry Spending Figures & Future Outlook
  3. Pet Care Industry Analysis 2020 – Cost & Trends
  4. 39-2011 Animal Trainers
  5. 45-2021 Animal Breeders
  6. 31-9096 Veterinary Assistants and Laboratory Animal Caretakers
  7. 29-2056 Veterinary Technologists and Technicians
  8. 29-1131 Veterinarians
  9. Global pet food sales hit $91 billion in 2018
  10. Pet market sales in the United States from 2011 to 2020, by category
  11. Pet Grooming & Boarding in the US Market Size 2005–2026 – chart https://www.statista.com/statistics/1021083/pet-grooming-market-size-united-states/
  12. Wellness has come for your pets
  13. Pets in the U.S. 2017
  14. VETERINARY SERVICES MARKET OVERVIEW
  15. Top 10 Medical Conditions for Veterinary Visits in 2017
  16. Pet Insurance Is the Latest Work Perk
  17. Facts + Statistics: Pet statistics
  18. NAPHIA Announces Pet Insurance Market Reaches $1.42B in North America
  19. 5 Factors Impacting the Pet Industry Today and What’s to Come
  20. Petfood Forum Reveals Industry’s Leading Challenges
  21. The Biggest Trends In The Pet Industry

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