Overall spending in the pet industry for 2013 came in at an all-time high of more than US$55.7 billion, a 4.5% growth over spending in 2012. In addition, the pet industry is positioned positively once again as the American Pet Products Association (APPA)'s annual comprehensive spending and data report estimates overall spending for 2014 at US$58.51 billion, a 4.9% growth over 2013.
Pet services showed the largest percentage of growth in 2013, rising 6.1% from 2012, putting spending in that category at US$4.41 billion. With grooming, training, boarding and other services on the rise, it's estimated for highest category growth again over the next year at $4.73 billion in spending, according to the report.
Veterinary care demonstrated significant growth in 2013, with US$14.37 billion in spending, second only to food category spending. While the number of veterinary visits is down, spending on care is rising. Pet insurance is also expected to increase in 2014. Included in the veterinary care figures, pet insurance is estimated at US$650 million and projected to grow to over US$870 million by 2015.
The food category is expected to reach an all-time high in 2014 with US$22.62 million in estimated spending, according to the APPA. Surpassing previous estimated growth in 2013, food sales proves yet again to be consistently increasing with a growth of 4.5%. This category remains the highest spending segment of the pet industry as petfood trends continue to follow human food and diet trends.
Further demonstrating a demand for health and wellness products, supplies and over-the-counter medications experienced a significant leap in 2012, with a 7.4% growth over 2011. Expectations fell slightly short in 2013 with growth of 3.9%. Category spending, however, is still on the rise and expected to be once again the third-highest segment in the industry behind food and veterinary care.
The only area expected to see a decline in sales is that of live animal purchases which is forecast to be down just under 2% in 2014.
"We have seen a slight slow-down in growth rates over the past few years of all pet types except dog and cat," said Bob Vetere, president and CEO of the APPA. "That is contributing to the overall decline in live animal purchases as well as the threat of pet sales bans in some communities. That said there are enough other positive influences to keep industry sales strong."
In addition to pet owners' increased emphasis on pet health, Vetere points to a recovering economy and the continuation of the humanization of pets as two leading forces behind increased growth in overall spending. "People are pampering their pets more than ever and manufacturers and businesses are offering new products, services and opportunities to meet their needs and wants from interactive and innovative toys to dog walking, doggy day-care and pet-friendly hotels, restaurants and airlines," said Vetere.
Vetere said the positive impact of pet ownership on human health will also help grow pet ownership in years to come.