Pet owners in the United States have changed along with the rest of the population during the past decade. Packaged Facts analysts divided those demographic changes into four categories in the report, “Pet Population and Ownership Trends in the U.S: Dogs, Cats, and Other Pets, 3rd Edition

1. Aging Baby Boomer generation

Pet owners in the 55-and-over age range increased from 27% to 32% of the total U.S. pet owner population between 2008 and 2018. The aging of the Baby Boomer generation accounted for this.

2. Wealth gap among economic classes

Pet owners with household incomes of US$100,000 or more increased from 31% to 40% in the past decade. Packaged Facts analysts traced this to the growing division between wealthy Americans and other economic classes.

3. Latino population increasingly important

During the past 10 years, the number of Latino pet owners grew 44% in the U.S., meanwhile the non-Latino white pet owner population increased only 2%. nearly half of dog owners in the Latino and baby boomer groups own dogs that weigh less than 25 pounds. The importance of these two groups likely will generate demand for foods and treats especially for small dogs.

4. More childless households

Pet owners without children in the household increased from 58% to 62% during the past decade. These childless pet parents may be more likely than other dog owners to buy luxurious pet foods and treats that pamper their dogs.

Packaged Facts’ sources of pet food market data

Packaged Facts creates their reports using consumer data from two primary sources.

The first source consists of Packaged Facts National Pet Owner Surveys conducted in December 2018 and February/March 2019, April 2019, and July/August 2019. These surveys reflect a panel of 2,000 U.S. adults (age 18+) that is balanced to the national population on the primary demographic measures of gender, age bracket, race/ethnicity, geographic region, marital status, presence or absence of children in the household and household income.

Another source of Packaged Facts’ consumer data is the Simmons National Consumer Study (NCS) for Winter 2019, which was fielded between January 2018 and March 2019. On an ongoing basis, Simmons conducts booklet-based surveys of a large and random sample of consumers (approximately 25,000 for each 12-month survey compilation) who in aggregate represent a statistically accurate cross-section of the U.S. population.