Pet industry spending more than US$58 billion in 2014

Overall spending in the pet industry for 2014 exceeded US$58 billion, according to APPA.

Overall spending in the pet industry for 2014 exceeded US$58 billion, according to the annual comprehensive report from the American Pet Products Association (APPA).

“The pet industry continues to outpace most other retail segments and for 2015 we are projecting to surpass the $60 billion mark which demonstrates the strength and vitality of this industry,” said Bob Vetere, APPA president and CEO.

Pet services, which includes grooming, boarding, walking, training, daycare and spa services for pets, saw the largest growth again this year and exceeded expectations at close to 10%. It is expected to grow another 8% this year. Second only to pet services growth is veterinary care spending, at just under 5% growth from 2013. Even though visits to the vet have been flat to down recently, expenditures per visit continue to go up as more expensive procedures grow in popularity. As in years past, veterinary care spending is the second highest spending segment in the pet industry, and is expected to grow another 4.6% to over $15.7 billion in 2015.

The food category is by far the leading source of dollars spent within the industry. As the pet industry continues to mirror human food and diet trends, pet owners are becoming more aware of the quality and source of food given to their animal companions. Petfood manufacturers are offering new varieties of food for dietary preferences, medical issues, overall health, and other partialities, and pet owners are paying for these options.

Supplies and OTC medications comes in third both for amount spent on this segment and percentage growth in 2013 from 2014.The supplies categories can include anything from dog and cat beds, bowls, and collars to fish tanks, terrariums, and bird toys.

“Increases in spending are being led by both ends of the pet owning spectrum -- aging baby boomers paying more to provide care for their pets and younger Gen Y owners who prefer the conveniences of high-tech and pampering products and services,” said Vetere.

As for the decline seen in live animal purchases, Vetere says that although they anticipated this, there are only theories explaining why, ranging from a decline in pet types available from shelters or breeders, a growing number of pet sale bans, and longer pet lifespans due to improved health care.

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