The bond between consumers and their pets continues to be a key catalyst for growth in the pet food industry, according to market research firm Packaged Facts in the report "Pet Food in the U.S., 12th Edition."
Most pet owners characterize their pets as family members and do not hesitate to spend money on their pets, both to ensure their health and well-being and to pamper them. In Packaged Facts’ National Pet Owner Survey, 79% of dog owners and 77% of cat owners consider their dogs or cats to be part of the family. This is true especially when it comes to older pets.
“Older pets have profound effects on the pet industry,” says David Sprinkle, research director, Packaged Facts, in a release. “As pets age, the human/animal bond only deepens, often creating an increased willingness among pet owners to do whatever it takes to keep their pets healthy and happy for as long as possible.”
Aging pet populations are driving human-style advancements in pet food, veterinary care, medications, and supplements supported by newer payment options such as pet insurance, Sprinkle says. “These trends promise not just longer and healthier lives for pets, but also a rosy outlook for pet health products and services overall,” he adds.
Most pet owners also believe pet ownership to be mutually beneficial for animal and human alike. Packaged Facts found that most pet owners believe that pets help their health. Survey data shows that 85% of dog owners and 82% of cat owners agree that their pets have a positive impact on their mental health. Similarly, 80% of dog owners and 74% of cat owners agree that their pets have a positive impact on their physical health.
With such benefits to owners, it’s not surprising that their furry family members are rewarded. Packaged Facts found that 77% of dog owners and 68% of cat owners enjoy purchasing pet products that pamper their dogs/cats. Some 43% of pet owners would even rather spend money on pet toys and other products for their pets over purchasing things for themselves.