How America’s Love Of Cats And Dogs Became A $72 Billion Business

Cute puppies, kittens,
Instagram dogs. Americans are spending more
and more on their pets. And at Morris Animal
Inn, cats are also vacationing in style. The inn offers
luxury accommodations, including condos and kitty suites with
plush beds and TVs. Meals for pets just like
this one made with human grade ingredients. That’s become
the standard for the emerging trend of
fresh dog food. U.S. pet spending hit
$72 billion in 2018. About $3 billion more
than the year before. And if you look at the
data since 1994, you can see how rapidly the
industry is growing. The pet industry’s growth
isn’t showing any signs of slowing down. In the
United States, the number of dogs and cats could
increase faster than the human population, according
to one forecast. People are even taking out
pet insurance plans to help pay for medical
procedures and help their pets live longer. Here’s
how Americans’ love for pets turned into
big business. Americans love pets. In 2018, about two out
of every three U.S. households owned a pet. Dogs and cats remain
the two most popular companion animals in U.S. homes. Birds and horses come
in at a distant third and fourth
on that list. The number of cats and
dogs in the United States is predicted to increase at
a faster rate in the U.S. population in the five
years from 2019 to 2024. Humans and their pets
are attached at the hip. Once a clear
delineation between master and servant, the human pet
relationship has changed significantly over the last
30 years and brought humans and animals
far closer together. Years ago, we didn’t
fully understand animal welfare as well as
we do now. So what people did
with their animals before, which was commonly accepted,
might, for instance, include things like tying your
dog outside to a dog house. We now see
that that’s not really appropriate to just tie a
dog out there for a number of reasons, not least
of which is that there are weather issues and
the dog is not getting enough
social interaction. I think through our
advanced understanding of animal welfare, we’re starting
to realize that these are social creatures
that want to spend time with us. That
was Nancy Gee. In 2017, she and Rebecca
Fox published a paper in which they concluded that
since the late 20th century in Great
Britain, the relationship between humans and animals
had become more intense and responsible. People are seeing maybe their
pets more as not necessarily humans, but maybe
as part of the family. Sort of recognizing
that they’re not just an animal, but that
they’re an important individual who is important
within the family, that kind of thing. And I’m not saying
nobody did that before. But I think it’s a lot
more common and a lot more accepted now. Historically,
people only spent money on their pets when
the economy was booming. But with pets moving closer
to family status, pet owners are more likely to
pay for their pet’s needs during tough times. Industry experts call
this phenomenon pet humanization. And here’s
who’s driving. The pet industry’s growth of
late is in part coming from demographics. You have the aging
demographic, the empty nesters, and they’re having
more and more pets because they don’t
have children anymore. But also, you have the
millennials who are coming in and delaying the
raising of children and they’re having more pets. And you put
those two together. And in the U.S. today,
seven out of ten households have pets, and
that’s twice the number that have children. Humans
are going beyond basic food and vet services. We’ve begun to treat our
pets the same way we treat ourselves. To that
end, pet owners are purchasing indulgent items like
premium pet food, daily supplements, tech
gadgets, clothing and even matching streetwear. We conducted a completely
unscientific poll at CNBC to see how much
people spend on their pets. This is Bubba. He’s
an eight-year-old pit bull and he loves sleeping and
our family loves him so much. We spend about $1700
on him a year. The most expensive thing we
get for him is his monthly allergy medicine. That’s about $100
a month. He has to have a
special food for his allergies, which is about $60. We spend about $45 on her
litter and hay and just food in general
every two months. Our other pets are
a little more expensive. My two shepherds, it costs
about $110 a month to feed them. $60 every two
months to get them groomed. They’re both on
pills from the vet. So $45 each a month. I’d say for the year
in general it’s about $800 just for their
vet costs combined. This is Chewy. He’s
14-years-old and he’s the fourth dog I’ve owned. We
spend about $150 a month on him just between
treats and dog food. But we don’t
do pet insurance. We’ve never really seen
a need for it. This is Oliver. He’s
11-years-old and we have spent a good amount of
money on him buying him ridiculous things like
Halloween costumes. We did not get him
health insurance and we should have done that because
he’s had Lyme disease three or four times. But he’s our family member
and we, we love him. The average U.S. household
spent $662 on their pets in 2018. That’s a slight decrease from
2017, but it still represents massive growth
from 2013. Investors are itching for a
way to make money off of the booming trend. One
way to get a heartbeat of the industry has
been through exchange-traded funds, a collection of stocks
tied to one index or in this
case, one industry. ProShares has an ETF
called PAWZ that tracks public companies in
the pet industry. Our ETF follows the
FactSet Pet Care Index. And in Q2, as an
example, those companies grew their earnings
12 percent. And this is an environment
where we all know that earnings growth is very
hard to come by. So it’s translating into
the bottom lines of these companies. Just a little
bit less than two thirds of the ETF are
pet health care focused with the rest being pet
supplies and retail and, of course, pet food. And it’s not surprising that
a good chunk of this is in the pet health
care business because that’s where much of the growth
is in the opportunity in pet care. You know, pets
are getting older and they’re needing more and
more health care and people are treating their
pets like they’re members of the family. So there’s tremendous
investment there, tremendous opportunity. And the way I like to
think about it, there is no Medicaid for dogs. There’s a real opportunity
to make money there that isn’t as influenced
and impacted by public policy and
government decisions. Meet Dave Westenberg. He’s an analyst at Guggenheim
and he wrote a 138 page report for investors
on the pet industry. It looks at where the
future of pet care is headed by 2024. He writes that the
industry became attractive to investors after the recession
of 2009 when everyone was struggling
to find growth. He also writes that: “A
six percent growth rate with resistance to recession
is a good profile for companies, particularly in
the post great recessionary economy.” Stocks in the animal health
group have gone up 208 percent since 2014. The S&P 500 in comparison
gave investors a return of 48 percent during
the same time period. Veterinary services make up a
big chunk of pet spending. In 2018, U.S. households spent an average
of $662 on their pets. Just more than a
third of that came from vet bills. There’s three
major drivers of veterinary spending. One is price in which
is correlated with GDP, rise in pet growth overall, which
is a one to two percent as well. And
then there’s service intensity and service intensity
is essentially on the veterinary business
becoming better businesses and that has
equaled roughly the six percent growth
phenomenon. Medical care for pets is
getting more and more advanced. Pets now
get C.T. scans, transplants, dentistry
and chemotherapy. Owners want them to
live longer and healthier lives. And as the vet
bills pile up, more consumers are turning toward
pet insurance plans rather than paying for
procedures out of pocket. Right now, fewer than one
percent of pets in the U.S. are insured. However,
that number is expected to rise. In Sweden, for example, 30
percent of pets have insurance policies. In the
United Kingdom, about 23 percent do. The pet insurance industry
alone could be worth two billion dollars
by 2024. Employers are now starting
to offer pet insurance plans as a work perk. The biggest markets for
insurance you actually also find this
urban environment. Correlated with this urban
environment is the access to these things,
such as veterinary, acupuncture, oncology,
dermatology. They’re all really
expensive services. And so this
is all intertwined. The kind of customers that
want to go to these kind of places are also going
to be the ones that buy insurance. And more
visits to the veterinarian, coupled with
the growing pet insurance industry, also means
that there could be a surge
in veterinarian jobs. The Bureau of Labor
Statistics predicts that by 2026, more than 57,000
veterinarian jobs will be added to the economy. That’s an increase of
19 percent since 2016. As investors pile into pet
stocks, it’s easy to overlook what the underlying
forces behind the industry’s growth means for
our dogs and cats themselves. It’s part of
a decades-long trend of animal rights
and protection. It means that their lives
are getting better and longer. If you look back
at the history of animal welfare agreements, I guess it
was sort of in the 19th century that they
started making laws to protect animals. So things like the RSPCA
go back to that period and there was kind
of movements to protect animals, obviously in the
late 20th, early 21st century they’ve increased
a lot. And I think that’s for
two things, partly because maybe animals are given
a higher status. But I think it’s also
because of the society we live in now, it has to
be more regulated as well. So a lot of those
laws that discussed in that paper, not necessarily just
for the animals’ benefits, kind of regulating
them to make them fit in with human
society as well. Fewer pets are being put
down at animal shelters now. In the 1960s, one out
of every four dogs in the United States used to
live on the street. To address the national
issue, advocacy campaigns pushed dog owners to
become more responsible by sterilizing, microchipping and
licensing their pets with their
local municipalities. On the legislative stage,
Congress introduced a bill called the ‘Welfare of
Our Friends’ or the Wolf Act in
February twenty nineteen. It would revoke licenses
of dog breeders who violate standards
of care. In January, twenty
nineteen lawmakers introduced a bill which would make
animal cruelty a crime on the federal level. The’
Preventing Animal Cruelty and Torture Act’, otherwise
known as PACT, goes beyond an Obama-era animal
cruelty law by making purposeful, crushing,
burning, drowning, suffocation and impaling of
an animal a direct offense. The bipartisan
bill was unanimously passed by Congress and was
signed into law by President Trump in
late November 2019. While increased ownership
and government regulation have led to
a better standard of living for pets, it may
be counter to what evolution had in
mind for them. Experts who study companion
animals point out that pet ownership standards
might be for human benefit, not the animals. Fortunately, this concept
of responsible pet ownership is, first of
all, poorly defined. If we talk about what what
does that mean to be a responsible pet owner, people will
say we need to provide good food. We
need to provide housing. We need to make sure
our animals are free from pain. I think most people
will agree on those three things. But then when
you start to get into the nuances of what
constitutes being a responsible pet owner, do you
need to take your dog or cat to
the vet every year? Is that enough? Some people
don’t think they need to do that. You give
them their shots and that’s it. You just let
them live their life. I think that what we’re
seeing is a wide variety of different attitudes
towards what constitutes responsible pet
ownership. Regardless of pet parenting
styles, the pet industry is getting
bigger and bigger. Just look at all the dogs
and cats with their own Instagram accounts. Wall Street
wants to go along for the ride to.

100 thoughts on “How America’s Love Of Cats And Dogs Became A $72 Billion Business

  1. My cat has a proactive plan for his regular vet visits/care and has a major medical plan. On top of that I pay for his yearly microchip service and $80 a month for his prescription food. Do I pay a lot?


    Is he family— absofreakinglutely.

  2. that would be 2.18 million HUMAN lives that could be saved per year… but we chose dogs and cats over humans. We don't deserve to be on Mars… not even on Earth.

  3. Americans love pets, but they don’t love animals. It’s called “Cognitive Dissonance”. You can’t eat animals when you love animals.

  4. I’m a dog walker in NYC. I call myself Hot Paws Pet Care. I’ve seen the boom on pets these past few years on pets and seeing my clients, the reason their getting pets is cause of loneliness and love.

  5. So wait. Let me get this straight. Millennials move out and feel lonely, so they get pets. Old people no longer have their millennial progeny live with them, and they get lonely, so they get pets.

    I cannot relate. I’m Indian. We grow up in a house and raise progeny in the same house.

  6. too many ducking dogs and cats, and I just don't understand the need. And the vast majority don't spayed or neuter.

  7. From getting openly laughed at by global leaders in a open mic, emails, and talk too like a child by someone you are claiming you are negotiating with, America looks crazier everyday.

    Yeah, right, China trade deal. Then why are they talking down to you?

    The super-coward military force, look to the African ambush for reference, US terrorist soldiers getting fired on every day. Somewhere in the world.

    Domestic and globally, simultaneously damn near

    Rocket attack targets Iraqi base housing US troops

    For the second time in two days, a deadly shooting has occurred at a US Navy base leaving at least three people dead and several others injured.

  8. Black Friday sales for their pagan Christmas holiday went extremely well…

    IF YOU WERE SELLING BULLETS AND GUNS. Getting ready for a Bloomberg or Sanders presidency. Or if all roads lead to 2% of the population openly controlling everything, finance, tech, media, entertainment and politics. Odds of that happening anywhere without manipulation, scamming, cheating, lying and stealing, next to none. Mathematical odds don't even favor that happening, based on percentages

    All other retail stores, EMPTY.

    White nationalists are gearing up for what looks like something pretty heinous. Somebody is now shooting at own soldiers on socalled military bases.

    The demise is real and accelerated. That 400 year prophecy was spot on. A laughingstock everywhere, nobody is afraid of or even pretends to like the empire of death. And every day brought down lower with the murderous apartheid state of Israeli with no government or leaders.

    I will bless those who bless you and curse those who curse you. Who is getting those curses now?

  9. Honestly, it's a sad symptom of our continued departure from sanity. At a primal level, people want children. Procreation is a defining characteristic of all life, so it's unsurprising that it's hard wired into us. However, raising children requires sacrifice. You have to give up time, money, and put in effort to do it right. Sadly, our narcissistic culture results in millions of people that have the instinct to have children, but are too selfish to be bothered with kids. So instead they get pets and just treat them like children. This is why the pet industry is booming. Owning a pet is far easier and simpler than raising children. They are cheaper, they don't talk back, you can lock them in a cage, and you can ignore them for hours on end; perfect for young narcissists trying to appease their instinct to have kids, but without all the effort, sacrifice, and responsibility.

  10. Women are the biggest spenders due to their larger population, so they are more than likely to own a pet, notice the lack of men in the video.

  11. After living in US from 2011, I can honestly say that Americans love and take more care of their pets than own kids and elders. I get it that pets need to be treated with kindness but this American obsession is getting ridiculous. Please love your kids first and then pets. People taking their pets to outlet malls and even restaurants is taking it to a new level. I have also observed this is more prevalent among caucasians and to some extent Asians. I do like to note that American dogs are the best disciplined and are darlings when they fly in airplanes and in malls. Amazing manners compared to my home country where even humans lack this behavior. Yup, I m from India, need I say more?

  12. Worth Every Penny Invested In A Pet…. Humans are Overrated.. Still relevant but overrated & ungrateful. Pets are Not. ?????????

  13. Health insurance for my dog has been the best decision i have made for our family. That piece of mind that we get knowing that if anything happens, we can take care of him.

  14. Me: Gets Sick Doesn’t go to the doctor because I’m stubborn.
    Also Me: My Pet gets sick….. ? GET ME THE VET ON THE PHONE

  15. The maths doesn't add up in Ashley's pet expenditures:
    $45 every two moths for litters/hangers/food 4:20
    $110 per months feeding + $60 every months for grooming 4:28 – 4:33
    $45 (x2) per month for vets 4:36

    Total pet expenditure: $282.5 a month which gives us a fixed yearly expenditure of $3,390 ($282.5*12)
    How did she get "$800 a year just for the vet cost combined"?

  16. American loves dogs and cats but hates Native Americans take their lands make them homeless and alcoholics. God loves you….

  17. I would never buy pet insurance because they can use every trick in the book to avoid paying for claims. I would rather just save money to have a fund for medical expenses.

  18. Jesus christ, there saying its cruel to leave animals outside in dog houses for example…last time I checked they weren't designed to live in homes ???I'm sorry but pet insurance hell noo. My bird stayed outside 24/7 and had NO vet checkups or insurance

  19. it's weird seeing all the non-american and non-English commentors throw shade on western animal rights and enrichment trends.

  20. And this video doesn’t even talk about pet care like dog walking, boarding, etc. some people spend more than what all the pet parents they showed on just this on a monthly basis. Most dogs need to go potty every 6ish hours and most people spend at work for longer than 6 hours

  21. It's a bad thing it's coming more popular. The leeches will see the industry rise in profitability and raise the prices to earn more from our love for pets

  22. I had a dog,but he had gone last year,he was 15 years old,the last weeks of his life he didn’t eat too much,the last night he gone,he just barked constantly and I still had no idea ,and the next day before I went to work,he just watched me calmly and I still had no idea that he’s dying,when I got back home,he just laid down in his house and passed away

  23. Here’s why American’s love of X has become big business “

    If that ain’t the most American thing I’ve heard all day

  24. Not delay having children, people recognize children are far more than a hassle and cost more than pets assides being annoying so they get them instead to still have companionship without the drag.

  25. It is sad to me how I have witnessed people treat animals better then human beings. I am saying this as an animal lover who has had pets before. I think the industry is just capitalizing on it as said in the video. Making money…sigh…It is also a shame how I see people treat animals! If one does not wish to be totally responsible please do not get an animal. They do not deserve such anguish.

  26. Pets are just like babies you gotta take care of them I’m sorry I not going to be tied down to no animal and spend my money on a liability American people are going broke and need to waste money on a pet Have fun with that.

  27. Vegans Fred their dogs and cats meat every day but then judge other people for eating meat. Talk about hypocrites.

  28. Notice how half of owners of these dogs said they are on pills from the vets?

    Yeah, soon their will be a pet medical crisis. Good job America.

    These people think they are too smart and are about to alter the very nature of these pets with their fake suedo medicine.

  29. “People are treating their pets like they are a part of the family.” They ARE a part of the family, and a major part at that! My dog is my best friend and I would do anything for her. Its kind of embarrassing/weird but i enjoy spending money on and spoiling my dog more than i do myself. I love you so much Lily!!!

  30. Hell, I have 2 GUINEA PIGS, who you would think would be relatively cheap to care for…nope! They chow down through about $70 a month in veggies/hay/pellets and their vet care can be pricey too..for little fuzz balls!

  31. It's fair if u had a kid u would spoil them within ur means same with pet industry their are family too. Instead of college degree exsp and school there are other things

  32. The money you spend on a pet is better spent on weapons. A dog was a man's best friend but now it's a gat. Ice Cube!

  33. All DOGS and domesticated CATS shall go extinct as you nasty monkeys go extinct, FO, FO, FO.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *