Pets are like family and Americans are spending money on them that way. According to the American Pet Products Association, based in Greenwich, Connecticut, Americans spent an all-time high of $55.7 billion on their furry friends last year.
The largest sector of spending on pets went toward food at $21.6 billion, partially because many manufacturers are upping the price and offering healthier foods for pets. Sales show that pet owners are purchasing more products that are age-specific, breed-specific, vitamin-infused or additive-enhanced. Other spending went toward veterinary care at $14.4 billion, supplies and over-the-counter medications at $13.1 billion and other services, including boarding, training and grooming, made up $4.4 billion. Actual purchases of furry friends cost American pet owners $2.2 billion.
“What is feeding a large part of the growth now are the baby boomers who have become empty-nesters and are looking for some other ways to find the love and affection they used to get from their kids,” association President and CEO Bob Vetere, said.
Research that shows how having pets is good for humans is another motivating factor for more Americans to add a furry, winged or finned member to their family. Americans are estimated to have 83.3 million dogs and 95.6 million cats. The association predicts that spending will inch toward $60 billion in 2014.
As more people are recognizing the importance of taking care of their pets, services like grooming, boarding and training grew 6.1 percent, which was the largest sector growth. Health and wellness products grew 3.9 percent in 2013 after a huge uptick in 2012 of 7.4 percent.
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