Will COVID-19 Affect Holiday Spending on Pets?

APPA Home / Events & News / Press Release
November 9, 2020

(Stamford, CT) –Steve King president & CEO of the American Pet Products Association (APPA), announced findings from the third volume of the APPA COVID-19 Pulse Study of Pet Ownership During the Pandemic.  The first and second volumes reflect research conducted in May and June of 2020.  Volume three of The Study reveals research conducted in September and covers many aspects of pet ownership as well as consumer attitudes and trends surrounding holiday spending for 2020.  Eighty-three percent of those surveyed report their pet ownership has not changed due to COVID-19, and it appears spending will hold steady this holiday season.  

While not directly related to pet ownership, a notable shift was respondents’ feeling that the pandemic will continue longer than most anticipated earlier this year. 

“Even though we may not get back to a pre-COVID “normal” in the foreseeable future, our pets are helping us get through these challenging times”, said King.  “With 74% of owners reporting that pets are helping to reduce stress and increase our sense of well-being, it comes as no surprise that Study respondents overwhelming said they don’t plan on making changes to their approach to routine pet care.” 

As the season of giving arrives, The Study reveals that pet owners plan to show their companions some extra love this holiday. Forty-six percent of pet owners surveyed plan to purchase a holiday gift for their pet this year, regardless of the pandemic or economic state, compared to 47% of pet owners who bought gifts for pets in 2019. 

“It is clear that people still plan on including their treasured family pets in this holiday gifting season, but what is unexpected is how much they plan to spend on them,” adds King. 

According to the latest Study, pet owners plan to spend an average of $41 on gifts for their pets this holiday. Moreover, demographic groups planning to spend $50 or more include pet owners in Gen Z, Millennials, those with young children, and those who live in urban communities. 

Aside from the anticipated spend this holiday season, two-thirds of all pet owners say their pet spending has not changed in the past month. Pet owners are able to get the items they want at the outlets where they wish to shop. Over half of pet owners consider themselves to be very brand loyal when shopping for their food, and 72% agree their pet’s diet is very important to them so they do not plan to make any changes regardless of their financial circumstances. More than 60% of pet owners are shopping for pet care items in brick and mortar stores while the percentage of those shopping at online-only outlets like Amazon and Chewy.com remains consistent at 15%. 

Volume three of the APPA COVID-19 Pulse Study of Pet Ownership During the Pandemic reveals additional trended insights into consumer attitudes and behaviors, including:

  • Changes to pet ownership
  • General attitudes toward the pandemic, including personal financial impact
  • Current shopping behaviors
  • Outlets visited
  • Pet products purchased
  • Holiday gifting attitudes

APPA is offering the full results of the Studies- Volumes One, Two, and Three- free of charge to anyone interested.  The holiday spending data captured in the third volume of APPA COVID-19 Pulse Study of Pet Ownership During the Pandemic is also available. For more information, visit the APPA website or contact marketresearchsupport@americanpetproducts.org. 


The American Pet Products Association (APPA) is the leading trade association serving the interests of the pet products industry since 1958.  APPA membership includes more than 1,100 pet product manufacturers, their representatives, importers and livestock suppliers representing both large corporations and growing business enterprises.  APPA's mission is to promote, develop and advance pet ownership and the pet product industry and to provide the services necessary to help its members prosper. APPA is also proud to grow and support the industry through the following initiatives: Pets Add Life (PAL), Tony La Russa’s Animal Rescue Foundation (ARF) Pets and Vets Program, the Human Animal Bond Research Institute (HABRI), the Pet Industry Joint Advisory Council (PIJAC), Bird Enjoyment and Advantage Koalition (BEAK), and the Pet Care Trust.  Visit www.americanpetproducts.org for more information.



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