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Tierra Bonaldi / Julie Rowe
The Impetus Agency
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As National Pet Week Approaches, Leading Trade Organization Announces 2004 Industry Study Showing Pet Spending at All Time High

GREENWICH, CT, April 22, 2004 - As Americans prepare to celebrate their passion for pets this May 2-8 for National Pet Week, it appears their affection toward pets is definitely more than puppy love. After tracking pet industry statistics for more than a decade, The American Pet Products Association (APPA) released new figures today proving the pet industry is truly top dog when it comes to spending. While other sectors have suffered during several years of a weak economy, pet spending has doubled from $17 billion in 1994 to a projected $34.3 billion for 2004 - 100 percent growth.

2003 was also even more successful than projected with total sales coming in at $32.4 billion. This positions the pet industry 60 percent larger than the toy industry ($20 billion) and 33 percent larger than the candy industry ($24 billion).

"These spending figures reflect a change that has been occurring over the past decade of pets transitioning into the family," said Bob Vetere, APPA COO and managing director. "As more and more people consider and treat pets like children, they're purchasing products and services that you wouldn't have typically seen our grandparents buying for their pets."

Vetere said several factors are likely driving this shift in views and spending. For one, he points to numerous studies confirming what many people have long suspected – pets are good for our health. Research shows pets reduce stress, lower blood pressure and can even help with marriage by being mediators in the home! Vetere added that baby boomers filling empty nests with pets is another cause for growth within the industry. Innovative new products such as timed feeders and high-tech restraint systems also enable a larger cross-section of individuals to have pets.

"Pets provide us with unconditional love and affection," said Vetere. "It makes people feel good to be able to provide something for them in return."

And provide for them, we do. In 2004, Americans' spending on pets is projected to be higher than ever:

  • $14.3 billion for food
  • $7.9 billion for supplies and O-T-C medications
  • $8.3 billion for veterinarian care
  • $1.6 billion for live animal purchases
  • $2.2 billion for other services
Pet spending does not appear to be slowing. Industry estimates indicate that 2004 will grow by another 5.9 percent to $34.3 billion, double what it was a decade ago.

"I don't foresee people's attitude toward their pets changing anytime soon," said Vetere. "They'll continue to buy pet products and services, which makes for happy manufacturers, retailers and of course, the furry, finned, and four-legged end consumers."

From increased spending on our favorite companions to a week-long, national celebration of the human-pet bond, it is clear that our love for pets is stronger than everó and growing.


Founded in 1958, the American Pet Products Association is the nationís leading not-for-profit trade organization serving the interests of the pet product industry and educating the public on the many joys and health benefits associated with pet ownership. APPAís membership consists of over 750 companies, which include both small businesses, as well as the nationís leading pet product companies.