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Tierra Bonaldi / Julie Rowe
The Impetus Agency
(775) 322-4022 /

American Pets Making Dollars and Sense

-The American Pet Products Association Releases All Time High Pet Industry Spending Figures –

GREENWICH, CT., March 14, 2005 – American pets are sitting in the lap of luxury as U.S. pet owners spend more on their pets than they spend on candy or even toys.

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 leading the pack. Pet spending has more than doubled from $17 billion in 1994 to a projected $35.9 billion for 2005. And, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, the pet industry is now the seventh largest retail segment in the country*.

In 2005, Americans’ spending on pets is projected to be higher than ever:

·        $14.5 billion for food

·        $8.8 billion for supplies and O-T-C medications

·        $8.6 billion for veterinarian care

·        $1.6 billion for live animal purchases

·        $2.4 billion for other services

Pet spending in 2004 was even more successful than projected, with total sales coming in at $34.4 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).

According to the APPA National Pet Owners Survey, basic annual expenses for dog and cat owners in dollars include:

                                                                        Dogs    Cats    

·        Surgical Vet Visits              574      337     

·        Food                                              241      185     

·        Kennel Boarding                             202      119     

·        Routine Vet                                    211      179     

·        Groomer/Grooming Aids                107      24

·        Vitamins                                         123      32

·        Treats                                             68        43

·        Toys                                               45        29       


“The strong growth in the industry demonstrates what an important role pets are playing in the lives of Americans,” said Bob Vetere, APPA COO and managing director. “They have become a part of the family.  Spending across all sectors from pet food and veterinarian care to toys and treats reflects what lengths we are willing to go to for our pets.”

Vetere said several factors are likely driving the increase in spending. For one, an increase in pet ownership across the country. He also points to numerous studies confirming what many people have long suspected – pets are good for our health.  An increasing amount of new research has helped make considering pets a part of the family more widely socially acceptable. The media has also assisted in this arena with daily entertainment reports depicting stars and role models interacting with their pets and taking them wherever they go.     

“Marketers have also picked up on the fact that pets help drive product sales, so we are seeing an increase in the number of advertisements for even non-pet products that include pets,” Vetere said.

Vetere added that baby boomers filling empty nests with pets is contributing to the growth within the industry. Young couples postponing starting families and spoiling the family pet is another factor. Technology in the form of timed feeders and high-tech restraint systems also enable a larger cross-section of individuals to have pets.

“The innovative thinking of entrepreneurs has made owning and spending time with pets more enjoyable and easier than ever before,” said Vetere.

Pet spending does not appear to be slowing.  Most industry estimates indicate at least five to six percent growth in the foreseeable future. 

“We are at the beginning of this trend,” said Vetere. “At this point there are still plenty of untapped areas for growth in the pet industry.”

(*APPA’s national pet industry sales figure does not include equine or pet prescription medications)

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Founded in 1958, the American Pet Products Association is the nation's 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.  APPA's membership consists of nearly 850 companies, which include both small businesses, as well as the nation's leading pet product companies. Every year APPA does extensive research utilizing a number of industry and affiliated sources to track the overall size of the pet industry and also conducts a comprehensive survey of pet owners every two years.  Visit APPA online at