What Every Pet Brand Needs to Know About Pet Parents of Today


Sales and marketing firm Acosta recently conducted a study revealing key information about pet owners and their shopping habits. According to the firm, U.S. consumers spend more than $60 billion per year on their pets, making the pet specialty channel one of the fastest-growing retail segments.

We’ve put together some helpful insights to give pet brands a better understanding of the modern pet owner.

Attitudes towards pets

If you’re wondering how “fur baby” became part of our everyday language, it’s probably because 94 percent of pet owners see their pets as a member of the family, while 80 percent of pet owners say they treat their pets “like their children”. In addition:

  • The 42% of consumers who allow their pets to sleep in their beds
  • The 50% of consumers who say they include pets in family holiday cards
  • The 30% of consumers who say they wish they could spend more time with their pets
  • The 62% of consumers who say companionship was the entire motivation behind pet ownership

Take away: give pet owners the ability to spoil their four-legged friends, like this well known pet company.

Shopping habits

At nearly $30 billion, shoppers reportedly spent more on pet products and food than they did on common household products like cheese, milk, beer, cereal, and even coffee last year. Also:

  • 46% of consumers purchased apparel and accessory items for their pets
  • 46% of consumers purchased health and wellness products for their pets (on a related note: 36% of consumers spend up to $500 per year on pet medical expenses, and $200 per year on grooming services)
  • 47% of consumers purchased their preferred brand, regardless of any sales or discounts

Take away: Pet brands with a focus on apparel or health and wellness products have a strong competitive edge, and with more consumers striving to live a healthier lifestyle – whether that means being mindful of their environmental impact, or taking good care of what goes in to them or their loved ones’ bodies – sustainable, all natural, and otherwise certified products are the way to go. 

Differences in generation

Nearly 80 million households in the U.S. have pets. Millennials and baby boomers have the highest rates of pet ownership. Unsurprisingly, all generations have very different ways of interacting with their pets. Most notably:

  • 94% of baby boomers reported talking to their pets on a daily basis
  • 40% of gen xers reported giving their pets birthday gifts
  • 67% of millennials reported taking (and sharing!) pictures of their pets regularly

Take away: Take a good look at your core demographic and play to their interests. Do you cater to more of a millennial audience? Connect with them (and help them connect with you) on social media!

Dayana Cadet

Dayana Cadet

Dayana’s love affair with writing spans all manner of content. As the Content Specialist at Hubba, connecting people to the things they love is where she thrives.

Follow her at @D_isforDayana
Dayana Cadet