You Won’t Believe How Much the Pet Industry Rakes In, According to First Ever Study


It has been proven time and time again having an animal (or twelve) has an enormous impact on an owner’s mental health and overall happiness. All of these amazing effects ripple outwards like a drip in a pond, improving the lives of those who interact with them – from those stopping to pet the animal on the street, to organized programs in medical centers that link animal interaction with improved health.

But further than emotional well-being, the pet industry also has significant economic impact. A new study conducted by George Mason University has finally pinned down a number on the full impact of the pet industry. According to this study, which was lead by Dr. Clower and the Center for Regional Analysis, “the pet industry generated more than $221 billion in direct, indirect and induced economic impact. The analysis also showed the pet industry supported over 1.3 million U.S. jobs in 2015 that paid more than $60 billion in salaries, wages and benefits.”



To determine the industry’s total economic impact, Clower and his team analyzed data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the U.S. Census Bureau, the National Pet Owners Survey (conducted biannually by APPA), and other resources using the IMPLAN economic model. All this to say that this study dug deep and looked at the overarching trends as well as the cause-and-effect implications of spending in this industry.

This type of concrete number is vital to the success of the industry moving forward.

The revenue generated by the pet industry has always been reported and tracked, but seeing the secondary effects of the industry like the total revenue and job market potential allows those in the industry to lobby for more widespread support.

The pet market is fairly predictable (it’s even been cited as ‘recession-proof’ by industry experts), and has emotionally-invested customers – an equation that leads to more liberal spending. With current up-trends in consumer’s spending on their animals, and huge jumps in areas like specialized grooming, natural pet foods and accessories, the money is flowing in like clockwork. This means everyone involved and affected by the industry are experiencing a golden age that doesn’t show any signs of stopping. By the looks of the numbers, the only real threat would be a plateau as opposed to a large scale drop off.

To illustrate the astounding consistency in this market, consider this: According to the APPA, the industry as a whole has steadily grown year over year since 1994 with $17 billion in revenue, to today bringing in an estimated $62.75 billion at last year’s end. “Consumers spend over $77 billion on their pets annually. Pet food and veterinary services are the two leading sources of spending within the industry” says Pet Product News.

We all know how important animals are to our families, but never before have we been able to quantify all the positive effects the pet industry offers to our communities. I think it’s fair to say we can all expect to see an influx of pet products continue to swell the market.

To learn more about how to keep your small pet business’ loyal customers in an increasingly crowded market, head this way.