According to the American Pet Products Association, this past year, Americans have spent more money on pet care than ever before -- a whopping $55.72 billion. That is enough to buy lunch for everyone on Earth!
And we are projected to spend even more in 2014. But why the reason for the increase?
4 Reasons We're Spending More
1) There are more pet parents in America than ever before, with 56.7 million dog families reported and 45.3 million cat families.
2) The recent spike in what is being lovingly termed “DINK” households (Dual Income, No Kids). Young couples are now waiting longer to have children, focusing on their careers before starting a family, and choose to have a pet to fill some of that parenting void.
3) Pet parents are growing increasingly informed about how to best care for their pet, and the importance of quality pet care supplies in maintaining a happy, healthy pet.
4) A rise in the availability of organic, high-end, eco-friendly pet products. Whether this rise is due to an increase in demand (reason number 2), or if the greater presence of these types of products is spurning a growth in pet parent awareness, it is impossible to tell; kind of a ‘chicken or the egg’ situation.
Why Our Increase in Spending is a Good Thing
Whatever the reason, pet parents all over America are placing a greater value on their pet’s well being, regardless of the cost, which is a great thing. For the first time in a long time, we are taking our pets’ health seriously.
It seems like old adage “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure,” has finally started to sink in. Pet parents are suddenly starting to realize that the sooner they start their pets on a health-conscious diet, and equip them with all the preventative medications available, the less likely they are to have to make an impromptu trip to the vet.
Also, this boost in pet spending can also be in part attributed to a growth of pet pampering, having spend nearly $4.5 billion last year on pet grooming and boarding alone. More and more people are going the 5-star route in terms of their pets’ care -- such as doggy day spas and resorts.
...But Not Always a Good Thing
However, there may be a correlation between the recent spike in pet obesity and the amount we are spending on our pets. With pet overeating and under exercising at an all time high, it comes as no surprise that our national pet food bill is rapidly closing in on $22 billion a year.
So, while it is a great thing that we are willing to spend a little more on our pets’ health and well being, there could certainly stand to be some reallocation of funds (i.e., stop overfeeding, using more preventative medication).
If you would like to start chipping away at our national pet bill, check back in with us from time to time for some helpful tips and ‘pet-hacks’ that are sure to save you some money.
And if you are concerned with the ever increasing price of your pets’ medication, take a look at how PetPlus can end up saving you big bucks.
View more from Sam Bourne