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Americans Love their Furry Friends; Pet Spending is Exploding

Americans love their dogs and cats...and rabbits and gerbils. There are now more households with a pet than there are with a child. Almost 70% of all U.S. households own a pet, with dogs being the most popular, and we spent about $72.1 billion on them in 2017. The largest portion of that was spent on food and health care, but a lot was spent on "pet care" services, those extra things we do to make their lives [and ours too] more comfortable.

Norman OK Transcript: "In a report released earlier this month, the Census Bureau reported that spending nationally on pet-care services doubled from 2007-17 to a total of nearly $6 billion dollars, and pet care service businesses increased by more than 60% during that time. The Census Bureau defined the pet care service industry as any business that offers services such as grooming, boarding, training and pet sitting."

Millenials have now surpassed baby boomers in pet ownership and they tend to treat them much more like family members than earlier generations.

Forbes: "Over 80% of millennials say they frequently worry about their pets when they are apart even when running short errands. Some 70% would be willing to take a pay cut if they could bring their pet to work every day. And 65% say being separated from their pet for a week would be worse that doing without their cell phones."

And, more than ever before, pets are joining the family in celebrating our favorite holidays, including Halloween.

Forbes: “One of the biggest trends this year is the growth of spending on pet costumes ,” said Phil Rist with Prosper Insights which conducted the Halloween study for NRF. “Out of the 31.3 million Americans planning to dress their pets in costumes, millennials (25-34) are most likely to dress up their pets, the highest we have seen in the history of our surveys.”

You might think that dressing your dog for Halloween is a bit over the top, but there are advantages for those of us who love our dog; a healthy heart!

NPR: "The studies, published in the journal Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes, suggest that dog ownership is linked to a 21% reduction in the risk of death — over the 12-year period studied — for people with heart disease. Those studies complement a body of literature linking dogs to good health."

So, splurge and take them to that doggy day spa; they deserve it.


By: Don Lam & Curated Content

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