Pet Ownership Statistics Shows U.S. Spends $66.75 Billion

The American Pet Products Association (APPA) announced that the pet industry had another record breaking year in pet spending statistics with over $66.75 billion spent on pets during 2016. Bob Vetere, president, and CEO, of the APPA, announced the findings at the Global Pet Expo in Orlando.

U.S. pet spending is not predicted to stop anytime soon as analysts project the 2017 year will end at $69.36 billion.

In fact, the expenditures have not dipped since the APPA began tracking the numbers in their comprehensive report. Every year has seen growth since 1994 with an accumulated growth rate of over 292%. The number for 2017 climbed six billion from the previous year—four billion more than predicted.

For anyone who owns a dog or has taken a stroll down the pet aisle at the grocery store, it’s clear the reasons why the pet industry keeps swelling. Everyone loves their pets. Pet ownership statistics show that 65% of-of American households own a pet. The elderly population and the cultural shift from dogs being in the backyard to being part of the family are to thank for this.

National pet ownership statistics show that the majority of households consider pets an integral part of the family. Pet parents buy Christmas gifts, accessories, and the healthiest food possible to keep their pets happy.

So, How Much Do Americans Spend on Their Pets?

The majority of spending is on food. The national spending is $28.32 billion for the year. The rest of the spending is on Supplies/OTC Medicine $14.71 billion, veterinarian care $15.95 billion, live animal purchases $2.1 billion, and pet Services $5.76 billion.

The first year of owning a pet is the most expensive. Spaying and neutering, vaccinations, and setting up a household for a pet’s lifestyle costs on average $1,314 in the first year for a small dog. A medium dog will set pet owners back $1,580. The accommodations of owning a large dog are estimated at $1,843. These numbers shrink after all preliminary veterinarian costs are taken care of. (These pet spending statistics are provided by the American Society for the Prevention Cruelty to Animals pet spending statistics charts).

With the wave of premiumization trend influencing pets’ diets the healthier options for pets has widened. Many pet parents are willing, and do, spend more to keep their animals healthy and happy. Holistic and human-grade food is now preferred over cheap food with fillers and unhealthy ingredients.

This influx in dog ownership statistics is part of the growing transition from the dog’s in the backyard to the living room. Now it seems pets live in the center of our hearts even more. The pet industry was one of the only industries to see growth during the recession.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Americans spent more on pets than they did alcohol, clothing, and phone bills. This makes sense. In times of economic crisis, people turn to things that comfort them and pets are the prevailing means of comfort. As spending was curbed on other amenities the national spending on pet food stayed constant.

What Do Pet Ownership Statistics Mean for the Pet Industry?

The feeling at the Global Pet Expo was celebratory as the numbers were announced. Being involved in a successful and growing industry is always a win. Half the reason pet spending is on the rise is because more individuals own pets, but also the marketplace has grown significantly. This means more options for pet owners to choose from to pamper their pets.

2015 was the year of pet-inspired startups like TurboPup and Swifto. Many new health-conscious foods were introduced that year. Food additives like broths and healthy treats are also much more popular. Technology has also swept into the pet industry making pet owner’s lives more convenient adding to the many options in pet spending. Gadgets like PetCube, essentially the FaceTime of video chatting with your pet, are becoming more popular. Owners can even operate automated laser play with their pets with PetCube.

As pets become a more prevalent part of the American lifestyle every market gap is becoming explored. Everything from doggie yoga, dog beers and wine (non-alcoholic), and high-class travel accommodations are now available for pet parents.


One of the biggest areas of growth is the franchising sector of the pet industry. Splash and Dash Groomerie & Boutique was ranked #59 in Entrepreneur’s Fortune 500 2017 Ranking for “their innovative products and services, marketing methods, and technologies,” said Jason Feifer, editor in chief of Entrepreneur.

The ranking is determined by Entrepreneur’s formula 500 key metrics which evaluates 150 data points in the areas of costs and fees, size and growth, franchisee support, brand strength, and financial strength stability. The ranking is available on Entrepreneur’s website and will be in the April publication of the business magazine.

Splash and Dash Groomerie & Boutique, and the pet industry as a whole, have been very fortunate to be able to provide opportunities in pet ownership statistics. Many who have dreamed of owning their own small business now can escape the vice grip of Corporate America. Pet owners have also found an affordable and loving place to take their pets for grooming and spa experiences.

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