Pet Owners Ready to Spend More in 2016

U.S. veterinary care revenue of $15.92 billion is projected this year.

More than 77 million dogs are found in U.S. households.

Isabelle Francais/Lumina Media

Americans are expected to spend nearly $16 billion on veterinary care in 2016, according to a report issued today at Global Pet Expo in Orlando, Fla.

The $15.92 billion total would be a record, the American Pet Products Association stated, and would represent 25 percent of all pet-related spending in the United States.

Veterinary revenue stands to grow even more when ancillary sales of pet food and other products are taken into account. Food makes up the largest piece of pet owner spending—about 38 percent overall—while supplies and over-the-counter medications combine for just under a quarter slice.

Altogether, spending on veterinary care, food, supplies, live animal purchases and other pet services is expected to hit $62.75 billion in 2016, a 4.1 percent increase over the $60.28 billion total last year.

“The pet humanization trend is alive and well and continues to drive growth at the premium end of the market,” said Bob Vetere, president and CEO of the American Pet Products Association. “As millennials prepare to take the reins from the baby boomer generation as the primary demographic of pet owners, they stand to further develop this trend.”

Certain segments of the pet market do better than others. While the increase in veterinary care spending is estimated at 3.2 percent in 2016, food sales are expected to rise by 4.2 percent and supplies and over-the-counter medications by 4.9 percent. Revenue from the sale of live animals is projected to drop by 0.6 percent in a social climate where pet adoptions are emphasized over the breeder business.

“The 2016 industry spending forecast is very promising, and although spending trends in various market segments ebb and flow, the industry as a whole is continuing to prosper, which is always great news,” Vetere said.

“And, with increased research on the health benefits of pet ownership, we anticipate even higher industry sales in the years to come,” he added.

The segment with the rosiest future is pet services such as grooming, boarding, walking and training, AAPA stated. Growth of 5.9 percent is predicted in 2016, with total spending pegged at $5.73 billion.

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