Pet Owners are Estimated to Spend More Than $55 Billion on Their Pets in 2013

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The American Pet Products Association (APPA) announces a 4.7 percent growth over last year and forecasts higher-than-ever spending in 2013.

As the pet industry proves to be ‘recession resistant’, we’re confident that this upward trend in spending will endure

Bob Vetere, president and CEO of the American Pet Products Association (APPA), is pleased to announce that overall spending in the pet industry was at an all-time high in 2012, surpassing $53 billion. The annual comprehensive spending and data report for the pet industry shows spending grew 4.7 percent from $50.96 billion in 2011 to $53.33 billion in 2012. APPA also projects a steady 4.1 percent growth rate through 2013, with over $55 and a half billion in overall pet spending. Helping fuel the growth, the pet marketplace continues to attract a stream of entrepreneurs and investors introducing new, innovative products. Reported categories include; food, supplies/over-the-counter (OTC) medications, veterinary care, live animal purchases and other services such as grooming, boarding, and pet sitting.

In 2012, pet services experienced the largest percentage growth as it did in 2011, rising 9.7 percent over 2011. As pet owners continue to pamper pets their spending in services alone was $4.16 billion. This includes grooming, boarding, pet hotels, pet sitting, day care and other services. Of all categories it’s anticipated that pet services will see the largest solid growth once again in 2013 at 9.1 percent, an estimated $4.54 billion in spending.

“Increased high-end grooming services are fueling new growth in the high income end of the category along with increased use of all services,” said Vetere.

Supplies and OTC medications also demonstrated significant growth in 2012 with an impressive $12.65 billion spent in this category. Up 7.4 percent from 2011, the increased use of OTC medications as an alternative to veterinary care has driven the supply segment higher. Continued use of OTC medications and supplies is expected to rise throughout 2013 to $13.21 billion.

Demonstrating a slower but steady increase in 2012 was the food category. While forecasted to rise by 3.1 percent, the food category surpassed previously estimated figures, exhibiting a 3.9 percent growth. Food is estimated to rise by 2.9 percent in 2013, continuing the trend of growth but at a slower rate.

Vetere notes the food segment mirrors the overall pet ownership trend wherein the pet population continues to grow. The pet food category has in the past and currently remains the highest spending segment of the pet industry. But as other segments such as pet services and healthcare continue to rise at remarkable rates, industry spending among other categories levels out a bit. As long as the industry as a whole continues to show growth, so too are the expectations for pet food, regardless of the rate.    

Live animal purchases showed 3.3 percent growth from 2011 and are expected to grow at an even higher rate over 2012 by 4.5 percent.

“Sales of smaller pets such as birds, fish and small animals showed signs of growth over 2012, which we expect to contribute to the category growth over the next year,” said Vetere.

Pet insurance is also expected to increase in 2013. Included in veterinary care figures, pet insurance is estimated at $510 million and projected to grow to over $750 million by 2015. Veterinary visits stayed flat but the use of pet meds and supplements to endure longer, healthier lives for pets is increasing.

Pampering and gift giving also showed a stronger performance in 2012, and current trends indicate solid growth will remain in 2013. Research also shows that more than half of pet products purchased are bought by consumers without kids. and that trend of fewer kids contributing to more pets will be key to growth and is a long term trend unlikely to reverse any time soon.

“We are noticing several trends contributing to the growth of the industry,” said Vetere. “These trends include the positive impact of pet ownership on human health, which we expect to continue to fuel pet industry sales for years to come. And, as the pet industry proves to be ‘recession resistant’, we’re confident that this upward trend in spending will endure.”

For more information or interview opportunities, contact Jamie Baxter at 775-322-4022 or Jamie(at)theimpetusagency(dot)com.


The American Pet Products Association (APPA) is the leading not-for-profit trade association serving the interests of the pet products industry since 1958. APPA membership includes more than 1,000 pet product manufacturers, their representatives, importers and livestock suppliers representing both large corporations and growing business enterprises. APPA's mission is to promote, develop and advance pet ownership and the pet product industry and to provide the services necessary to help its members prosper. Visit for more information.

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Jamie Baxter
American Pet Products Association
(775) 322-4022
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