The pet industry is experiencing exponential growth. Here’s why

UAnimals volunteers rescue and treat the abandoned dog, Alex in Krasnodar city of Ukraine
UAnimals volunteers rescue and treat the abandoned dog, Alex in Krasnodar city of Ukraine / Anadolu/GettyImages

The internet has endless cute videos where people film their pets doing laughable or adorable things. The millions of views indicate more than a desire to watch quick clips of dogs and cats. They also point toward a rising interest in all things provided by the pet industry.

A recent Bloomberg Intelligence report found that the pet industry should reach a value of over $500 billion by 2030, so what’s fueling that level of consumer spending? Learn more about the pet industry to find out why it’s growing and how pet owners stand to benefit.

What Is the Pet Industry?

The pet industry includes any business catering to a domesticated animal’s needs. It consists of the shops or brands that sell your pet’s favorite foods, treats, toys, clothes and more. Essential services like health care also belong to this industry.

Reasons Why the Pet Industry Is Growing Exponentially

Anyone watching the pet industry knows it’s growing for numerous reasons. Check out a few of the leading ways pet owners are fueling the growth and what that means for your furry best friend’s future.

People Are Spending More on Pet Health Care

Pet ownership looks a bit different in every household. Some people might prefer more traditional ways to care for their pets. They might take them for an annual checkup with a vet and only go back for appointments if it’s an emergency. Others view pet health care as more essential, so they’re willing to pay for dental cleanings and appointments whenever their pet exhibits minor illness symptoms.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor of Labor Statistics (BLS) found that pet expenditures grew 77.9% between 2013 and 2021, with veterinary service spending increasing the most from nearly $300 million annually to almost $500 million. The increased demand created a steady 4.7% annual increase in available veterinary services during the last five years, boosting the industry’s overall growth.

Pet Food Options Are Diversifying

Selecting kibble or wet food from three or four options at a pet store no longer pleases consumers. People want pet food catering to their furry best friend’s food allergies or flavor preferences. Having options for various nutritional needs can reduce an animal’s food allergies and increase their quality of life.

The expanded pet food diversity increased global sales from $59.3 billion annually in 2010 to $133.9 billion in 2023. As more pet owners see their animals’ quality of life improve with more dietary options, the demand will continue to boost the industry.

More People Want Pet Insurance

People get health insurance to make standard and emergency services more affordable. Although previous generations might not have had pet insurance to do the same for their animals, current pet owners are driving the availability of health insurance for their animals.

Pet insurance plans sometimes cover things like elder care services, prescription drugs, diagnostic procedures and recovery treatments like physical therapy. The result of pet families benefiting from these options has been nearly 30% growth in the animal insurance industry each year since 2018 because pet owners saw how their animals benefited.

Younger Generations Want Pets Instead of Kids

Deciding to bring a pet home is a significant long-term investment. It’s one of the major life decisions people evaluate alongside other potential milestones like having kids. Research shows that 67% of young people are choosing to have pets over children, either temporarily or permanently, due to animals being more affordable than kids.

The latest data reveals the $21,681 average annual cost of having a child, which can be more costly depending on your state, the current inflation rate and each child’s unique needs. Comparatively, pet parents only pay $2,500 yearly for a single dog and around $1,000 annually for a cat.

If someone can afford $2,500 each year for their dog and still have money left over, they’ll feel more comfortable spending more on non-essential items. They could buy pet clothing or music streaming services that reduce their pet’s anxiety with specific genre stations. The overall industry grows when pet parents spend more money on things besides essential health services and products.

Technology Makes Raising Pets Easier

New technologies make life easier, even for animals. Pet owners are boosting industry growth by trying tech products for their furry best friends. Smart toys that intellectually challenge animals, Wi-Fi-enabled feeders and AI-supported pet care apps are just a few advancements animals and their humans benefit from using. It’s another source of long-term revenue supporting the entire pet care industry.

Look Forward to Years of Fun With Your Pets

The pet industry is growing without any sign of slowing down. As consumer demand increases, you’ll likely continue to see more pet services and products become available. Enjoy treating your furry best friend to fun experiences as different industry sectors cater to their every need.

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