The Million Dollar Dog: Pet Industry Gold Mines

Money has gone to the dogs – but in a good way. According to the American Pet Products Association (APPA), Americans spent about $62.75 billion on their furry, feathered or finned friends, including dogs.

Dog business

The APPA note that 54.4 million homes have pets. That means that even if home included only one person, over 54.4 million customers are looking to make their pets’ lives fun and healthy.

Why the Increase in Dog Ownership?

The APA do frequent surveys of American households to see what is new in pet trends. In 2013, they noted that dog ownership hit an all-time high of 56.7 million homes. This number dropped slightly in recent years, but still more Americans than ever are not only bringing a dog into their homes, but making sure the dog is a beloved member of the family.

The APA also notes in their 2013 survey that the reasons for the rise in dog ownership include:

  • More American homes owning more than one dog or owning a dog and at least one other pet.
  • The success of animal welfare groups in promoting responsible pet care leading to people willing to take in homeless pets, including dogs.
  • According to a 2007 Gallup poll, pet owners listed quality companionship as a reason for getting and keeping their pets. For dog owners, some also listed getting their dogs as companions for hunting or for home or personal security.

The Yearly Costs of Owning a Dog

Buying or paying an adoption fee for a dog is often the least expensive aspect of owning a dog. Responsible pet ownership means the dogs need yearly licenses, quality food, treats, toys, veterinary care, boarding at kennels or having a pet-sitter when the owners are on vacation. Some breeds need professional grooming every six weeks.

The APA lists these yearly costs for owning one dog as:

  • Food: $269
  • Treats: $61
  • Vitamins: $62
  • Toys: $47
  • License: about $10, depending on what state the dog lives in
  • Basic vet care: $235 which includes a yearly exam and any inoculations needed
  • Minor surgery: $551
  • Grooming supplies or trips to a groomer: $83. Grooming aids includes items like nail clippers, brushes, combs, shampoos and eye wipes for some breeds prone to excessive eye discharge.
  • Boarding or kennel services: $333.

All Dogs Are Special

Dog owners know that their pets are special and treat them to products from specialty pet shops or individuals freelancing dog-centered businesses. These include:

  • Health insurance for dogs, although availability is usually limited to young dogs
  • Getting special photos done by photographers specializing in pets
  • Buying more dog products listed as “natural” due to health concerns or recommendations from vets and groomers
  • Mobile groomers who go to the dogs’ homes instead of the dogs goring to them.
  • More hotels and pet-centered vacation plans include bringing the dog along for the fun.

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