How America’s Love Of Cats And Dogs Became A $72 Billion Business

How America’s Love Of Cats And Dogs Became A $72 Billion Business

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Cute puppies, kittens,
Instagram dogs. Americans are spending more
and more on their pets. And at Morris Animal
Inn, cats are also vacationing in style. The inn offers
luxury accommodations, including condos and kitty suites with
plush beds and TVs. Meals for pets just like
this one made with human grade ingredients. That’s become
the standard for the emerging trend of
fresh dog food. U.S. pet spending hit
$72 billion in 2018. About $3 billion more
than the year before. And if you look at the
data since 1994, you can see how rapidly the
industry is growing. The pet industry’s growth
isn’t showing any signs of slowing down. In the
United States, the number of dogs and cats could
increase faster than the human population, according
to one forecast. People are even taking out
pet insurance plans to help pay for medical
procedures and help their pets live longer. Here’s
how Americans’ love for pets turned into
big business. Americans love pets. In 2018, about two out
of every three U.S. households owned a pet. Dogs and cats remain
the two most popular companion animals in U.S. homes. Birds and horses come
in at a distant third and fourth
on that list. The number of cats and
dogs in the United States is predicted to increase at
a faster rate in the U.S. population in the five
years from 2019 to 2024. Humans and their pets
are attached at the hip. Once a clear
delineation between master and servant, the human pet
relationship has changed significantly over the last
30 years and brought humans and animals
far closer together. Years ago, we didn’t
fully understand animal welfare as well as
we do now. So what people did
with their animals before, which was commonly accepted,
might, for instance, include things like tying your
dog outside to a dog house. We now see
that that’s not really appropriate to just tie a
dog out there for a number of reasons, not least
of which is that there are weather issues and
the dog is not getting enough
social interaction. I think through our
advanced understanding of animal welfare, we’re starting
to realize that these are social creatures
that want to spend time with us. That
was Nancy Gee. In 2017, she and Rebecca
Fox published a paper in which they concluded that
since the late 20th century in Great
Britain, the relationship between humans and animals
had become more intense and responsible. People are seeing maybe their
pets more as not necessarily humans, but maybe
as part of the family. Sort of recognizing
that they’re not just an animal, but that
they’re an important individual who is important
within the family, that kind of thing. And I’m not saying
nobody did that before. But I think it’s a lot
more common and a lot more accepted now. Historically,
people only spent money on their pets when
the economy was booming. But with pets moving closer
to family status, pet owners are more likely to
pay for their pet’s needs during tough times. Industry experts call
this phenomenon pet humanization. And here’s
who’s driving. The pet industry’s growth of
late is in part coming from demographics. You have the aging
demographic, the empty nesters, and they’re having
more and more pets because they don’t
have children anymore. But also, you have the
millennials who are coming in and delaying the
raising of children and they’re having more pets. And you put
those two together. And in the U.S. today,
seven out of ten households have pets, and
that’s twice the number that have children. Humans
are going beyond basic food and vet services. We’ve begun to treat our
pets the same way we treat ourselves. To that
end, pet owners are purchasing indulgent items like
premium pet food, daily supplements, tech
gadgets, clothing and even matching streetwear. We conducted a completely
unscientific poll at CNBC to see how much
people spend on their pets. This is Bubba. He’s
an eight-year-old pit bull and he loves sleeping and
our family loves him so much. We spend about $1700
on him a year. The most expensive thing we
get for him is his monthly allergy medicine. That’s about $100
a month. He has to have a
special food for his allergies, which is about $60. We spend about $45 on her
litter and hay and just food in general
every two months. Our other pets are
a little more expensive. My two shepherds, it costs
about $110 a month to feed them. $60 every two
months to get them groomed. They’re both on
pills from the vet. So $45 each a month. I’d say for the year
in general it’s about $800 just for their
vet costs combined. This is Chewy. He’s
14-years-old and he’s the fourth dog I’ve owned. We
spend about $150 a month on him just between
treats and dog food. But we don’t
do pet insurance. We’ve never really seen
a need for it. This is Oliver. He’s
11-years-old and we have spent a good amount of
money on him buying him ridiculous things like
Halloween costumes. We did not get him
health insurance and we should have done that because
he’s had Lyme disease three or four times. But he’s our family member
and we, we love him. The average U.S. household
spent $662 on their pets in 2018. That’s a slight decrease from
2017, but it still represents massive growth
from 2013. Investors are itching for a
way to make money off of the booming trend. One
way to get a heartbeat of the industry has
been through exchange-traded funds, a collection of stocks
tied to one index or in this
case, one industry. ProShares has an ETF
called PAWZ that tracks public companies in
the pet industry. Our ETF follows the
FactSet Pet Care Index. And in Q2, as an
example, those companies grew their earnings
12 percent. And this is an environment
where we all know that earnings growth is very
hard to come by. So it’s translating into
the bottom lines of these companies. Just a little
bit less than two thirds of the ETF are
pet health care focused with the rest being pet
supplies and retail and, of course, pet food. And it’s not surprising that
a good chunk of this is in the pet health
care business because that’s where much of the growth
is in the opportunity in pet care. You know, pets
are getting older and they’re needing more and
more health care and people are treating their
pets like they’re members of the family. So there’s tremendous
investment there, tremendous opportunity. And the way I like to
think about it, there is no Medicaid for dogs. There’s a real opportunity
to make money there that isn’t as influenced
and impacted by public policy and
government decisions. Meet Dave Westenberg. He’s an analyst at Guggenheim
and he wrote a 138 page report for investors
on the pet industry. It looks at where the
future of pet care is headed by 2024. He writes that the
industry became attractive to investors after the recession
of 2009 when everyone was struggling
to find growth. He also writes that: “A
six percent growth rate with resistance to recession
is a good profile for companies, particularly in
the post great recessionary economy.” Stocks in the animal health
group have gone up 208 percent since 2014. The S&P 500 in comparison
gave investors a return of 48 percent during
the same time period. Veterinary services make up a
big chunk of pet spending. In 2018, U.S. households spent an average
of $662 on their pets. Just more than a
third of that came from vet bills. There’s three
major drivers of veterinary spending. One is price in which
is correlated with GDP, rise in pet growth overall, which
is a one to two percent as well. And
then there’s service intensity and service intensity
is essentially on the veterinary business
becoming better businesses and that has
equaled roughly the six percent growth
phenomenon. Medical care for pets is
getting more and more advanced. Pets now
get C.T. scans, transplants, dentistry
and chemotherapy. Owners want them to
live longer and healthier lives. And as the vet
bills pile up, more consumers are turning toward
pet insurance plans rather than paying for
procedures out of pocket. Right now, fewer than one
percent of pets in the U.S. are insured. However,
that number is expected to rise. In Sweden, for example, 30
percent of pets have insurance policies. In the
United Kingdom, about 23 percent do. The pet insurance industry
alone could be worth two billion dollars
by 2024. Employers are now starting
to offer pet insurance plans as a work perk. The biggest markets for
insurance you actually also find this
urban environment. Correlated with this urban
environment is the access to these things,
such as veterinary, acupuncture, oncology,
dermatology. They’re all really
expensive services. And so this
is all intertwined. The kind of customers that
want to go to these kind of places are also going
to be the ones that buy insurance. And more
visits to the veterinarian, coupled with
the growing pet insurance industry, also means
that there could be a surge
in veterinarian jobs. The Bureau of Labor
Statistics predicts that by 2026, more than 57,000
veterinarian jobs will be added to the economy. That’s an increase of
19 percent since 2016. As investors pile into pet
stocks, it’s easy to overlook what the underlying
forces behind the industry’s growth means for
our dogs and cats themselves. It’s part of
a decades-long trend of animal rights
and protection. It means that their lives
are getting better and longer. If you look back
at the history of animal welfare agreements, I guess it
was sort of in the 19th century that they
started making laws to protect animals. So things like the RSPCA
go back to that period and there was kind
of movements to protect animals, obviously in the
late 20th, early 21st century they’ve increased
a lot. And I think that’s for
two things, partly because maybe animals are given
a higher status. But I think it’s also
because of the society we live in now, it has to
be more regulated as well. So a lot of those
laws that discussed in that paper, not necessarily just
for the animals’ benefits, kind of regulating
them to make them fit in with human
society as well. Fewer pets are being put
down at animal shelters now. In the 1960s, one out
of every four dogs in the United States used to
live on the street. To address the national
issue, advocacy campaigns pushed dog owners to
become more responsible by sterilizing, microchipping and
licensing their pets with their
local municipalities. On the legislative stage,
Congress introduced a bill called the ‘Welfare of
Our Friends’ or the Wolf Act in
February twenty nineteen. It would revoke licenses
of dog breeders who violate standards
of care. In January, twenty
nineteen lawmakers introduced a bill which would make
animal cruelty a crime on the federal level. The’
Preventing Animal Cruelty and Torture Act’, otherwise
known as PACT, goes beyond an Obama-era animal
cruelty law by making purposeful, crushing,
burning, drowning, suffocation and impaling of
an animal a direct offense. The bipartisan
bill was unanimously passed by Congress and was
signed into law by President Trump in
late November 2019. While increased ownership
and government regulation have led to
a better standard of living for pets, it may
be counter to what evolution had in
mind for them. Experts who study companion
animals point out that pet ownership standards
might be for human benefit, not the animals. Fortunately, this concept
of responsible pet ownership is, first of
all, poorly defined. If we talk about what what
does that mean to be a responsible pet owner, people will
say we need to provide good food. We
need to provide housing. We need to make sure
our animals are free from pain. I think most people
will agree on those three things. But then when
you start to get into the nuances of what
constitutes being a responsible pet owner, do you
need to take your dog or cat to
the vet every year? Is that enough? Some people
don’t think they need to do that. You give
them their shots and that’s it. You just let
them live their life. I think that what we’re
seeing is a wide variety of different attitudes
towards what constitutes responsible pet
ownership. Regardless of pet parenting
styles, the pet industry is getting
bigger and bigger. Just look at all the dogs
and cats with their own Instagram accounts. Wall Street
wants to go along for the ride to.

100 thoughts on “How America’s Love Of Cats And Dogs Became A $72 Billion Business

  • Lesley G Post author

    I'll open up a pet insurance company RIGHT NOW

  • GODESTINY Post author

    i have 0 respect for people who spend money on useless pets when that money can be used to help another human

  • Financial Shinanigans Post author

    How many people have horses as pets??

  • Airbus A380 Post author

    Americans are so gullible no wonder the Indian scammers are cheating you on the phone

  • xjlonelystar Post author

    I don’t even have insurance…

  • Eduard Gherasim Post author

    Vegans Fred their dogs and cats meat every day but then judge other people for eating meat. Talk about hypocrites.

  • Eduard Gherasim Post author

    CNBC's unscientific poll, lol it's just like the poll they did for the 2016 elections.

  • S C Post author

    Notice how half of owners of these dogs said they are on pills from the vets?

    Yeah, soon their will be a pet medical crisis. Good job America.

    These people think they are too smart and are about to alter the very nature of these pets with their fake suedo medicine.

  • Shredded Stew Post author

    “People are treating their pets like they are a part of the family.” They ARE a part of the family, and a major part at that! My dog is my best friend and I would do anything for her. Its kind of embarrassing/weird but i enjoy spending money on and spoiling my dog more than i do myself. I love you so much Lily!!!

  • edvaira6891 Post author

    Hell, I have 2 GUINEA PIGS, who you would think would be relatively cheap to care for…nope! They chow down through about $70 a month in veggies/hay/pellets and their vet care can be pricey too..for little fuzz balls!

  • Subham Murarka Post author

    You pay the money to preserve the climat

  • tesoro7788 Post author

    Wow the pet industry is more lucrative than lots of countries’ GDP .

  • Cyber Crow Post author

    Millennials are not “delaying” making children. We don’t want to make children. Generally speaking…

  • Elite Punch Post author

    A ? is the best companion one can ever have, it's just so sad that their lifespan is way lesser than we humans…

  • kimeli Post author

    treating pets better than humans, america is gonna get nuked for sure.

  • 666 BRLN 999 Post author

    This is so sick and disturbing but no one really notices.

  • Iam vamshi Post author

    This is completely meaningless.

  • Aman Raj Post author

    The poll???

  • Dank’ntrans Post author

    Meanwhile. Humans starve around the world

  • Jose Castro Post author

    I love my dog but she gets sick and the bill starts high she going to sleep haha

  • CainMayn Post author

    Why is everyone so salty about having pets

  • Dead Faces Post author

    Anyone feed their pet real human food and not canned food

  • Mat t Post author

    You’ve seriously done an analysis on growth and haven’t looked at inflation? Are you joking?

  • Inez Qtaish Post author

    red light thermostat I could walk I rock black girl dead man red light

  • yuki G Post author

    It's fair if u had a kid u would spoil them within ur means same with pet industry their are family too. Instead of college degree exsp and school there are other things

  • chocobonita Post author

    The money you spend on a pet is better spent on weapons. A dog was a man's best friend but now it's a gat. Ice Cube!

  • Suriabumichandran Naidu Post author

    All DOGS and domesticated CATS shall go extinct as you nasty monkeys go extinct, FO, FO, FO.

  • Tom Post author

    I got Dog Health Insurance on my two doggos.

  • charleskimbac Post author

    it's just kinda sad ngl

  • terastarship2 Post author

    thanks Cats and Dogs! Love y'all. $$$$$$$$$$$

  • Firesword Post author

    My dog eats rice n beans with chicken

  • Link ! Post author

    Not only America
    There are about 196 other countries

  • Jessica Freda Post author

    This makes me wonder if this is why vet bills have gone up. Look around for vets when you have pet insurance. Some have you pay up front and insurance sends you a check. Most people can't afford that.

  • Your Dad Post author

    Americans can make business out of anything like wars,pets,etc

  • Patrick F Post author

    According to what one source I wonder?

  • ronald richard Post author

    Longest commercial ever

  • Pranav Pednekar Post author


  • Strawberry Ella Post author

    I spend more on my dog then my self. I also never go to the doctor because its way to expensive but I aways take them teheh.

  • nick hart Post author

    What kind of dog is Oliver ???

  • s b Post author

    never buy, always adopt!

  • Gab Fairs Post author

    Wow, this was posted the day my cat died.

  • Jose Diaz Post author

    some people aren't meant to have kids.this is more suitable for them.

  • koolaid668 Post author

    feminism …

  • TheReal_ist Post author

    There's caring for your animals and then there's the suburban soccer mom c*nt that literally takes there animals on vacations.

  • Taylor mana12345 Post author

    So funny, I just spend $670 on for my dog's needs and then this video pops up .

  • Kyle Post author

    I hate animals

  • R Dukes Post author

    I have 5 dogs ??‍♂️ I treat them like children ?… They definitely fill my void of wanting actual human children.

  • Rudy Straight Post author

    More like love of money

  • Rudy Straight Post author

    United nations agenda 21. You're all dead by 2030

  • Sudarshan Chatterjee Post author

    capitalism sucks

  • Moe Grey The Cat Post author


  • JNightlife Post author

    My girlfriend left me because I spent more money on my dog ? than her.

  • May Sal Post author

    People are hating on children I have both children and pets they are both amazing and I live them especially in all ways

  • Nilesh Pawar Post author

    @6:12 wow this guy !! He can sell his family if he can

  • J High Post author

    I'm watching this video alongside our 7 year old chocolate brown toy poodle "Bentley", and he approves this message.

  • Moses Post author

    We need Bernie Sanders to include our pets in Medicare for all!! ?

  • MsJubjubbird Post author

    Before if you got a dog with an allergy or another defect it would be put down and you'd get another. But not that pets are replacing children, it's OK to spend a fortune on their healthcare or special food. we adopted a puppy and grew to have a serious biomechanical defect and we paid the cost of a big family holiday to get it fixed. The vet said to us- we understand if you want us to put it to sleep. But people don't do that anymore.

  • Wolfdragon90 Post author

    It kind of obvious because pets are like family so we treat them as family. It's easy to make money of people's pets. We've been doing the same thing with human babies like diapers and milk. They are basically the same thing except on grows on two legs and speak. Having both babies and pets will even make you more money lol.

  • Lone Wolf Post author

    Because people don't want to get married and have relationships with one another so pets are the way to go.

  • Aakash Subedi Post author

    thats about 5 times the gdp of my country.

  • Aurobindo Ghosh Post author

    then they will get citizenship

  • Sukh Kaur Post author

    Now even animals would encounter economic disparity and inequality issues.

  • Jerry Tinaza Post author

    It just shows a great manifestation how unhappy people are on the inside. People alienate themselves with pets because they don't know how to love, and don't know how to receive love. Therefore, they have pets that supposedly love them back. It's selfish love actually because its biased only from the peoples perspective. The pets can't even say, "I love you" yet people are blinded that they call this love. It's a sad reality. People would rather raise pets than kids because it's "easier" less "expensive" shows how much people idolize money, and selfishness instead of raising a family. Sad, but true. People will reap what they sow.

  • Dave Shell Post author

    Brought to you by unrestricted free market capitalism. Just like the businesses of homelessness and rehabilitation. Every homeless person has a pet.

  • Abhishek ram Post author

    If those pet's stop showing love to their owners then pet industry gone ?????

  • 16 Bit Gaming Post author

    now USA is playing with ANIMAL LIVES ,LITERALLY

  • Aldo Imanuel Post author

    Cutest CNBC video!

  • Nili G Post author

    There is so much hate in these comments about pet owners “wasting” money on pets when they should be contributing to charity. Newsflash: people can do whatever they want with their hard earned money. If that’s charity, great. If not, that’s also great. The US “wastes” a lot of money on other luxuries such as alcohol, junk food, entertainment, etc. anyway. So with that same mentality, next time you’re watching a football game with wings and beer just donate that money to charity instead ???

  • trebledc Post author

    When humanity thinks its better to be a parent properly raising a dog or cat properly than a human baby.

  • chancy319 Post author

    The surge in pet spending is mostly due to women. Men follow along because they think it gives them a chance at some nookie. That's why you often have those men who pose with dogs in their dating profiles.

  • Blue Jedi Post author

    the older I get, the more I realize why the grinch wanted to live alone with his dog.

  • C R F Post author

    It’s just so easy to love ❤️ pets vs. humans. It’s kinda sad to say that for some reason. I feel like I got more positive interactions with my pet at home (he died last June) than people around me. Thus, companies can capitalize on that emotion. I don’t blame them. Our love is going somewhere else, therefore, we open our wallets to protect that.

  • Ashley Gorris Post author

    Oh my god someone named their child “Simeon Hyman” I’m so sorry

  • BIG HUNGRY Post author

    Imagine if California took care of their people like they do their pets…

  • John Carswell Post author

    Buy Chewy stock CHWY

  • Mustang Cartel Post author

    Dogs Animals overall are Way better then Some Humans! People are pure EVIL

  • Mustang Cartel Post author

    I'm going to say this WITH Balls!!! If Dogs Don't Go to heaven! Well Guess What? I don't believe in Heaven!! Yeah I'm Christian

  • Cerogravity Post author

    So we spend 72 billion a year on animals but won’t spend $3 dollars on a human being

  • Andrew&Olga Post author

    Pets watching Tv?
    Because F*** you this is America ??

  • Temp Post author

    I feel bad for animals. We’re taking their homes, their territories and destroying them and making it ours. Feels bad

  • Przemyslaw Piotrowski Post author

    How? I didn’t get it from this document ….

  • SeasideMan Post author

    Most if not all farmers and ranchers take care of their livestock for various reasons mainly financial so why not pets as well.

  • Chrstphr Mllr Post author

    That cat in the grass was peak adorable. I need more cats. I'm probably one of the few crazy cat lads (male). Just need to find my crazy cat lady and I'll be set.

  • Zhiyang Lu Post author

    Gotta start a college fund for my dog.

  • Uebagi Post author

    Imagine treating your fur-baby better than your non existent kids. You go girl!

  • Just another Bird Post author

    I love my cat, but some people treat these animals like if they were their own sons. Pets exist to accompany us and serve us not the opposite.

  • Keith Treason Post author

    Yay, let's see these big business corporations take over pet insurance too so they can jack up the prices and make taking your pet to the vet unaffordable. The USA in a nutshell.

  • Jacob Parker Post author

    I spend max $50 monthly

  • John Royall Post author

    I haven't been to a doctor in 15 years, but I take my dogs to the vet every check up :@

  • Comic Guy Post author

    Fork Breeders and Pet Stores. Adopt before more die.

  • Devon Rusinek Post author

    People seem to like to throw money at a potential food source.

  • gee gleeshy Post author

    Dogs are getting more love than I am

  • Dhruv Goel Post author

    I believe it's time we stop breeding dogs. We have used and abused these beautiful creatures for far too long. They can't eat grass and they don't hunt. They are dependent on us for food. They used to be wolves. We made them docile for our needs and they now they roam the streets unloved and uncared. I believe it's time we put an end to this history of abuse.

  • R. A. Post author

    And yet there are homeless people

  • Taekwondo Time Post author

    I think it's a sickness personally. People can only relate to pets today and not to other human beings.

  • hanamichi sakuragi Post author

    the vet that i went to killed my 13 year old dog. fun year

  • satria amiluhur Post author

    Huh, i just throw some fried catfish or boiled chicken wings to the floor when my cat meows at me. He always sleep on cold floor, and take a leak outside. My cat is not very demanding, and the idea of spending tons of money for animals, when it could be spent for more pressing matter, is perplexing for me

  • Veronica LaS Post author

    I have two cats and two dogs. All rescues, one almost died and wiped my savings and my mom’s and increased our credit debt to save her, and, I’d still rather have them instead of kids.

  • Joselle Macaroyo Post author

    Children < dogs

  • Jon T Post author

    Ironic I watch all these videos about poverty and homelessness and living in vans and trailers in America and I'm not even American,and here we are dogs and cats are a 72 billion dollar business.

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