Two Decades Of Evolving Companion Animal Ownership
According to the American Pet Products Manufacturers Association’s (APPMA) “2007-2008 National Pet Owners Survey,” companion animal ownership and spending on companion animals is at an all time high.
In the U.S., approximately 71 million households own at least one companion animal, which is 63% of the total 114 million U.S. households. This is an all time high, up from 69 million households in 2004, 64 million households in 2002, and 51 million households in 1988 (the first time this APPMA research was conducted).
According to this survey, major impacts on companion animal ownership include:
- Greater availability of companion animal accessories
- Increased uses of companion animal care services
- Increased use and efficacy of oral and topical flea and tick products
- Greater varieties of food and treats, including organic, kosher and gourmet
- Better dental care
- Improved veterinary care and medicines
- Increased use of homeopathic medicines
- Streamlined information sources
- Expansion of companion animal care items and odor controlling sources
Notable findings from the report:
- Greater interest and consciousness of food and treats has led to an increase in the number of companion animal owners who consider these “specialty” foods to be worth the extra time and money.
- The number of dog owners who obtain health insurance for their dogs remained the same from 2006, 3%, however, more dogs are given medication (77%) than any other type of companion animal. 72% of horses have also been given meds in the past year.
- The use of homeopathic remedies has been increasing since 2002, with 6% of total dog owners and 4% of cat owners using these remedies in this most recent report.
- About 3% of dog owners have dental products for their dogs on hand.
- The % of dog owners who have beds for their companion animal increased from 18% in 2004 to 26% in 2006.
- The majority of companion animal owners say they would take some action to ensure the safety of their companion animal during a disaster.
- Nearly 30% of companion animal owners memorialize a lost companion animal on some way.
- More than one half of all companion animal owners have bought a gift for their companion animal in the last 12 months.
- From the last survey, the number of households owning a horse increased by 2.4% to 4.2 million households.
- The average age of the person responsible for purchasing companion animal products is 46 years old and is typically female.