Many of us consider our pets family, and there’s nothing we won’t do for our family. In fact, pet guardianship has soared to an all-time high with 72.9 million households owning a pet, a 2.1% increase from 2010. It seems the pet industry is nearly recession proof.
Statistics recently released by the American Pet Products Association project that this will be a record year with Americans spending over $50 billion on their pets. With more people forgoing vacations and the purchase of high dollar items, people are focusing more on their homes and animals.
Petco and PetSmart have shown an increase in sales with a second quarter earnings increase of 32% and a net income of $61 million, up $13 million from the second quarter of 2010. A large amount of spending is on food which is estimated to account for $19.53 billion this year. Grooming is another expense consumers are willing to budget for. As people devote more time to their animals, they include spending on pampering and business is booming. Even complimentary businesses, such as invisible fencing, have stayed strong. Owners value their pet’s safety and have made the necessary expenditures to ensure they are protected.
Pet guardians also pay a pretty penny for vet care. Reuters reports that over 15% of dog owners say their pet’s medical treatment would take precedence over their own. Increases in medical technology and treatments have increased the life expectancy of animals. The estimated cost of veterinary care this year is around $14 billion, up $1 billion for last year. This growth has prompted the growing popularity of pet health insurance which has grown about 10% annually since 2007 and insures about 800,000 pets in the U.S. Many dedicated animal lovers are finding that the peace of mind they receive knowing their pet is protected is worth the expense.
Pet owners are also budgeting for pet cremation services, which are on the rise. The average cost of cremation is about $125.00. Urns are offered anywhere from $25.00 up to $300.00.
Research shows the cost of owning a pet is well worth the benefits which include: lower blood pressure, greater psychological stability, and a degree of control against heart disease. Studies by the National Institutes of Health Technology show those who own pets make fewer visits to the doctor and pay lower health care costs.
The bottom line is, in a world of uncertainty, one thing is certain- our loved ones should be our focus. They bring us more support and happiness than any worldly possessions. Many of us consider our pets our family and so as the expense rises, it is an expenditure we make room for.