There’s no denying it: Age and weight affect our pets

There’s no denying it: Age and weight affect our pets

Senior, Weight Management and Special Needs Pet Products in the U.S., 2nd Edition deals with two topics that many pet owners don’t want to face: pet obesity and aging pets.  Although pet owners may not like to think of their pets as old or overweight, the need for products targeting overweight/obese pets or senior pets is increasing, as the pet obesity epidemic continues unabated, and advances in veterinary care and nutrition allow pets to live longer than ever before.

Part of the challenge that marketers have with these products is showing pet owners how they can improve the lives of their pets. A degree of denial is at play in terms of products targeting overweight pets: the National Pet Obesity Prevalence Survey conducted by the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention (APOP) in October 2014 found that 53% of dogs and 58% of cats were overweight/obese, whereas a November 2015 Packaged Facts survey found that only 18% of dog owners and 21% of cat owners think their pets are overweight/obese. Marketers of products targeting senior pets need to be aware that the owners of senior pets in many cases are older themselves, with those age 50 and over making up a disproportionate percentage of the senior-pet-owning population. Older owners are looking for products to help both themselves and their pets to live more comfortably. Overall, both the weight management and senior pet products market are being influenced by the larger market-wide trend toward pet wellness, as many consumers are now embracing a holistic approach to wellness that looks to natural ingredients, whole foods, high protein/low carb, and even raw diets to address both weight management and senior health concerns.

Packaged Facts’ completely revised report Senior, Weight Management and Special Needs Pet Products in the U.S., 2nd Edition, estimates retail sales in this market at $3.8 billion in 2015. Forecasting product sales to grow to $4.5 billion by 2020, this report covers the major trends impacting the market, as product marketers and veterinary services providers alike stress the health implications of the pet obesity epidemic, and as owners look for solutions to caring for their aging pets.

 -- by Shannon Landry Brown, pet industry market research analyst