Pet Population and Ownership Trends in the U.S.

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Published Nov 26, 2014 | 168 Pages | Pub ID: LA5316506

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Pet Population and Ownership Trends in the U.S. 



Facing growing pet populations and an aging human population, the pet industry may do well by looking to U.S. Hispanic consumers as the source of growth opportunities and diversification regarding pet ownership trends in the coming years.

Pet populations analyses, pet demographics, and other expertly detailed insights can be found in Packaged Facts' report, Pet Population and Ownership Trends in the U.S. Recognized as the leader in pet market research publishing, Packaged Facts offers authoritative data, analysis, and perspective on how U.S. pet populations are diversifying and growing, and where the pet industry is headed in the future.

Pet Population and Ownership Trends in the U.S. offers comprehensive analysis of Hispanic pet owners - a crucial pet market segment - to the future health of the pet industry and the growing pet populations in the United States. Hispanic consumers are disproportionately important to the pet industry, particularly as bird owners. Hispanic pet owners have also made significant contributions to maintaining ownership rates among dog and cat owners.

These emerging pet ownership trends are especially important, because in the last five years the growth of pet ownership has plateaued; there are more than 200 million pets of all species that reside in about 65 million households in the U.S., with the dog population in the U.S. remaining the most commonly owned pet population (in 45 million households), followed by cats (30 million households) and other pets.

But maintaining robust pet populations requires a robust and healthy human population, and here’s the trouble spot. In between 2015 and 2020, as the baby boomer sector keeps shifting into their late 60s and further, the number of Americans inside the 65+ age sector is projected to grow about four times faster than the growth in the overall adult population. This quick growth in the aging of the U.S population has signaled an alarm in the pet industry due to pet ownership trends generally falling off with pet owners' increasing age. There are 53% of 65 to 69 year old individuals that are pet owners, yet only 34% of Americans falling inside the 70+ age group actually own a pet. One of the most important questions within the pet industry is if baby boomers will continue in the paths created by other older generations or if, as usual, they will develop their own rules and continue to own pets well into their older years in life.

Another important question that Pet Population and Ownership trends in the U.S. considers: Why are Hispanic consumers key drivers in buttressing pet ownership rates, and consequently pet populations in the U.S., in the future? Packaged Facts expects that as U.S.-born generations of Latinos grow in numbers, the dog population in the U.S. will increase dramatically along with the Latino demographic. As Hispanic consumers become more acculturated, their pet ownership trends have been found to be more likely to own dogs. The most acculturated Hispanics (those who have relatively low attachment to their original culture and who are English-dominant or bi-lingual) are even more likely than U.S. adults on average to be dog owners (43% vs. 41%), and are becoming the most prominent drivers of the dog population in the U.S. 

Pet Population and Ownership Trends in the U.S. takes an in-depth look at these emerging pet ownership trends and other trends affecting the future of the pet industry. Included within the report are detailed estimates of the size of pet populations in the U.S. today, as well as projected growth totals in the dog and cat populations. Also contained within the report are demographic and attitudinal profiles of owners of dogs, cats and other pets, such as fish, birds and reptiles.

Scope and Methodology


Pet Population and Ownership Trends analyzes trends in the growth of the pet population and highlights the demographic and psychographic characteristics of pet owners. The report is based on two primary data sources. The first source of data is compiled from Packaged Facts National Online Consumer Surveys conducted in January/February, April/May and July/August 2014. These surveys reflect a panel of 2,000 U.S. adults (age 18+) balanced to the national population on the primary demographic measures of gender, age bracket, race/ethnicity, geographic region, marital status, presence or absence of children in the household and household income.

The other source of primary data is Simmons National Consumer Study (NCS) for Spring 2014 from Experian Marketing Services. This survey was fielded from April 2013 through June 2014. (The report uses the Spring 2004 NCS in the case of 10-year-trend tables and figures and Spring 2009 for 5-year-trend tables and figures.) Experian Marketing Services regularly conducts booklet-based surveys of a large and random sample of consumers (approximately 25,000 for each 12-month survey compilation) who in aggregate represent a statistically accurate cross-section of the U.S. population. The report is also based on a review of industry sources.

The report is organized in terms of the categorization of pet population data collected by Simmons NCS. In addition to capturing information on dog and cat ownership, Simmons NCS asks respondents to identify the number of pets they own in the following categories: fish, birds, reptiles, rabbits, hamsters and other pets. Small animals such as gerbils, ferrets and guinea pigs are the primary pets accounted for in the other category. Other pets also include animals ranging from horses to poultry.
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