Home > Consumer Driven Trends > Things Fido would want you to know.

Things Fido would want you to know.

Who doesn’t love their pet? Let’s be real, pet owner’s are a breed of their own! In the last few years we have seen consumer’s take the love for their pets to a whole new level. The coolest thing about this, is that companies have heard the consumer and responded appropriately! This is not just a trend that we will see disappear in a few years, this is a lifestyle change in the US and will continue to develop and prosper. Every business owner big or small should be wondering “How do I cater to pets and their loving humans?”.
To give some perspective on the pet population in the US, I looked toward the APPA (American Pet Products Association) to get a grasp of the situation. This is what I found:
From 1988 to 2008 there was a 6% increase in US households that had a pet (from 56% to 62%) and in 2011 it is estimated that those households will spend 50.84 billion dollars on their pets versus only 28.5 billion dollars in 2001.
What is all this money being spent on? Quite simply- everything! There is nothing that a pet owner doesn’t wish for their pet (yes, just like children). From quality nutrient rich food, to the best vet and health care, to the best daycare, even high end clothing and toys. Not to mention having Fido present on vacations, at the yoga class and when going out to eat.
Specifically, the industry has seen big box retailers like Target and Walmart expanding both their product offerings as well as their pet service offerings. Walmart carries pet health needs such as medications and ointments and even accepts pet insurance in their pharmacy! Home Depot has expanded their lawn and garden department to include things such as spot remover for those pesky yellow patches and doggie doors for your pet to escape to the great outdoors! Also, companies that never had anything to do with the pet industry are jumping on the band wagon to cater to this growing consumer base. John Paul Pet is a great example of this. The entire line (launched by the popular human company Paul Mitchell) was created to be grooming/ skin care needs that “are pH balanced so they don’t irritate sensitive pet skin and the entire line is “tested on humans first” to ensure effectiveness and safety for all pets” The division of Paul Mitchell is also exceptionally socially conscious teaming up with a number of non profit organizations around the country including the Humane Society of America and PAWS.
As far as lifestyle goes, I am continuously amazed at what is available to our pets these days! Traveling with your furry companion? No problem! La Quinta, Motel 6, Quality Inn and Best Western are all pet friendly for a low additional fee. At some higher end hotels there is even a pet menu available for room service!
Madison alone has more than ten different doggy daycare’s available for both daily care and overnight stays. Private rooms with TV’s and beds (no, not dog beds- human beds) are available and the “guests” are entertained with activities like “paw-painting” (think finger painting for human children), hide and go seek, cuddles and snacks all with the other guests at the resort (or separate if Fido doesn’t play well with others).
The list goes on and on, but one thing that is certain- this is an industry for everyone. Both large and small retailers have seen what was almost thought to be a recession proof industry, is at least recession resistant (seeing a slight dip over the last few years) and well worth any company questioning how they can be a part of it!
 by: Catherine Grimm Lauper
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