Pet-obsessed millennials power soaring pet-care spending

By Rieva Lesonsky

Yes, we’ve talked about Americans’ obsession with their pets before. But, according to JWTI, millennials have taken this up a notch and “[lavish] pets with luxury, high-design and high-quality products and services,” much like those they’d choose for themselves.

This passion for pets is a worldwide phenomenon, with sales predicted to top $202.5 billion by 2025, according to Grand View Research. But JWTI says, “Americans in particular are pampering their pets and spending more on them than ever before.” It cites 2019 findings from the American Pet Products Association (APPA) showing 2018 spending on pet care reached a record high of $72.56 billion.

And yes, we’re still dealing the “pet parents” syndrome—JWT Intelligence’s SONAR™ research shows 89% of single Americans and 91% of Americans in committed relationships think of their pets as “de facto children.” These millennials are spending on things like luxury pet care services and “human-grade food.”

How pet-centric are we? Well, a 2018 survey from says 75% of Americans would not buy their dream home if it didn’t suit their pets. JWTI cites apartment buildings in New York City with luxury pet-care facilities (Throw Me a Bone) featuring pet spas, playrooms and pet concierges. Some buildings even offer on-site pet daycare, in-home pet sitting, dog training classes, a grooming spa, veterinary clinic, door-to-door dog walking services and overnight care.

If you’re in the pet business (or want to be), you’d be smart to target millennials. “We know this generation is willing to pay more for quality products and services to improve the health and well-being of their pets,” says Bob Vetere, former president and CEO of APPA. “Today, more than ever, pet owners view their pets as irreplaceable members of their families and lives, and it’s thanks to this that we continue to see such incredible growth within the pet care community.”


Pet spa stock photo by Rasulov/Shutterstock