Pet Spending Predictions for 2016


Interesting data here, according to “Pet Health Products & Services,” a Freedonia study. The study predicts pet ownership and pet spending in 2016:

  • By 2016, pet spending will reach nearly $31 billion, as pet spending continues growth annually.
  • Pet insurance is gaining significant ground – climbing 11% annually, reaching $680 million in 2016.
  • At the retail level, consumers are forecast to spend $11.5 billion on pet health products in 2016, supporting $5.6 billion in manufacturer’s level sales. Online pharmacies, pet superstores and large retailers (like Wal-mart) will continue to gain market share over provate practicing veterinarians.
  • “Approximately 60% of owned dogs are treated with a heartworm preventative, reflecting the broad penetration in the canine pet health product market. Demand for parasiticides is predicted to grow 3.8% annually to $1.4 billion in 2016. Comprising the largest share of demand for health products used to treat dogs, with 39% in 2016, the market for canine parasiticides is largely mature with gains largely driven by increase in the U.S. dog population rather than product innovation.”

Now, what about this study? Well, don’t bank on it. The same company’s study, predictions for 2013, haven’t all come to fruition. For one thing they predicted a rise in pet ownership.


I recall, because I publicly refuted that (hoping I would be wrong). A new AVMA study shows that unfortunately I was right, as pet ownership is down 2.4%. More details in a story on decline of pet ownership here (with data from the American Veterinary Medical Association).


If pet ownership continues even a modest decline, I’m not certain – depending on our nation’s economy – how pet spending can continue to rise as suggested. In fact, pet spending may remain about the same, or even fall. It’s a complicated issue.


For example, as suggested more pet owners are going over-the-counter and online to purchase flea/tick control. If this trend continues, consumers may (or not) save some money on the products in the longterm – but will spend more on veterinary care. By not visiting the veterinarian for preventive care exams (currently, that is the trend – people apparently thinking “my pet isn’t sick – why bother – and I will get the flea/tick products elsewhere.” So, when illness is found, it may cost more to treat than earlier intervention.


About heartworm preventive – the prediction here may sound good but it is not. For one thing, if 60% are on product, that means 40% are not, and their health and even their lives may be in jeopardy. The gains suggested by the increase in U.S. dog population just aren’t going to occur if there is no increase in the dog population (which is actually in slight decline currently).


It seems there is simultaneous evidence to demonstrate that pet insurance is indeed becoming more popular.
So, over all, while the predictions are interesting – I wouldn’t bet on ’em.