Consumer spending on pets to reach $31.7 billion in 2016
US spending on pet health products and services at the consumer level is expected to reach $31.7 billion in 2016. Manufacturers’ level pet health product demand is forecast to increase 4.6 percent annually to $5.6 billion that year. Advances in expenditures will be encouraged by the continuing trend of humanizing companion animals and their perception as family members, as well as by growth in the overall pet population. Veterinary technology will continue to adapt diagnostic and treatment techniques from human health care, stimulating value gains for newer, more costly procedures.
Revenues for pet insurance to continue double-digit growth
While the US pet health industry has traditionally been regarded as being “recession-resistant,” spending was somewhat impacted by the 2007-2009 US economic recession. However, demand did not experience declines during this time, as health care is a necessary -- and, to some degree, expected -- expenditure for pet owning households. Uncertain economic conditions led to especially strong growth in demand for services such as pet insurance and for products, including dietary supplements, intended to prevent medical conditions. Among products, pharmaceuticals will retain the leading share of sales, following trends in human medical treatment.
As spending on pet health has increased over the last several decades, so have the average expected lifespans of many companion animal species. Accordingly, incidences of age-related medical conditions (e.g., arthritis, cancer) have also grown. Increasingly prevalent weightrelated conditions (e.g., diabetes, heart disease) will further lead to increasing demand for products and services, as a significant number of pets are overweight or obese. In order to better afford these treatments, more owners will purchase pet insurance policies, with revenues expected to continue to grow at doubledigit annual rates.
Health care expenditures on products for cats to increase
While cats have long represented the largest segment of the pet population, spending on health care products for dogs accounted for a disproportionate 69 percent of the total in 2011. Dogs’ greater time spent outdoors raises their exposure to environmental hazards, and dogs are more susceptible to certain medical conditions, such as heart disease. However, research and development into more catspecific health products will incrementally increase cats’ share of the pet health product market going forward.