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Gen Z and Millennials as Pet Market Consumers: Dogs, Cats, Other Pets

Gen Z and Millennials as Pet Market Consumers: Dogs, Cats, Other Pets

This report, Gen Z and Millennials as Pet Market Consumers: Dogs, Cats, Other Pets, highlights pet ownership trends among Gen Z and Millennials and identifies key marketing opportunities for these two segments of pet market consumers. It includes an analysis of how Gen Z and Millennial pet owners bond with and manage the health of their pets and provides an in-depth look at consumer attitudes, shopping behavior and spending patterns of Gen Z and Millennial pet owners with respect to pet products and services. It also provides separate profiles of Gen Z and Millennial dog and cat owners as well as those in these age groups who own birds, fish, reptiles and rabbit or hamsters.


  • Executive Summary
    • The Market's Future Is in New Hands
    • Scope and Methodology
      • Scope of the Report
      • Methodology
    • Topline Insights and Opportunities
      • Gen Z and Millennials Drive Growth in Population of Pet Owners
      • Some Differences Between Gen Z and Millennial Pet Owners Reflect Distinct Life Stages
      • Other Differences May Simply Reflect the Younger Age of Gen Z Pet Owners
      • Affluent Millennials Are a Prime Target for Marketers of Pet Products and Services
      • Brand Integrity Matters to Gen Z and Millennial Pet Owners
      • Veterinary Channel Provides Rewarding Way to Reach Gen Z and Millennial Pet Owners
    • Profile of Gen Z and Millennial Pet Owners
      • Gen Z Pet Owners See Mental Health Benefits of Pet Ownership
      • 18- to 39-Year-Old Pet Owners More Likely to Perceive Special Health or Nutrition Needs
      • Gen Z and Millennial Pet Owners Like the Idea of Vet Services in Non-Traditional Venues
      • 18- to 39-Year-Old Pet Owners More Likely to Use Pet Foods to Address Health issues
      • Under-40 Dog or Cat Owners Favor Pet Foods With "Free of" Claims
      • Gen Z and Millennial Pet Owners Turn to Veterinarians for Advice on Pet Products
      • Smaller Pet Product Companies More Likely to Enjoy Trust of 18- to 39-Year-Old Pet Owners
      • Millennials Most Likely to Be Swayed by Corporate Participation in Pet Welfare Causes
      • Natural Ingredients Important to 18- to 39-Year-Old Pet Food Buyers
    • Pet Product Shopping and Buying Patterns
      • Gen Z Pet Owners Much Less Likely to Buy Pet Foods Personally
      • Smartphones Serve as Shopping Tool for Gen Z and Millennial Pet Owners
      • Gen Z Pet Owners Least Concerned About Lower Prices
      • Millennials Most Likely to Be Big Spenders on Pet Products
      • PetSmart and Walmart Top Choices of 18- to 39-Year-Old Pet Owners for Pet Foods
      • Natural Pet Products Sold By General Stores Seen as Inferior to Offerings of Pet Stores
      • Online Purchase of Pet Products Far More Popular Among 18- to 39-Year-Old Pet Owners
      • Online Pet Product Selection Attracts Gen Z and Millennial Pet Owners
      • 18- to 39-Year-Old Pet Owners Still Like to Get Out to Shop for Pet Products
      • 18- to 39-Year-Old Pet Owners Most Likely to Turn to Amazon for Pet Products
      • Home Delivery of Pet Foods a Popular Option
      • Pet Expenditures by 18- to 34-Year-Old Households Reach $12.4 Billion
      • Affluent or Childless Millennials Wield Disproportionate Spending Power in Pet Market
    • Gen Z and Millennial Dog Owners
      • 18- to 39-Year-Olds Power Growth in Dog Ownership
      • Younger or Smaller Dogs More Common Among Younger Owners
      • Millennials More Likely to Own Overweight Dogs
      • Canine Behavior More Likely to Vex Gen Z Dog Owners
      • Gen Z and Millennial Dog Owners Differ Demographically From Others Their Age
      • Millennials More Likely Than Gen Z to Buy Products That Pamper Their Pooches
      • Gen Z and Millennial Owners Seek Out Lower Price Dog Foods
      • Gen Z and Millennial Dog Owners Like to Use Pet Food Toppers
      • Millennials Most Concerned About Pet Product Safety
    • Gen Z and Millennial Cat Owners
      • Gen Z and Millennials Account for 4 in 10 Cat Owners
      • 18- to 39-Year-Olds Responsible for Most of the Growth in Cat Ownership
      • 18- to 39-Year-Olds Lag Behind in Acquiring Multiple Cats
      • Millennials Most Likely to Own Young Cats
      • Gen Z and Millennials Most Likely to Have Overweight Cats
      • Gen Z Cat Owners Stand Alone Demographically
      • Millennial Cat Owners More Likely to Buy Products to Coddle Their Cats
      • Millennials Most Likely to Buy Apparel and Toys for Their Cats
      • Gen Z and Millennial Cat Owners Tempt Their Cats with Toppers
    • Gen Z and Millennials as Pet Market Consumers: Other Pets
      • Millennials and Gen Z Account for Nearly Half of Owners of Pets Other Than Cats or Dogs
      • Gen Z More Likely to Own Other Pets of All Kinds
      • Gen Z Helps Stem Decline in Ownership of Fish, Birds, Reptiles and Rabbits or Hamsters
      • More 18- to 39-Year-Olds Turn to Reptiles or Rabbits or Hamsters as Pets
  • Topline Insights and Opportunities
    • Pet Ownership Trends
      • Number of Gen Z and Millennial Pet Owners Tops 57 Million
        • Table Number and Percent of Pet Owners by Age Group of Pet Owner and Type of Pet, 2017 (in thousands)
        • Table Percent Owning Pets by Age Group of Pet Owner and Type of Pet, 2017 (in thousands)
      • Gen Z and Millennials Drive Growth in Population of Pet Owners
        • Table Growth in Number of Pet Owners by Age Group of Pet Owner, 2007-2017 (in thousands)
        • Table Pet Owners as Percent of Age Groups, 2007 vs. 2017 (in thousands)
    • Key Differences Between Gen Z and Millennial Pet Owners
      • Gen Z Pet Owners Represent the Demographic Future of America
      • Some Demographic Differences Reflect the Distinct Life Stages of Gen Z and Millennials
      • Other Differences May Simply Reflect the Younger Age of Gen Z Pet Owners
    • Pet Market Consumer Focus: Affluent Millennials
      • Millennial Pet Owners Offer More Opportunities for Pet Marketers
      • Affluent or Childless Millennial Households Are Especially Important
      • Affluent Millennial Pet Owners Stand Apart
      • Affluent Millennials Are a Prime Target for Marketers of Pet Products and Services
        • Table Pet Services Used in Last 12 Months, Affluent Millennial vs. All Pet Owners, 2017
    • Marketing Insights and Opportunities
      • Brand Integrity Matters to Gen Z and Millennial Pet Owners
      • Marketers Can Appeal to the Special Way Gen Z and Millennials Bond With Their Pets
      • Millennials Like Pet-Friendly Retailers of All Kinds
      • BETTER CITIES FOR PET Aims to Create More Pet-Friendly Retail Spaces
      • Veterinary Channel Provides Rewarding Way to Reach Gen Z and Millennial Pet Owners
      • Providing More Veterinary Services in Non-Traditional Venues Is a Path to Growth
      • Products for Puppies and Kittens Most Likely to Appeal to Under-40 Pet Owners
      • Millennials Heed Marketing Appeals Based on Health Benefits of Pet Foods
      • Gen Z and Millennials Represent Major Market for Products for Pets Other Than Cats or Dogs
      • Pet Food Marketers Can Reach Millennial Pet Owners Through Social Media
      • Gen Z and Millennials Most Likely to Go Online to Buy Pet Products
      • Brick-and-Mortar Pet Product Retailers Still Appeal to Gen Z and Millennials
      • Under-40 Pet Owners Much More Likely to Relate to Services Provided by Pet Retailers
        • Table Non-Health-Related Pet Services Used by 18- to 39-Year-Old and 40- to 74-Year-Old Pet Owners at Pet Stores or Any Other Store in Last 12 Months, 2017
      • Petco's "All About Pets" Campaign Likely to Resonate With Gen Z and Millennials
  • Profile of Gen Z and Millennial Pet Owners
    • The Bond Between Gen Z and Millennial Pet Owners and Their Pets
      • Gen Z Pet Owners See Mental Health Benefits of Pet Ownership
      • Gen Z Pet Owners Most Likely to Celebrate Halloween With Their Pets
        • Table Percent of Pet Owners Who Celebrate Halloween or Christmas/Hanukkah/Winter Holidays With Their Pets by Age Group of Pet Owner, 2017
      • Pets Belonging to Gen Z Most Likely to Get Special Treats or Food on Their Birthdays
      • Gen Z and Millennial Pet Owners More Likely to Travel by Plane with Their Pets
        • Table Percent of Dog or Cat Owners Traveling with Their Pets by Type of Travel and Age Group of Owner, 2017
    • Managing the Health of Their Pets
      • 18- to 39-Year-Old Pet Owners More Likely to Perceive Special Health or Nutrition Needs
      • Gen Z and Millennial Pet Owners Like the Idea of Vet Services in Non-Traditional Venues
        • Table Attitudes of Dog or Cat Owners Toward Use of Veterinary Services in Non-Traditional Venues by Age Group of Owner, 2016
        • Table Percent of Dog or Cat Owners Who Have Taken Their Dogs or Cats to a Pet Superstore for Veterinary Services or Have Used a Mobile Veterinary Clinic in Last 12 Months by Age Group of Owner, 2017
      • Vaccinations at Pet Retailers Seen as a High Priority by Gen Z and Millennial Pet Owners
        • Table Health Care Services Pet Owners Consider Especially Important for Pet Retailers to Provide by Age Group of Pet Owner, 2017
      • 18- to 39-Year-Old Pet Owners More Prone to Seek Out Emergency Vet Care
      • Gen Z Most Likely to Buy Flea & Tick Medications
      • Millennials Link Pet Foods to Pet Health
      • 18- to 39-Year-Old Pet Owners Use Pet Foods to Address Health issues
        • Table Percent of 18- to 39-Year-Old and 40- to 74-Year-Old Dog Owners Who Purchased Any Type of Pet Food, Pet Treat or Pet Vitamin/Supplement Targeting Pet Health Conditions or Concerns in Last Three Months by Type of Condition or Concern, 2016
      • Dog Owners More Likely Than Cat Owners to Target Health Issues with Pet Foods/Treats
        • Table Percent of 18- to 39-Year-Old Dog or Cat Owners Who Purchased Any Type of Pet Food, Pet Treat or Pet Vitamin/Supplement Targeting Pet Health Conditions or Concerns in Last Three Months by Type of Condition or Concern, 2016
      • Under-40 Dog or Cat Owners Favor Pet Foods With "Free of" Claims
        • Table Percent of Dog or Cat Owners Currently Using Pet Foods with "Free of' Claims by Type of Claim and Age Group of Owner, 2017
      • Millennials More Concerned Than Gen Z About Their Pets' Dental Hygiene
        • Table Percent of Dog or Cat Owners Who Are Concerned About the Dental Hygiene/Breath Odor of Their Dog(s) or Cat(s) by Age Group of Owner, 2017
    • Key Consumer Attitudes
      • Gen Z and Millennial Pet Owners Turn to Veterinarians for Advice on Pet Products
        • Table Percent of Dog Owners Relying on Veterinarians for Advice About Pet Products by Age Group of Dog Owner and Type of Product, 2016
        • Table Percent of Cat Owners Relying on Veterinarians for Advice About Pet Products by Age Group of Cat Owner and Type of Product, 2016
        • Table Use of Store-Type (Over-the-Counter) Pet Brands/Products Personally Recommended by a Veterinarian by Age Group of Pet Owner, 2017
      • Pet Product Companies More Likely to Enjoy Trust of 18- to 39-Year-Old Pet Owners
        • Table Percent of Pet Owners Who Trust the Quality of Pet Foods by Age Group of Pet Owner and Type of Company Producing the Pet Foods, 2017
      • Millennials More Concerned Than Gen Z Pet Owners About Corporate Responsibility
        • Table Considerations in Buying Pet Food by Age Group of Pet Owner, 2017
      • Corporate Participation in Pet Welfare Causes Sways Millennial Pet Owners
      • Natural Ingredients Important to 18- to 39-Year-Old Pet Food Buyers
        • Table Attitudes of Pet Owners Toward Natural or Organic Pet Foods by Age Group of Pet Owner, 2017
      • Gen Z and Millennial Pet Owners Share Universal Interest in Buying Foods Their Pets Like
        • Table Percent of Pet Owners Agreeing "I Place a Priority on Buying Tasty Pet Foods My Pets Will Especially Like" by Type of Pet Food Ingredient and Age Group of Pet Owner, 2017
      • Millennials Favor Dry Pet Foods
  • Pet Product Shopping and Buying Patterns
    • Overview
      • Gen Z Pet Owners Much Less Likely to Buy Pet Foods Personally
      • Both Gen Z and Millennial Pet Owners Like to Pamper Their Pets
      • Social Media Play Major Role in Consumer Behavior of 18- to 39-Year-Old Pet Owners
        • Table Attitudes of Pet Owners Toward Consumer Use of Social Media by Age Group of Pet Owner, 2017
      • Smartphones Serve as Shopping Tool for Gen Z and Millennial Pet Owners
      • Gen Z Pet Owners Least Concerned About Prices When Buying Pet Products
      • Millennials Most Likely to Be Big Spenders on Pet Products
      • Buying Patterns of 18- to 39-Year-Old Dog or Cat Owners Differ from Those of Older Owners
        • Table Pet Products Bought in Last 12 Months by Dog or Cat Owners by Age Group of Owner, 2016
    • Channel Choices of Gen Z and Millennial Pet Owners
      • PetSmart and Walmart Top Choices of 18- to 39-Year-Old Pet Owners for Pet Foods
        • Table Brick-and-Mortar Channels Used by Pet Owners Who Purchased Pet Foods in Last Three Months by Age Group of Pet Owner, 2017
        • Table Brick-and-Mortar Channels Used by Pet Owners Who Purchased Pet Medications in Last Three Months by Age Group of Pet Owner, 2017
        • Table Brick-and-Mortar Channels Used by Pet Owners Who Purchased Other Pet Supplies in Last Three Months by Age Group of Pet Owner, 2017
      • Natural Pet Products Sold By General Stores Seen as Inferior to Offerings of Pet Stores
      • Online Purchase of Pet Products Far More Popular Among 18- to 39-Year-Old Pet Owners
      • Online Pet Product Selection Attracts Gen Z and Millennial Pet Owners
        • Table Primary Reasons Why 18- to 39-Year-Old Pet Owners Buy Pet Products Online, 2016
      • 18- to 39-Year-Old Pet Owners Still Like to Get Out to Shop for Pet Products
        • Table Primary Reasons Why 18- to 39-Year-Old Pet Owners Don't Buy Pet Products Online, 2016
      • Dry Pet Food and Pet Treats Top List of Products Purchased Online
        • Table Products Bought Online in Last 12 Months by 18- to 39-Year-Old Dog Owners, 2016
      • 18- to 39-Year-Old Pet Owners Most Likely to Turn to Amazon for Pet Products
      • Home Delivery of Pet Foods a Popular Option for Gen Z and Millennial Pet Owners
    • Aggregate Expenditures on Pets
      • Introduction
      • Pet Expenditures by 18- to 34-Year-Old Households Reach $12.4 Billion
        • Table Aggregate Household Expenditures on Pets by Generational Age Group, 2016 (in million $)
      • Affluent or Childless Millennials Wield Disproportionate Spending Power in Pet Market
        • Table Aggregate Expenditures on Pets by Households Headed by 18- to 34-Year-Olds by Age Group and Household Income, 2015-2016
        • Table Demographic Profile of Consumer Units Headed by 25- to 34-Year-Olds by Household Income, 2015-2016
        • Table Aggregate Expenditures on Pets by Households Headed by 18- to 34-Year-Olds by Age Group and Size of 25- to 34-Year-Old Household, 2015-2016
        • Table Demographic Profile of Two-Person Consumer Units Headed by 25- to 34-Year-Olds, 2015-2016
  • Gen Z and Millennial Dog Owners
    • Overview
      • Gen Z and Millennial Dog Owners Total 43 Million
        • Table Dog Ownership by Age Group, 2017 (in thousands)
      • Gen Z and Millennials More Likely Than Boomers to Own Dogs
      • 18- to 39-Year-Olds Power Growth in Dog Ownership
        • Table Growth in Number of Dog Owners by Age Group, 2007-2017 (in thousands)
      • 18- to 39-Year-Old Dog Owners Account for 43% of Growth in Entire Adult Population
        • Table Growth in Number of Adults Owning and Not Owning Dogs by Age Group, 2007-2017 (in thousands)
      • Gen Z Most Likely to Share Household with Two or More Dogs
        • Table Percent of Dog Owners in Each Age Group by Number of Dogs in Household, 2017
        • Table Age Groups as Percent of All Dog Owners by Number of Dogs in Household, 2017
      • Gen Z and Millennials See Cost and Time Constraints as Barriers to Owning Multiple Dogs
    • Key Characteristics of Gen Z and Millennial Dog Owners
      • Younger Dogs More Common Among Younger Owners
        • Table Age of Dogs Owned by Age Group of Dog Owner, 2016-2017
      • Millennials Less Likely to Favor Large Dogs, More Likely to Have Medium-Weight Dogs
        • Table Size of Dogs Owned by Age Group of Dog Owner, 2016-2017
      • Millennials See Small Dogs as Easier to Manage
      • Millennials More Likely to Own Overweight Dogs
      • Canine Behavior More Likely to Vex Gen Z Dog Owners
      • Demographic Characteristics Compared
        • Table Demographic Profile of Dog Owners by Age Group, 2017
      • Gen Z and Millennial Dog Owners Differ Demographically From Others Their Age
        • Table Key Demographic Differences Between 18- to 39-Year-Old Dog Owners and Non-Dog Owners, 2017
        • Table Key Demographic Differences between Dog Owners and Non-Dog Owners, 2017
    • Consumer Highlights
      • Millennials More Likely Than Gen Z to Buy Products That Pamper Their Pooches
      • 18- to 39-Year-Old Dog Owners More Likely to Buy Pet Products
        • Table Pet Products Bought by Dog Owners in Last 12 Months by Age Group of Dog Owner, 2017
      • Millennial Dog Owners Most Likely to Buy Pet Products Online
        • Table Where Dog Owners Purchase Pet Products by Age Group of Dog Owner, 2017
      • Gen Z and Millennial Owners Seek Out Lower Price Dog Foods
      • Gen Z Less Likely Than Millennials to Have Dogs That Prefer Soft, Wet Pet Food
        • Table Percent of Dog Owners Whose Dogs Prefer Wet or Dry Dog Food by Age Group of Dog Owner, 2017
      • Gen Z and Millennial Dog Owners Like to Use Pet Food Toppers
      • Millennials Are the Most Concerned About Pet Product Safety
        • Table Attitudes of Dog Owners Toward Pet Product Safety by Age Group of Dog Owner, 2017
      • 18- to 39-Year-Old Dog Owners Look for Non-Traditional Veterinarian Venues
        • Table Use of Veterinary Services by Dog Owners by Age Group of Dog Owner, 2016
  • Gen Z and Millennial Cat Owners
    • Overview
      • Gen Z and Millennials Account for 4 in 10 Cat Owners
        • Table Number and Percent of Cat Owners by Age Group, 2017 (in thousands)
      • 18- to 39-Year-Olds Responsible for Most of the Growth in Cat Ownership
        • Table Growth in Number of Cat Owners by Age Group, 2007-2017 (in thousands)
      • Cat Owners Make Up Only Small Part of Total Growth in Gen Z and Millennial Population
        • Table Growth in Number of Adults Owning and Not Owning Cats by Age Group, 2007-2017 (in thousands)
        • Table Growth in Number of 18- to 39-Year-Olds Owning and Not Owning Cats, 2007-2017 (in thousands)
      • Gen Z More Likely Than Millennials to Own More Than One Cat
        • Table Percent of Cat Owners in Each Age Group by Number of Cats in Household, 2017
        • Table Cat Ownership by Number of Cats in Household and Age Group of Cat Owner, 2017
      • 18- to 39-Year-Olds Lag Behind in Acquiring Multiple Cats
        • Table Percent Change in Number of Cat Owners in Each Age Group by Number of Cats in Household, 2007-2017
    • Key Characteristics of Gen Z and Millennial Cat Owners
      • Millennials Most Likely to Own Young Cats
        • Table Age of Cats Owned by Age Group of Cat Owner, 2016-2017
      • More Gen Z and Millennial Owners Have Overweight Cats
      • Gen Z Cat Owners Stand Alone Demographically
        • Table Demographic Profile of Cat Owners by Age Group, 2017
      • Key Demographic Differences Between 18- to 39-Year-Old Cat Owners and Non-Cat Owners
        • Table Demographic Profile of 18- to 39-Year-Old Cat Owners and Non-Cat Owners, 2017
    • Consumer Highlights
      • Millennial Cat Owners Like to Buy Products That Coddle Their Cats
        • Table Percent of Cat Owners Agreeing "I Enjoy Buying Pet Products That Pamper My Cat," by Age Group of Cat Owner, 2017
      • Millennials Most Likely to Buy Apparel and Toys for Their Cats
        • Table Pet Products Bought by Cat Owners in Last 12 Months by Age Group of Cat Owner, 2017
      • Millennial and Gen Z Cat Owners Choose Different Channels
        • Table Where Cat Owners Purchase Pet Products by Age Group of Cat Owner, 2017
      • Under-40 Cat Owners More Likely to Buy Lower-Priced Cat Foods
      • Gen Z and Millennial Cat Owners Tempt Their Cats with Toppers
      • Millennials Say Their Cats Just As Likely to Prefer Soft or Crunchy Pet Foods
        • Table Percent of Cat Owners Whose Cats Prefer Wet or Dry Cat Food by Age Group of Cat Owner, 2017
      • 18- to 39-Year-Old Cat Owners Much More Concerned About Pet Product Safety
        • Table Attitudes of Cat Owners Toward Pet Product Safety by Age Group of Cat Owner, 2017
  • Millennials and Gen Z as Pet Market Consumers: Other Pets
    • Ownership Trends
      • Introduction
      • Millennials and Gen Z Account for Nearly Half of Owners of Pets Other Than Cats or Dogs
        • Table Number and Percent of Adults Owning Birds, Fish, Reptiles or Rabbits or Hamsters by Age Group, 2017
        • Table Ownership of Fish, Birds, Reptiles and Rabbits or Hamsters by Age Group of Owner and Category of Pet, 2017
        • Table Number and Percent of Adults Owning Pets in "Other" Category by Age Group of Owner, 2017
      • Gen Z More Likely to Own Other Pets of All Kinds
        • Table Percent Owning Fish, Birds, Reptiles and Rabbits or Hamsters by Age Group of Owner and Category of Pet, 2017
      • Gen Z Helps Stem Decline in Ownership of Fish, Birds, Reptiles and Rabbits or Hamsters
        • Table Change in Number of Owners of Birds, Fish, Reptiles or Rabbits or Hamsters by Age Group of Owner, 2007-2017 (in thousands)
      • More 18- to 39-Year-Olds Turn to Reptiles or Rabbits or Hamsters as Pets
        • Table Change in Number of 18- to 39-Year-Old Owners of Fish, Birds, Reptiles or Rabbits or Hamsters by Type of Pet Owned, 2007-2017 (in thousands)
    • Demographic Profile
      • Gen Z Owners Far Less Likely To Be Non-Hispanic White
        • Table Owners of Fish, Birds, Reptiles or Rabbits or Hamsters by Gender and Race and Hispanic Origin and by Age Group of Owner, 2017
      • Gen Z Owners of Fish, Birds, Reptiles or Rabbits or Hamsters Are Less Urban
        • Table Owners of Fish, Birds, Reptiles or Rabbits or Hamsters by Region and Place and Type of Residence and by Age Group of Owner, 2017
      • Education and Employment Profile of Gen Z Owners Reflect Their Stage in Life
        • Table Owners of Fish, Birds, Reptiles or Rabbits or Hamsters by Education, Employment, Household Income and Type of Residence and by Age Group of Owner, 2017
        • Table Owners of Fish, Birds, Reptiles or Rabbits or Hamsters by Marital Status and Presence of Children in Household and by Age Group of Owner, 2017
      • Demographic Differences Between Owners vs. Non-Owners of Other Pets
        • Table Key Demographic Differences Between 18- to 39-Year-Old Owners and Non-Owners of Fish, Birds, Reptiles or Rabbits or Hamsters, 2017

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