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The Pet Care Online Industry: Trends And Stats You Need To Know

By Ecommerce Pro


Whether you own a pet or not, it’s not hard to see that people have been getting into some serious fury friendships a lot more in the past years. Just go through YouTube and other social media platforms, and it’s all too easy to find yourself falling down the rabbit hole of adorable cat and dog videos with millions of views—a testament to their popularity and people’s love for house-hold animals.

Today, there are almost 85 million households in the U.S. that have at least one pet, making up 68% of all households. Most of the growth in pet-loving homes that we see are coming from millennials and from the Gen Z who have embraced pet-care into their culture and lifestyle, more so than past generations.

Pets play a vital and important role in people’s lives, and millennials who are still on the fence about starting a family, tend to have pets earlier in life than what has been seen in previous generations. Pet-owning millennials see their pets increasingly as family members, and you’ll hear all kinds of references to their “fur babies” in casual conversations.

To take care of their pets, tech-savvy pet owners today are turning to the internet for pet care products and accessories for its convenience and wide variety of choices. Things like toys, clothes and costumes, grooming tools, training tools, and not to mention food are being sold and purchased online by pet owners. To add to that the convenience, online pet brands also offer customizable items, reviews, and quick delivery options—not to mention the fact that online stores are open 24/7, allowing you to shop from home without even having to get dressed.

According to a 2017 U.S. report done by Statista on a comparison between the growth of pet care in e-commerce and brick-and-mortar sales, online pet care sales grew by 3.4. billion U.S. dollars, compared to the 317 million dollars for brick-and-mortar sales. Now that is just exceptional news for anyone who dabbles in ecommerce.

This is because, rather than making a trek to the store, pet owners today prefer to purchase their pet food, medicine, and other supplies online and have it delivered straight to their doorstep.

Needless to say, with more than half of households embracing the pet-loving lifestyle, the pet care niche is a booming industry that only grows as we get to love our pets more and more. For ecommerce entrepreneurs that have a love for pets, this can be a great way to build a profitable business around your passion!

So, if you’ve been thinking about building your very own online pet supplies store and want to know about the trends and the relevant information that you need, then you’ve come to the right place. Let’s start off with some quick points on some relevant pet industry stats from the American Pet Products Association and Statista that any online pet store owner should know about:

Pet Industry Statistics

  • In 2010, the total U.S. pet expenditure was at $48.35 billion. While in 2018, we saw it increase of $ 72.56 billion on money spent on pets. 2019 is estimated to see an increase in expenditures on pet products and care at $75.38 billion.
  • Among household pets, 90 million of them are dogs while 94 million are cats.
  • In 2018 people spent 30.32 billion on pet food—a 4.3% increase from 2017.
  • The average millennial dog owner spends approximately $1,285 per year on their pets, while cat owners spend a little less at $1,070 annually.
  • The world pet care market value is estimated to hit $269 billion by 2025.

What these stats tell us is that, in very recent years, the pet industry has been experiencing explosive growth, growth that isn’t about to stop anytime soon in the foreseeable future. Now that we have talked about the numbers, let’s take a look at what pet owners want for their pets and the trends that they are following: 

1. Premium & Natural Pet Food

People today are a lot more concerned about the kind of food that goes into Fluffy’s food bowl. The reality of much of pet food sold in your local supermarket is that most of them contain ingredients that make no sense in a pet’s diet. For instance, much of cat food is loaded with grains—which is not ideal for a carnivorous animal’s diet and can lead to many health problems along the line.

Today’s pet parents show more concern for their pet’s health and wellness and want their fur babies to live long, healthy, and happy lives. Pet owners today tend to go for foods that are clean, health-focused, and contain better-suited ingredients.

If you own an online pet store or are thinking of starting an online pet business, then stock up on some healthy treats and premium food for pets.

2. Tech For Pets

When it comes to pet accessories, people want more than just tutu costumes and customized dog tags. People are also investing in tech that makes their lives and their pets’ lives happier and healthier.

A prime example of tech trends in the pet industry are wearables. That’s right, wearable tech isn’t just for fitness junkies and people anymore. There are apps and wearable devices on the market that help pet owners monitor their pet’s health, which include body temperature monitors, heart rate, perspiration rate, and more so that pet owners can keep their pets in tip-top shape.

Aside from wearable tech, things like live webcams are also a technological trend in the pet industry. These webcams help pet owners monitor their pets anywhere and anytime. There are even webcams on the market like the Petzi Treat Cam that works double-time as a webcam and treat dispenser, so that pet owners can reward their pets from afar.

3. Natural Pet Products

When it comes to going natural, it’s not all about the food. Natural pet products are generally gaining popularity as pet owners have become more conscious of how their daily actions can leave an impact on the planet. Pet parents are also more wary of potentially harmful chemicals found in pet products that could have a negative impact not only on the planet but on their pet’s health.

In addition to natural food for better pet nutrition, pet owners are turning to natural flea and tick repellents, shampoos and other grooming products, and are opting to buy toys made from natural, eco-friendly fibers and materials.

4. Customizable Options For Gifts And Accessories

As our pets become more and more a part of our family, if not our best friends, more people are on the lookout for products that offer a personal touch. Items like personalized cat and dog tags, bandanas, bowls, and more are being made and bought for our furry friends.

Some of these personalized products may not all be intended for their pet’s use, however. For instance, there are online stores that offer customizable animal face socks, watercolor pet paintings, custom pet earrings, phone cases, throw pillows, and well, anything you can think of where you’d like to have your pet’s likeness printed or molded on.

5. Pet Subscription Boxes

If you thought subscription boxes where just for people—they aren’t anymore. Pet parents only seem to find more ways to spoil their fur babies and monthly subscription boxes for pets have found its way into the mix!

In case you were wondering what subscription boxes for pets are, they are a service that delivers a box full of new products every month for pet owners and their pets to try out. These boxes are usually filled with an assortment of new treats, grooming products, and toys.

Subscription boxes can be a lot of fun for both pet and pet owner. If you are running an ecommerce shop for pets or planning to start one, having a monthly subscription box option can be fairly profitable. The average price range for these kinds of pet services run from $10 to $50 a month.


Back To You

With the way things are going in the pet industry, building up your own ecommerce pet business may result in a very profitable turn out for those who have the inclination to do so and a passion for pets. It is a niche that is ever-green because those fur babies are definitely here to stay—in our lives and firmly in our hearts.

We’ve talked about the stats and the pet industry trends on the products and services that can give your online store the potential to grow as a business. In the coming years, the pet industry is only expected to grow as pet owners are tuning into their pet’s health and happiness, which leaves a lot of room for growth, innovation, and imagination for those who wish to dip their paws into the pet industry.

Get In Touch

What are your thoughts on the booming nature of the ecommerce pet industry? We would like to know. If you have a project in mind, contact Ecommerce Pro today. We help entrepreneurs build better ecommerce and dropshipping online businesses that help you generate the revenue that can make a difference in your life. Have a project in mind? Feel free to start a conversation with us today!

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