National Spending on Pets Reaches Record High

Add up expenses for pet healthcare, litter boxes, collars, toys, food and water bowls, and you’ll understand why spending on cats and dogs in the U.S. reached a record high of $60.28 billion last year — a 3.5 increase over 2014.

“The pet humanization trend is alive and well and continues to drive growth at the premium end of the market,” says Bob Vetere, president and CEO of the American Pet Products Association, which issued the annual industry report. “As millennials prepare to take the reins from the baby boomer generation as the primary demographic of pet owners, they stand to further develop this trend.”

Services such as pet sitting saw the biggest growth. They increased 11.8 percent to $5.41 billion. Supplies and over-the-counter medication grew 3.9 percent, to $14.28 billion. Veterinary care was second in spending at $15 billion, up 2.5 percent. while pet food continues to be No. 1 in sales. Owners spent $23 billion on food last year, a 3.5 percent increase, which the association attributes mainly to higher prices rather than a larger volume of sales.