Americans spent more money than the combined GDP of 39 countries on their pets in 2018, which was a whopping $72 billion. With such a big market, it is easy to see the big opportunities in the business of all things canine.
A new infographic presented by TruDog and developed by NowSourcing titled, “The Business of Dogs” looks at how much Americans are spending to take care of their dog. This includes everything from healthcare to food, supplements, and more.
As a business concept, taking care of dogs covers a range of industries and one ideally suited for small businesses. Whether you want to start by walking or sitting dogs, or making gourmet dog food there are many options. The key is identifying a niche and going after it.
A great example of this is the founder of TruDog, Lori R. Taylor. She started her business after going through the agonizing heartache of losing her Great Dane named Truman to cancer. By the way, the name of the company in part has his name.
In researching his condition, she soon found out the processed dog food Truman was eating was full of carcinogens and little nutrition. So, she came up with TruDog so dog owners are secure in knowing the food and supplements they feed their pets are healthy and nutritious.
The Business of Dogs
With around 90 million pet dogs in the US, the billions of dollars their owners spend on them is not really surprising.
According to the infographic, dogs are part of the family. For 66% of it is their best friend, while 59% said they are a snuggling buddy. This was followed by 37% who said their dog was a guardian, and 33% a child, and 25% a therapist.
When it comes to how much Americans spend, it varies according to which generation they were born in. Millennials spend the most at $142 per month, followed by Gen Z at $124, Gen X at $105, and baby boomers at $80.
On average Americans spend close to $1,300 every year on their companion.
The amount they spend also comes with great cost, as 3 out of 4 Americans said they would make a financial as well as lifestyle sacrifices. A clear majority or 79% said they would give up eating at restaurants, 67% would skip their vacation, and 37% said they would lower the amount they put towards retirement savings.
The cost of veterinary is getting more expensive, and without insurance, it can really put a dent on your finances. The cost for the most common health problems is up to $6,500 for stomach issues, $6,000 eye conditions, and $4,000 skin problems.
The costs are higher when it comes to emergencies, seen or unforeseen. Radiation therapy can run as high as $9,000, with brain tumor treatment coming in at $12K, followed by $20K for kidney disease and transplant.
According to the report, the cost of veterinary care has resulted in more people buying pet health insurance. By 2022, the market is expected to reach $2 billion. Considering 1 in 3 pets require urgent vet care each year, having insurance is one way of offsetting the cost.
Keeping your dog healthy and living longer means making sure they are getting the best food and nutritional supplements. And 85% of Americans believe quality food can extend the lives of their pets.
Vitamins and supplements now make up a growing segment of pet nutrition. In 2018 the average dog owner spent $100 on vitamins and 1 in 3 of them said they give their pet daily supplements. This includes glucosamine, Omega-3, and probiotics to name a few.
Small Business Opportunities
As the data in the infographic points out, there are different segments an entrepreneur can address when it comes to dogs and their owners.
Dogs have many of the same needs we have, so there are great opportunities. And for their owners spending the money to make sure they are healthy and happy is an expense they are willing to make.
Lori’s company TruDog has grown into a leading brand as the first anti-aging system for dogs.
Take a look at the rest of the data in the infographic below.
It seems like the money is really in the most narrow niches. It is about finding that niche that you are interested in and dogs are no exception.