According to the annual American Pet Products Association (APPA) report released at Global Pet Expo, Americans spent just over $60 billion on their pets last year, a record sum fueled by an increase in what owners shelled out for services like grooming, boarding and training.
Two age groups drove growth: millennials, because of their lifestyle, and baby boomers, because of their age, said Bob Vetere, president and CEO of the American Pet Products Association (APPA). Those groups often look to others to keep their pets exercised and looking and feeling good, hiring pet-sitters and using boarding services.
Americans spent $5.4 billion on pet services last year, up nearly 12 percent from 2014. The spike in service spending is expected to moderate in 2016 but still increase nearly 6 percent, more than any other area of pet spending.
Spending on pet supplies and medication increased nearly 4 percent, compared with a 2.5 percent hike for veterinary services.
“If a pet is sick or injured, today’s owner will run to the vet, but routine visits to the vet are down,” Vetere said.
Though Americans are spending more to take care of their pets, they aren’t buying as many pets to begin with. People in the U.S. spent about $2.1 billion on animals last year, down 1.4 percent from 2014.