Living La Vida Fido: The Rise of Pet Ownership as a Lifestyle
These days, pet ownership is much more than simply feeding another mouth in the household—for some owners, it’s become a full-blown lifestyle. More than ever, people are bringing their pets with them everywhere they go, with dogs becoming more widely accepted in outdoor dining areas, stores, office buildings and other public places. Pet owners often make decisions about where to vacation, what types of furniture to buy and even where to live based on their pets.
So, what does this mean for you as a pet retailer? It means there are more opportunities than ever to stock products that appeal to “pet lifestylers,” and particularly those who identify themselves as pet lovers. For example, many fun and innovative products are available to enhance the pet owning lifestyle and enable pets to participate in practically every activity. Did you know that there are now pet strollers? Dog sling carriers? Private party spaces for pets? Tech devices for the connected pet?
Keep in mind, pet ownership continues to be on the rise among several key demographics: young urbanites, people living by themselves and retirees—and these groups often have more money to spend on pets than households with children. What’s more, health professionals are highlighting and encouraging pet ownership for its positive health benefits. According to a recent study by the Human Animal Bond Research Initiative Foundation (HABRI):
- Pet owners visit the doctor less than the average non-pet owner, resulting in cost savings of $11.7 billion every year.
- Dog owners who walk their dog five or more times a week show a lower incidence of obesity, saving $418 million a year.
- Scientific research has shown that pet ownership demonstrates a positive impact on infection control, cardiovascular disease, hypertension, cholesterol, allergies, stress, blood pressure and mental health.
More than ever, retailers have an opportunity to offer products that will not only benefit pets, they’ll help pet owners live a healthy, active lifestyle. New products that appeal to “lifestylists” are coming on the market all the time—see and shop them all at SuperZoo this August, and make sure your store is the favorite go-to choice in your area!