Pet Spending Increases as US Economy Improves

The pet industry is now doing better than ever with pet owners splurging on their beloved furry friends as the economic situation gains momentum.

Industry experts have said pet-related stocks have seen a surge in recent times and hope for significant returns from investments in the pet sector. The Pet Passion index, which monitors pet-related companies, has returned 19 per cent over the past year, this is more than double of the S&P 500, which rose 8.5 per cent.

PetMed Express has seen its shares double in the past year. Pet health insurance company Trupanion Inc has risen 44 per cent while IDEXX Laboratories has surged 30 per cent.

The better economy has encouraged people to adopt pets and splurge money on their already existing pets, experts said. Some experts said that delayed child-bearing among millennials could also mean young adults are more likely to spend on their pets.

Industry experts predict a further increase in pet-related spending. The American pet products association said spending could increase this year and much of the spending would be on food, supplies, pet toys, pet strollers, and now pet health-related expenses.

Veterinary doctors too, have noticed a spike in visitors as the economy improves. People are more likely to bring their pets for routine health checkups if they can afford it, a vet said.

Millennials are the primary pet-owning demographic of the year and are more likely to spend money on their pets, treating them as members of their own family.

“People are delaying having children and, as a result, their pets become their children,” one pet expert said adding that when pets are treated as a family, they are likely to be higher spending.

Human health care remains a debated topic making pet care stocks a relatively safer investment; a stockbroker said that pet stocks would continue to remain attractive in the present scenario.