How devoted are Americans to their pets?
Add up the 2018 annual budgets of the U.S. Departments of Commerce, Interior and Labor and Transportation—and toss in NASA’s estimated spend for that year and the number still won’t match what we will drop on Fido and Fluffy this year.
That’s according to the American Pet Products Association, which estimates 2019 spending on pets will hit $75.38 billion, a 3.8% increase over the $72.56 we spend last year.
Just under $32 billion of that will go towards food, but toys, collars and other “supplies” (along with over the counter medicine) will generate $16.44 billion in sales, says the group.
Not surprisingly, a lot of that spending will take place at this time of year. A recent study by SunTrust Banks found that pet owners will spend an average of $137 on their four-legged friends this holiday season.
Dogs are much more likely to get a present than cats (they are, after all, man’s best friend). Some 59% of canine owners say they’ll buy their pooch a gift, versus just 34% of cat owners. Treats and toys top the lists for both common pets, with holiday clothing coming in second.
Unfortunately, just as many people want to impress friends and family with their generosity, some feel the need to impress their animal companions, as well.
“For many people, pets are members of the family, so it’s expected that we would want to include them in the holiday fun,” said Brian Nelson Ford, financial well-being executive at SunTrust in a statement. “Our studies show that the holiday season often comes with pressure to overspend. Gifts for pets, friends, neighbors and other obligations can add to the pressure when the spending is unplanned.”
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