According to industry trends analyses and prognostications, the pet business will continue to boom unabated in the future.
Here are some areas in which business growth is expected to really accelerate.
Natural Pet Products
Natural products in general are gaining wide-spread popularity because people have become more conscious about improving and sustaining the health of the planet, and are increasingly leery of the potential toxicity of synthetic chemicals and other harmful materials.
In addition to a desire to decrease their pets’ carbon paw prints, pet parents are increasingly opting to purchase natural products in an effort to maintain and/or improve the health and well-being of their beloved companion animals.
The current top-selling natural pet products are:
- Holistic cat and dog food
- Cat litter
- Natural flea and tick repellents
- Holistic grooming products such as the blueberry facial for dogs
- Products for older pets, specifically dogs
Specialty Pet Services Propel Pet Business Growth
The American Pet Products Association (APPA) predicts that spending in this arena will increase from $510 billion for 2013 to $750 billion by 2015. The demand for high end pet grooming services is expected to continue to be particularly brisk.
Other pet services that are increasing in popularity are:
- Dog training
- Upscale and holistic spa services, such as “paw-ticures,” reiki and pet massage
- Pet behavioral consulting
- Pet portrait photography
- Pet sitting
Another pet enterprise that is gaining a lot of popularity is the self-serve dog wash.
In addition to offering ease and convenience for pet owners, this concept offers many unique retail opportunities.
Other really hot pet industry trends are:
Mobile pet grooming. This service involves the use of specially equipped vehicles that travel to pet owners’ homes; the groomers perform a full range of services right outside the customer’s door.
This is a very in-demand service because it’s convenient for the customer, it reduces potential stress on the pets and it’s a godsend for home-bound older people, whose numbers are increasing due to the dense baby boomer population.
On the downside, initial start-up costs for such an enterprise are hefty. But those in a position to make an investment in this are virtually guaranteed high business growth dividends.
Pet-friendly travel: This is another high business growth concept that’s being adopted by an increasing number of those in the vacation and hospitality industries.
As more and more people regard their pets as beloved family members, they are opting to take them along on vacations. Moreover, people are more mobile, and may have to travel long distances to relocate for jobs, retirement or other purposes.
Back in 2003, I made a 700-mile move to take a job in North Carolina. As I was traveling with my two cats, Daisy and Amanda, I was obliged to spend nights in pet-friendly accommodations along the way.
Takeyourpet.com, an information resource and directory for those who travel with companion animals, was a godsend. At that time, it was also one of only a few such resources. But there are now tons of these types of enterprises.
That’s a very smart move for those who wish to facilitate business growth, and it’s sure to remain a red-hot industry trend for a long time to come.
Pet health insurance: Although available in the country for a good 30 years, sales of pet policies have only begun to accelerate in recent times.
This popular industry trend is expected to proliferate dramatically and subsequently offer enhanced potential for pet business growth due to a number of factors.
For one, as previously mentioned, people increasingly regard their pets as beloved family members; pets (like people) are living longer, requiring more complex and extended medical care; and advances in veterinary technology have resulted in more costly pet medical care.
This industry trend presents such a huge potential for business growth that corporate behemoth Nestle Purina even got on the bandwagon by launching a pet insurance subsidiary in 2008.
Indeed, pet parents spent $13 billion on vet bills in 2010, which the APPA predicts will increase to more than $14 billion in 2011.
Although this is an extremely complex business, getting on this bandwagon is a very smart business move for those who have the inclination.
Pet Industry Trends of the Future
These are just some examples of products, services and concepts that offer great potential for business growth.
Considering that American pet parents are expected to spend more than $53.33 billion on their companion animals in 2012, and is expected to climb to $55.53 billion for 2013, the sky’s the limit for those who have a good head for business, and genuine love of critters.
For more pet industry statistical data, please see my article APPA Releases U.S. Pet Owners Survey for 2013-2014.