Pets, The Family We Choose |

 These days, the family pet isn't just the family pet. Rather our pets are as essential to our family unit as any member of the human variety. A recent series of posts on this topic elicited a high volume of positive responses from our readers here and across social media platforms. For example, this note from Lynda Fernandez, a pet owner in the United Kingdom: 

"...Yes, of course my dogs are family. The vet appears to see them in the same light because he calls [them] in by names; so my dogs are Mits Fernandez and Monty Fernandez."

Topics: Pets

Veterinarians Are Key to Pet Medications Market |

One of the more peculiar casualties of the Internet age has been the changing role of veterinarians when it comes to the sale of certain pet medication.  For instance, during much of the 20th Century, veterinarians did very well selling “ethical” (exclusive to the veterinary channel, though not prescription) brands of flea/tick spot-ons such as Frontline and Advantage.

However, during the past decade, a large chunk of those sales have shifted online with the rise of websites like PetMed Express (1800PetMeds). Despite the commitments of manufacturers, sales of key ethical brands have also migrated inexorably into brick-and-mortar or wholesale pet business channels. In some cases, this has left a bad taste in the mouths of veterinarians, who feel betrayed when brands they helped put on the map “defect”  to pet specialty and mass market retailers.

Topics: Pets

Small Dogs vs. Big Dogs? Pet Owners Choose Small |

There was a time not very long ago when owning a Supersized product was a sign of prosperity in this country. It was virtually our birthright as Americans to eat Supersized fast food meals, drive oversized gas-guzzling cars, and park them in the driveways of our castle-sized mini-mansions. 

For the pet industry, even our canine companions were larger during this grand, pre-recession era (circa 2008), where affluence abounded, at least for some.  Back then, our dogs were beasts worthy of legend. Owning a large dog was often a statement, especially for men. It screamed, I’m Paul Bunyan and this here is Babe the Blue Ox. These big dogs were our best friends and our protectors.

Topics: Pets

Tainted Pet Food Creates Grumpy Pet Owners |

Internet sensation Grumpy Cat recently became the latest spokesmodel for pet food retail giant Friskies.  The blue-eyed Snowshoe Siamese gained fame last year after its owners developed a quirky series of posts in social media channels including Facebook and YouTube featuring Grumpy Cat's somber facial expression framed by catchphrases such as: "I had fun once. It was awful."

Topics: Pets

Top 10 Pet Industry Trends in 2013 |

The Pet Industry contracted slightly in the great recession, but is poised to experience several points of growth this year, according to David Lummis, a leading analyst at PackagedFacts. 

Topics: Pets

The Pet Products Arms Race |


According to pet industry statistics, on Valentine's Day 2013, Americans spent more than $800 million on cupid-oriented treats for household pets. Market reports from the National Retail Federation show that tokens of love from owners to pets included everything from heart-shaped chew toys for dogs, to sleek red leather collars for cats, to edible 'flower arrangments' for dogs and cats. It's all another indication of how pet industry retailers are quickly adapting to the growing market trends of pet owners who view their four-legged friends as family members.

Topics: Pets

When Pet Healthcare Hits Home |



My name is Jeff Miller and I'm a Research Specialist at Like most cat owners my wife and I have the most awesome cat you'll ever meet. Thirteen years ago my wife peered into a box full of crying kittens and was instantly smitten with this tiny ball of grey and white furr.

Immediately the name came to her: "Grey!" And thus she was named.

For the last 13 years we've been very lucky to have our little companion. A true friend. She's been with us through life's ups and downs and has never asked for anything in return other than fresh food, water and a little lap time.

Then something happened.

Over the course of a few months Grey began to change. It was subtle at first; a little more needy, a little less hungry. But then the changes became more dramatic until we realized that our happy-go-lucky kitty, who charmed everyone she met, was slowly changing into this hyperactive mess who couldn't hold down her meals.

Topics: Healthcare Pets

Health & Safety Data Boosts Pet Healthcare Trends |


We've all seen the pet owners who enjoy bringing their BFLF (Best Four-legged Friend) along to the local pet retailers' during Saturday morning errands. These dedicated 'pet parents' are spurring a big increase in the finely targeted displays at your local pet store. Pet stores are overflowing with information about the ingredients and safety benefits of the pet care products on the shelves. 

Topics: Healthcare Pets

Pet Industry Statistics Show the Power of Pet Humanization

Pet industry statistics show that the more affection pet owners feel for a pet, the higher their levels of spending. Pet stores that welcome dogs inside, offering biscuits at the checkout are genuinely being pet-friendly—but it’s no coincidence that those pet products are located at the cash register, the better to engage exactly the kind of pet owner who brings their pet to the store. 

Packaged Facts’ pet industry statistics bear out the relationship between the depth of the human/animal bond and the level of pet care spending. In recent pet owner surveys for example, in comparing the 61% of pet owners who strongly agree that their pets are part of the family to the minority 11% who strongly disagree, we find that:

  • Only 6% of pet parents buy low-priced pet foods, compared with 33% of those who don’t consider pets to be part of the family.
  • Only 12% of pet parents are spending significantly less on pet products because of the economy, compared with 30% of those who don’t consider pets family.
  • Only 19% of pet parents have skipped out on providing routine vet care for their pets within the past 12 months, compared with 67% of those who don’t consider pets family.
  • Only 22% of pet parents have spent less than $25 in the last 30 days on pet products, compared with 40% of those who don’t consider pets family.
Topics: Pets