Forget for a moment that we could probably feed millions of hungry people the world over for the cost of the bell-laden bizzy balls we buy for our cats (haven’t seen them? Check under your couch).
But yes, U.S. consumers love their pets. In fact, according to a Nielsen survey conducted by Harris Poll, 95 percent of U.S. pet owners “consider their pets to be part of the family.”
And like other family members, those doggies and kitties are pampered with treats, gifts, and toys.
“With over half of Americans (60 percent) owning pets –and a large majority owning either a dog or a cat (65 percent and 53 percent of pet owners, respectively) — it’s no wonder pet sales soar around the holidays,” notes Nielsen. “This year, 37 percent of Americans, and over half of pet owners (52 percent), are planning to purchase toys, treats, or other products as gifts for a pet.”
And here’s an odd fact: 13 percent of those who do not have a pet plan to purchase toys for one this season, probably for another family member’s or friend’s pet.
“The numbers are nothing to bark at: U.S. pet owners spend on average $1.5 billion monthly on pet care items,” explains Nielsen. “But as we close in on Christmas, spending on pet care jumps. In 2014, sales totaled $1.6 billion in the four weeks ending Nov. 29, 2014, and $1.7 billion in the four weeks ending Dec. 27, 2014.”
Do we love our pets or what? You’re doggone right we do. Every day of the year. And especially, it appears, during the holidays.