National Pet Market Opportunity Study Focusing on Previous and Non-Pet Owners to be Unveiled at Global Pet Expo

National Pet Market Opportunity Study Focusing on Previous and Non-Pet Owners to be Unveiled at Global Pet Expo

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March 12, 2014

Contact: Jamie Baxter, Julie Rowe
The Impetus Agency 775-322-4022


National Pet Market Opportunity Study Focusing on Previous and Non-Pet Owners to be Unveiled at Global Pet Expo

- American Pet Products Association (APPA) releases National Pet Market Opportunity Study, revealing new market growth opportunities-

(ORLANDO, FL) – The American Pet Products Association (APPA) President and CEO Bob Vetere announced today the official release of the newly expanded APPA National Pet Market Opportunity Study. The report focuses on previous pet owners and non-pet owners (individuals who have never owned a pet) and identifies new market opportunities as well as barriers to pet ownership. However, the study also explores comparisons between current, previous and non-pet owning households.

One of the key findings in the survey found that while there are 84.6 million U.S. households that are current pet owners, 26.6 million U.S. households are previous pet owners and 11.4 million households have never owned a pet.

In exploring behaviors between the three pet ownership types – current, previous and non-pet owners, there are some notable demographic differences, according to this report. Current pet owners tend to live in more rural areas, have young children at home and larger households. They report somewhat lower average household incomes, are younger and own their own single family home. Conversely, previous pet owners tend to live in mid-size markets, do not have young children at home, and have the highest average household incomes. They are slightly older and live in a single-family home they own with one other person (typically their spouse). Finally, non-pet owners tend to be urban dwellers who more often live alone, rent their residence (which has a higher likelihood of being a building for three or more families) and are least likely to be married.

New to this year’s study was a look at ownership by generation. One-third of current pet owners are Baby Boomers, while another one-quarter each are Gen Y and Gen X. Only 10% of current pet owners are from the Builder generation. Previous pet owners are far more likely to be Baby Boomers (43%), followed by Gen X (21%) and Builders (20%). Gen Y makes up the smallest number of previous pet owners. The non-pet owners group is composed of one-third Baby Boomers and nearly one-third Gen X respondents. One-quarter are Gen Y and the remaining are Builders.

“As an industry, we have made great strides over the past decade to promote the joys and benefits of responsible pet ownership through various campaigns and initiatives. This report provides valuable insight into identifying key opportunities for growth, and to further our mission of getting more pets into homes,” said Vetere. “Another important aspect of the report is the validation that many industry initiatives, like Pets in the Classroom, are influencing families’ decisions to add a pet to their homes.”

In fact, the study reports that respondents with children who have experienced a pet in their classroom indicate that exposure to be a positive motivator for their family to obtain a pet. There were also questions added to this year’s study to better understand the link between pet ownership as a child and pet ownership as an adult. It was found that oftentimes, pet ownership is a holdover from childhood experience and the desire for the respondents’ children to have the same experience.

In addition, the report also includes the impact of current economic conditions on pet ownership, as well as the influence of TV shows/videos about pets. Media habits, leisure activities, Internet usage and care of free-roaming animals are just a few of the other topics explored.  

Vetere added, “It’s our hope that the data from this study will benefit the industry in understanding where growth opportunities exist for individual pet categories and the pet industry as a whole.”

As a bonus, the report also includes appendices with updated pet ownership incidence figures, as well as Executive Summary material from the current 2013-2014 APPA National Pet Owners Survey. For more information, a complete Table of Contents, and to order the study, please visit

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The American Pet Products Association (APPA) is the leading not-for-profit trade association serving the interests of the pet products industry since 1958.  APPA membership includes more than 1,000 pet product manufacturers, their representatives, importers and livestock suppliers, representing both large corporations and growing business enterprises.  APPA's mission is to promote, develop and advance pet ownership and the pet product industry and to provide the services necessary to help its members prosper. Visit for more information.

Tags: National Pet Market Opportunity Study, pet industry research, statistics, american pet products association

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