Pampered Pet Trends for 2017

Today’s pet owners want to extend their individuality to their pets, and an increasing number of niche and boutique pet stores are helping them do that in style. Look for some of these pampered pet trends in 2017. 
Kerry Lengyel
Published: January 03, 2017
The pet industry has been booming over the past few years, largely as a result of growth in pet boutiques and niche pet stores. According to an October 2016 report from sales and marketing agency Acosta, 94% of pet owners consider their pets members of their family and want to treat them as such. These pet owners are seeking out products that are more specialized, healthier, and more high end for their furry friends.
 
Baby boomers have always spoiled their pets as if they were their own children, and this new report shows that millennials are embracing the same notion. Millennials have now surpassed baby boomers as the largest generation of pet owners.
 
Because pet owners only want the best for their furry babies, specialized treats, food, grooming services, and toys are growing in popularity across the country. Look for some of these pampered pet trends in 2017.


 
Health-Conscious Pet Food
Now more than ever, pet owners have a massive variety of healthy options to feed not only themselves but their animals, too.
 
Organic brands can cost as much as 30% more than average brands, but these higher-quality products are more appealing to today’s pet owners. More and more pets are becoming food sensitive and may develop allergies that make finding the right products all the more difficult as well.
 
Specialized and holistic pet food has wellness benefits for pets that outweigh the higher costs for pet owners. This trend is sure to increase in 2017. 

 
What Pet Owners Are Buying
A whopping 14,000 pet product stores are projected to be open by 2018 in the United States. Here’s what today’s pet owners are buying:
  • 43% buy toys or apparel on impulse.
  • 66% purchase treats.
  • 50% buy toys.
  • 60% celebrate pet birthdays.
  • 46% buy items that contain “wellness benefits.”
Source: Acosta, "Pet Parenting Boom," October 2016.




Specialty Treats
Pet treats are the fastest-growing pet retail category, and a big reason behind the boom is the skyrocketing number of pet owners celebrating their pets’ birthdays in style.
 
According to this report, 60% of pet owners celebrate their pet’s birthday. Boutique treat stores are seizing this opportunity to sell items such as cookies and cakes that animals can eat on their birthday or any occasion. 



Spa Day
What once used to be called “grooming” has morphed into a more pampered experience for many pets. Owners can now send their pets on a retreat to a local boutique groomer and give them the full spa treatment. These specialty spa treatments—which can substitute or be added on to a typical grooming package—can include anything from a facial to a “pawdicure” to a nose or skin moisture treatment. 



Individualized Outfits
Another niche in the market is personalized and customizable accessories and toys. The average collar, leash, or harness can now be customized for individual pets through monogramming or selecting specific colors and patterns. 
 

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