The pet industry is a huge multi-billion dollar industry in both the United States and worldwide. Food, veterinary care, supplies/OTC medicine, and grooming are the largest categories of spending for pets. In particular, grooming for dogs and cats and supplements and health products for dogs and cats are large spend categories with considerable growth. Entrepreneurs looking for an entrance into a field that does not require as much initial capital or regulation compliance should look into the health, grooming, and food industries for pets.
One of the amazing statistics that come from American Pet Products Association (APPA) about the pet industry in the United States is that over half of the households in the USA (approximately 65%) own some type of pet. The amount of money spent on pets is huge. Another very interesting statistic from the APPA is that the annual revenue growth rate is 5.4% since 2002 and did not slow during the recession of 2008-2011.
Another interesting statistic from the APPA is that there is a huge concentration of pets that need grooming as well as healthy pet food and treats. U.S. households own 60.2 million dogs and 47.1 million cats. To put some of these numbers in perspective, according to the U.S. Census Bureau there are approximately 126 million households in the USA. The majority of households in the United States have pets that need both grooming and food products.
Not to mention, these pet owners will at some point or another seek healthcare products for their furry loved ones. Simply put, the answer to the question “can I give my dog aspirin” has been uttered by veterinarian staff ever since over the counter painkillers have become standard for both man and beast.
Pet grooming is one of the fastest growing categories. According to the APPA, households with pets in the USA will spend nearly $6 billion over the next few years on pet grooming alone. The Bureau of Labor Statistics believes that the job category for pet grooming will grow by 20 percent by 2026. In the United States, an average pet grooming can cost $50-$90, which is actually higher than the average for a haircut for a person. Pet grooming also requires less money in equipment to operate, less money in training to be effective, and less money in compliance to work without government interference. In terms of training, there are schools that teach pet grooming that are less expensive and require less time than similar beauty schools. There are also some apprenticeship programs for pet grooming offered in some states.
According to the APPA, pet food, supplements, and health products are supposed to reach $30 billion worth of sales in the next few years. Dogs and cats are the two pets whose food categories are the largest. Pet food, supplements, and health products have much fewer regulation requirements than human food. Human food, supplements, and health products have to generally register on the federal, state, and local level.
Labeling for human products is also much more complicated as labeling for human products requires actual nutrient content such as protein and fat content. Pet food labels are allowed to use estimates of nutrient content. Pet food, supplements, and health products are usually in the feed category. There are no meat and vegetable inspection requirements from the USDA as with human food. Products for pets are not required to meet safety, warehousing, and transportation FDA requirements.
Overall, for a businessperson looking to enter an industry, the health, grooming and food industries for pets requires less time and money to start a business than those for people. This even applies to the development of social media for pets and pet owners.