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April 15, 2020

Annual spending on pets nearing $100B

Published on March 25, 2020

Annual sales of pet products and services in the United States are nearing $100 billion for the first time, as 2019 spending reached $95.7 billion, according to a Feb. 27 announcement from the American Pet Products Association.

The overall sales figures are higher than previously reported industry expenditures as a result of APPA’s efforts to refine and improve its research methodology.

Veterinary care and product sales came in at $29.3 billion, a substantial jump from previously reported spending figures. In addition to routine veterinary care, the total now includes surgical procedures and sales of pharmaceuticals and other products through veterinary clinics.

Child giving a cat a treat


Pet food and treats is by far the largest spending category, with 2019 sales reaching $36.9 billion. Dog and cat foods are the dominant category components, with the growing popularity of pet food mix-ins and toppers contributing to increased sales. The growth in subscription pet food delivery programs also added to the success of this category. APPA expects the pet food and treats category to see another 4% increase in sales in 2020.

Supplies, live animals, and over-the-counter medicines sold at retail accounted for $19.2 billion in 2019. This category includes estimated retail sales of fish, reptiles, birds, and other small animals, which had previously been broken out as a separate category. Sales figures for live animals are difficult to come by and are a relatively small contributor to overall sales. APPA purposely excluded sales of dogs, cats, and horses because these animals are typically obtained outside of the retail pet channel.

The category of other services contributed $10.3 billion to industry sales last year. The category comprises boarding, grooming, insurance, training, pet sitting and walking, and all services outside of veterinary care.

“Aside from echoing the current state of the pet industry, APPA’s latest industry figures remind us of just how much Americans love their pets,” said Steve King, CEO of APPA. “By understanding consumer behavior, we’re not only fostering the success of the pet industry for generations to come, we’re notably improving the lives of pets and the humans who love and care for them.”