Americans spent $69.5 billion on their pets last year, APPA reports


Spending on veterinary care topped $17 billion, up 7 percent from 2016.

Shutterstock.comThe American Pet Products Association (APPA) has released its latest figures on pet spending, with overall spending in the pet industry at $69.51 billion in 2017, higher than ever before, the association reports. This is up 4 percent from the 2016 figure of $66.75 billion. About a quarter of the total spent-$17 billion-went to veterinary care.

APPA's annual report covers pet spending in the categories of food, supplies/over-the-counter (OTC) medications, veterinary care, live animal purchases and other services.

Pet industry spending breakdown


2016 actual

2017 actual

% growth

2017 vs. 2016

2018 estimate

% growth

2018 vs. 2017


$28.23 billion

$29.07 billion


$29.88 billion


Supplies/OTC medications

$14.71 billion

$15.11 billion


$15.51 billion


Veterinary care

$15.95 billion

$17.07 billion


$18.26 billion


Live animal purchases

$2.1 billion

$2.1 billion


$2.01 billion


Other services

$5.76 billion

$6.16 billion


$6.47 billion



$66.75 billion

$69.51 billion


$72.13 billion



Spending on pet food continues to be the highest source of dollars spent, with spending on dog food specifically making up a majority of sales, the APPA says. Interest in high-end, premium pet food and treats continues to drive spending in the pet food category, but as owners increasingly value-shop for these items, total food spending growth is slowing down.

Veterinary care spending remains the second-highest source of spending in the pet industry at $17.07 billion, up 7 percent from 2016. The APPA anticipates 6.9 percent growth in 2018 veterinary spending, exceeding growth estimates for any other category, putting veterinary care spending at more than $18 billion by the end of the year. 

The third-highest source of spending is in supplies and OTC medications, which drew in $15.11 billion in 2017, the APPA says. This category includes items such as beds, collars, leashes, toys, travel items, clothing, food and water bowls, and other accessories as well as OTC medications and supplements. Pet technology products, which are popular in terms of product innovation for pets, are not yet a big market share in terms of sales, the APPA reports-although it is growing.

The category that saw one of the highest-growth percentages in 2017 was other services, which includes things like grooming, boarding, walking, training, pet sitting, yard services and more. It came in at $6.16 billion in 2017, up 6.9 percent from 2016.  

Live animal purchases, for the first time in four years, did not decline but remained steady at $2.1 billion spent, according to the APPA.

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