Experts Predict a Very Happy Holiday for Fido and Fluffy

December 1, 2018
Kerry Lengyel

How much will we spend on our furry friends this holiday season?

The holidays are a season for spending quality time—and often exchanging gifts with—friends and family. And because our pets are part of our family, we’re swiping our credit cards and doling out dollars to shower them with holiday cheer, too.

But how much will we spend on our fur babies this holiday season? According to one survey, millennial households will be spending the most.

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PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) recently released its 2018 Holiday Outlook report. According to the report, the average consumer will spend $67 on each of their pets this holiday season, while millennials will spend $141 on each pet. And when it comes to high-earning millennials (>$70,000 per year), that average spend increases to $183.

“Millennials, the largest pet-owning consumer segment, own 35% of all pets,” the report states. “And half of them buy gifts for their pets at least once a month.”

The Saint Leo University Polling Institute (Saint Leo, FL) conducted a similar online survey last month, but the numbers they found for anticipated holiday pet spending were far higher. Of the 1167 adults from across the United States who completed the survey, 59.4% of whom were pet owners, the average amount of money they anticipate spending or have spent on holiday gifts for their pets this year is $237.37.

This figure is much higher than in 2015 when the previous Saint Leo University poll was conducted. In that survey, pet owners anticipated spending only $98.97 on holiday gifts for their pets.

“The spenders…are individuals who treat their four-legged friends as if they are actually family members,” Keith Jones, PhD, associate professor of marketing at Saint Leo University, said. “As a result, people continue to spend on their pets at holidays in a similar manner as to how they spend on their actual family members.”

Dr. Jones said industry officials are uncertain how long this increasing trend will last, but there are no signs of it slowing down in the near future.

Pet spending in general exceeded expectations in 2017, reaching 69.51 billion last year.