From Niche to Mainstream: The Evolution of Pet Care Industry

From Niche to Mainstream: The Evolution of Pet Care Industry

The pet care industry has undergone significant changes in the past few decades. Many would have considered the pet care industry a niche market not long ago, but it has now emerged as a mainstream industry. Like any growing industry, money and talent have followed, bringing in more interest from Venture capitalists, private equity funds, and entrepreneurs. 

Mars Corporation, the candy giant, has transformed into a veterinary business, owning a wide range of companies in pet foods, veterinary hospitals, and diagnostic labs, creating the largest ecosystem of veterinary services. Other multinational corporations like Nestle and Colgate are also making similar strides in the industry.

 This article is a quick review of the evolution of the pet care market. Below, we have provided a concise overview of the pet care industry's growth. 

Please note that as we wrote the post, we put on the hat of those interested in investing in or starting companies in this space: the investors and entrepreneurs. Those looking through different lenses will undoubtedly have different views.

 There may be many reasons investors and entrepreneurs may be looking into the pet care industry, but we hope the core reason is the love of our pets and the amazing industry of professionals caring for our beloved pets. Pet care is a truly remarkable industry to be in. 

1. The Growth of Pet Ownership

The single biggest reason behind the growth of the pet care industry is the growth of pet ownership. We will get more into what is driving that growth. 

 According to the American Pet Products Association (APPA), 67% of U.S. households own a pet, with over 85 million families owning a pet in 2020 alone [1]. This growth in pet ownership has created a massive demand for pet products and services, driving the expansion of the industry.

Increased urbanization and changing lifestyle trends, mainly people having kids later in life and many couples opting not to have kids, are leading the rise in its customer base. More people now prefer to keep pets as companions. 

With the increase in the number of people welcoming pets to their lives, the bond between humans and pets has grown stronger, and pets are now considered family members rather than mere pets. This change in perception has led to increased spending on pet care, leading to growth in both B2B and B2C companies and brands. 

2. Increased Spending on Pet Care Services

It is noticeable that pet owners are becoming more comfortable spending on pets, which is expected to continue as the more significant segment of the population considers our furry friends as family. As per the American Pet Products Association (APPA), pet spending has been progressively increasing over the past ten years, with an approximate expenditure of $99 billion on pets in the United States during 2020 [1]. This spending includes pet food, veterinary care, supplies, grooming, and other related services. The pet owners' growing willingness to invest in their pets has resulted in a significant opportunity for companies involved in the pet care industry.

*   Pet owners are becoming more conscious of pet food's quality and nutritional value, resulting in a shift towards premium and specialized pet food options.

*   Increased awareness of the importance of regular veterinary care and preventive treatments has led to a rise in spending on pet health products and services.

*   The pet care industry has witnessed a surge in spending on pet accessories and luxury items, driven by pet owners' desire to provide the best for their pets.

3. Advancements in Pet Care

The pet care industry has also benefited from pet care advancements, particularly in pet nutrition and veterinary medicine. For example, the popularity of raw and organic pet foods has grown in recent years, as pet owners become more concerned about the quality and safety of their pets' diets [2]. However, we'd like to note that the benefits of any specific diet are unclear, and pet owners should consult their veterinarian to ensure that your pet is getting complete nutrition. 

In addition, innovations in veterinary medicine have improved the diagnosis and treatment of pet illnesses, leading to increased longevity and quality of life for pets [3]. These advancements have contributed to the growth and expansion of the pet care industry.

*   The rise of specialized pet diet options, including grain-free, hypoallergenic, and breed-specific formulas, catering to specific nutritional needs of pets.

*   The development of advanced veterinary diagnostics and treatments, such as minimally invasive surgeries, faster access to diagnostic tests, stem cell therapy, and alternative therapies, improving the overall healthcare options for pets.

*   The increasing demand for healthier and eco-friendly options drives the growing market for natural and organic pet products, including food, treats, and grooming items.

4. Expansion of the Pet Services Market

The pet services market has also seen significant growth in recent years. This includes pet sitting, dog walking, grooming, and other services catering to pet owners' needs. The demand for these services has grown alongside the rise in pet ownership, creating new opportunities for entrepreneurs and investors in the pet care industry. According to a report by IBISWorld, the pet grooming and boarding industry alone is projected to generate $9 billion in revenue annually by 2025 [4].

*   The increasing number of dual-income households has increased demand for pet sitting and dog walking services, as pet owners seek reliable care for their pets during working hours.

*   Pet grooming services have expanded beyond traditional grooming salons, with mobile grooming services becoming popular among pet owners looking for convenience.

*   The rise of pet-focused apps and platforms has made it easier for pet owners to find and book pet care services, contributing to the growth of the pet services market.

5. The Millennial Effect on Pet Care Market

Millennials are the largest generation of pet owners, and their attitudes towards pets have played a significant role in transforming the pet care industry. For example, millennials are more likely to view pets as family members, and as a result, they are more willing to spend money on their pets' well-being [5]. This has also led to an increase in new types of veterinary clinics and how pet owners interact with those clinics, opting for online and text options when it comes to communication. In addition, millennials prefer natural and organic products, which has contributed to the growth of the natural pet food market.

*   Millennials prioritize their pets' emotional well-being and health, resulting in increased spending on pet enrichment activities, such as toys, puzzles, and training classes.

*   The demand for eco-friendly and sustainable pet products has grown among millennials, leading to the emergence of companies and brands focusing on environmentally conscious pet care options.

*   Millennials' digital fluency has driven the growth of online pet product sales and pet services platforms, as they seek convenient and hassle-free ways to cater to their pets' needs.

The growth of the pet care industry has been significant, and its expansion shows no signs of slowing down. Entrepreneurs and investors in this industry must continue to innovate and adapt to the evolving needs of pet owners. With the industry's continued growth, there are significant opportunities for companies and investors alike to profit from this booming market.


1. American Pet Products Association (2020), National Pet Owners Survey. <>

2. MarketWatch (2020), Trends in the Pet Industry. <>

3. ConsumerAffairs (2021), Pet Medicine Trends. <>

4. IBISWorld (2020), Pet Grooming & Boarding in the US: Market Size 2005-2025. <>

5. Forbes (2017), The Millennial Effect on the Pet Industry. <>