If you think today’s world is going to the dogs, you’re absolutely right! According to the American Pet Products Association, in 2016 alone, Americans spent over $60 billion on pet care. Pet food was the biggest segment, $24 billion.
If you need more proof that ours is fast becoming a dog’s world, a recent report predicted that within a decade there will be more employment opportunities for dog walkers than elementary-school teachers!
Could it be because millennials are more interested in raising dogs than kids? Don’t laugh, experts have noticed a definite trend toward the humanizing of our pets.
“The term ‘pet parent’ has increasingly replaced ‘pet owner,’” according to David Sprinkle, the research director at MarketResearch.com. Ok, I admit it, guilty as charged!
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Underscoring Sprinkle’s point, today’s pet parents think nothing of treating their loved ones to the same kind of pampering and services normally reserved for humans.
A New York based company called Ollie prepares and delivers meals to dogs with discriminating palates, a la human meal services such as Blue Apron. The average doggie meal and delivery tab runs $20 to $50 bucks a week.
In addition, many familiar pet services have expanded to become more luxe. For example, dog training is no longer relegated to once a week sessions in the public dog park. At least one dog trainer offers the option of moving into the dog’s home for a week of intensive “boot camp.”
“I’m like Mary Poppins for dogs,” says trainer Lexi Beermann, who charges almost $5,000 for a week’s worth of time, with her $8,000 a month maintenance services optional.
What about dog walking services, you say? That’s so last year! Nowadays dogs attend summer camp (including swim lessons!) and go on Doggie Day Trips with pet professionals.
One East Coast salon is even getting in on the trend of artistic, picture-perfect nails! Edward Alava owns a salon called, Dog Store. Their dogs can get a $30 basic pedicure, but if Fido’s taste runs toward higher end nail art, rhinestones can be added for a mere $75!
“A lot of Frenchie owners are asking for vibrant colors or a little bling on their [dogs’] nails,’’ says Alava.
Medical professionals are also part of the latest canine care trend, with increasing numbers of vets making house calls in order to eliminate the fear and anxiety pets feel when visiting the clinic.
So you see, it really is a dog’s world. But who among us would argue that man’s best friend doesn’t deserve a little TLC, just like mom and dad?