Americans Spending More on Pets

America’s pet owners are devoting more change from their pocketbooks to their furry friends. According to a recently released survey by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average U.S. household spend more on their pets annually than on alcohol, landline phone service, and men and boys clothing.

While the industry expects pet owners to spend an estimated $55.53 billion dollars on their pets in 2013, it’s important to note just how much money the country’s pet owners are dedicating to the care of their animals each year. In 2011, each U.S. household spent just over $500 on pets, up from $480 in 2010, which amounts to about one percent of total spending per year for the average household. While that may seem like a small slice of the pie, here’s a look at how other expenses fair:


U.S. households spent $456 on alcohol, $381 on residential landline phones, and $404 on men and boys clothing.

Pet owners are spending more on pet food than on some food items for themselves. Average household spending on pet food was $183 in 2011, which more than the amount spent on candy ($87), bread ($107), chicken ($124), cereal ($175), or reading materials ($115).

While these numbers are good news for the industry overall, pet specialty retailers need to make sure they’re getting their share of that money by remaining the go-to resource for pet owners.