Brian Wallace, Founder & President, NowSourcing
During the course of 2018, Americans spent $72 billion on their pets adding up to more than the combined GDP of 39 countries. But what happens when this isn’t enough? This is the business of dogs.
Every single year, the average American pet parents spends $1,300 per year on pet care; among the 90 million pet dogs in the US, this number quickly begins to add up. On top of that, three out of four pet owners are willing to make financial sacrifices of their own for their pets including forgoing restaurant visits, a vacation, and even adding to retirement savings.
These are our closest confidants, our snuggle buddies, fur babies, guard dogs, and secret keepers – the least we could do is give them the best quality of life we possibly can. But as money gets tight, planning for the unthinkable isn’t always possible. Particular breed concerns notwithstanding, even coming health issues can get expensive especially for the financially unprepared; stomach and eye issues may reach up to $6,500 and skin problems up to $4,000. Dental care, especially procedures requiring anesthesia are expensive as well as extractions cost up to $1,200 and the exams and x-rays themselves costing up to $250. When we individually spend around $100 a month on our pets and emergency issues arise, this isn’t always enough. By 2022, it is expected for the burgeoning business of pet health insurance to reach up to $2 billion in value; that’s $2 billion backing up the safety, emergency care, regular treatments, and the basic quality of life for our pets.
So when we can’t exactly contribute to an emergency fund, what can we do instead? Smart pet parents don’t wait around for disaster to strike and instead focus on a healthy foundation of quality of life. Over 80% of pet owners think that high quality and nutritious food will help extend the lives of their pets and in the case of mitigating potential health risks and the subsequent damage, this is true. Pet owners are increasingly alert when it comes to providing food for their pets; they are researching ingredients in traditional, cheap kibble and are finding them lacking. Feed-grade, low quality ingredients like meat by-products, BHA and BHT are preservatives as we as known carcinogens, and non essential dyes that add no nutritional value and may even cause health problems in and of themselves.
In the case of clearly harmful ingredients in pet “food,” the alternative is clear. Premium options contain higher quality nutrition with lower allowances for fillers, USA developed and sourced pet food is subject to some of the most strict regulations, and natural preservatives like low Vitamin C and E content replace the synthetic preservatives. At the end of the day, pet parents pay just as much attention to what their furry friends are getting to eat as much as they watch their own diet – and it’s making a huge difference. Among critical pet owners, one in three also supplies their pets with daily supplements including an extra boost of Omega-3 for healthy skin and joints, probiotics for digestive health, and appropriate doses of Glucosamine. Cannabidiol, or CBD, is also shown to be beneficial in pets, especially older dogs with arthritis-related discomfort.
Each year, it is estimated that one out of three pets will require urgent vet care – is your pet protected? See this infographic for more on the business of dogs, how technology and iconic demands are helping keep our pets safe and healthy, and what we can expect the future of quality of life to look like, not only for our pets but us human beings as well.
About the Author: Brian Wallace is the Founder and President of NowSourcing, an industry leading infographic design agency in Louisville, KY and Cincinnati, OH which works with companies ranging from startups to Fortune 500s. Brian runs #LinkedInLocal events, hosts the Next Action Podcast, and has been named a Google Small Business Adviser for 2016-present. Follow Brian Wallace on Linked