In 2007, Americans spent $41.2 billion on their pets, an increase of 142% from the $17 billion spent in 1994.(1) And while consumers continue to feel the pressure of a challenging economy, some retail-industry experts tout the pet market as being recession-proof,(2) with the greatest opportunity lying in DINK (dual-income, no kids) and empty-nest pet homes. For these pet owners, cats and dogs hold a more humanized role than pets in other homes —and thus also hold a greater influence on their owners' spending. This week's MONITOR Minute takes a look at pet owners who don't have children living at home and identifies the areas where they stand out from other pet owners.
Omit the daily responsibilities associated with raising children, and pet owners have more time and attention to devote to (and dote on) the “other” member(s) of their family. They are also more likely than others to part with financial resources to ensure their furry friend's well-being. Although their incomes are smaller, more than a third of pet owners without kids report that they're willing to pay a premium for products deemed “pet-friendly.” And while only a very small minority of pet owners own pet insurance—an industry that grew 21% between 2006 and 2007 to $248 million(6)—pet owners without kids in the home tend to purchase pet insurance more often.