The coronavirus pandemic has disrupted the world in innumerable ways. Global stay-at-home orders have severely impacted several industries, with many businesses permanently closing. Although the uncertainty brought by the pandemic devastated the economy, some industries continue to thrive—including the pet industry.
It’s no secret that pets all over the world have been thoroughly enjoying shelter-in-place mandates, which have required their owners to stay home all the time. Here are three reasons the pandemic benefits the pet industry and helps it thrive:
Pets Survive Recessions
Although it may not be obvious, the pet industry is extremely profitable. In fact, market research firm Edge by Ascential has forecasted it to hit $281 billion in 2023. It’s an industry that has steadily grown over the years as more and more households are taking in pets. They’ve become such important members to the family that their caretakers have been shown to spend more on pet care. For example, the amount a household spends on pet food annually has risen by 36% from 2007 to 2017. For some households, pets have even taken the place of children, with many millennials opting to raise pets instead of kids.
The pet industry has persisted throughout prior recessions, showing resilience to the 2001 and 2008 financial crises. While the current recession is brought by stay-at-home orders, this is further proof that the industry is considerably recession-resistant.
Pets Provide Emotional Support and Comfort
The pandemic has brought a lot of distress and anxiety to many people, and pets have been shown to be a reliable source of emotional support and comfort. They provide much-needed companionship, especially to those who are in complete isolation from other humans and fulfil the human need for physical touch. Having a pet has benefits backed by science: playing or even simply spending time with your dog or cat has been shown to reduce cortisol levels and lower blood pressure. It also stimulates the production of oxytocin, serotonin, and other chemicals that help us feel better.
Now that people are at home longer, they have more access to quality time with their pets. Stay-at-home orders have also presented an opportunity for busy individuals who spend long hours in the office to finally own a pet. They can now enjoy owning and caring for a pet while working remotely at home. When they feel stressed or anxious, they can easily turn to the comfort of their pet.
Pets Need Constant Care
Taking care of pets are fairly similar to taking care of children. They need lots of love and attention with special care put towards their health. Some pets have medical issues that are common to their breed, so owners must take precaution in making sure their pets are well and healthy.
There are plenty of pet care products that ensure your pet is well entertained, fed, and groomed. However, many owners prefer to go above and beyond for their pets by purchasing elaborate toys, treats, and even beds. Pet supplies are steadily becoming more available online as well, seeing an 11.3% growth in just 2019. The rapidly expanding pet industry has also seen veterinarians and other pet health professionals take their services online through telehealth consultations.
The pet industry has grown to adapt to changing times and coping with the pandemic is no exception. It’s adapted with such success that the industry has even benefited from new protocols set in place to combat further spread of the virus. Now that more people are owning pets and spending more quality time with them, the pet industry is set to see ground-breaking growth in the years to come.
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