PhotoMillennials may be less likely to be homeowners, but they’re more likely to own pets. That’s a key finding from a new survey from the American Pet Products Association (APPA), which revealed that Millennial pet ownership has officially surpassed Baby Boomer ownership.

Young Americans now account for 35% of all pet owners, according to the survey, which also revealed that pet ownership in general is up. Pets now have a place in a nearly 85 million American households -- up from 79.7 million households in 2015.

In addition to being the generation most likely to own a furry family member, Millennials also account for “more than half of reptile, small animal and saltwater fish owners.”

Key insights

The APPA says Millennials are a “very passionate, active, and connected group,” and the industry is making shifts to meet the demands of the demographic.

The biennial National Pet Owners Survey also revealed insights into how pet owners feel about their pets.

Findings from the 2017-2018 report showed:

  • 85% of owners believe pets are a good source of affection;
  • 82% agree that interacting with a pet can help them relax;
  • 81% are aware that owning a pet can be beneficial to their own health;
  • 81% feel unconditional love for their pet; and
  • 61% feel buying a pet product made in the USA is important to them.

Pet spending on the rise

Given the growing number of pet owners and pet owners' positive feelings toward their pets, consumer spending on pets is expected to continue to rise.

In 2015, the APPA said pet spending in the U.S. was $60.28 billion. The following year, pet spending rose to more than $69 billion. 

"And Millennials are looking to spend more on their pets," said Bob Vetere, president and CEO of the APPA.

Vetere added that research showing pets are beneficial to human health may also be driving the increase in pet spending. As more studies show that pets can help to mitigate the effects of health problems including PTSD, high blood pressure and more, pet owners may feel justified in spending more on their furry companions. 


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