Despite financial difficulties in the UK, the number of pet shops has increased by almost 10% over the last two years. Pet owners are increasingly buying premium pet foods and other luxury products, as well as paying for services such as dog walking, daycare centers for dogs, and pet-friendly hotels.

A Chihuahua Yorkshire cross-breed, warming the hearts of dog owners in the UK.
A Chihuahua Yorkshire cross-breed, warming the hearts of dog owners in the UK.

Dog owners spend more on their furry friends and it seems that dog shops and other pet-related businesses are reaping the benefits.

According to research from Euromonitor, the amount spent on pet care products and food are up 4% year on year, and they predict sales will continue to grow at the same rate for the next five years. Big grocers such as Sainsbury’s and online grocer Ocado are also jumping on the bandwagon, with Sainsbury’s launching a range of gourmet pet foods, and Ocado opening its own pet store called Fetch. Meanwhile, Poundstretcher has developed its own bargain pet care products chain, The Pet Hut.

Pet-related businesses are not just limited to pet shops; the vocational education body, City & Guilds, has seen a 75% increase in the number of people qualifying as dog groomers over the past two years. Pet owners want cleaner homes, but they do not have the time to groom the animals themselves. This trend has created new job opportunities for dog and cat groomers.

Paula Flores, Head of Pet Care Research at Euromonitor, explains that the trend towards humanizing pets is driving demand for premium products. Furthermore, with almost 7.5 million childless couples and 9.5 million single-person households in the UK, pet owners are also seeking companionship from their pets. As a result, smaller pets such as chihuahuas, pugs, and Boston terriers are becoming increasingly popular.

The Economics of Pet Care: Why Entrepreneurs are Investing in the Industry

Business is booming for pet import and export firms that help owners take their animals on holiday or to new homes abroad. Despite the high costs, firms such as Airpets are in demand from pet owners who are willing to pay for such services.

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Source: The Guardian

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