Whether they have fur, fleece, feathers or fins, pets – and the businesses that serve them – are enjoying a windfall in spending, with sales almost doubling over the last two years.
Data on consumer spending habits by the Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA) revealed that Aussies spent a collective $743 million on their pets in 2017.
Vets remain the biggest expense for pet owners, however, $179 million have been spent at pet shops and suppliers since 2015.
Total transactions more than doubled to 4.5 million in 2017, up from just 2 million in 2015.
“Australian pet spending continues to rise, and as a result, we’re seeing more entrepreneurs launch niche small businesses to cater to the growing demand,” said Nicole McCormack, CBA’s deputy general manager for small business.
“From pet-friendly hotels and bespoke food plans, to pet-sitting services and wearable tech, the pet care industry is booming.”
Ms McCormack cautioned consumers to keep track of their spending, however, to keep a lid on credit card purchases and outgoings.
“It’s impossible to put a price on the joy pets bring to our families and households, but it’s important that pet owners track their spending,” she said.
A spokesperson for retailer Pets of Australia confirmed to My Business that the figures are on par with its own sales.
“We have seen similar growth over the last 2 years with more customers and a higher average sale,” the spokesperson said.
“Healthy pet foods are leading the way and have had the strongest growth. Also flea, tick, worming and other health products keep growing. The range of these products keep expanding and getting better.”
The spokesperson added that new markets are also emerging as people become more conscious of animal behaviour.
“For example, it wasn't long ago that people didn't even think about pets having anxiety and stress; now there are countless products made just for that.”