Good afternoon Gurus! It has come to my attention that many pet lovers view their dog not only as a companion, but also as one of their children. According to the 2010 census, more households (43 million) own dogs than have children (38 million). And almost all pet owners believe their furry friends are equal members of the household. Many pet lovers state that they view their dog as not only a companion but also as one of their children.
So what is the cause of dogs moving from the backyard into the bedroom? Some speculate the rise in pet ownership resulted from the suburbanization that occurred after World War II . After veterans returned there was a strong desire to create the “white picket fence” family that was being portrayed in television shows like Leave It to Beaver and Father Knows Best. Pets continued to be popularized in television and film, with Scooby Doo, Lassie, and The Wizard of Oz being a few examples, all supporting the development of love for pets as family members rather than just animals. It seemed as if having a dog was part of the “American Dream” and as people moved to the suburbs and attained larger land, the rate of dogs in the home would continue to increase through the decades.
With this ongoing increase in pet lovers comes an increase in the amount Americans spend on their pet’s needs. In fact, the American Pet Products Association reported that Americans spent an upward of $50 billion on pet products in 2011 and that number is only increasing. Nowadays, pet owners buying behaviors go far beyond the bare necessities of food and shelter. Many owners additionally purchase wardrobes, beds, special food, treats, toys and grooming services; not to mention special cleaning products to remove stains from what the little rascals can leave behind. When it is all said and done, a dog can cost nearly as much annually as a child can. I have a friend who prepares better meals for her two German Shepherds than she does for her husband! Americans obviously love their pets and the market for pet supplies and services is only on the rise.
Many shopping centers are beginning to respond to this increase in doggy demand in a lot of fun and interesting ways. The Danville Livery, for example holds an event which is extremely popular called "Paws 'N Claus". Paws 'N Clause is an event in which a pet-friendly Santa Claus is hired to come and take pictures with pet owners’ cats and dogs. This event goes viral every year; people love the idea of having their dogs or cats picture taken with Santa. Sometimes the Paws event is even more successful than the traditional Santa events for kids!
Now, I do not want you to get the wrong idea from this post; I am by no means saying dogs are better than kids! I am however stating that more and more Americans are raising pets each year and spending a significant amount of money on making their animal pals happy. So, from a business stand point, centering some of your marketing and special events on pets is not a bad idea, in fact it’s a fabulous idea. Well those are a few of my ideas on getting centered with the help of our furry friends, until next time Gurus!
Schwartz, Kate. "Dogs Are New Kids." Adweek.com. N.p., 12 Mar. 2012. Web. 9 Aug. 2015.