NH pet lovers among those most likely to search online for fur baby goodies

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daisy on cat tree scaled
Pet owners spent $138.6 billion on their animals last year, like Daisy, seen here in her new cat tree. According to a new survey, New Hampshire residents are the sixth most likely in the U.S. to search the internet for pet stuff. Photo/Rebecca Milliken

click culture logo final scaledNew Hampshire pet owners are sixth in the nation when it comes to spending money on gifts for their pets – or at least researching pet gifts on the internet – according to a study commissioned by pet gift company Printed Pet Memories.

Based on Google search volume data for 840 pet-related phrases such as “chew toy for dog,” “cat scratch post” and “best toys for pet” in all 50 states, the study found that there were an average 625.7 Google searches per 100,000 New Hampshire residents a month.

The full survey was not available, and, as always, there’s a chasm between a Google search and a purchase. Still, according to the American Pet Products Association, pet owners spent $138.6 billion on their pets in 2022, with $58.1 billion going to food and treats. The rest went to supplies, live animals and over-the-counter medicine ($31.5 billion); veterinary care and product sales ($35.9 billion) and other services, like boarding, grooming, insurance and pet-sitting ($11.4 billion). The APPA does not break down its publicly available statistics by state.

In the Google search study, Vermont was the top state, with 729.4 searches, followed by Maine, with 660.5. Other states with residents who are more likely than Granite Staters to show pet love by looking up gifts on the internet were Wyoming (645), Oregon (644.8) and Rhode Island (626.3).

The state at the bottom of Google pet item searches was Mississippi, with 313.3.

“With such a large amount of money spent on pets in the U.S. each year, it is interesting to see which states are the most generous when it comes to their animals,” said a spokesperson from Printed Pet Memories.

Dog-specific products were the most popular overall in searches, with dog toys being the most popular searched gift, according to the study.

The APPA in March released some of the results from its 2023-24 biennial National Pet Owners Survey. The organization does the survey every two years to track spending habits among pet owners for industry use, and releases some of its findings publicly.

They found:

  • 66% of U.S. households, 86.9 million, own a pet.
  • Pet ownership is evenly split between the two younger generations (Gen Z and Millennials) and two older generations (Gen X and Baby Boomers). The younger generations spent more on their pets in 2022 that 2021, but are also more concerned about the expense; older generations are focused on the benefits of pet ownership and maintaining the level of care.
  • In-person shopping is coming back and preferred by nearly 50% of pet owners, led by Gen Xers and Boomers.
  • Two-thirds of pet owners consider their pets when making financial plans, and half are willing to spend more money on pet products that are made in the U.S., brand name, ethically sourced, BPA-free and eco-friendly.
  • Percentage of pet owners committed to their pet’s current standard of care regarding diet is 75% and brand loyalty is 56%.
  • Percentage of pet owners who view pet supplies as discretionary and plan to curtail purchases over the coming year to save money is 31%. 
  • Use of pet tech, such as electronic tracking devices and monitoring systems, is increasing, with more pet owners planning to buy such items in the next 12 months.

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Manchester Ink Link Staff