top of page

Insight of the Day: ‘Pets as family’ still strong, changing with younger owners


  • Pets as Family: A vast majority (93%) of U.S. pet owners consider their pets to be family members, a sentiment echoed globally.

  • Generational Differences: Younger pet owners tend to view pets as companions and life partners, while older owners often see them as children.

  • Pet Ownership Trends: Pet ownership rates are higher than ever globally, with younger generations leading the trend. However, U.S. dog ownership is declining while cat ownership is increasing.

  • Ingredient Focus: Pet owners prioritize pet food with natural ingredients and functional benefits, particularly for digestive health.

Key Takeaway:

The concept of "pets as family" is deeply ingrained in pet ownership globally, driving the pet industry's growth. Younger generations are redefining pet ownership, prioritizing companionship and health, which influences their purchasing decisions.


  • Humanization of Pets: The trend of treating pets like family members continues to strengthen, impacting all aspects of the pet industry, from food to healthcare.

  • Younger Generation's Influence: Younger pet owners are increasingly shaping the pet industry with their preferences for natural, functional ingredients and focus on pet companionship and health.

Target Consumers & Age Group:

  • Primary Target: Pet owners of all ages who consider their pets as family members.

  • Secondary Target: Younger generations (18-34 years old) who are increasingly driving the trends in the pet industry.


  • The "pets as family" concept is a universal and powerful driver in the pet industry.

  • Younger generations are redefining pet ownership, emphasizing companionship and health, which presents unique opportunities for brands.

  • Pet food brands need to cater to the growing demand for natural, functional ingredients that promote pet health and well-being.

Implications for Brands:

  • Product Development: Focus on developing pet food with natural, recognizable ingredients and functional benefits that address specific health concerns like digestive health.

  • Marketing and Communication: Tailor messaging to emphasize the emotional connection between pets and their owners, highlighting the importance of health and well-being.

  • Target Younger Consumers: Develop marketing campaigns that resonate with younger generations, highlighting the role of pets as companions and life partners.

Implications for Society:

  • Growing Pet Industry: The "pets as family" trend will continue to drive the growth and innovation in the pet industry, creating new opportunities for businesses and employment.

  • Increased Focus on Pet Health: Pet owners' emphasis on health and well-being will lead to advancements in pet healthcare and nutrition, potentially improving the quality and longevity of pets' lives.

  • Social Impact: The humanization of pets can foster greater empathy and compassion towards animals, potentially leading to positive changes in animal welfare policies and practices.


bottom of page