Here Is a Look at What the 5 Hot Trends Are in the Pet Industry


Alissa Wolf wrote about pet shops and the pet services industry for The Balance Careers and has worked as a newspaper columnist and correspondent.

Read The Balance’s editorial policies

Alissa Wolf

Updated June 25, 2019

According to industry trends and projections, the pet business will continue to boom unabated in the future. While the forecast is healthy across the board, certain segments in the pet industry are seeing a significant amount of growth.

Natural products, in general, are gaining wide-spread popularity. This is because people have become more conscious about improving and sustaining the health of the planet. Consumers are also increasingly leery of the potential toxicity of synthetic chemicals and other harmful materials.

In addition to a desire to decrease their pets’ carbon paw prints, pet parents are opting to purchase natural products in an effort to maintain and/or improve the health and well-being of their beloved companion animals.

The top-selling natural pet products are:

  • Holistic cat and dog food
  • Cat litter
  • Natural flea and tick repellents
  • Holistic grooming products such as the blueberry facial for dogs
  • Products for older pets, particularly for dogs
  • Toys made with natural fibers

The American Pet Products Association (APPA) predicted that spending in this arena would increase from $510 billion for 2013 to $620 billion in 2016. The demand for high-end pet grooming services is expected to continue to be particularly brisk. 

  • Dog training
  • Upscale and holistic spa services such as “paw-tinctures,” Reiki and pet massage
  • Pet behavioral consulting
  • Pet portrait photography
  • Pet sitting

Another pet enterprise that is gaining a lot of popularity is the self-serve dog wash. In addition to offering ease and convenience for pet owners, this concept offers many unique retail opportunities.

To a lesser degree, unique niche services such as yoga for dogs and pet psychic communicators are in-demand industry trends.

In and of themselves, these services are not huge. They do, however, offer great potential as promotional services to increase a pet business’s visibility and ability to attract more store traffic.

Mobile pet grooming. This service involves the use of specially equipped vehicles that travel to pet owners’ homes. It allows groomers the ability to perform a full range of services right outside the customer’s door.

This is a very in-demand service because:

  • It’s convenient for the customer.
  • It reduces potential stress on the pets.
  • It’s perfect for home-bound older people who have companion animals.

On the downside, initial start-up costs for such an enterprise are hefty. Those in a position to make an investment in this are virtually guaranteed high business growth dividends.

Pet-friendly travel. This is another high business growth concept that’s being adopted by an increasing number of businesses in the vacation and hospitality industries.

As more and more people regard their pets as beloved family members, they are opting to take them along on vacations. Moreover, people are more mobile and may have to travel long distances to relocate for jobs, retirement or other purposes.

  • – An information resource and directory for those who travel with companion animals.
  • Pet-friendly Travel Apps – A number of apps are available that can direct consumers to places that welcome cats and dogs.

An increasing number of hotels, motels, and inns, including New York’s posh Carlton Hotel, now welcome pets. It’s a very smart move for those who wish to facilitate business growth and it’s sure to remain a red-hot industry trend for a long time to come.

Pet health insurance. Although available in the U.S. for a good 30 years, sales of pet policies have only begun to accelerate in recent times. This trend is expected to proliferate dramatically and offer the enhanced potential for pet business growth due to a number of factors.

  • People increasingly regard their pets as beloved family members.
  • Pets (like people) are living longer, requiring more complex and extended medical care.
  • Advances in veterinary technology have resulted in more costly medical care.

This industry trend presents such a huge potential for business growth that corporate behemoth Nestle Purina even got on the bandwagon by launching Pethealth Inc., a pet insurance subsidiary in 2008.

Fast Fact: Pet parents spent $13 billion on vet bills in 2010 and, according to the APPA, that increased to $14 billion in 2013.

Although this is an extremely complex business, getting in on it may be a very smart move for those who have the inclination.

These are just some examples of products, services, and concepts that offer great potential for business growth. Considering that American pet parents are expected to spend even more on their companion animals in the future, the sky’s the limit for those who have a good head for business and genuine love of critters.