South African (SA) pet owners may be lagging far behind the global spend for their fur kids but it is still a Pa(w)rty out there for many cats and dogs.
While Americans forked out almost USD 3 billion in 2018 on their beloved pets, statistics for SA are a bit harder to come by. However, two years ago, R5 billion was spent on pet food alone in the country.
The most popular gifts for pets are not only during special seasons. Apart from buying health-enhancing products and outfits, 73% of pet owners fork out the most money on treats. Toys are considered almost as important with 69% of the market opting for that ball or squeaky toy, (which in many instances give the owners just as much joy as the pet.) Grooming supplies account for 10% of overall spend, with beds and sleeping mats, seasonal accessories,(such as Christmas or Halloween outfits) and personalised collars are also favourites. Speciality foods make up 27% of the market.
Puppy teething ball
So who owns the most pets and spoil them rotten? A 2019/2020 global survey showed that Millennials (born from 2000) own at least, but mostly more, pets (dogs and/or cats.) Second in line are the Boomers with the computer Generation X’ers in third spot with regard to sharing their lives with real animals. It seems that the latest generation, the Generation Z’ers, prefer artificial encounters on screen with any kind of animal, (an alien from outer space) or as in the East, robotic pets.
So, what does one give an animal lover as a gift in this COVID-19 year? 2021 Wall Calendars, sweaters and t-shirts with dog/cat faces on it – for that matter – anything featuring an animal. Even luxury clothing brands are now adding shirts and t-shirts emblazoned with pets on, to their very expensive products. Pet portraits, carriers, beds and organic products are also a good idea. And for your best friend’s fur kid? Dental care toys, treats and toiletries, multifunction biting toys, cat litter mats, car seat protectors and personalised collars.