Is your favorite human your pet?

There are 79.7M American homes that have pets (APPA Nat’l Pet Owners Survey). This amounts to 62% of households that have at least 1 pet. Perhaps, the most important piece of pet data we believe, is the emotional reality that 95% of us who are pet owners consider them as family members. In total we shall spend an amazing $60.6B on our pets in 2015 (an increase of 3.6% over 2014) according to the American Pet Products Association (APPA). Consumer experts estimate that at least ½ of ALL cat & dog owners will buy holiday gifts for our little darlin’s this year. According to (12/15/14) 53% of households that have at least 1 pet would rather spend the holiday with their pet family members than with their human family members. As part of that family membership, the vast majority of pet owners who buy gifts for their pets will WRAP them. According to, 48% will spend less than $25 but a significant 35% of pet parents will spend b/t $25 and $50 per pet. WOW! Speaking truth to power, 55% of pet owners said they would “cut back” on holiday gifts for their spouses b-4 short-changing their little darlin’s. WOW! WOW! How important are our pet companions? Well, about 1/3 of our pet owners would spend at least $100 just to bring their pet family members with them during their holiday travels. Here are some other unbelievable #s and $$ about our pets and us.

✓ 68% of GOPers have pets, 60% of Indys and 59% of Dems have pets.
✓ 64% of pet owners buy their little darlin’s holiday gifts (women more likely to buy their pets holiday gifts 70%FM vs 58%M).
✓ 61% of dog owners have 1 dog (avg dogs in house 1.6). 53% of cat owners have 1 cat with 2.0 cats in house being avg.
✓ 45% of owners frequently or occasionally buy birthday gifts for their pets.
✓ 31% of owners frequently or often cook special meals for their pets.
✓ Millennials are more likely to buy their pets gifts vs any other age group. (65% of Millennials own pets vs 71% of Gen Xers.)
✓ Americans spent $5 B on pet treats (2014).
✓ Americans spent $389 M on pet toys.
✓ Based on the fact that it has been estimated that $210 M is spent on holiday gifts by 20 M pet owners and we know that really about 56M pets receive gifts, we re-estimated that the real holiday gifting of pets is more like $588 M. (To support this estimation we offer that fact that the Consumerist estimates that Americans spent over $700M for Valentine’s Day gifts for their darlin’s. Surely Xmas time must be in that $500 M to $600 M category, No?)
All data from APPA and & Marketing Daily by TG Irwin (8/20/15)

T-1: Examples of Pet Gifts for 2014 Christmas Season From High End Stuff to Low End Sniffs
Danika Collection Dog Furni Set
Made from solid wood and loaded with Swarovski crystal; this set includes an armoire, toy box, lounger, bed, leash holders, and a picture frame.
Kattbank lttr Bx
Hand crafted lacquer enclosure designed to eliminate odor and be aesthetically appealing.
Mature Tree House
A 7ft high live tree with built in platforms for your cat or cats to explore.
Kittypod Cat Scratcher
An elegant bed/scratching post combo.
Bambú Pet Hammock
Unique sleeping surface made with eco-friendly materials to integrate your pets sleeping area into your home w/o sacrificing your décor.
iFetch Too
iFetch, launched 2 years ago on Kickstarter was successful. An automatic ball dispenser that lets your dog play fetch even when you’re not there. The iFetch was made for small tennis balls & small-to-med sized dogs. The iFetch Too, an upgrade, shoots out reg sized tennis balls for bigger dogs.
Tailio Smart Health Monitor
Tailio turns lttr bx into a monitoring system so you can keep track of cat’s health. Use it to monitor weight, waste, visits to the litter box, etc. Analytics show your cat’s routines & when they need attn. It sends you alerts about health concerns & lttr bx care.
A scratching post & a cat bed with a LIVING TREE at the base. NBD, just a TREEHOUSE for cat. The scratching post wraps around the trunk and stands a 28” tall.
Pet Gear stroller
Who needs Santa’s sleigh when you push your indoor cat baby in stroller? Bonus: Stroller has latches, no zippers. No stressing about zipping kitty in.
Cat and Dog Pillows
Personalized Custom Cat and Dog Pillows.
Dog Feeder
Classic Wine Barrel Dog Feeder.
Cat Bed
Handmade Shark Cat Bed.
iCPooch Internet Pet Treat Dispenser
Allows you to stay connected with your pet no matter where you are! Built in Wi-Fi allows you to dispense a treat to your pet via its app. Also has a place for tablet/smartphone to allow you to video chat with your pet.
Cat hammock with wood stand
Let your cat unwind with the purrfect nap in this fleece hammock. And when it’s summer, just flip the hammock over for a lighter cotton side.
Drinkwell Pagoda Fountain
Fountain style water dish simulates running water to inhibit bacteria growth & encourage your pet to drink.
Mouse in the House
Toy mouse on an automated track that can be activated by your pet, or be set to go off at intervals. Perfect to keep your cat active while at work.
Thermo-Kitty Fashion Splash
Cat bed automatically heats up to the cat’s natural body temp.
Relax on the Catio
Let the cats experience outdoors w/o fear of them leaving. The DIY Catio is an outdoor enclosure of various styles & sizes. Cats access the catios via cat door installed in a window/door or wall. Catio Spaces donates $5 for each sale to animal welfare org.
Critter Trail Triple Play Habitat
3-in-1 hamster cage allows arch build, tunnel, or tower tube designs for your hamster.
The Critter Trail Triple Play Habitat
Hamster play, all day: We’ll get to the dogs and cats soon, but how about a rockin’, 3 story play pad for hamster? Not a boring cage & wheel, but 3 floors of habitat excitement that amuses your critter all day, whether he’s in tunnels, tower or wheel. Brightly colored living quarters will be great in your child’s bedroom.
Gilbert & tone food dish
Personalized hand-made fish shaped clay food and water dishes for your cat.
Loyal Luxe cabin
Honor your cat’s inner hunter with badass hideaway. If your cat gets sick of moose head, this cabin also comes with three other interchangeable ornaments: a fish, a bird, and a banner so you can write their name on it.
DJ Kitty Scratching Pad
A scratching post in the shape of a DJ turntable.
A monthly service that delivers treats & toys catered to cat’s taste. For each meowbox a can of food donated to cat shelter.
Catty Stacks
Comes in sets of 2. They are stackable, industrial strength boxes for your cat to climb, play and lounge.
Music to His Ears
Finally, the music your dog can appreciate. Plush exterior & squeaker inside, this adorable toy will entertain your pup when you’re not around.
You’ve Got Mail
Getting the mail may become your dog’s favorite activity, a gift box subscription service for dogs. (PawBox is launching a similar service for cats.) Each box, addressed to your pooch, is filled with 5 trial-sized products (with multiples of smaller items) of food, treats and supplies from high-end firms. No edibles made in China.
Cosmic Catnip Bubbles
The fun to be had with these addictive bubbles by your pet AND you makes this soooo worth it. BUBBLES BUBBLES I LOVE BUBBLES!

About bernacmd

For over 24 years, University of Detroit Mercy Marketing Professor Michael Bernacchi, Ph.D., J.D, has produced "uNDER tHE mIKE-rOSCOPE", a newsletter discussing current "marketing and advertising¹s bends, trends & ends." A well-know fixture in Detroit and national media, UDM's marketing guru has made several appearances on CNN's "Talk Back Live," the Voice of America worldwide radio network (VOA), ABC, CBS, NBC, MSNBC and on the pages of Sports Illustrated, Time, TV Guide, the New York Times, USA Today, the Wall Street Journal and the Washington Post, to name a few. At University of Detroit Mercy, he has taught courses in Marketing Management, Consumer Behavior, Marketing Communications, Research and Corporate Social Responsibility and Sports and Entertainment Marketing. Michael Bernacchi can be reached at 313-993-1116 or Please appropriately attribute the following for their work on uNDER tHE mIKE-rOSCOPE: Yen Ju Lee Robert Rouse Vidhyasagar Natarajan Eric Baumgardner & Ian Young
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