Skip navigation
Pet_care-Puppy_and_pal.jpg Bilanol/iStock/Getty Images Plus
Shelters were the No. 1 source of new pets in 2020, with 37% of pet parents choosing that route.

Monthly pet spending holds steady throughout the pandemic

Increase in pet ownership can mean opportunities for retailers

Pet owners’ spending has remained steady from before the pandemic, a survey from Money and Morning Consult finds, with more than two-thirds (71%) of owners saying they spent $100 or less a month on their pet now, and spent the same amount before March 2020.

The survey noted slight increases among the heaviest spenders — those who spend more than $150 a month on food, toys and other non-medical expenses.

Still, with more Americans buying or adopting pets in 2020 — an estimated 11 million of them, for a total of 85 million homes with pets — there is an opportunity for retailers to grow their pet food and care business.

Money/Morning ConsultPet spending Money survey.png

More than one in five respondents to the survey (22%) said they’d welcomed a new animal into their lives since March 2020. The age of the owner (and others in the home) made a big difference to the likelihood of becoming a new pet parent.

Younger people and younger families were by far the most likely to have added a pandemic pet. GenZers, Millennials and families with kids at home were all about 50% more likely than respondents as a whole to have acquired an animal since March 2020.

Money/Morning ConsultPet adoptions Money survey.png

Shelters were the No. 1 source of new pets, with 37% of pet parents choosing that route.

The Money survey reports that, even today, with lockdowns lifting and vaccinations expanding, Americans continue to spend an average of at least 20% more time during the day at home than before the pandemic, according to Google’s Community Mobility Data.

On the flip side, pandemic challenges have also been a hardship for some pet owners. According to Mars Petcare’s “Pets in a Pandemic” report, one in five pet owners has considered giving up their pet during the pandemic. As a result of the pandemic, almost two-thirds of pet parents surveyed (61%) said they were concerned about their financial ability to care for their pet. Among those directly affected by COVID-19, nearly a quarter reported a great deal of concern. Of the 20% of pet parents who considered giving up their pet, more than half — 13% — ultimately made that difficult choice.

Hide comments


  • Allowed HTML tags: <em> <strong> <blockquote> <br> <p>

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.