The $41 Billion Pet Products Niche

The term "a dog's life" used to describe a pretty rustic existence for the family pet... Fido slept on the back porch, had an occasional bath in the back yard kiddy pool and for a treat, chewed on a rawhide bone.

Today however, a dog's life often means being toted around in at $400 dog carrier, sleeping in a $1000 dog house, and wearing a collar embedded with Swarovski crystals. Yes times have changed and these days dogs, cats, birds, and the like are living the high life. In 2007, Americans spent a record $41 billion dollars on their beloved pets! All across the globe, pet owners are becoming increasingly demanding when it comes to pet products and not settling for inexpensive, substandard products. These days, only the best in pet products will do and this opens up tremendous opportunity for anyone who is interested in selling in the pet products niche.

Target Market:

Fueling this growing trend in the pet product industry are empty nesters who lavish attention and money on their pets, baby boomers with disposable income and young adults who are waiting until later to have children and instead are putting their time and energy into Fido and Fluffy.
Even families of more modest means are spending money on a menagerie of pets. Families see their pets as a member of the family and are willing to spend big money on them. Additionally, the influence of popular television shows like Animal Planet, have made the family pet more revered than ever.

Product Trends:

These 5 distinct trends drive the market for pet products sales:

1. Luxury pet products. The luxury pet products industry has seen the most growth in recent years and continues to lead the pack when it comes to the sale of pet merchandise. Consumers want the best for their pets and they are willing to shell out big bucks to get the products they want. People who buy luxury pet products are generally more affluent. They also tend to buy a complete ensemble of pet accessories. The pet sweater must match the pet carrier and the very often, that must match what the owner is wearing as well. But it isn't only clothing items that are on every pet owners shopping list - There are now $430 indoor potties, $30-an-ounce perfume, climate controlled pet carriers, jeweled pet collars (with real jewels), $225 trench coats, designer pet beds, dog shoes, Halloween costumes, Zen dining tables, dog spas, even doggie nail polish!

2. Traveling pets. Have pets will travel is the mantra of many pet owners. To do this in comfort and style requires the right kind of products and accessories. Climate controlled pet carriers; pet booster seats and pet strollers enable that traveling pet to ride in style.

3. Eco-friendly pets. Eco-friendly and organic products have been a huge influence on pet products sales in the past couple years. This trend is continuing, in fact the largest growth sector in several pet product categories has been that of eco-friendly and organic products. If you sell pet products you must give your buyers some eco-friendly versions of popular pet products.

4. Exotic pets. While dogs and cats are certainly the most popular pets, we're also seeing a trend towards ownership of more exotic pets. Today there is a demand for products for birds, reptiles, fish, ferrets, mice, rats, hamsters, gerbils, pot belly pigs, rabbits, chinchillas, aquatic turtles and more.

5. Fashion pets. Today's pets are so well dressed with coordinating accessories that they could easily grace the cover of Pet Vogue magazine. Pet owner fashionistas are snapping up designer style pet products at a frenzied pace. Pink-a-holic pet? There's a slew of hot pink fashion pet products out there. More into the preppy look? Outfit your pet and his products so he looks straight out of the Ivy League. Is Bowser a rock- and-roll dog? He'll look and act the part with today's pet fashion products. Pets and fashion have merged in a big way!

Product Categories:

There are literally hundreds of categories of pet products. The following 5 umbrella categories offer a lot of opportunity to drill down and look for sub-niches and micro-niches.

1. Pet Transportation. Pets are on the go! And pet strollers, pet carriers and pet booster seats, all help your pet get there safely, soundly and in style. A recent pet lover's blog featured 16 reasons your pet needs a pet stroller! Pet ramps and stairs help older pets remain comfortable in the event of health issues. Liners and barriers for automobiles help to keep your car clean and fresh (and your pet safe) while he rides around the town.

2. Pet Housing and Home Decor. A pet's home is his castle and one of the best selling pet product categories is that of pet houses, beds, kitty condos, pet couches, chairs, pillows and the like! Blankets, bowls and feeders all round out the home d├ęcor needs of a happy and well-nested pet.

3. Pet Clothing and Accessories. The possibilities are endless in the pet accessory market! Dog toys, grooming accessories, pet shoes, pet eye ware, pet safety products, grooming products, art work, pet exercisers, pet treadmills, pet games, and pet jewelry are just a small sampling of the products that are being snapped up by today's pet owner.

4. Pet Health. Pet owners are very concerned about their pet's health and the sale of pet health products are on the rise. From pet treadmills to grooming products, lotions and potions, to shampoos and nutritional supplements, people are paying as much attention to their pet's health as they are their own.

5. Pet Products for humans. A consistent trait of pet owners is that they not only like to purchase products for their pets, they also like to purchase products for themselves that represent their pets. Consider the 38 year old Chicago executive who owns two Golden Retrievers. Her home is filled with pieces of artwork, figurines, t-shirts, books and jewelry all representing the Golden Retriever breed. Pet lovers who can't own pets due to allergies or logistical reasons but still want to feel connected with a pet are also buying these types of pet products in droves.

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