Market to Market: A Furry Phenomenon

Peek inside the typical American home and you may see a cat curled up on the couch or a dog chewing a bone. You might even see a chicken scuttling around. Keeping poultry as pets has climbed 23 percent in five years, according to the American Pet Products Association (APPA). Nearly three-quarters (68 percent) of U.S. households, or about 85 million families, own a pet, and about one in 10 own specialty pets, such as poultry or amphibians. When the APPA first began surveying families in 1988, only 56 percent of families owned pets.

Pet ownership is on the rise and so is the amount of money people are spending on their companions. Pet industry spending is predicted to surpass $75 billion this year, according to the APPA, up from $45 billion a decade earlier. By 2025, the global pet care market is projected to reach nearly $203 billion, according to Grand View Research.

Pets take up a good portion of our budgets—and our hearts. They’re called fur babies for a reason. Nearly all (95 percent) of pet owners consider their pets to be part of the family, according to a Harris Poll survey. Not surprisingly, pet owners want to provide the very best for their beloved companions, from nourishing foods to enriching activities.

Considering all the love and care that people lavish on their pets, it’s no wonder the veterinary field is thriving. Job opportunities for veterinarians are projected to climb a staggering 19 percent through 2026, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Veterinarians stand ready to help pets live longer, happier and healthier lives by providing a range of services, from routine examinations and surgical treatments to grooming and boarding. Many vet clinics offer a level of health care that’s comparable to what humans receive, such as cancer treatments and kidney transplants.

When it comes to growing their practice and connecting with pet owners, veterinarians don’t have to chase down new business. Promotional products allow them to make a name for themselves in their community, spread awareness about important animal issues, cultivate bonds and ultimately win the hearts of people and their pets.


The way people view pets is changing. To stay relevant, veterinarians must understand the kind of care their potential clients need and expect for their pets. Pet owners are more attuned to their pets’ overall well-being, ushering in a need for technology that allows owners to connect with their pets remotely. Just as they might summon a ride via Uber, pet owners can use various apps to order dog walkers and pet sitters at a moment’s notice. To keep their pups’ boredom at bay while they’re away, dog owners can flip on dog- friendly programming through DOGTV. This 24/7 digital TV channel offers programming scientifically developed to provide soothing company for dogs.  

Pets have become a bigger priority in the lives of many pet owners. Millennials, the largest group of pet owners, are increasingly delaying traditional milestones, such as buying a house and having children, and choosing to prioritize their pets instead. Nearly half (44 percent) of Millennials consider pets a primer for parenthood, according to Adweek.


Veterinarians are the only doctors who protect the health of people and animals. They work in:

Clinical practices:
Two-thirds of veterinarians work in a private or corporate clinical practice to care for a range of species.

These veterinarians instruct veterinary students, care for animals at the veterinary teaching hospital and
            develop continuing education programs.

Veterinarians who work for universities or government agencies find new ways to diagnose, treat and
            prevent animal and human health disorders.

Pharmaceutical and biomedical research firms:
These veterinarians develop, test and supervise the production of drugs and biological products for
people and animals. In addition to a veterinary degree, these professionals often have specialized
                education in fields such as pharmacology and toxicology.

Regulatory medicine:
Some veterinarians work for state and federal regulatory agencies to quarantine and inspect animals
                brought into the United States.

Public health:
Some veterinarians work for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to study the effects of pesticides
on animals and people. Other veterinarians work for the Department of Homeland Security to ensure
animals’ safety in developing antiterrorism procedures.

The military:
Veterinarians in the U.S. Army Veterinary Corps help improve animal care systems around the world.

Source: American Veterinary Medical Association






With an attached carabiner and easy-clean liner, the collapsible pet bowl is a must for long walks and outdoor adventures. It’s available in black and four vibrant colors. 

BIC Graphic NA  /  PPAI 114187    /


Dog owners can grab the Illuminate-It Pet Bag Dispenser and enjoy a walk with their furry friends during the day or night. This handy plastic dispenser holds 20 disposable bags and features a built-in LED light.

Evans Manufacturing, Inc.    /  PPAI 110747   /


The 25-ounce Kong H2O stainless steel dog water bottle and travel bowl makes it easy for dogs to drink on the go. A specially shaped lid allows dogs of all sizes to get a sip while the standard-size bottle fits most cup holders and bottle compartments.     

The Allen Company  /  PPAI 113879    /  


The love paw print rustic block makes a thoughtful gift for pet owners. Display on a mantle or shelf to bring a touch of charm to the home or workplace.

Stark Enterprises, Inc.   /  PPAI 521359   /


Pups can step out in style with the Doggie Skins baby rib dog tank top. This 100-percent ring-spun cotton tee features double-needle ribbed binding on the neck, armholes and bottom hem.


LAT Apparel   /   PPAI 254347   /


Turn heads with the custom tie dye dog and cat tank and matching pet bandana. The 100-percent ring-spun cotton tank is a super-soft and comfortable way pets can promote an animal-focused brand, cause or event. Choose sizes XS–3XL. Matching owner garments are also available.     

Kerr’s Cotton Creations, Inc.   /    PPAI 313486  /  


Vets can delight pet owners with Pet-tecture: Design for Pets. This compact book features an inspiring and fun collection of contemporary design for pets of all sizes and species.

The Book Company   /   PPAI 218850  /  


Dog owners can give their pets a taste of the good life with the premium pet robe, which features a Velcro closure, adjustable tie belt and teal piping around the edges. Made with 100 percent absorbent cotton, this resort-style robe fits dogs of all sizes.

Terry Collection   /   PPAI 144511   /  


A coloring book is a fun way to teach kids about caring for a new pet. The book features 20 pages of important lessons and interesting activities from “Dr. Dawg” and “Nurse Katz.”

Fields Manufacturing   /   PPAI 111951    /


A veterinarian needed an item to thank customers and gain exposure for her vet office. She mailed the stapled Puppies and Kittens calendar along with a thank-you letter to her customers, encouraging them to keep track of their pet’s appointments and visits. On the large imprint area, she included her phone number and website for scheduling new appointments. The promotion resulted in an increase in additional appointments since the calendar served as a constant reminder of her clinic and kept her information easily accessible.

Source: Beacon Promotions 


One of the country’s largest pet pharmaceutical companies needed a way to advertise their brand to pet owners. The company sought a functional product that recipients would use daily, bringing their brand to the forefront consistently. 3M worked with the distributor to show how the Scotch Lint Pocket Packs would be a useful tool for consumers while promoting the pharmaceutical’s brand. 3M created a full-coverage imprint designed to tie the brand to a message of familiarity and dependability. As customers bring pets to their local vet clinics, they receive a free lint pack, and because the pet owners use them often, the pharmaceutical company stays top of mind. 3M added the company’s website, providing yet another call to action for the consumer to check out additional brands the company offers.

Source: 3M



Audrey Sellers is a Dallas, Texas-area writer and former associate editor for PPB.

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