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Economic Impact of American Pet Sector Exceeds $260B

The sector supports nearly 2.78 million jobs across the country.




(PRESS RELEASE) CORAL GABLES, FL – New data has been revealed showing that the pet sector contributed $260.5 billion directly and indirectly to the U.S. economy and accounted for a net contribution to the annual gross domestic product (GDP) of $174.67 billion in 2021. Shared during the Pet Industry Leadership Summit, data from the study, “The Economics of the U.S. Pet Food and Pet Supply Industry,” demonstrates the strength of pet ownership’s economic impact as it grew from $221 billion in 2015.

“Science proves that animal companionship benefits the physical and mental well-being of the American population, and this data shows that pet ownership also supports a healthy U.S. economy,” said Pet Advocacy Network President and CEO Mike Bober. “This is further evidence for elected officials that it’s important to prioritize pet-friendly policies.”

The analysis also found that the pet sector supports nearly 2.78 million jobs across the country, with an estimated 1.09 million people working directly in pet related businesses and another 1.68 million jobs linked indirectly to consumer expenditures for pets.

“This industry collaborative study shows the continued growth and importance of the pet sector,” said World Pet Association President Vic Mason.

U.S. pet owners spent the most on pet food and treats, which accounted for $50 billion of the $93.95 billion spent directly on pets in 2021. Consumer expenditures on pets also generated public revenues from local, state and federal taxes of $23.4 billion.

The study was sponsored by the American Pet Products Association, the Pet Advocacy Network, the Pet Food Institute, the Pet Industry Distributors Association, and the World Pet Association. Conducted by the Center for Economic Analysis at Michigan State University through the Animal Policy Group LLC and Animal Health Economics LLC, the report also sourced pet ownership data from the 2021-2022 APPA National Pet Owners Survey.


For the analysis, statistics on animals commonly kept in homes were used. This includes dogs, cats, ferrets, rabbits and small mammals, amphibians and reptiles, birds, and fresh and saltwater fish. Segments factored in as supporting the pet sector included pet sales, pet food manufacturing, veterinary services, pet pharmaceuticals, pet products (e.g., toys, crates, food bowls, leashes, and other products), retail sellers and pet services such as grooming and boarding.

Infographic sheets featuring the national data highlights, as well as economic impact data for individual states, can be downloaded here.

About American Pet Products Association

The American Pet Products Association (APPA) is the leading trade association serving the interests of the pet products industry since 1958. APPA membership includes nearly 1,000 pet product manufacturers, their representatives, importers and livestock suppliers representing both large corporations and growing business enterprises. APPA’s mission is to promote, develop and advance pet ownership and the pet product industry and to provide the services necessary to help its members prosper. APPA is also proud to grow and support the industry through the following APPA Gives Back initiatives: Pets Add Life (PAL), the Human Animal Bond Research Institute (HABRI), Tony La Russa’s Animal Rescue Foundation (ARF) Pets and Vets Program, the Pet Advocacy Network and Pet Care Trust and Pets in the Classroom. Visit for more information, and follow us on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter and YouTube.

About Pet Advocacy Network

The Pet Advocacy Network connects the experience and expertise of the responsible pet care community to lawmakers and governing bodies, advocating for legislative and regulatory priorities at the local, state, federal and international levels. Since 1971, the organization has worked to promote animal well-being and responsible pet ownership, foster environmental stewardship, and ensure access to healthy pets, including small animals, cats, dogs, fish, reptiles and birds. Our members include retailers, companion animal suppliers, manufacturers, wholesale distributors, manufacturers’ representatives, pet hobbyists, and other trade organizations.

About Pet Food Institute

The Pet Food Institute (PFI) and our members who make the vast majority of all U.S. pet food and treat products, are committed to helping pets enjoy long and healthy lives. PFI provides information about pet food and treat safety nutrition and health to pet owners, and advocates for a transparent, science-based regulatory environment for our members. Visit to learn more.

About Pet Industry Distributors Association

Pet Industry Distributors Association (PIDA) is the premier trade association representing the interests of pet product distributors since 1968. The mission of PIDA is to enhance the well-being of the wholesaler-distributor, to promote partnerships with their suppliers and customers and to work cooperatively with other organizations in fostering the human-companion animal bond. PIDA is also proud to grow and support the industry through the following initiatives: the Human Animal Bond Research Institute (HABRI), Pet Advocacy Network and Pet Care Trust and Pets in the Classroom. Visit for more information and follow us on LinkedIn.

About World Pet Association

Founded in 1950, World Pet Association (WPA) is the pet industry’s oldest nonprofit organization. WPA connects and informs pet professionals through industry-defining trade shows SuperZoo and GROOM’D (formerly Atlanta Pet Fair and Conference), as well as WPA365, a robust online community. Through WPA’s Good Works program, proceeds from these events are funneled back into key industry organizations and nonprofits with the goal of making it easier for pet industry professionals to do business. WPA’s mission is to support the business needs of pet retailers and to promote responsible growth and development of the pet industry by providing thought leadership on consumer and legislative issues; lead efforts in the public sector to inform consumers and ensure safe, healthy lifestyles for all animals; and provide business resources, education, content and services to ensure pet product retailers have the support they need to be competitive. For more information about WPA, its industry events, WPA365 or to become a member, visit



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