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Here’s How Much Americans Will Spend On Their Pets for Valentine’s Day

The figure has grown significantly over the past decade.

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Pet spending for Valentine’s Day is expected to total $886 million this year, according to the annual survey released by the National Retail Federation and Prosper Insights & Analytics.

That figure is up $519 million since 2008, when NRF first asked about Valentine’s Day spending on pets.

Gifts for pets continue to be popular, purchased by 20 percent of those who celebrate the holiday, according to NRF.

“The vast majority of Valentine’s Day dollars are still spent on significant others, but there’s a big increase this year in consumers spreading the love to children, parents, friends and coworkers,” said NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay. “Those who are participating are spending more than ever and that could be the result of the strong economy.”

Americans are expected to spend a record amount on Valentine’s Day this year despite a years-long decrease in the percentage of people celebrating the holiday.

Those surveyed said they would spend an average $161.96 on the holiday overall. That’s up 13 percent from last year’s $143.56 and easily tops the previous record of $146.84 set in 2016.

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Total spending is expected to be $20.7 billion, which is an increase of 6 percent over last year’s $19.6 billion and breaks the previous record of $19.7 billion, also set in 2016.

The spending increases come even though only 51 percent of Americans plan to celebrate the holiday, down from 55 percent last year and a high of 63 percent in 2007. It is unclear why the number of consumers celebrating has trended downward over the past 12 years, but spending, while varying with the economy, has generally trended up. The lowest spending during the period was $102.50 in 2009 during the Great Recession.

Of the $18.40 increase in average spending, only $4.26 comes from spending on spouses and significant others, which is expected to total $93.24. Consumers said they would spend $29.87 on other family members, up $4.58; $9.78 on friends, up $2.59; $8.63 on children’s classmates or teachers, up $1.37; $7.78 on co-workers, up $2.99; $6.94 on pets, up $1.44; and $5.72 on others, up $1.17.

Since launching in 2017, PETS+ has won 16 major international journalism awards for its publication and website. Contact PETS+'s editors at editor@petsplusmag.com.

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