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More People Are Choosing Small Dogs, and That’s Bad News for Pet-Food Makers

Canines under 25 pounds are becoming more popular.

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Americans are choosing smaller dogs — and that creates a challenge for pet food manufacturers, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Small dogs, of course, eat less, so the trend could depress sales growth.

U.S. pet ownership is rising, the Journal notes. It’s now at close to 74 million homes, up from about 66 million homes in 2010.

But the proportion of dog owners with dogs weighing less than 25 pounds is rising. It’s now at about 50 percent, compared to about 37 percent in 2006, according to a chart published by the Journal. The newspaper relied on data from Simmons Research and the APPA National Pet Owners Survey.

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Many food companies are looking to the pet-food market to offset falling sales from people food, according to the Journal. Major corporations such as  Nestlé SA, General Mills Inc. and J.M. Smucker Co. have all acquired pet-food brands recently.

But the market has its own challenges, of which shrinking dogs are just one. For example, pricing pressure is mounting as a host of new products hit the market.

Read more at the Wall Street Journal

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