• Jonathon Allen, CFP®

Come here Rona! Heel, Covi!

Prior to the pandemic, The Economist reported Euromonitor anticipated, “…the number of pet cats worldwide to grow by 22 percent between 2018 and 2024, compared with 18 percent for dogs. Cats are better suited to apartment living than dogs, so they are more at home in the densely populated, fast-growing cities of Asia.”

Then, the pandemic spurred a global pet and pet industry boom. In 2020, Americans spent $103.6 billion on their pets, reported the American Pet Products Association:

  • Food and treats: $42.0 billion

  • Veterinarian care and products: $31.4 billion

  • Supplies and medicines: $22.1 billion

  • Other services: $8.1 billion

Spending is expected to rise to $109.6 billion in 2021.

Some tenacious pet owners have become “petfluencers” to offset the costs of pet ownership. They post pictures of their pets on social media. If the pet gains a following, brands will pay for the pet to pose with products. One popular Pomeranian, with more than 10 million followers, earned about $23,900 in 2020, reported Inverse.com.

The pandemic pet boom also triggered a new naming convention: pandemic-inspired (some wags might say uninspired) names. The most popular 2020 pet names were mainstream choices, such as Bella, Luna, Lucy, Max, Charlie, and Cooper. However, Covi (up 1,159 percent, possibly from zero), Rona (up 69 percent), and Corona (up 24 percent) were trending, too, per Rover.com.

Here’s the really important news: Dogs remain more popular than cats in the United States. About 63 percent of American households own dogs, while just about 43 percent have cats.