Taken from http://smallbiztrends.com/2010/01/pet-industry-trends-for-2010.html
Pet services for your pets continue to grow According to the APPA, $3.2 billion dollars was spent on pet services in 2008, projected to grow over 6% to $3.4 billion in 2009. I don’t think anyone will be particularly surprised to see this growth continue for several years to come, particularly as retail behemoth Wal-Mart expands its pet grooming facilities further into its stores.
Pet parents are including their pets in their own lifestyles so visits to the spa, exercise regimes, and restaurants have become more common in urban areas. With the recession and decline of investment capital, my impression is that the number of day care accommodations are growing in number more modestly than prior to the recession; however, the business of doggie day cares continues to be a profitable one.
Teacups join the tea party
If 2009 was the year of the “hybrid”, 2010 will be the year of the “teacup”. Puppy mills are turning their attention to “miniaturizing” certain breeds or passing off genetic misfits as a one in a million dog rather than the sickly pet they no doubt will be. Celebrity dog owners have not helped in that respect, carrying around their petit-pooches in their designer purses, and driving their admirers to want smaller and smaller dogs. Here’s hoping that this craze will be short-lived to spare the lives of these poor little dogs.
The business environment continues to challenge in 2009. Pets have drawn the attention of large retailers and institutional investors who have been expanding into the pet space. Savvy small businesses will take advantage of change to successfully place themselves uniquely in the market. Trends here include:
Pet businesses and non-profits thrive socially.
Social networking was not new in 2009 but the successes of the early adopters such as @PetsitUSA and @petrelocation are driving more and more pet businesses online. Pet-related small business owners have always known the power of numbers and are turning online to get noticed, one shopper or one business partner at a time, on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn. Many rescue organizations are using social networking as part of their funding drives such as the ASPCA and The Humane Society.
Increased online sophistication from pet-related businesses in ecommerce, design, and usability.
In 2009, several new players joined the pet health and pet adoption space. The web giant WebMD, known for its online human health information, has launched into the pet health expertise websites that appeared in 2008, in an attempt to use its brand and reach to take the top spot in this market. On the other hand, Petango.com, an upstart online adoption database, launched to compete with the dominating market leader, PetFinder. We shall see in 2010 whether these two plays will be successful in their chosen niches. Overall, newer websites are more sophisticated in design and ecommerce, reaching their target audience via web-site usability, SEO, paid search, and word of mouth. These websites are still in the minority of a largely fragmented pet marketplace even in 2010, but this gives a savvy small business an opportunity to stand out from the crowd.