Going outside the dog and cat silo can lead to additional insights on

pet owner trends.

Small animal-type pets are having an interesting year, according to U.S. petownership data. Thanks in part to the global COVID-19 pandemic, in 2020reptiles are projected to see the highest growth in household ownership (7%)and small mammals in aggregate are expected to be right behind (6%) over 2019numbers, according to Packaged Facts data. This compared to 5% growth inownership for dogs and 4% for cats — also robust numbers given that 96% ofpet-owning households in the U.S. have dogs or cats. But cat- or dog-owninghouseholds also make up part of the small animal (which, for the purposes ofthis issue, also include birds and fish) crowd, since such animals are morelikely to reside in multi-pet homes.

In this, our second-annual issue focusing on small animals in the pet space,we’ll take a look at pet market data with a particular focus on reptiles (p.xx). We’ll also look at two primary trends in the dog and cat space —sustainability (p. xx) and functional pet food ingredients (p. xx) — to seeboth how they’re affecting the pet food industry overall, and how the trendsdog and cat food producers are seeing are affecting other areas of the petspace.

It’s easy to focus on our silos, and to be sure dogs and cats dominatediscussions when we talk about overall ownership, food trends and predictionsfor the pet space. But taking a look at the rest of the picture is vital, notonly to ensure no opportunities are missed but also to see if there may betrends on the horizon. If a dog or cat owner also owns a snake or a hamster,odds are pretty good they’re going to treat all their animals like family.Which means if their tiny furry friend is getting top-notch food and treats,it’s a fair bet they’re looking for similar options for their larger four-legged pets. As in our constant eye towards human food trends, it pays to seewhat customers are thinking outside the box we’re used to putting them in.

Source:Lindsay Beaton Petfood Industry

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