It’s going to be a big holiday season – for American pets!
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It’s going to be a big holiday season – for American pets!

With holiday season just around the corner, it’s time to start spending on those we love. And this year, one group is on-track to receive an out-sized shower of presents: American pets. Why? It all comes down to their millennial owners.

IDEXX Laboratories’ share price has appreciated by 28% in 2018 so far

graph 2011 pets

Source: Yahoo Finance

Millennials are renowned for treating pets more like family members than previous generations did. There might be many reasons for that – amongst them, a propensity for having children later (if at all), and a greater regard for non-human forms of life (hence the rising number of vegans and vegetarians, as well as a general trend towards environmental friendliness).

Whatever the causes, a new report from PwC suggests that this trend will continue, and be particularly notable this year. Millennials will spend so much on presents for their pets next month that the term “fur baby” might finally seem appropriate.

This year, the average consumer will spend $67 on his or her pet. In part, that number has been pushed up by millennials – and in part, it’s evident of a wider trend towards higher pet spend that includes consumers of all age groups. But the really big spenders – high-earning millennial pet owners – blow that figure out of the water. Millennial households making $70,000 or more annually will fork out as much as $183 per-pet on gifts this holiday.

While this figure represents a huge spend across the country in its own right, it is perhaps more impressive for what it signifies – the extent to which the “humanisation” of pets has resulted in them being valued members of a family. This has big implications for everyday life: how those pets live, and what happens when it goes wrong.

IDEXX Laboratories is one company that is helping to calm the minds of anxious pet owners. The veterinary health and technology group offers a range of innovative products and services that run from unique diagnostic tools to open-all-hours emergency veterinarian clinics. How much will people really spend on their pets’ health and wellness? If the response to IDEXX’s offering is anything to go by, a great deal. This, of course, has implications for tomorrow’s consumers, too: if you grow up in a world where pet health is a priority, you’re unlikely to buck the trend.

Dominion holds IDEXX Laboratories in its Global Trends Luxury Fund.

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