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Canadian Pet Owners - Canada - September 2015

"Pets are common among Canadian households. The relationship between owners and their pets runs deep, driving an approach to care akin to that of a parent and their child. As pet owners feel that the benefits of owning a pet far outweigh the work involved, they are often willing to spontaneously spend discretionary dollars on treats and toys, though their approach to foods is met with much scrutiny. Events celebrating the emotional bond (eg birthdays or doggie triathlons) will generate engagement with pet owners."
- Carol Wong-Li, Senior Analyst, Lifestyles and Leisure

This report discusses the following key topics:

  • Owners are concerned about ingredients in pet food
  • Shouldering more responsibilities increases enjoyment 
  • Perceived cost of pet care is prohibitive to ownership

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Table of contents

  1. Overview

    • What you need to know
    • Executive Summary

      • The issues
        • Owners are concerned about ingredients in pet food
          • Figure 1: Attitudes towards pet ownership (selected statements), June 2015
        • Shouldering more responsibilities increases enjoyment
          • Figure 2: Agreement with “Having a pet improves the quality of a person’s life” (any agree), by age of children at home, June 2015
        • Perceived cost of pet care is prohibitive to ownership
          • Figure 3: Barriers to pet ownership: “Pet care is too expensive”, by age, June 2015
        • The opportunities
          • Personalized deals via emails are of interest among owners
            • Figure 4: Agreement with “I am interested in receiving coupons by email for pet supplies or pet food” (any agree), by age and gender, June 2015
          • Pet owners are looking for quality in food products and will want proof
            • Figure 5: Attitudes towards pet ownership (selected statements), June 2015
          • Promoting physical activity for owners and their dogs
            • Future consideration is strong among owners
              • Figure 6: Those planning on getting another pet in the future, by age, June 2015
            • What it means
            • The Market – What You Need to Know

              • Population shifts should benefit the pet industry
                • The cost of pet food and supplies will continue to rise
                  • Wavering consumer confidence may impact spontaneous purchases of treats and toys
                  • Market Factors

                    • Demographic shifts favour pet ownership
                      • Figure 7: Population aged 65 years and over in Canada, historical and projected (% of total), 1971-2061
                    • Growth of the LGBT community & rise of single parent households
                      • Figure 8: Distribution and percentage change of census families, by family structure, 2001-11
                    • Cost of pet food and supplies likely to continue rising
                      • Figure 9: Monthly movements in selected major components of the Canadian Consumer Price Index, seasonally adjusted, 2010-15
                    • Recent economic activities have negatively impacted consumer confidence
                      • Figure 10: Consumer Confidence Index, monthly, January 2008-January 2015
                  • Key Players – What You Need to Know

                    • Businesses are finding ways to honour the bond
                      • Industry advertising efforts rely on standard themes
                      • What’s New?

                          • Improving pet travel: The Ark, JFK Airport’s newest terminal
                            • Figure 11: Planned resort for dogs at JFK airport, June 2015
                          • Sharing the pet experience: Shared ownership programs
                            • Two can play at this game: Keeping owners and dogs fit with Woof Fit Mini Triathlon
                              • Marketing to the relationship: American Beagle and MAC Cosmetics
                                • Figure 12: MAC Cosmetics Haute Dog collection, June 2015
                              • Technological hookups for dogs and their owners: Tindog
                              • Marketing Strategies

                                  • Celebrating the emotional bond
                                    • HomeAway
                                      • Figure 13: HomeAway, “A Whole Vacation” Part 1 and 2, 2015
                                    • PetSafe Canada
                                      • Attributing human and animal characteristics to each other
                                        • Purina #IGETBEGGIN
                                          • Figure 14: Purina, “I Get Beggin”, 2015
                                        • Greenies Dental Dog Treat
                                          • Figure 15: Greenies, “Dental dog treat”, 2015
                                        • Equating quality of food with love
                                          • Cesar – Night Shift
                                            • Figure 16: Cesar, “Night Shift”, 2015
                                          • Purina Puppy Chow – Bandit’s Fun in the Kitchen
                                            • Figure 17: Purina, “Bandit’s Fun in the Kitchen”, 2015
                                        • The Consumer – What You Need to Know

                                          • Pets are common in Canadian households
                                            • For pet owners, the benefits far outweigh the efforts involved
                                              • Owners are choosy about ingredients of pet foods
                                                • Veterinarians are the primary source for advice
                                                  • Cost and responsibility are barriers for non-pet owners, though future consideration is strong among Millennials
                                                  • Pet Ownership

                                                    • Nearly two thirds of Canadians have pets
                                                      • Figure 18: Pet ownership, June 2015
                                                    • Pets and children are a typical combination in Canadian households
                                                      • Women are more likely to be pet owners
                                                        • Associated costs impact pet ownership
                                                          • Cats are popular among French speakers and the LGBT community
                                                            • Future consideration is strong among owners
                                                              • Figure 19: Those planning on getting another pet in the future, by age, June 2015
                                                          • Pet Care Responsibility and Impact on Quality of Life

                                                            • Pet care responsibility primarily lies with one individual
                                                              • Figure 20: Care responsibility, by age and gender, June 2015
                                                            • Pets bring joy and are worth the effort
                                                              • Figure 21: Attitudes towards pet ownership (selected statements), June 2015
                                                            • The benefits of pet ownership are vast
                                                              • Pets really can be one’s best friend
                                                                • Companionship is valuable to older Canadians
                                                                  • Ownership teaches responsibility and encourages physical activity
                                                                    • Pet ownership is not without its challenges, though efforts are worth it
                                                                      • Sharing of pet care responsibilities elevates enjoyment
                                                                      • Pet Acquisition

                                                                        • Pets are acquired through various means
                                                                          • Figure 22: Pet acquisition, June 2015
                                                                        • Opportunities to be had upon starting pet ownership
                                                                          • At the start of the process – A qualitative look
                                                                          • Approach to Pet Food Purchase

                                                                            • Owners are concerned about the quality of pet food
                                                                              • Figure 23: Attitudes towards pet ownership (selected statements), June 2015
                                                                            • Ingredients matter – A qualitative look
                                                                              • The proof is in the (meat) pudding
                                                                                • Women and more affluent shoppers will look for age-appropriate products
                                                                                  • Figure 24: Agreement with “I tend to buy products that are designed for my pet's age” (any agree), by gender, June 2015
                                                                              • Shopping for Treats and Celebrations

                                                                                • Pet owners shop spontaneously for their pets and seek discounts via email
                                                                                  • Figure 25: Attitudes towards pet ownership (selected statements), June 2015
                                                                                • Opportunities abound with women pet owners
                                                                                  • The emotional engagement of rewards extends into purchases for pets
                                                                                    • Figure 26: Agreement with “I am interested in receiving coupons by email for pet supplies or pet food” (any agree), by age and gender, June 2015
                                                                                • Trusted Sources for Information

                                                                                  • Veterinarians are the primary source for advice
                                                                                    • Figure 27: Attitudes towards pet ownership (selected statements), June 2015
                                                                                  • Other sources are considered
                                                                                    • Quebecers more inclined to trust celebrity pet experts
                                                                                    • Dog Owners’ Interest in Pet Services

                                                                                      • Adoption of services outside of grooming is low
                                                                                        • Figure 28: Pet services used or interested in, June 2015
                                                                                      • Traveling with pets is big business
                                                                                        • Pet boarding and sitting services are of interest among affluent dog owners
                                                                                          • Pet health insurance sees interest but cost is prohibitive
                                                                                            • Parents are keen on services that add ease
                                                                                              • Figure 29: Pet services used or interested in, by parental status, June 2015
                                                                                          • Non-pet Owners – Barriers and Future Consideration

                                                                                            • Responsibility and cost are prohibitive factors to ownership
                                                                                              • Figure 30: Barriers to pet ownership, June 2015
                                                                                            • Older Canadians have unique considerations
                                                                                              • Millennials are interested in future pet ownership
                                                                                                • Figure 31: Future pet ownership – Non-pet owners, June 2015
                                                                                              • Options are available to those looking for less commitment
                                                                                                • Raising awareness of pet sharing services
                                                                                                  • Enticing ownership with easier to care for animals
                                                                                                    • Keeping pet adoption top of mind
                                                                                                    • Appendix – Data Sources and Abbreviations

                                                                                                      • Data sources
                                                                                                        • Consumer survey data
                                                                                                          • Consumer qualitative research
                                                                                                            • Abbreviations and terms
                                                                                                              • Abbreviations

                                                                                                              Companies Covered

                                                                                                              To learn more about the companies covered in this report please contact us.

                                                                                                              Canadian Pet Owners - Canada - September 2015

                                                                                                              £3,199.84 (Excl.Tax)