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Why Invest in the Pet Care Industry?

Pet Care

Pets are loyal companions and increasingly thought of as part of the family. They’re also big business. Let’s look at some notable trends.

Pet Ownership Is Growing

Today, roughly 67% of U.S. households have pets, up from 56% in 1988, according to the American Pet Products Association (APPA). In fact, more households have pets than have children.

84.9 million households have pets

33.5 million U.S. households have children

Sources: APPA 2019-2020 National Pet Owners Survey; Bureau of Labor Statistics, December 2020

What’s driving the growth in pet ownership? The two most populous generations in the United States—baby boomers and millennials—are bringing pets into their homes in greater numbers.

"The two biggest generations are bringing pets into their homes in greater numbers."

Baby boomers, until recently the largest generation in history, have entered a new phase of life and are becoming pet owners in greater numbers. Among baby boomers globally, at least 32% own pets.

Millennials, who are now the nation's largest generation, have also embraced pet ownership. Many millennials are becoming pet owners before, or even instead of, having children. Today, 35% of millennials own pets globally. In the U.S., millennials appear likely to spend more on pets than other cohorts, and are expected to drive a 14% increase in the number of households with pets by 2030.

More and More, Owners Are Caring for Pets Like Family

Over the years, pet owners have dramatically changed the way they think about and care for their pets. For many pet owners, their animals have become part of the family. They want their pets’ lives to be as happy, healthy and fulfilling as their own, and they’ll likely spare little expense to ensure it. As a result, they’re spending billions of dollars on premium-quality foods, state-of-the-art health care, insurance policies, luxury services and more. With this attitude, pet care has evolved to offer more sophisticated products and services that are being driven by three main factors:

  • We’re humanizing our pets. Pet owners often think of their pets as they would their children. They talk to their pets, bring them along on vacation, modify homes to accommodate them and celebrate pets’ birthdays. Today, pets are true members of the family.
  • We’re “premiumizing” pet care. Pet owners are building an appetite for premium and even luxury pet products. Higher-quality pet food is becoming more common. In the U.S., 60% of dog and cat owners are concerned about their pet's nutrition, and $44.1 billion is expected to be spent on food and treats in 2021. Owners are also indulging pets with nonessentials, like toys and costumes—the global market for pet accessories is projected to reach over $40 billion by 2025.
  • We’re providing pets with health care comparable to our own. Advances in veterinary health care are providing meaningful improvement in our pets’ lives. There are ongoing innovations in veterinary treatments, preventative medications, diagnostic and screening tools, imaging (MRIs and other scans), and wellness products and therapies. Owners are willing to pay for these treatments. It's estimated that pet owners will spend more than $32 billion a year on vet care and product sales in 2021. In addition, pet owners are also buying health insurance policies. In North America, private health insurance was purchased for more than 3.45 million animals in 2020, exceeding $2.17 billion in premiums.

"Pet care has evolved to offer more sophisticated products and services."

  • 60% of dog and cat owners are concerned about their pet's nutrition
  • 67% of pet owners celebrated their pet's birthday
  • 37% would take on debt for medical expenses
  • 50% year-over-year increase in U.S. owners with pet insurance
  • 69% of pet owners say their pet is an important member of the family

Sources: SPINS, 2020; Segmanta Pet Survey, 2020; Morgan Stanley, 2021

The Pet Care Industry Is Thriving

The pet care industry spans veterinary pharmaceuticals, diagnostics, product distributors and services, manufacturers of pet food and pet supplies, and pet supply retailers. Each of these subindustries is responding to the demands of pet owners with continued innovation that’s led to notable growth.

Here in the U.S., the pet care industry has grown steadily every year since 2001, even during the Great Recession. Meanwhile, a similar boom has been building internationally. The global pet care industry is expected to grow from $232 billion in 2020 to as much as $350 billion by 2027.

Global pet care industry sales

  • 2020: $232 BILLION
  • 2027: $235 BILLION (Estimated)

These trends may not continue or may reverse. Source: Global Market Insights, February 2021.

Corporate interest is intensifying, too. As the industry continues to grow, it's attracting attention from Wall Street and investment research has expanded.

PAWZ ProShares Pet Care ETF

PAWZ is the first ETF focused on the pet care industry. PAWZ gives investors the opportunity to gain broad exposure to public companies in the global pet care industry—companies that stand to potentially benefit from the proliferation of pet ownership and the emerging trends affecting how we care for our pets.

Learn About ProShares

ProShares has been at the forefront of the ETF revolution since 2006. ProShares now offers one of the largest lineups of ETFs, with more than $50 billion in assets. The company is the leader in strategies such as dividend growth, alternative and geared (leveraged and inverse). ProShares continues to innovate with products that provide strategic and tactical opportunities for investors to manage risk and enhance returns.

Sources: ProShares; APPA, 2019-2020 National Pet Owners Survey; Bureau of Labor Statistics data, December 2020; Morgan Stanley, "Welcome to the Petriarchy" March 2021; Global Market Insights, February 2021; U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, August 2020; Boehringer Ingelheim, 2020; ReportLinker, October 2020; APPA, "2021 State of the Industry" 2021; NAPHIA, May 2021; SPINS, September 2020; Segmanta Pet Survey 2020.

Investing involves risk, including the possible loss of principal. This ProShares ETF is non-diversified and entails certain risks, including imperfect benchmark correlation and market price variance, that may decrease performance. Investments in smaller companies typically exhibit higher volatility. Smaller company stocks also may trade at greater spreads or lower trading volumes, and may be less liquid than stocks of larger companies. Please see the summary and full prospectuses for a more complete description of risks. There is no guarantee any ProShares ETF will achieve its investment objective.

The fund is subject to the risks faced by companies in the pet care industry. Although the pet care industry has historically seen steady growth and has been resilient to economic downturns, these trends may not continue or may reverse.

Carefully consider the investment objectives, risks, charges and expenses of ProShares before investing. This and other information can be found in their summary and full prospectuses. Read them carefully before investing. Obtain them from your financial professional or broker-dealer representative or visit

The “FactSet Pet Care Index” and “FactSet” are trademarks of FactSet Research Systems Inc. and have been licensed for use by ProShares. ProShares have not been passed on by these entities or their affiliates as to their legality or suitability. ProShares based on the FactSet Pet Care Index are not sponsored, endorsed, sold, or promoted by FactSet Research Systems Inc., and it makes no representation regarding the advisability of investing in ProShares. THIS ENTITY AND ITS AFFILIATES MAKE NO WARRANTIES AND BEAR NO LIABILITY WITH RESPECT TO PROSHARES. FactSet Research Systems Inc. does not guarantee the accuracy and/or the completeness of the FactSet Pet Care Index or any data included therein, and FactSet Research Systems Inc. shall have no liability for any errors, omissions, or interruptions therein.

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Pet Care ETF

PAWZ is the first ETF focused on the pet care industry, giving investors the opportunity to gain broad exposure to public companies in the global pet care industry.

Get the latest perspectives and updates.

ProShares ETFs (ProShares Trust and ProShares Trust II) are distributed by SEI Investments Distribution Co., which is not affiliated with the funds' advisor or sponsor.

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