There’s Never Been a Better Time to Start an Animal Career
What makes now such a good time to start an animal career? According to financial giant, Morgan Stanley, as many investors are discovering, the pet industry is practically recession-proof. This should come as excellent news to animal lovers hoping for a career working with pets.
Morgan Stanley also reports that younger adults are becoming pet owners in droves. The number of households that own at least one pet is expected to increase 14% by 2030. With nearly 70% of American households already owning at least one pet, such an increase will drive an insatiable need for pet products and services, such as training, boarding, grooming and veterinary care.
Not only are more people owning pets, but they are also willing to spend more money on their pets than ever before. According to the American Kennel Club, spending on pets is projected to triple by 2030 to $275 billion. Spending in individual pet-owning households is expected to double to nearly $2,000 per home during the same period. Whether for dog outfits, cat toys, or aquarium maintenance, that’s a big chunk of money for the average American.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, careers in animal care have a phenomenal projected job growth of 29% between 2021 and 2031. This figure far exceeds the average prospects for other occupations. This statistic alone is cause for celebration if you have a passion for animals and are looking for a rewarding career. One such career–animal training–even made the Forbes list of the “30 Fastest Growing Careers” in 2021.
What’s Fueling Skyrocketing Spending on Pets?
Why are people willing to fork over so much money on their pets? The answer can be seen in how we view our relationship with our pets. Within the past couple of decades, pets have increasingly been seen by their owners as actual family members.
Many millennials don’t like the term “pet owner” and refer to themselves as “pet parents” instead. As more and more Millenials put off having children–or forgo having children at all–pets take the place of human offspring. Gen Z seems poised to follow in their footsteps. By far, the biggest projected pet ownership is among 18-34 year-olds.
People who see their pets as “children” love to spoil them, lavishing them with money and affection, dressing them in cute outfits and giving rise to pet spas that offer such services as:
- Doggy facials
- Nail and hair color
- Unique styles like a lion cut for Pomeranians or a teddy bear trim for Poodles
- Accessories such as feathers woven onto ears or tails
- Fun special events for pets and their owners, such as “Doggy Speed Dating” on Valentine’s Day
These same pet parents tend to obsess over the best food to feed their pets and will shell out big bucks for dog food while skimping on their own groceries, if necessary. A Morgan Stanley research report revealed 37% of pet owners would be willing to go into debt for veterinary care.
Pets acquired during the pandemic pose an interesting conundrum. Pets and their people got used to spending all of their time together. More and more, pet owners want to take their pets with them everywhere, from Lowes, Tractor Supply and even Nordstrom to the patio at the neighborhood coffee shop. There’s even a push in many places to allow owners to bring their dogs to work with them.
The desire to take animals everywhere may be spurred by an increase in behavioral problems among dogs and cats that suddenly found themselves alone in the house after their owners returned to work. This is distressing for pet owners but great news for dog and cat trainers! According to a Forbes Advisory Survey in December, 2022, 25% of Millennials and 41% of Gen Z members use some type of behavioral training services to help curb unwanted behavior.
Follow Your Passion for Animals
In this pet loving culture, your passion for animals can lead to a rewarding career. Whether you want to work at a zoo, take care of sick pets in an animal veterinary clinic, set up amazing coral-reef aquariums, train cats or dogs, or indulge your creative side in a high end pet spa, there has never been a better time to start an animal-related career!