Latin Americans spending more on 'humanizing' their pets

Sunday 18 July 2010 00:00

Argentineans spent $0.5 billion on animal care and products as growing numbers of Latin American 'pet parents' splash out on health care, food and hairdressers.

Despite the recent economic downturn, pet owners in Latin America and the Caribbean are fuelling the pet care market by spending more on products and services such as pet food, toys, fashion accessories, healthcare and hairdressers, according to a July 15 report by Euromonitor.

The market is being driven by the American trend of so-called ‘pet parents,' animal owners who treat their pets like children, spreading to Latin America. The Euromonitor report found that rather than being characterized by age or income, pet parents are grouped by a belief that animals have equal or almost equal rights to people.

Animal Day celebrated in April saw processions in Venezuela to raise awareness of animal abuse and a canine fashion show, similar to ones held in New York and Tokyo, took place in Sao Paulo, Brazil. An annual national holiday for dogs is even celebrated in Mexico on October 11.

According to statistics from Euromonitor, spending on pet food and pet care products increased dramatically across Argentina, Chile and Canada during the period 2004-2009. Spending in Argentina increased from $0.2 billion in 2004 to $0.6 billion in 2009, Chile increased from $0.3 billion to $0.5 billion in the same period, and spending in Canada rose from $1.3 billion in 2004 to $1.9 billion in 2009.

The American Pet Products association estimates that Americans will spend $47.7 billion on pets throughout 2010, of which $18.28 billion will be spent on food and $3.45 billion on pet services - the total figure represents an increased expenditure of $13.4 billion from 2004.

The United Kingdom leads the European pet care market; UK animal lovers spent €4 billion on pet care in 2009, while expenditure in both Germany and France totaled €3.6 billion.

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