Six signs pets are the economy's new big spenders

Some 82.5 million American households, or 68 percent, include domestic animals. Americans spent an all-time-high $55.7 billion on their pets last year, and spending will inch close to $60 billion this year. Here are six things driving the pet spending boom.

2. Pet yoga, fitness classes

Shannon Stapleton/Reuters/File
Reseda (L) and Dash, both Papillon dogs, exercise on a dog treadmill at the Affinia Hotel in New York in February.

Pet training may currently be associated with the negative underworld of pit bulls and greyhounds, but that's quickly changing. Many dog-training facilities already offer exercise-oriented classes for pets, and "human" fitness clubs are also starting to offer pet-friendly classes as well. The fitness industry is even giving new meaning to the yoga pose "downward facing dog"—there are now yoga classes for owners and their pets.

In addition, the wearable fitness-tracker market is also extending its reach to pets. Whistle, a device that attaches to an animal's collar and is otherwise known as Fitbit for dogs, measures information such as steps taken and calories burned. "The idea is to offer pet owners and vets data that they "have never seen before," said Ben Jacobs, Whistle's CEO.

2 of 6
of stories this month > Get unlimited stories
You've read  of  free articles. Subscribe to continue.

Unlimited digital access $11/month.

Get unlimited Monitor journalism.