Learn more about the effect of the boom in “other” pet population in the wake of COVID
New owners of other pets now have to take care of these additions to their households
Because so many owners of “other” pets also have dogs and cats, many of them have attitudes similar to those they have for their dogs and cats
The market for fish, small mammal, herptile, and bird products has historically taken a back seat to the market for dog- and cat-focused offerings, due to these smaller pets’ significantly lower numbers in terms of both population and sales. A pandemic-related population surge in the “other pet” market thrust these smaller companion animals into the spotlight, with market sales experiencing double-digit increases in 2020 and 2021 as new pet owners purchased enclosures and other supplies to take care of their new pets. As of 2023, these new owners are maintaining their pets, and sales growth has moderated as a result. Packaged Facts projects that on top of a 7% increase experienced in 2022, the market for pets other than dogs and cats will grow 4% in 2023, reaching $3.6 billion in sales.
Check out our discussion about the Fish, Small Mammal, Herptile, and Bird Market
In addition to the larger pet owner base encouraged by the pandemic, other factors driving sales in this market include pet owner willingness to spend on their pets other than dogs and cats despite economic challenges; the enjoyment owners get from watching and interacting with these smaller pets; and a general attitude that other pets, though not always as affectionate as dogs and cats, are still valued members of the household. Another factor at play is the outsized part the pet specialty channel plays in the sales of products for other pets, with pet stores providing advice and product suggestions for other pet owners who may be unsure about how to best care for their pet.
Packaged Facts’ Fish, Small Animal, Reptile, and Bird Products in the US, 4th Edition examines these and other opportunities for growth in the other pet market, breaking out sales and marketing/new product trends by animal type. A list of top marketers and examination of changing channel trends, including the part played by pet specialty and online outlets, are also included. Featuring exclusive data from Packaged Facts’ Surveys of Pet Owners, the report examines attitudes and demographic characteristics of other pet owners, providing insight into motivations for both pet acquisitions and product choice.
Scope and Market Definition: Products for “Other Pets”
This report analyzes the US market for pet products other than for dogs and cats, broken out into the following four categories:
- Fish and aquarium products – Food, aquariums, filtration products, and aquarium décor for freshwater and saltwater fish.
- Pet bird products – Food, toys, cages, and cage accessories for pet birds such as budgies, canaries, and parrots.
- Small mammal (small animal) pet products – Food and treats, enclosures, enclosure accessories, bedding, and toys for small mammals such as chinchillas, hamsters, gerbils, guinea pigs, mice, rabbits, rats, and sugar gliders.
- Herptile pet products – Food, enclosures, heating and lighting, décor, and accessories for all types of reptile and amphibian species, including turtles, snakes, geckos, chameleons, newts, iguanas, and bearded dragons.
These four categories of pets are referred to collectively by the overarching term “other pets” throughout this text, and the market for products targeting these pets is referred to as the “other pet products market”.
All food sales discussed are for commercial products specifically intended for other pets and do not include human foods (such as fresh fruits or vegetables) or human food ingredients used to make homemade pet foods or snacks. This report does not cover products for pets outside the description of the animal types listed above, such as farm animals or insects/arachnids kept as pets. Sales figures also exclude sales of live animals.
The information in this report was obtained from primary and secondary research. Primary research includes national online consumer surveys of US adult pet owners (aged 18 and older) conducted by Packaged Facts to measure purchasing patterns and attitudes with regard to pet products and services; the majority of the data is from our February 2023 and May 2023 surveys.
These Packaged Facts surveys have sample sizes of 1,500-2,000 adults who are screened for response quality and are, in aggregate, representative of the US population on the demographic measures of age, gender, geographic region, race/ethnicity, household income, and the presence/absence of children in the household. The February 2023 survey included 311 owners of pets other than dogs and cats, and the May 2023 survey included 247.
Primary research also includes interviews with pet market experts; participation in pet industry events, including the American Pet Products Association’s Global Pet Expo and the World Pet Association’s SuperZoo; on-site examination of retail stores; and internet canvassing including websites and blogs. Secondary research includes gathering information and data from consumer business and trade publications including Pet Age, Pet Business, and Pet Product News International; company profiles in trade and consumer publications; and information culled from Packaged Facts’ extensive pet market research database and report collection.
Our estimates of market size and company performance draw on reported revenues and annual reports of pet product manufacturers and retailers; government data, including US Bureau of Labor Statistics Consumer Expenditure Surveys; and figures from other market research and retail sales tracking sources.
In addition, some figures on the various pet types cite American Pet Products Association (APPA) data from its 2023–2024 National Pet Owners Survey.