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  • Cute puppies, kittens, Instagram dogs.

  • Americans are spending more and more on their

  • pets. And at Morris Animal Inn, cats are also

  • vacationing in style.

  • The inn offers luxury accommodations, including

  • condos and kitty suites with plush beds and TVs.

  • Meals for pets just like this one made with human

  • grade ingredients. That's become the standard for

  • the emerging trend of fresh dog food.

  • U.S. pet spending hit $72 billion in 2018.

  • About $3 billion more than the year before.

  • And if you look at the data since 1994, you can

  • see how rapidly the industry is growing.

  • The pet industry's growth isn't showing any signs

  • of slowing down. In the United States, the number

  • of dogs and cats could increase faster than the

  • human population, according to one forecast.

  • People are even taking out pet insurance plans to

  • help pay for medical procedures and help their

  • pets live longer. Here's how Americans' love for

  • pets turned into big business.

  • Americans love pets.

  • In 2018, about two out of every three U.S.

  • households owned a pet.

  • Dogs and cats remain the two most popular

  • companion animals in U.S.

  • homes. Birds and horses come in at a distant

  • third and fourth on that list.

  • The number of cats and dogs in the United States

  • is predicted to increase at a faster rate in the

  • U.S. population in the five years from 2019 to

  • 2024. Humans and their pets are attached at the

  • hip. Once a clear delineation between master and

  • servant, the human pet relationship has changed

  • significantly over the last 30 years and brought

  • humans and animals far closer together.

  • Years ago, we didn't fully understand animal

  • welfare as well as we do now.

  • So what people did with their animals before,

  • which was commonly accepted, might, for instance,

  • include things like tying your dog outside to a

  • dog house. We now see that that's not really

  • appropriate to just tie a dog out there for a

  • number of reasons, not least of which is that

  • there are weather issues and the dog is not

  • getting enough social interaction.

  • I think through our advanced understanding of

  • animal welfare, we're starting to realize that

  • these are social creatures that want to spend

  • time with us. That was Nancy Gee.

  • In 2017, she and Rebecca Fox published a paper in

  • which they concluded that since the late 20th

  • century in Great Britain, the relationship

  • between humans and animals had become more

  • intense and responsible.

  • People are seeing maybe their pets more as not

  • necessarily humans, but maybe as part of the

  • family. Sort of recognizing that they're not just

  • an animal, but that they're an important

  • individual who is important within the family,

  • that kind of thing.

  • And I'm not saying nobody did that before.

  • But I think it's a lot more common and a lot more

  • accepted now. Historically, people only spent

  • money on their pets when the economy was booming.

  • But with pets moving closer to family status, pet

  • owners are more likely to pay for their pet's

  • needs during tough times.

  • Industry experts call this phenomenon pet

  • humanization. And here's who's driving.

  • The pet industry's growth of late is in part

  • coming from demographics.

  • You have the aging demographic, the empty

  • nesters, and they're having more and more pets

  • because they don't have children anymore.

  • But also, you have the millennials who are coming

  • in and delaying the raising of children and

  • they're having more pets.

  • And you put those two together.

  • And in the U.S. today, seven out of ten

  • households have pets, and that's twice the number

  • that have children. Humans are going beyond basic

  • food and vet services.

  • We've begun to treat our pets the same way we

  • treat ourselves. To that end, pet owners are

  • purchasing indulgent items like premium pet food,

  • daily supplements, tech gadgets, clothing and

  • even matching streetwear.

  • We conducted a completely unscientific poll at

  • CNBC to see how much people spend on their pets.

  • This is Bubba. He's an eight-year-old pit bull

  • and he loves sleeping and our family loves him so

  • much. We spend about $1700 on him a year.

  • The most expensive thing we get for him is his

  • monthly allergy medicine.

  • That's about $100 a month.

  • He has to have a special food for his allergies,

  • which is about $60.

  • We spend about $45 on her litter and hay and just

  • food in general every two months.

  • Our other pets are a little more expensive.

  • My two shepherds, it costs about $110 a month to

  • feed them. $60 every two months to get them

  • groomed. They're both on pills from the vet.

  • So $45 each a month.

  • I'd say for the year in general it's about $800

  • just for their vet costs combined.

  • This is Chewy. He's 14-years-old and he's the

  • fourth dog I've owned. We spend about $150 a

  • month on him just between treats and dog food.

  • But we don't do pet insurance.

  • We've never really seen a need for it.

  • This is Oliver. He's 11-years-old and we have

  • spent a good amount of money on him buying him

  • ridiculous things like Halloween costumes.

  • We did not get him health insurance and we should

  • have done that because he's had Lyme disease

  • three or four times.

  • But he's our family member and we, we love him.

  • The average U.S. household spent $662 on their

  • pets in 2018.

  • That's a slight decrease from 2017, but it still

  • represents massive growth from 2013.

  • Investors are itching for a way to make money off

  • of the booming trend. One way to get a heartbeat

  • of the industry has been through exchange-traded

  • funds, a collection of stocks tied to one index

  • or in this case, one industry.

  • ProShares has an ETF called PAWZ that tracks

  • public companies in the pet industry.

  • Our ETF follows the FactSet Pet Care Index.

  • And in Q2, as an example, those companies grew

  • their earnings 12 percent.

  • And this is an environment where we all know that

  • earnings growth is very hard to come by.

  • So it's translating into the bottom lines of

  • these companies. Just a little bit less than two

  • thirds of the ETF are pet health care focused

  • with the rest being pet supplies and retail and,

  • of course, pet food.

  • And it's not surprising that a good chunk of this

  • is in the pet health care business because that's

  • where much of the growth is in the opportunity in

  • pet care. You know, pets are getting older and

  • they're needing more and more health care and

  • people are treating their pets like they're

  • members of the family.

  • So there's tremendous investment there,

  • tremendous opportunity.

  • And the way I like to think about it, there is no

  • Medicaid for dogs.

  • There's a real opportunity to make money there

  • that isn't as influenced and impacted by public

  • policy and government decisions.

  • Meet Dave Westenberg.

  • He's an analyst at Guggenheim and he wrote a 138

  • page report for investors on the pet industry.

  • It looks at where the future of pet care is

  • headed by 2024.

  • He writes that the industry became attractive to

  • investors after the recession of 2009 when

  • everyone was struggling to find growth.

  • He also writes that: "A six percent growth rate

  • with resistance to recession is a good profile

  • for companies, particularly in the post great

  • recessionary economy."

  • Stocks in the animal health group have gone up

  • 208 percent since 2014.

  • The S&P 500 in comparison gave investors a return

  • of 48 percent during the same time period.

  • Veterinary services make up a big chunk of pet

  • spending. In 2018, U.S.

  • households spent an average of $662 on their

  • pets. Just more than a third of that came from

  • vet bills. There's three major drivers of

  • veterinary spending.

  • One is price in which is correlated with GDP,

  • rise in pet growth overall, which is a one to two

  • percent as well. And then there's service

  • intensity and service intensity is essentially on

  • the veterinary business becoming better

  • businesses and that has equaled roughly the six

  • percent growth phenomenon.

  • Medical care for pets is getting more and more

  • advanced. Pets now get C.T.

  • scans, transplants, dentistry and chemotherapy.

  • Owners want them to live longer and healthier

  • lives. And as the vet bills pile up, more

  • consumers are turning toward pet insurance plans

  • rather than paying for procedures out of pocket.

  • Right now, fewer than one percent of pets in the

  • U.S. are insured. However, that number is

  • expected to rise.

  • In Sweden, for example, 30 percent of pets have

  • insurance policies. In the United Kingdom, about

  • 23 percent do.

  • The pet insurance industry alone could be worth

  • two billion dollars by 2024.

  • Employers are now starting to offer pet insurance

  • plans as a work perk.

  • The biggest markets for insurance you actually

  • also find this urban environment.

  • Correlated with this urban environment is the

  • access to these things, such as veterinary,

  • acupuncture, oncology, dermatology.

  • They're all really expensive services.

  • And so this is all intertwined.

  • The kind of customers that want to go to these

  • kind of places are also going to be the ones that

  • buy insurance. And more visits to the

  • veterinarian, coupled with the growing pet

  • insurance industry, also means that there could

  • be a surge in veterinarian jobs.

  • The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that by

  • 2026, more than 57,000 veterinarian jobs will be

  • added to the economy.

  • That's an increase of 19 percent since 2016.

  • As investors pile into pet stocks, it's easy to

  • overlook what the underlying forces behind the

  • industry's growth means for our dogs and cats

  • themselves. It's part of a decades-long trend of

  • animal rights and protection.

  • It means that their lives are getting better and

  • longer. If you look back at the history of animal

  • welfare agreements, I guess it was sort of in the

  • 19th century that they started making laws to

  • protect animals.

  • So things like the RSPCA go back to that period

  • and there was kind of movements to protect

  • animals, obviously in the late 20th, early 21st

  • century they've increased a lot.

  • And I think that's for two things, partly because

  • maybe animals are given a higher status.

  • But I think it's also because of the society we

  • live in now, it has to be more regulated as well.

  • So a lot of those laws that discussed in that

  • paper, not necessarily just for the animals'

  • benefits, kind of regulating them to make them

  • fit in with human society as well.

  • Fewer pets are being put down at animal shelters

  • now. In the 1960s, one out of every four dogs in

  • the United States used to live on the street.

  • To address the national issue, advocacy campaigns

  • pushed dog owners to become more responsible by

  • sterilizing, microchipping and licensing their

  • pets with their local municipalities.

  • On the legislative stage, Congress introduced a

  • bill called the 'Welfare of Our Friends' or the

  • Wolf Act in February twenty nineteen.

  • It would revoke licenses of dog breeders who

  • violate standards of care.

  • In January, twenty nineteen lawmakers introduced

  • a bill which would make animal cruelty a crime on

  • the federal level. The' Preventing Animal Cruelty

  • and Torture Act', otherwise known as PACT, goes

  • beyond an Obama-era animal cruelty law by making

  • purposeful, crushing, burning, drowning,

  • suffocation and impaling of an animal a direct