Americans expected to spend over 2 billion on their pets on Valentine’s Day

Dog and cat on white background with red heart and red roses
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Owners will spend more on their pets on Valentine’s Day than ever before this year, according to financial website finder, with an expected $2.14 billion to be shelled out on gifts. If you think that sounds like a lot, you’d be right. Research shows an increase of 185.3% compared to this time last year, when pet parents spent an estimated $751 million. 

So what’s behind the massive upward trend? If the first thing that sprang to mind was the current Coronavirus pandemic, you’re spot on. According to the National Retail Federation (NRF), nearly three-quarters of consumers (73%) feel it’s important to celebrate Valentine’s Day this year, given the current state of the pandemic.

“There is no question the pandemic has disrupted many aspects of Americans’ daily interactions and activities,” said NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay. “However, there remains a special significance around Valentine’s Day, and consumers are committed to celebrating friends and loved ones, even if that means having to alter those traditional holiday celebrations.”

And it turns out that celebrating their loved ones includes spoiling their pets, but which pets are going to get the most love? Valentine’s Day is definitely going to the dogs this year, with 16% of American adults planning to buy their dog a gift, versus 12.3% of cat owners. However, while the pooches may be getting pampered a little more than the kitties this year, spending for both pets has increased.

In 2021, Americans plan to part with $31.24 on gifts for their dog, and $27.42 on their feline friends. On average, men are planning to spend more on their pet dogs, with women spending more on their cats. Men have got more of a soft spot for gift buying overall though, with 36.06% of male pet owners planning to buy their dog or cat a gift compared to 21.42% of women.

As for which generation is contributing the most to the 2 billion dollar figure, Millennials are taking out that honor this year, with an average spend of $37.68 on their dogs, and $30.16 on their cats. To all the feline fans out there, there's a bit of good news: baby boomers are the one generation planning to spend more on their cats than their dogs.

Kathryn Williams
Freelance writer

Kathryn is a freelance writer who has been a member of the PetsRadar family since it launched in 2020. Highly experienced in her field, she's driven by a desire to provide pet parents with accurate, timely, and informative content that enables them to provide their fur friends with everything they need to thrive. Kathryn works closely with vets and trainers to ensure all articles offer the most up-to-date information across a range of pet-related fields, from insights into health and behavior issues to tips on products and training. When she’s not busy crafting the perfect sentence for her features, buying guides and news pieces, she can be found hanging out with her family (which includes one super sassy cat), drinking copious amounts of Jasmine tea and reading all the books.