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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 Rosenberg

Kathryn is a freelance writer with a passion for creating health and wellness, travel and wildlife content. Originally from New Zealand, her nomadic lifestyle has her currently fur baby-less. She scratches her pet parent itch by stealing frequent cuddles with any neighbourhood cat kind enough to indulge her.