Pets, especially dogs and cats, are trending as a topic in fourth-quarter seasonal décor. Why? Because for many consumers, they were already valued members of the family. They truly deserved a role for the Holidays. During the pandemic, pets have become even more important. These furry companions have helped many of us deflect loneliness. They have also been a source of love and affection that has been vital at a time when being with friends and family has carried so much risk.
Shelters and rescue agencies can attest to the connection between the pandemic and pet ownership. According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, the mean number of new pets seen in practices rose more than 50% from March to July of last year. Petco’s CEO, in a recent interview on CNBC’s Squawk on the Street program, said there were three million-plus incremental new pets in 2020.
So, the love affair that so many of us have had with our dogs and cats now also applies to a new and sizable audience. This will act like an annuity for pet-themed merchandise.
The market already liked dogs and cats for fourth quarter holidays. Now, it seems that we like them even more.
Pet images and patterns are rolling out fast in seasonal collections from multiple vendors. They are accompanied by paw print patterns, doghouse ornaments, brightly colored Holiday feeding dishes, dog-bone shaped everything, and clever play-on-words phrases like Feliz Navi-Dog showing up on items from toss pillows to mugs. Fido and Kitty can get dressed up in Harvest-themed bandannas or Halloween costumes, and they have their own Christmas stockings.
There are more choices for pet recognition and certainly participation in the Holidays than ever before. Our forecast is that this trend will continue for at least two years.