It’s no secret that people love their pets — but it might not be common knowledge that you can profit from it.
The Wall Street Journal’s Robert Sapolsky recently reminded us just how strongly most folks feel about their furry companions. For instance, in a recent study, 40% of respondents voted to save their dog over a foreign tourist. And for a more historical example, the Nazis had “strict laws that guaranteed the humane treatment of the pets of Jews being shipped to death camps.”
The puppy-love sentiment — as seen in these examples, or our deep hatred for Michael Vick, or our tears over that heart-wrenching Sarah McLachlan commercial — doesn’t just end at emotional response. It actually translates to big consumer spending.
In 2011, nearly three-quarters of U.S. households owned an animal, and America spent approximately $61.4 billion on their pets — an average of $500 on those pets throughout the year. Plus, that figure is actually much lower than many of us would expect because it factors in the cost of low-maintenance pets. (My parents’ puppy was sick last week, and his bill for one day in the vet’s office dwarfed that average).
No wonder, then, that these three pet stocks have been posting big returns of late: