Animal Magnetism: Attracting Business With Pet-Themed Jewelry

Pet ownership is on the rise in the United States, and Americans also tend to splurge on their furry friends. Consider some recent statistics:

  • Between 1996 and 2001, the number of Americans who owned dogs as companion animals increased 16%, and the number of Americans who owned cats as companion animals increased 17%.

  • More American households own dogs than any other pet, and most dog owners have incomes exceeding $50,000, the fastest-growing income bracket among pet owners. (See “Pet Ownership by Household Income.”)

  • Americans spent nearly $30 billion on pet-related products and services in 2002, according to Unity Marketing, Stevens, Pa.

Unity’s research reveals that 80% of pet owners bought one or more “extras”—such as special bedding—for their animals in the past year. Pet owners who spend the most on their animal companions “demographically have the lowest incidence of children at home and are more likely to be single, so the pet becomes the ‘baby’ of the family,” says Unity Marketing president Pam Danziger. (For new research on pet-related purchasing habits, see Why People Buy Things For Their Pets at

Jewelers who offer jewelry with pet motifs can capitalize on this trend toward pampered companion animals. A wide range of animal jewelry is available, including items reflecting specific breeds such as Labrador retrievers or Siamese cats, designs inspired by paw prints or dog bones, custom-made pieces created from a photo of an animal, carved cameos, and photo charms.

Increase in American Pet Ownership
Percentage of households owning companion pets in 2001

Animal 2001 1996
Source: U.S. Census Bureau, Statistical Abstracts of the United States, Years 2002 & 2000
Dog 36.1 31.2
Cat 31.6 27.0
Bird 4.6 4.6
Horse 1.7 1.5

Do you sell pet-themed jewelry?

Source: May 2003 JCK Retail Panel
Yes 42.6%
No 57.4%

Pet Ownership By Household Income
Jewelers’ Own Pets

Yes No
Do you have a pet? 66.8% 33.2%
Do you ever bring the pet to the store? 40.9% 59.1%
If yes, do customers ever stop by just to visit your “furry salesperson?” 78.8% 21.2%