ROCKVILLE, Md. — According to Packaged Facts, women make up nearly 75% of pet food purchasers in the US market, of which nearly two-thirds reported purchasing food specifically formulated for puppies for their young dogs. The market intelligence firm explains this trend and others in its latest report, “U.S. Pet Market Focus: New Dog and Cat Owners.” 

Rural and urban populations are starkly different when it comes to purchasing puppy food, Packaged Facts reported.  Dog owners living outside of the top 100 metropolitan areas in the US are approximately 33% more likely to purchase puppy food formulas.

They are also more likely to own larger dog breeds at 51% of rural dog owners, compared to 32% of urban dog owners with large dogs. Packaged Facts explained this means an increased volume of consumption of dog food in more rural areas, including that of puppy food.

Non-Hispanic white households account for approximately half of puppy food purchasers, while African American and Hispanic households each account for 25% of those purchases. Because non-Hispanic white households make up about 75% of all dog-owning households in the US, Packaged Facts reports that African American and Hispanic households are twice as likely on average to purchase puppy-specific food.

Education level also matters in this equation. According to Packaged Facts, pet owners who have pursued higher education are less likely to purchase puppy-specific dog food. An estimated 29% of dog owners without a high school degree reportedly purchase puppy food formulas, while only 8% of dog owners with a college or graduate degree purchase puppy diets.

With these purchasing trends in mind, Packaged Facts argues that brands could benefit from developing more keen marketing for their specialty pet food formulations, specifically life-stage formulations for puppies.

Keep up with the latest pet food trends on our Trends page.