Pandemic Spending Habits: Home and Pet Industries See Big Change

Josh Feinkind
4 min readMay 26, 2021

Many Americans have spent more money on home luxuries in the past year than ever before. This shift in spending occurred without surprise as people started to spend more time at home. Meanwhile, more time at home meant that more furry friends could be added to homes. So, it’s not shocking that disposable income has been put towards homes and home goods. This even includes pet products like luxury dog and cat furniture!

Dog and Cat Furniture purchases on the rise

Home Buying is On The Rise

More than half of Americans changed their budgets six months into the pandemic. Most of that change happened in the home department focusing on both home goods as well as actual homes! Many people are jumping into homeowner mode, opting to buy a home even if they live by themselves. Some people are doing so just to give their beloved pets more space. Whether the pandemic pushed people or not, they are taking the plunge into home ownership. This trend should continue as many people who haven’t moved just yet are saving up to invest when prices decrease.

More Money Is Being Spent On Home Renovations

A lot of people had to opt out of summer vacations in 2020, leading to some extra money laying around. With nowhere to go and not many places open to spend it, people turned to their homes instead. This led to anything from a few quick upgrades to full blown home renovations. Homeowners also began cooking at home more which led to many kitchen remodels. With more time on their hands comes more elaborate meals. Having the necessary kitchen space makes cooking even more enjoyable.

More Time At Home = More Pets

With this surge in perfecting the modern home comes adding a furry companion. Many people realized how much more free time they had from working from home and wanted to put it to good use. The fostering and adopting of dogs and cats dramatically increased in 2020. More than one in every five people reported that they welcomed a new pet into their home last year. It was the perfect time to take on a puppy, as being home all day can make potty training easier. Plus, dogs were overjoyed to have their owners home more often for walks and playtime. Cats were ecstatic for all the added attention too (at least most of them). It didn’t seem to matter if there was already a pet in the home previously. More time at home meant room for more pets, regardless of any pre-existing furry family members.

Half of the people surveyed also stated loneliness as their reason for bringing home a pet. Shelters have seen an uptick in traffic as well. The search terms “rescue dogs” and “shelter dogs” hit an all-time traffic high early on in the pandemic. The search terms have even continued to stay above their normal five-year averages since then. It’s not surprising then that people adopted pets more than they bought them. Shelters and rescue groups comprised 37% of cat and dog acquisitions, while breeders accounted for roughly 20%.

Pet Pampering Is On the Rise

With this surge in pet adoption comes the need for more functional pet care items. Gone are the days of a few cheap toys and beds. Money spent on pets isn’t just increasing due to having more pets, they’re also getting more pampered. More playtime means more toys, treats, and modern cat trees! Pets are now getting as much attention as children when it comes to nutrition, comfort, and medical care.

On average, people are spending $200 per person on their pets each month. This is an increase of about 23% from August 2019. More households are choosing to have pets in the home possibly instead of having children. This creates a wider market for pet services as these owners end up having more disposable income. Wanting happy and healthy pets is high on everyone’s wish list. Thus, food and dog and cat furniture businesses have seen a huge increase in sales in recent years, and it’s only expected to continue to increase.

Luxury Furniture Sales For Both Humans And Pets Have Increased

People are investing in their space, making sure it is fully usable and fully suited for their needs. This has led to an increase in home furniture purchases, with a rise in pet furniture sales as well. It only makes sense that home upgrades tend to our pets too! Pet furniture companies like The Refined Feline who make modern and customizable cat furniture, have seen huge growth throughout the pandemic. With extra time spent at home, people are realizing that their pets deserve more furniture specifically for them. Many innovative furniture makers incorporate designs that will compel cats and dogs into using the pieces more often. Just like our favorite chair or bed, these modern cat trees and plush dog beds cater to pets’ many needs.

Related: How Pet-Related Businesses are Being Affected by COVID-19

Spending On Homes And Pets Will Continue

Budgets will most likely continue to shift as this year progresses. More live events are happening and thus a change in people’s spending habits is most likely to occur. Pets, though, will still hold a special place in most people’s hearts, and their wallets, for the foreseeable future. With a focus now on pampering pets by any means necessary, there’s no slowing down this trend.



Josh Feinkind

Pet industry specialist at with 15 years experience designing dog and cat furniture. Named 40 under 40 by Pet Age Magazine.