China's single economy and the silver-haired economy are actively stimulating the rise of the pet economy. The fast-paced urban life has allowed single young people to regard the companionship of pets as the first spiritual sustenance, while the elderly rely on pets to relieve loneliness. When everyone sets their sights on the post-90s and post-00s, they forgot that there is such a group of people who have time, free money, love to socialize, love to share, and love pets. They are the post-60s who triggered the silver-haired economy.
According to the "Intergenerational Consumption Insights Report" released by the JD.com, Digital Research Institute, users born in the 60s have a huge motivation in pet consumption, and their pet consumption preferences are 1.7 times that of those born in the 1980s. According to the "2019 Middle-aged and Elderly Online Consumption Trend Report", the proportion of pets consumed by elderly people over 60 years old is 22% higher than that of other categories. Similar to the post-90s, pets also give middle-aged and elderly people a sense of companionship and ease the loneliness of elderly life.
According to data from Tmall Supermarket in July 2020, the growth rate of pet consumption in third-tier and forth-tier cities has exceeded first- and second-tier cities in the past year. Among them, the growth rate of pet consumption by the elderly in third-tier and forth-tier cities is as high as 450% year-on-year, which is the fastest growth rate of urban silver-haired people. 2.5 times.
In recent years, the pet economy has been classified as a type of "lonely economy". The reason is that the main reason for humans to keep pets is emotional comfort. At present, the proportion of domestic middle-aged and elderly people keeping pets is increasing, mainly due to the trend of urbanization and the increase in the proportion of empty-nest elderly. There are mainly three types of middle-aged and elderly people who keep pets: one is that middle-aged and elderly people like pets themselves, and they decide and choose the breed of pets by themselves. They are owners, shoppers and decision-makers. Second, their children like pets. After impulse purchase, the parents complete the raising, and the children are responsible for the daily expenses. Third, the middle-aged and the elderly parents are responsible for the expenses and raising of the pets purchased by their children.
On the one hand, the sale of pets in developed countries is strictly controlled by law, and the volume of live transactions has been drastically reduced. On the other hand, a very mature pet adoption mechanism has been formed. But in China, the live pet trade is still in a rapid development stage. According to a survey, 43.9% of pet dogs are purchased in pet shops, 27% are given as gifts, and only 11.8% are adopted dogs. 32.6% of cats are picked up on the street, 18% are gifts, and 25.3% are purchased in pet stops, adoptions only accounted for 19.9%.
Under the current background of pet culture, basically 90% of households in the world choose pets mainly from dogs and cats. The underlying reason is that cats and dogs are interactive pets—for middle-aged and elderly people who live in a lonely environment and need emotional comfort. According to relevant surveys and estimates, there are about 168 million pets in China, of which dogs account for the highest proportion, accounting for 46.1%, followed by cats, accounting for 30.7%, aquatic species also account for a certain proportion.
At present, the choice of pet breeds among middle-aged and elderly people has nothing to do with the gender differences of pet owners, but with social attributes: "People who love socializing usually choose to keep dogs. People who simply like pets and don’t like to go outside usually keep cats."