Analysts: Pet Food Price Surge Predicted

The second half of 2011 is expected to bring dramatic increases in the costs of pet food, according to analysts from Goldman Sachs.

The second half of 2011 is expected to bring dramatic increases in the costs of pet food, according to analysts from Goldman Sachs.

A new chart from Bloomberg shows how changes in the food component of the consumer price index have influenced changes in pet food prices since 2006. Predicted spikes in the cost of food are expected to be followed closely by pricing increases in the pet food industry.

When one considers that Americans spent more than $45 billion on pets and pet-related products last year, it’s easy to see how sharp increases in pet feeding costs are expected to negatively impact discretionary spending, and hurt other sectors of our consumer based economy. As a matter of fact, Americans now spend more on dogs than we do on our cars, according to data from the Commerce Department’s Bureau of Economic Analysis.

“Recent food price increases appear to be passing through to pet food products, as they did to an even greater degree in 2008, Zach Pandl, senior economist at Goldman Sachs Group Inc., said in a research note to clients. “These gains have added to the rise in core inflation, and likely will continue to do so for a while longer.”

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38 thoughts on “Analysts: Pet Food Price Surge Predicted

  1. Oh great…. yet another excuse for owners to surrender their pets and overcrowd our already crowded shelters……..

  2. people who feed “commercial” dog food, drop the chemical nonsense and feed natural homemade food ! let not the corps capitalize on this too now ! drop the other end of the stick no more tugging!

  3. I do not think “dog food” is expensive at all, I think society conditions most owners as far as how much one should spend on a dog’s food. I would say I spend the same if not slightly more feeding my dog compared to feeding myself.

  4. I cook ALL my dogs food. This is what they eat:
    Ground turkey, green beans, carrots, yams, brown rice and pasta and for dessert, cottage cheese, vanilla yogurt, apples, bananas and sometimes blueberries where they’re on sale. 🙂 I cook for the month. There is SO much “Crap” in processed dog food, no wonder they are all getting sick.

  5. Converting an old off-road buggy into a light weight cart that my dogs can pull me around in. If it comes to a choice between buying gas or keeping my 4 monsters fed I’ll keep the dogs.

  6. Yep.another reason why our boys eat homemade. Now only if I could get the kitties to eat home made food…

  7. The price of cat food has already gone up a lot at my local pet food supply store. The price jumped $.12 in one week. Had nothing to do with a previous sale, either. 🙁 Dog food was about the same but probably not this week when I go…

  8. @Noel : way to go! you are truly one amazing caretaker and you are right the commercial food introduces a lot of health problems and dogs who eat homemade natural foods live longer and healthier lives !

  9. What ever it takes. My senior lab is now eating Orijen(17.00 for 5lbs). She’s diabetic. My rescue lab can only keep California Naturals down,otherwise she throws everything else up. I believe that Goldman Sachs said the price of gas was going own also……

  10. In the long run…raw and homemade is SO MUCH cheaper especially for the multiple dog household. And if you make it in big enough batches…its really no big hassle!

      1. Glenda, I too feed raw to my four Dobermans (I go through 8+ lbs of meat daily) and the initial cost may be high but I have found that my cost savings come from never having to go to the vet for allergic reaction or intestinal issues due to dry kibble and all the crappy fillers they use. Have you found your dogs are healthier now that you feed raw?
        ~Cheri
        Buddy, Peter, Paul and Buzzy

  11. Why would you think that a person would surrender their pets if dog food prices go up? Aren’t they part of the family? People who do that are not good people. I know it happens all the time and it makes me sick. I would never give up my “kids” for that reason. They might have to eat bread and water to keep it cheap. ;-D

  12. i dont think dog food is that expensive i by a 12 pound bag every 3 monthes or so to save and Sophie ( Chihuahua CockerSpanial ) perfers Wellness so it does cost a little more but shes so worth it

  13. When one decides to have companion animals, they should be prepared for the expense. That is part of responsible pet ownership. Do you start feeding your children less quality food because the price goes up? My companions are like children. I treat them as such.

    1. Everyone might not have that kind of money or they may have had an illness or lost there job. It is unfair to say that you should not have a pet if you suddenly can’t afford them the highest quality food. Things happen in life and increased costs can make it very difficult for some to feed their pets the high quality food. I am fortunate to not have that problem myself but it could happen to anyone so please don’t be so judgmental of others. I do rescue work and believe me with the a
      mount of dogs that die in our nations shelters I would much rather see them in a loving home eating Purina than dead! I think it is good if you give them the best you can and love them all you can…who can fault that?

  14. @ Stop animal Cruelty- Are you frikkin’ serious? If a person would give up their animal because of food costs, then maybe they shouldn’t have an animal at all? that would be the kind of person to euthanize just because the animal was too expensive to care for, when it is sick….

  15. Commercial dog food contains beef from cows that were fed ground up, euthanized pets, most likely. Stop your bitching. Start cooking.

  16. Commercial dog food contains beef from cows that were fed ground up, euthanized pets, most likely. Stop your bitching. Start cooking.

  17. Please! You have a dog that probably weighs less than 15 pounds! Your dog eats in a month what mine eat in a day!

    Stop to consider what it will be like for an owner of a mastiff or a great dane or a wolfhound. We feed lots of dog food and I for one refuse to feed low quality food and it is a struggle to meet that standard.

    You are a lucky person because even if dog food went to $100 a bag you will still be able to feed your little dog without too much hardship. But those of us who have big dogs have a much harder time feeding a healthy diet without getting hit hard in the wallet.

  18. Jobs change, financial hardships occur and yes there are people in today’s economy that are having to feed their children less quality food because their money is not going as far or someone in the family has lost a job or maybe a home.

    We all love our dogs as family but the current economic climate is devastating for many people. You are apparently unaffected by these hardships which means you are a lucky minority when compared to many people in the country. But, to suggest shouldering an increase in pet food is as simple as being a responsible pet owner is completely misdirected.

  19. “Life with Dogs,” thanks to you once again for posting this excellent story. This is something else for us to think about as dog owners.

    There are so many challenges in today’s economy this is yet another attack on our bottom line. Clearly, many people here cook their own dog food, which is great if you have access to healthy ingredients and the time to prepare it. I have a difficult time where I live finding range fed beef, chicken or turkey. Believe me, I have been working on this for some time and unfortunately some regions of the country are lacking access to safe, affordable and healthy protein sources.

    But, aside from that, we as dog owners have enormous buying power (Americans spent more than $45 billion on pets and pet-related products last year) and a as a result should never let the pet food companies off the hook when it comes to providing safe and affordable dog food. But, more importantly, we can not be so arrogant as to assume that everyone’s current economic situation is the same as our own. Demanding fair prices and healthy ingredients will benefit all of us!

  20. As a consumer we must really pay attention to the dog food manufacturers. I have a part time job at a boutique pet supply store and have learned so much! Paws & Claws is a holistic supply store and we are having to drop several brands because of corporate take overs. There are several “Premium” dry kibble companies that are being bought out by the big corporations like Mars and Proctor and Gamble who then lower the quality of the ingredients but the prices are increasing for higher profits. For instance Dick Van Patten’s Natural Balance® Dog Formulas is not longer owned by them and look at the label now the second ingredient is SUGAR! What dog needs sugar added to their food? Also, several of these premium foods ‘rent’ processing facilities from the big corporations and that means they do not have as much say in how the product is manufactured and the quality of the ingredients being used.

    Take a look at “Lotus” (http://www.lotuspetfoods.com/), they start with human grade meat and vegetables and they have their own processing plant that is not ‘shared’ with any other production. This is how they can maintain their quality and consistency.

    Here is a quote from their web site:

    We’ve always carried the healthiest, holistic foods on the market. But time and time again, we were disheartened when manufacturers decided to sell their companies to the likes of Mars and Proctor and Gamble only to lower the food quality, increase prices, reduce the weight of the bag or place the brands in the big box stores.

    When one of Centinela Feed’s top selling brands stopped baking their food and converted to extrusion (the way most ordinary pet foods are made), we knew it was time to do something.

    It really pays to be an educated consumer. If we do not spend our money on items because of business practices and quality then the corporations will change. They want our money and if it means changing they will change, but it is up to us to be that change. Spend your money wisely.

    1. All excellent comments! Thanks so much for sharing your knowledge with us.

      I would love to know more about which former manufacturers of healthy, safe dog food “sold out” on their loyal consumers.

  21. SSB Pack’s statement is accurate. I have two 10 lb dogs and both of them together probably barely eat what an 80 lb dog does. And I fall into the camp of people SSB describes that have not been “devastated” by the economy and I AM lucky. However, I still struggle to make ends meet like most people.

    That being said, lets say dog food goes up $20 a bag for me (which is probably WAY more than it will go up) and lets say I have to pay this extra $20 every month. That is an increase of $250 per year. To be honest, an extra $250 is not going to leave me starving or without a home. It may mean I ride my bike to work more, or get my hair cut one less time per year, or don’t buy that cool new jacket or don’t go out to eat as many times. It might sting but getting rid of my dogs would never cross my mind. Getting a dog is a commitment and you sign up even if the economy tanks or prices go up.

    I do understand that many people have bit unexpectedly hit by the economy and are barely hanging on to their homes and such. If that is you then I acknoledge you are in a desperate situation and would not look down on you if you had to surrender your dog. I am just saying, most of us still have room to cut corners to make it work.

  22. WELL AS EVERYONE HAS HAD HARDER TIMES I FOR ONE WILL LIVE ON LESS TOO AS GAS PRICES RISE TAKES MORE TO GO TO WORK BUT @ LEAST I HAVE ONE FOR THAT IM GRATEFUL, I DONT OWN A HOUSE, THANK GOD, BUT I DO OWN MY MOBILE HOME, AND I CAN TELL YOU THAT KEYLA HAS TO HAVE A SPECIAL DIET AS SHE IS A STONIE MAKER, SO CANT CHANGE HER DIET, AND YES ABOUT 2 MONTHS AGO THE BAG WENT FROM 30LB TO 20LB BY THE COMPANY, AND IT WAS 5.00 CHEAPER,I LIVE WITH MY 3 FUR-KIDS AND I WILL FIGURE OUT WHAT I CAN DO WITH OUT AND BELIEVE ME I WILL MAKE MORE CUTS WEATHER ITS IN THE FOOD I BUY FOR MY SELF, OR CHEAPER DETERGENT,WHAT EVER BUT I WOULD NEVER GIVE UP MY FUR-KIDS NOR WILL I GO TO A DIFFERENT BRAND OF FOOD AS KEYLA CANT EAT ANYTHING BUT FOOD FROM THE VETS , AND THIS MAY SOUND STUPID BUT I HAVE 10.00 EVERY TWO WEEKS TAKEN OUT OF MY PAY AND IT GOES INTO A SAVINGS ACCT, WITH THAT I PAY FOR THERE FOOD, AND ITS ALSO USED IN CASE THEY NEED TO GO TO THE VETS, NOW I KNOW TIMES ARE TOUGH BUT IVE BEEN DOING THIS NOW FOR ABOUT THE LAST 8 MONTHS, IM NOT BRAGGING IM JUST SAYING ITS THE ONLY WAY I COULD FIGURE OUT WITH EVERY THING GOING UP AND MY PAY ISNT GOING UP WITH IT I HAD TO SIT A FIGURE OUT JUST HOW I WAS GOING TO TAKE CARE OF MY 3 FUR-KIDS, 2 OF THEM WEIGH 22LBS AND 1 IS 14LBS AND I KNOW THATS NOT MUCH BUT THEY EAT IN THE AM AND THE PM , I WILL GO WITH OUT FIRST AS THEY ARE MY FAMILY, YES THEY HAVE ME TRAINED, I WORK FOR THEM

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