Marketing to Seniors with Aging Pets

Posted on October 24, 2013 by - Aging Pets, Elder Care Marketing


Lady our beautful senior

Advertisers have been marketing to seniors for years trying to convince them to purchase their services or products to make their lives more comfortable and pain free. In recent years, advertisers have realized that the older adult population owns millions of dogs and cats that are aging as well and have the need for a wide variety of products and services to make their lives easier and healthier. These products are being successfully marketed to seniors.

According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, due to improved veterinary care and dietary habits, pets are living longer than they did decades ago. As a general guideline, a dog who is 7 years or older should be considered middle to senior aged.

Just as the elder care market looks for products and services to solve such health problems as cancer, heart disease, kidney/urinary tract disease, liver disease, diabetes, joint or bone disease, dementias and weakness, these same medical problems exist in our pets.

There is no doubt that seniors, with an unbreakable bond with their pets, are willing to go to great lengths to extend their pet’s life. Americans in the elderly care market -who can afford it – are willing to pay hundreds or even thousands of dollars for their pet. My beautiful Cocker Spaniel, Lady, is 13 years old and her aging related bills are definitely hitting my pocketbook.

When seniors visit a pet store or go on the Internet, they find numerous products to help their aging cat or dog. Besides promoting senior cat food and cat ramps for aging cats, most of the products in the marketplace are targeted for dogs.      

Because many dogs have hip and joint problems or have problems walking due to arthritis, marketing to seniors makes sense. Besides being able to purchase mini dog wheelchairs for pets less than 20 pounds or dog wheelchairs for dogs 20 to 180 pounds, companies also have started six week rental programs. In addition to wheelchairs, there are lift harnesses to support their rear legs as well as dog slings.

If your dog has injured his or her leg, there are dog splints as well as orthotic and prosthetic pet braces to make walking easier. And if your pet becomes incontinent, you can purchase leak proof pet diapers, dog diapers or special pet beds.

As winter approaches, to make sure your dog doesn’t slip or fall on the ice and snow, pet owners can purchase protective pet shoes, dog boots and dog shoes for improving traction. Many seniors believe sure-footed pets prevent them from being thrown off balance, falling and breaking a bone.Just as many seniors have difficulty climbing stairs, so do their dogs. There are indoor dog steps, pet ramps and foldable outdoor dog ramps available for purchase.

As Baby Boomers age, pet manufacturers will continue marketing to seniors because they will become their best customers.

Marla Levie, BSW, MA, is the owner and Founder of Focus on Aging, a Chicago-based marketing consulting company. To learn more  about Focus on Aging, contact Marla at info@focusonaging.