Pets live with people they participate in people's everyday life activities and are often seen as human-like family members. Consumers in the industrialized countries are investing more money in their pets and spending more time with them than ever before. The pet and the owner can even be considered to form a unit that consumes together. In this article, we develop a conceptual understanding of co-consumption by examining how pets act as co-consumers in everyday consumption. The pet owner and pet have joint consumption experiences in which they interact with other actors such as service providers. The consumer (pet owner) consumes because of the pet, meaning that he or she constantly needs to take the pet into account in choices and activities beyond pet-related consumption, such as what kind of car to buy, where to work, whom to marry and how to live. The co-consumer (pet) also acts as an active agent who experiences, feels, suffers and likes the goods and services that the consumer buys for the pet. Reciprocally, the pet provides the consumer (pet owner) with companionship, support and a boost to wellbeing. As such, our research suggests that co-consumption provides an understanding not only of consumption with pets but also of other contexts, especially those in which the aim is shared well-being such as consumption together with children, the disabled or the elderly.
- Service provider
- Triadic interaction