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Veterinary Sector Hits $35B as Digital Pet Care Transforms Industry

Pet owners seek ‘services and products that offer demonstrable health benefits on par with what they seek for themselves,’ Packaged Facts reports.

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ROCKVILLE MD – Veterinary sector sales rose 9 percent to $35 billion in 2021, including all services and products, Packaged Facts reports.

Across the pet industry, “an ever-heightening focus on animal health has spearheaded the most important marketing and product development thrusts, driven by pet humanization and pet parents’ heavy involvement in pet care,” according to the market research firm. The findings are part of the  just-released Veterinary Services in the U.S.: Competing for the Pet Care Customer.

The trend has included pet parent insistence on – and willingness to pay for – quality services and products that offer demonstrable health benefits on par with what they seek for themselves, the firm stated in a press release. With human health concerns elevated in the face of COVID-19, pet owners’ heightened focus on the health of their fur children has been a natural side effect, especially as they rely even more heavily on their pets for companionship and comfort.

More from the release:

It’s also no secret in the pet industry that much of the future of the business hinges on the current and ongoing involvement of Millennials and Gen Z, which together account for 55% of dog owners and 43% of cat owners. This younger set of veterinary clients is at the forefront of many of the pet industry’s most important trends.

The good news is that Millennials and Gen Z are even more likely to take their pets to the vets.  The challenge is that veterinary practices that worked with Boomers are increasingly unlikely to maintain business as usual, much less position the veterinary sector for growth. Dog and cat owner issues and concerns are often in tandem across generational cohorts – but not always, and the divergences are the key competitive opportunities. These differentiations include attitudes about pet training, pet anxiety/ stress, and the receptivity to digital pet care including telemedicine.

Packaged Facts stresses that, as has obviously been the case with e-commerce, veterinary service providers must simultaneously compete against and embrace the digitalization of pet health care information, because this digitalization has the capacity to both cannibalize current revenue sources and keep the veterinary sector on a healthy growth track. Put another way, according to Research Director David Sprinkle, “telemedicine and other digital technologies that connect veterinarians and clients will be as transformational in vet services as e-commerce has been in pet product retailing.”

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Since launching in 2017, PETS+ has won more than 20 major international journalism awards for its publication and website. Contact PETS+ editors at editor@petsplusmag.com.

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