The bond between pets and their owners is only getting stronger—in turn increasing the pressure for new pet health products and services. This demand is driving innovation in the pet health industry as companies respond to the diverse needs and high expectations of modern pet owners. The following are trends that I predict will greatly impact the pet health industry over the next years.
1. Rising Demand For Preventive Care And Wellness Products
Unlike human health care, preventive care compliance is low in the pet health space. While many veterinary professionals actively educate pet owners about wellness care and advocate for greater compliance, pet owners are generally not consistent with routine wellness checkups, blood panels or other annual preventive care services for their pets. There is an opportunity for growth here.
While preventive care compliance is low, many pet owners are driving greater demand for wellness products and services as they want to help their pets stay healthier for longer. Pet owners also want to give their pets a high quality of life for as long as they can and are seeking solutions that can enable that. There has been a boom in the purchase of products like DNA testing kits and wearable tracking technology that allows pet owners to gain knowledge about their pet’s unique needs and get in front of potential health risks. I believe this indicates that pet owner attitudes are shifting from solely reactive to including proactive care, which could become standard practice in the next five years.
2. Veterinary Clinics Moving Away From Private Ownership
Currently, about two-thirds of veterinary practices are independently owned, while the remaining third are large groups or corporations. With even more clinics in the past having been independently owned, I see this division continuing to shift, with far fewer clinics being privately owned. The next generation of veterinarians are the ones driving this trend; their passion is for veterinary medicine rather than business management. They want to focus on delivering the best care possible for pets instead of having to navigate the hassle of practice ownership. I see this trend as also a product of young veterinarians seeking better work-life balance, which is near-impossible to achieve if taking on both roles of full-time veterinarian and practice owner. I predict we’re going to see independently-owned clinics being sold in more significant numbers and an accelerated consolidation between veterinary clinics in the U.S. to create larger veterinary group networks.
3. Spending By Women With Discretionary Income Increasing
Pew Research Center reports that women represent almost 60% of all college students. A greater number of well-educated female graduates results in more women securing high-paying jobs in the years to come due to their superior training and career prospects. Contrast that with the average age of marriage for women increasing to 28, and the data produces a clear picture of a growing female demographic without familial responsibilities who have high levels of discretionary income.
This demographic tremendously influences pet care and health spending as they’re highly likely to have pets in the household. We’re seeing their readiness to spend discretionary income on their pets translate to increased purchases of luxury pet care items and services like pet daycare as well as health care products like human-grade food and pet insurance plans.
4. Data Allowing For Shortened Pet Health Product R&D Timelines
As more comprehensive pet health data is gathered and more people have access to that data, a major benefit is that pet health companies can more effectively monitor and understand the pet population. This allows them to gain better insights into identifying new diseases and increase the understanding of disease biology to accelerate biomarker development. I see these abilities combining and having a huge impact on shortening R&D timelines and the trial cycles for new products to come to market. The compressed timeline of identifying a new disease, developing a product, receiving FDA approval and then bringing it to market will allow pet health companies to achieve better product-market fit.
5. More Personalized Pet Healthcare Insights And Treatment
As alluded to earlier, pet health care is not one-size-fits-all. A great benefit of gathering more pet health data is that it gives us a 360-degree view of pet health. This means insight into not just their health diagnostic data but also their nutrition, exercise, sleep patterns, reactivity to certain foods and more. This knowledge equips veterinary professionals and pet owners to deliver even better care, and it also allows a much more personalized approach to any individual pet’s care. Veterinary professionals are gaining the ability to adapt their care recommendations to apply to specific pets. Think recommendations tailored for a 4-year-old Golden Retriever with hip dysplasia and a genetic predisposition to orthopedic injuries rather than more vague categories like “adult dog with hip dysplasia.” This level of diagnosis can be powerful as it enables more effective treatment outcomes and better care for all pets.
Aside from these specific trends, pet health companies are also transforming in broader ways, too. I’ve observed that the most successful pet health companies dominating the market are the ones that are leveraging data and AI to automate their processes and deliver a better customer service experience. They’re improving their strategies for attracting and retaining the best talent. They’re also building agility and resilience into their businesses to help them weather the storms of a choppy economy. I think it’s an exciting time to be in the pet health industry, and as the industry rapidly grows, get ready to see more innovation and new players emerge.
Source : https://www.forbes.com/sites/forbesbusinesscouncil/2023/01/18/key-trends-that-will-transform-the-pet-health-industry-in-the-next-five-years/?sh=26d784dc1e63