The Pulse Of Veterinary Medicine

Vet-To-Vet Conversation With IDEXX

9 reasons we know the pet-human bond is stronger than ever

The pet-human bond is alive and well. In fact, your clients are increasingly incorporating their four-legged loved ones into their lives. If you’re harboring any doubts, these 9 stats will help you believe.

  1. The pet-human bond is even stronger than we thought. Eighty percent of Baby Boomers and Millennials consider their pet a family member. In fact, 50% of Boomers—and 57% of Millennials—believe their pet makes them happier than almost anything else.1
  1. Pets have moved from the barnyard to the bedroom. Pets are increasingly sleeping in our beds: 50% of dog owners and 65% of cat owners say their pet shares a bed with a human in their household—a trend that’s increased over the last 10 years.2
  1. Pets are on Santa’s list, too. More than 60% of Millennials and nearly half of Baby Boomers buy Christmas gifts for their dogs. Almost 40% of cat owners purchase holiday gifts for their pets.3
  1. Pets are on the shopping list year-round. Pet owners are not only buying during the holidays; they’re also buying year-round. 70% of dog owners and 66% of cat owners buy toys for their pets. That’s an increase from 62% in 2004 for dog owners and a 51% increase for cat owners since 2004.4
  1. 20% of pet owners would put their pets’ medical needs ahead of their own.5 And more broadly speaking, 77% of Boomers and 87% of Millennials are willing to make financial tradeoffs to pay for pet-related products and services.6
  1. People believe a pet does a body good—and doctors overwhelmingly agree. Over 90% of pet owners believe there are health benefits to pet ownership, including emotional support, stress relief, less anxiety/depression, lower blood pressure, and better mental acuity. And 75% of family physicians say they’ve seen their patients’ health improve as a result of pet ownership.7, 8
  1. Pet owners are planning for their pets’ futures as if they were children. A third of pet owners have made provisions for their pets in their wills.9
  1. A significant percentage of discretionary spending goes to pets—$765 in 2015 alone. But given how much people spend annually on dining out ($2,476) and cell phone service ($990), it’s quite possible spending on pets may get closer to these other discretionary figures in the years ahead.10
  1. Pet love has proven stronger than financial trends. Pet-related spending has outpaced personal consumption over the past 35 years. Not only that, but spending on veterinary and related services has demonstrated resistance during each of four recessions over that same period.11, 12

All this is compelling evidence that the time is right for you to talk with clients about the value of preventive care. That includes diagnostics to establish a minimum database, dental care, vaccinations, heartworm and parasite prophylaxis, and preventive care plans.

Spending trends on pet health care and related services are becoming increasingly positive. It follows that preventive care to help ensure longer, healthier pet lives should become a routine part of that investment. With education about the long-term benefits, your clients will come to believe that regular preventive care for their pets is the most lasting—and rewarding—gift they can give.

Below is a link to some resources you can use to speak with your clients about the value of preventive care, educate your staff on preventive care protocols, and more.

Notes:

1. IDEXX analysis of 2016 U.S. Pet Owner Survey data from survey fielded in May 2016 (n = 1,208 dog owners and 303 cat owners). Figures calculated weighting dog owner responses and cat owner responses in proportion to their contribution to 2015 total U.S. veterinary practice revenue. Respondents were asked to rate his/ her agreement with a series of statements on a 6-point scale. Percentages represent total responding “Strongly Agree” or “Agree” that their pet makes them happier than almost anything else.

2. 2015–2016 American Pet Products Association Pet Owners Survey. Dog owner sample: 521; cat owner sample: 457; Surveys were conducted with a nationally representative sample of the Ipsos Online Panel.

3. 2015–2016 American Pet Products Association Pet Owners Survey. Cat owner sample: 457; Dog owner sample: 521; Millennial dog owner sample: 115, Baby Boomer dog owner sample: 218. Surveys were conducted with a nationally representative sample of the Ipsos Online Panel.

4. 2015–2016 American Pet Products Association Pet Owners Survey. 2014 Dog owner sample: 521, cat owner sample: 457; Surveys were conducted with a nationally representative sample of the Ipsos Online Panel.

5. 2015–2016 American Pet Products Association. Dog owner sample: 521, cat owner sample: 457; Surveys were conducted with a nationally representative sample of the Ipsos Online Panel.

6. IDEXX analysis of 2016 U.S. Pet Owner Survey data from survey fielded in May 2016 (n = 1,208 dog owners and 303 cat owners). Figures calculated weighting dog owner responses and cat owner responses in proportion to their contribution to 2015 total U.S. veterinary practice revenue. Respondents were asked to rate his/her agreement with a series of statements on a 6-point scale. Percentage represents total responding “Strongly Agree” or “Agree” that they would be willing to make financial trade-offs in their personal finances in order to pay for services and goods for their pets.

7. 2015–2016 American Pet Products Association Pet Owners Lifestyle and Media Survey. A total sample of 11,134 dog owners and 8,661 cat owners.

8. Family Physician Survey conducted by Human-Animal Bond Research Initiative (HABRI) Foundation and Cohen Research Group, August 2014 (n = 1,000 family physicians and general practitioners).

9. 2015–2016 American Pet Products Association Pet Owners Survey. Dog owner sample: 521, cat owner sample: 457; Surveys were conducted with a nationally representative sample of the Ipsos Online Panel.

10. Analysis of data from Bureau of Labor Statistics Consumer Expenditure Survey for the 12 months ending June 2015.

11. Analysis based on data from Bureau of Economic Analysis. Last revised on March 28, 2016.

12. Analysis based on data from Bureau of Economic Analysis, Personal Consumption Expenditure. Last revised on March 31, 2016. 


IDEXX Marketing Team

posted by IDEXX Marketing Team

News items and blog articles posted by the IDEXX Marketing Team

blog comments powered by Disqus