Key trends that will transform the pet health industry over the next five years

by Ana Lopez

Alex Douzet is CEO of Pumpkina pet insurance and welfare provider founded to ensure pets live their healthiest lives.

The bond between pets and their owners is only getting stronger, increasing the pressure for new pet health products and services. This one question drives 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 have a major impact on the pet health industry in the years to come.

1. Rising demand for preventive care and wellness products

In contrast to human health care, compliance with preventive care is low in pet health care. While many veterinary professionals actively educate pet owners about welfare care and advocate for greater compliance, pet owners are generally inconsistent with routine welfare checks, blood tests, or other annual preventative care services for their pets. Here is a growth opportunity.

While compliance with preventive care is low, many pet owners are driving increased demand for wellness products and services as they seek to help their pets stay healthy longer. Pet owners also want to give their pets a high quality of life for as long as possible and are looking for solutions that make that possible. There has been a boom in the purchase of products such as DNA test kits and wearable tracking technology that help pet owners learn about their pet’s unique needs and manage potential health risks. I believe this indicates that pet owners’ attitudes are shifting from solely reactive to proactive care, which could become standard practice over the next five years.

2. Veterinary clinics that move away from private property

Currently approx two-thirds of veterinary practices are independently owned, while the remaining third are large groups or companies. Been to even more clinics in the past independent property, I see this division continue to shift, with far fewer privately owned clinics. The next generation of vets are the ones driving this trend; their passion is more in veterinary medicine than farm management. They want to focus on providing the best pet care possible rather than having to navigate the hassles of practice ownership. I also see this trend as a product of young vets seeking a better work-life balance, which is almost impossible to achieve when they take on the role of full-time vet as well as practice owner. I predict that we will see independent clinics selling in greater numbers and accelerated consolidation among US veterinary clinics to create larger veterinary group networks.

3. Expenditure by women with increasing discretionary income

Pew Research Center reports that women represent almost 60% of all university students. A higher number of well-educated female college graduates will ensure that more women secure high-paying jobs in the coming years due to their superior educational and career prospects. Compare that to the average age of marriage for women rising to 28and the data paints a clear picture of a growing female demographic with no family responsibilities who have high discretionary income.

This demographic has a huge impact on pet care and health expenditures as they are more likely to have pets in the household. We see their willingness to spend discretionary income on their pets translates into increased purchases of luxury pet care items and services such as pet shelter as well as health care products such as human grade food and pet insurance.

4. Data enabling shorter R&D timelines for Pet Health products

As more comprehensive pet health data is collected and more people have access to that data, a major benefit is that pet health companies can track and understand the pet population more effectively. This will allow them to better understand how to identify new diseases and increase understanding of disease biology to accelerate biomarker development. I can see these capabilities combined and having a huge impact on shortening R&D timelines and testing cycles for new products coming to market. The compressed timeline of identifying a new disease, developing a product, gaining FDA approval, and then bringing it to market enables pet health companies to achieve better product-market fit.

5. More personalized pet healthcare insights and treatment

As mentioned earlier, pet health care is not for everyone. A major benefit of collecting more pet health data is that it gives us a 360-degree view of pet health. This means understanding not only their health diagnostics, but also their diet, exercise, sleep patterns, reactivity to certain foods, and more. This knowledge enables veterinary professionals and pet owners to deliver even better care, and it also enables a much more personalized approach to the care of each individual pet. Vets will have the ability to tailor their care recommendations to specific pets. Consider tailored recommendations for a 4-year-old Golden Retriever with hip dysplasia and a genetic predisposition to orthopedic injuries rather than vaguer categories such as “adult dog with hip dysplasia.” This level of diagnosis can be powerful because it allows for more effective treatment outcomes and better care for all pets.


Aside from these specific trends, pet health companies are also transforming in broader ways. I’ve seen the most successful pet health companies dominating the market are the ones leveraging data and AI to automate their processes and provide better customer service. They are improving their strategies to attract and retain the best talent. They also build agility and resilience into their businesses to help them weather the storms of a choppy economy. I think it’s an exciting time to work in the pet health industry, and as the industry is growing rapidly, get ready for more innovation and new players. Business Council is the leading growth and networking organization for entrepreneurs and leaders. Am I eligible?

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