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Demand for Veterinary Services Surges

Pet Owners Flock to Vets

Normally during times of economic downturn, the veterinary services industry suffers. However, that has not been the case recently. Pet owners are flocking to the vet, spending record amounts of money on care for their four-legged companions.

Data collected by VetSuccess from 2,800 veterinary clinics across the country shows that average revenue for animal hospitals was 18% higher last month than in July 2019. Similarly, Trupanion, which provides pet health insurance, reported a 28% rise in revenue between Q2 of 2019 and 2020’s second quarter.

Differences Between Pet Healthcare and Human Healthcare

The human healthcare system in the US has lost billions of dollars during the ongoing pandemic. Initially, much of this lost revenue was due to hospitals closing for elective surgeries. Then, when hospitals reopened, patients were hesitant to return because they were worried about catching COVID-19. Additionally, people have been reluctant to go to the hospital because, due to high unemployment, many have lost insurance coverage and income.

Animal hospitals avoid both of these problems impacting human hospitals. A majority of veterinary offices are offering exclusively curbside care. Pet owners can drop off their animals and stay in their cars, which reduces the risk of spreading COVID-19 infections. Additionally, pet care tends to have transparent, consistent prices, which don’t vary based on insurance. This means that pet owners are less worried about surprise bills from their vets.

Pet Retailers Seeing Higher Sales

Analysts also say that the work-from-home boom has contributed to the rise in demand for veterinary services. People are buying and adopting pets for companionship during solitary days at home. Additionally, people who already have pets are spending much more time with them, and noticing changes in their health.

Veterinary hospitals aren’t the only ones benefiting from this trend. Pet supply retailers like Chewy (CHWY) and Freshpet (FRPT) saw net sales rise by 46% and 33%, respectively, last quarter. Pets are providing comfort for people during a difficult time, and the pet industry is becoming an unexpected bright spot for a battered economy.

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