Pet owners’ desire to take better care of and interact more closely with their pets has driven demand for pet care services to an all-time high, with 83% of pet specialty store shoppers citing “more services” as their number-one trend of interest. Also contributing to the surge in sales are the rising costs of veterinary medicine; the ongoing expansion into the market of PetSmart and PETCO; the competitive response of regional and independent market participants; the entry into the field of new players; greatly expanded options in grooming, boarding, and training; and pet owners’ willingness to spend heavily on health-oriented services that nurture their pets.
As a result, pet care services are the fastest-growth area of the overall pet market, chalking up double-digit annual sales gains expected to continue for the foreseeable future, driving the market past the $20 billion mark by 2010. This fully updated Second Edition examines all major areas of the market—Veterinary, Boarding, Grooming, Training, and Pet Sitting— providing separate focus chapters for each while also comparing and contrasting cross-market trends. Hot-button trends covered include:
Consolidation of the veterinary field, with VCA Antech and Banfield now collectively operating almost 900 animal hospitals nationwide.
The growing emphasis on veterinary specialties and diagnostics.
The growth of regional pet care chains like Best Friends and of franchising outfits with national aspirations, such as daycare specialist Camp Bow Wow/Digs! and training specialist Bark Busters.
The emphasis on “one-stop pet care” by service providers in all areas, as well as by pet specialty retailers.
The surge in luxury boarding and doggie day care options.
The addition of pet care services in retail shops, in which services currently represent 10% of dollar volume but over 17% of profits.
Using data from a variety of sources including the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ most recent integrated Consumer Expenditure Survey and Simmons Market Research Bureau’s Fall 2005 adult consumer survey, the report also provides in-depth demographic profiles of users of veterinary services and other pet care services, and examines market-shaping trends in dog and cat ownership.