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Pet Medications in the U.S.: Prescription and Over-the-Counter Remedies as Consumer Products, 2nd Edition


Attention: There is an updated edition available for this report.

Seismic shifts are underway in the U.S. market for pet medications as the top veterinary brands of flea/tick spot-ons enter broader distribution; Bayer is leading the way with Advantage and K9 Advantix. At the same time, generic versions of fipronil (the active ingredient in Merial’s Frontline) are coming onto the scene, in some cases resulting in court battles and product withdrawals. Also upping the ante, major retailers including Walmart and Target are moving into the pet medications space both in store and online, representing new competition to veterinarians and third-party Internet retailers such as PetMed Express. The upshot is increased price pressure, but also potential for an expanded base of purchasers as pet specialty and mass-market retailers create stronger pet health departments centered around formerly vet-only products. Also bolstering market prospects, all of the world’s largest pharmaceutical companies continue to invest in medications for companion animals, often mirroring trends in human medications while targeting the needs of the growing populations of aging and overweight pets.

Bringing in broad perspective from other reports in Packaged Facts’ extensive Pet Market Collection, this report analyzes the market for prescription, over-the-counter, and “ethical” (nonprescription medications whose distribution is restricted by the manufacturer to veterinarians) medications for dogs and cats, with a particular focus on brand-name products used by consumers and on antiparasitics. Retail sales are quantified and projected forward through 2015, and broken out by product type, animal type and retail channel. Despite the lingering impact of the recession, the market outlook remains strong, with U.S. retail sales projected to grow 38% from 2010 to 2015 to reach $9.3 billion. The report provides in-depth coverage of competitive trends and new product trends, and features exclusive consumer data from Packaged Facts’ May-June 2011 Pet Owner Survey. Uniquely cross-tabulated consumer survey results from Experian Simmons provide additional insight into pet medication consumer usage rates, demographics and psychographics.


  • Executive Summary
    • Scope and Methodology
      • Market Definition
      • Product Regulation
      • Report Methodology
    • Market Trends
      • Market Size & Composition
      • Share of Sales by Distribution Channel
      • Market Outlook
    • Competitive Overview
      • Two Groups of Marketers
      • Pharmaceutical/Veterinary Channel Marketers
        • Table Global Pharmaceutical Marketers: Total Sales vs. Animal Health Sales, 2009-2010 (in millions of dollars)
      • Mergers & Acquisitions
      • Pfizer Animal Health on the Block?
      • New Entrants
      • Pet Product/Retail Marketers
    • Retail Trends
      • Channel Expansion
      • Internet Competition
      • The Value Edge
      • Target and Walmart Testing Pet Prescriptions
    • Consumer Trends
      • 73% of Dog or Cat Owners Use Flea/Tick Products
      • 80%-86% Choose Spot-On Flea/Tick Medications
      • 69% of Dog Owners Use Heartworm Meds
      • Antibiotics Top List of Other Pet Medications
      • Attitudes on Veterinarian/Professional vs. Store Products
        • Table Levels of Agreement/Disagreement with Statement, "I Trust the Medications My Veterinarian Recommends": Dog Owners vs. Cat Owners, 2011 (percent)
  • Market Trends
    • Market Size & Composition
      • U.S. Retail Sales of Pet Medications at $6.7 Billion in 2011
      • Share of Sales by Animal Type
      • Share of Sales by Product Type
        • Table Share of U.S. Retail Sales of Pet Medications by Type: 2011 (percent)
      • Share of Sales by Distribution Channel
      • Pet Health/Supplement Share of Pet Specialty Store Sales by Animal Type
        • Table Health Product/Supplement Share of Independent Pet Store Sales: Dog vs. Cat: 2007-2010 (percent)
    • Market Outlook
      • Many Positive Indicators
      • Human Animal Bond
        • Table Mean Number of Veterinary Visits by Human-Animal Bond Among Dog and Cat Households, 2006
        • Table Mean Veterinary Expenditures by Human-Animal Bond Among Dog and Cat Households, 2006 (in dollars)
      • Premium Demographics
      • Aging Pet Population
      • Pet Overweight, Obesity
        • Table Percentage and Number of Overweight and Obese Dogs and Cats, 2010
      • Major Investors Include Global Pharmas
      • Morris Animal Foundation Funding Extensive Veterinary Research
      • High-Level Activity in Flea/Tick Segment
      • Flea/Tick Cross-Overs Driving More Robust Pet Health Departments
      • Pet Insurance Growth Good for Pet Medications
      • Impact of Economic Downturn Lingers
        • Table Level of Pet Owner Agreement with Statement: "I am spending less on pet products because of the economy," February 2010 vs. May/June 2011 (percent)
      • Decline in Frequency of Veterinary Visits
      • Generics and Channel Competition
      • Product Safety, New EPA Guidelines for Flea/Tick Spot-Ons
      • Holistic Competition
        • Table Use of Special-Purpose Nutritional Formula Pet Food and Treats vs. Pet Supplements: Dog Owners vs. Cat Owners , 2010 (percent)
        • Table Level of Agreement with Statements "If Natural/Organic Pet Products Were More Affordable / More Available Where I Shop, I Would Buy Them More Often," 2011 (percent of U.S. pet owners)
      • Competition from Human Medications
      • Pet Pharmaceutical Risk and Criticism
    • Looking Ahead
      • Projected Market Growth: Sales to Top $9 Billion in 2015
        • Table Level of Agreement with Statements, "I Anticipate Spending More on Pet Products Over the Next 12 Months," 2011 (percent of U.S. pet owners)
        • Table Economic Outlook of U.S. Pet Owners: Now vs. Next 12 Months (percent)
  • The Marketers
    • Competitive Overview
      • Two Groups of Marketers
      • Pharmaceutical/Veterinary Channel Marketers
        • Table Global Pharmaceutical Marketers: Total Sales vs. Animal Health Sales, 2009-2010 (in millions of dollars)
        • Table Global Pharmaceutical Marketers by Dollar and Percentage Change in Global Sales: Total vs. Animal Health, 2009-2010 (in millions of dollars)
      • Mergers & Acquisitions
      • Pfizer Animal Health on the Block?
      • New Entrants
      • Brand Building
      • Pharmaceutical Companies Market to/Through Vets
      • Cross-Over of Human Drug Makers, Product Types
      • Generics on the Rise
      • Generic Versions of Fipronil Hit the Scene
      • Putney Launches Generic Carprofen and Ketamine
      • Economic Benefits to Pet Owners and Veterinarians
      • Additional Competition, and Benefits
      • Pet Product/Retail Marketers
    • Focus on Antiparasitics
      • Merial/Frontline Accounts for Half of Spot-on Flea/Tick Sales
        • Table Marketer and Brand Shares of U.S. Retail Sales of Flea & Tick Spot-Ons, 2011 (percent)
      • Central Garden & Pet Leads in Pet Specialty Channel
        • Table Top Marketers of Flea/Tick Products in Pet Specialty Retailers, 2006-2009 (percent)
      • Hartz Dominates in Mass-Market Channels
        • Table SymphonyIRI-tracked Sales of Pet Medications, 2010 vs. 2011 (in millions of dollars)
      • Increased Competition in Flea/Tick Spot-Ons
      • Bayer Expands Distribution of Advantage and K9 Advantix
      • New Generation Advantage II and K9 Advantix II Contain IGR
      • The Fipronil Wars
      • Sergeant's Withdraws Fipronil Combos
      • Velcera and FidoPharm Vow to Fight
      • Novartis Launches new Fipronil Products in Vet Channel
      • Merial Vows to Defend Frontline Plus Patents
      • Novartis and Pfizer Sticking to Veterinary Channel
      • Elanco Launches New Vet-Exclusive Spot-ons
      • Elanco v. Bayer, and Vice Versa
      • Pfizer/Fort Dodge Discontinuing ProMeris
      • Focus on Retail Flea/Tick Brands
      • Channel Branding
      • Sergeant's Continues to Build on Long History in Flea/Tick
      • Central Life Sciences Fields Key Proprietary Molecule, (S)-Methoprene
      • Trends in Advertising and Promotion
      • Information, Anti-Theft Are Key Concerns in Retail Merchandising
      • Focus on Heartworm Medications
      • Bayer Study, Fears of Heartworm Resistance Making Waves
      • Reminder Services
      • Broad Spectrum Wormers
    • Trends in Developing Market Segments
      • Cancer
      • Canine Cognitive Dysfunction
      • Heart Health
      • Mood Disorders
      • Novartis and Clomicalm
      • Eli Lilly and Reconcile
      • Pain Management and NSAIDs
      • Merial's Previcox
      • Pfizer's Rimadyl
      • Building Consumer Awareness, Brands
      • Pet Obesity and Diabetes
      • Pfizer and Slentrol
      • Diabetes Support
      • Trends in Retail/OTC Pet Medications
      • Homeopathic Remedies
      • Ear Cleansing Products
      • Veterinary Flair
        • Table Selected Leading Pharmaceutical Marketers and Brands of Pet Medications: Product Type and Generic Drug Name, 2011
        • Table Selected Leading Pharmaceutical Marketers and Brands of Pet Medications: Status, Form, Animal Type and Description, 2011
        • Table Selected Leading Retail Marketers and Brands of Pet Medications, 2011
  • Retail Trends
    • Channel Expansion
    • Internet Competition
    • The Value Edge
    • PetMed Express Feels the Heat
      • Table PetMed Express Sales, 2007-2011 (in millions of dollars)
      • Table Share of PetMed Express Sales by Category: 2007, 2009, 2011 (percent)
    • Target Testing Animal-Only Prescriptions
    • Walmart Weighing In
    • Pet Specialty Channel Embracing Bayer
      • PetSmart and GNC
        • Table Selected Leading Third-Party E-tailers of Pet Medications, 2011
  • Consumer Trends
    • Pet Medication Purchasing Patterns
      • 73% of Dog or Cat Owners Use Flea/Tick Products
        • Table Percent of Dog or Cat Owners Who Purchase Flea & Tick Care Medications or Medicated Products, 2008-2011 (U.S. dog- or cat-owning households in millions)
      • Trend Toward Professional Products
        • Table Percent of Dog or Cat Owners Who Purchase Flea & Tick Care Products by Brand Grouping, 2007/08 vs. 2010/11 (U.S. dog- or cat-owning households)
      • 66% of Dog Owners and 44% of Cat Owners Use Flea/Tick Meds
      • 80%-86% Choose Spot-On Flea/Tick Medications
      • Frontline Draws Nearly Half of Spot-On Purchasers
        • Table Share of Spot-On Flea & Tick Care Medication Purchasers by Brand, 2011 (U.S. dog or cat owners)
      • Natural Flea & Tick Product Usage
      • Demographics for Frontline, Advantage, and Hartz
        • Table Index for Use of Flea/Tick Products by Brand, 2010/11 (U.S. dog- or cat-owning households)
      • Sentinel Draws 37% of Oral Flea/Tick Medication Purchasers
      • Effectiveness Is No. 1 Factor in Flea & Tick Product Selection
        • Table Most Important Factor for Selecting a Flea & Tick Product: Dog Owners vs. Cat Owners, 2010 (percent)
      • 69% of Dog Owners Use Heartworm Meds
        • Table Index for Use of Heartworm Control Medications for Dogs, 2010/11 (U.S. dog- or cat-owning households)
      • Heartgard Draws Half of Heartworm Medication Purchasers
      • Antibiotics Top List of Other Pet Medications
        • Table Use by Type of Selected Other Pet Medications for Dogs, 2011 (percent)
        • Table Use by Type of Selected Other Pet Medications for Cats, 2011 (percent)
        • Table Purchasing by Channel of Selected Other Pet Medications for Dogs, 2011 (percent)
        • Table Purchasing by Channel of Selected Other Pet Medications for Cats, 2011 (percent)
      • Walmart, Supercenters Have Highest Draws for Purchasing of Spot-On Flea/Tick Meds
        • Table Purchasing of Spot-on Flea/Tick Care Medications by Retail Store or Channel: Dog Owners vs. Cat Owners, 2011 (percent)
      • 1800PetMeds Shows Highest Online Draw
        • Table Purchasing of Dog and Cat Medications by Online Source, 2011 (percent)
      • Benadryl Is Human OTC Med Most Commonly Used for Pets
    • Pet Med Psychographics
      • No General Trend Toward Increased Use of Pet Meds
        • Table Levels of Agreement/Disagreement with Statement, "I Am Buying More Pet Medications Than I Used To": Dog Owners vs. Cat Owners, 2011 (percent)
        • Table Levels of Agreement/Disagreement with Statement, "The Current Range of Pet Medications Is Not Adequate": Dog Owners vs. Cat Owners, 2011 (percent)
        • Table Levels of Agreement/Disagreement with Statement, "I Am Interested in New Types of Pet Medications": Dog Owners vs. Cat Owners, 2011 (percent)
      • Age- and Weight-Related Triggers for Pet Meds
        • Table Levels of Agreement/Disagreement with Statement, "Age-Related Conditions Are the Cause of Some of the Pet Medications That I Buy": Dog Owners vs. Cat Owners, 2011 (percent)
        • Table Levels of Agreement/Disagreement with Statement, "Weight/Obesity-Related Conditions Are the Cause of Some of the Pet Medications That I Buy": Dog Owners vs. Cat Owners, 2011 (percent)
      • Attitudes on Veterinarian/Professional vs. Store Products
        • Table Levels of Agreement/Disagreement with Statement, "I Trust the Medications My Veterinarian Recommends": Dog Owners vs. Cat Owners, 2011 (percent)
        • Table Levels of Agreement/Disagreement with Statement, "I Trust the Pet Medications Available at the Stores Where I Buy Pet Products": Dog Owners vs. Cat Owners, 2011 (percent)
        • Table Levels of Agreement/Disagreement with Statement, "With Spot-On (Topical) Flea/Tick Products, the Products Available in Stores Are Just as Effective as Those Available Through Veterinarians": Dog Owners vs. Cat Owners, 2011 (percent)
        • Table Levels of Agreement/Disagreement with Statement, "With Spot-On (Topical) Flea/Tick Products, I Would Trust Generic or Store-Brand Products if They Contained the Same Active Ingredients": Dog Owners vs. Cat Owners, 2011 (percent)
        • Table Levels of Agreement/Disagreement with Statement, "Veterinarian-Dispensed Spot-On (Topical) Flea/Tick Products Are Too Expensive": Dog Owners vs. Cat Owners, 2011 (percent)
      • Resistance and Alternatives to Pet Meds
        • Table Levels of Agreement/Disagreement with Statement, "I Avoid Using Pet Medications as Much as Possible": Dog Owners vs. Cat Owners, 2011 (percent)
        • Table Levels of Agreement/Disagreement with Statement, "I Prefer to Try Holistic/Natural Pet Treatments Including Nutritional Supplements Before Resorting to Pet Medications": Dog Owners vs. Cat Owners, 2011 (percent)
        • Table Levels of Agreement/Disagreement with Statement, "High-Quality Pet Foods Are Effective as a Preventive Pet Health Treatment": Dog Owners vs. Cat Owners, 2011 (percent)
  • Examples of Consumer Advertising

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