Veterinarians remain the source of pet care information most valued by pet owners, as confirmed by Packaged Facts’ August-September 2021 Survey of Pet Owners. But generational patterns also show that while veterinarians were once kings of the hill, they are now competing for mindshare—and pet care dollars—within an increasingly crowded field in which non-medical pet service professionals are gaining ground.
- Among older seniors age 75+, the only two significant sources of information are their veterinarian (78%) and their own past experience as pet owners (68%). None of the other contemporary information sources reach even a 20% level of importance.
- Among Boomers age 55-74, the mountain starts to flatten, with five sources of information reaching at least a 20% level of importance. Family members (30%), pet specialty stores, and websites kick in as more significant sources of information.
- By the time we get to Gen Xers age 40-54, eight sources of information reach at least a 20% level of information, with social media (23%), pet groomers (21%), and stores other than pet specialty (21%) moving up in importance.
- Among the Millennial and Gen Z crowd, finally, a much milder incline replaces what was, with older seniors, a sharp drop from 1st place veterinarians (78%) to 3rd-place family members/friends (18%). As part of this remix, pet trainers kick in at 22%.
Some Covid-19 setbacks notwithstanding, a growing range of non-medical pet care services are gaining in dollar importance within the overall pet industry. Correspondingly, non-veterinary pet care professionals—especially groomers and trainers—increasingly serve as pet industry influencers.
For more information about this industry trend and other important developments to watch, see the newly published report Pet Services in the U.S. by Packaged Facts.