Pet Services in the U.S.
Covid-19 setbacks notwithstanding, a growing range of non-medical pet 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.
Harder hit by the pandemic than any other pet industry sector due to sheltering, the travel bust, and the temporary suspension of many hands-on services, the non-medical pet services sector—defined by this report as grooming, boarding/day care, pet sitting/walking, training outside of the veterinary sector, along with pet insurance—is on the rebound, with sales expected to approach $16 billion by 2025.
Driving the recovery are tailwinds including pet owners’ increasingly direct involvement with the health of their pets; the intensive brick-and-mortar retailer focus on pet services as a bulwark against additional e-commerce losses; the “pandemic pet” boom in ownership and spending; urbanization; the graying populations of pets and their owners; and the skew to higher-income household in pet ownership and spending. Technological innovation and venture capital will also continue to propel the business forward, spurring further market disruption, including virtual and home-based services designed to capitalize on the new normal of more home-anchored lifestyles.
Pet Services in the U.S. examines these and other opportunities for market development, breaking out historical and projected sales of non-medical pet services by type and providing a detailed look at consumer demographics.
Scope and Methodology
This report focuses on the non-medical pet services sector in the U.S., including grooming, boarding (including day care outside of the home), training, and pet sitting/walking, with emerging service areas also taken into consideration. Report coverage also includes pet insurance. Medical and non-medical services provided through the veterinary sector are outside the scope of this report, but discussed in the context of the competitive landscape.
The information contained in this report was obtained from primary and secondary research. Primary research includes national online consumer polls of U.S. adult pet owners (age 18+) conducted on an ongoing basis by Packaged Facts, to measure purchasing patterns and attitudes regarding pet products and services. With sample sizes of approximately 2,000 pet owners, these surveys are based on national online research panels that are census representative on the primary demographic measures of age, gender, geographic region, race/ethnicity, and household income. The main surveys used in this report were conducted from November/December 2020 through August-September 2021. This report also provides proprietary new pet ownership data for 2020, factoring in the recent surge in pet adoption as well as full-year 2020 product sales trends.
Our primary research also includes interviews with pet market experts; participation in pet industry events including Global Pet Expo (American Pet Products Association) and SuperZoo (World Pet Association); on-site examination of service provider venues; and internet canvassing.
Secondary research includes information- and data-gathering from consumer business and trade publications including Pet Age, Pet Business, Petfood Industry, and Veterinary Practice News; company profiles in trade and consumer publications; annual reports of companies in the pet market; and information culled from Packaged Facts’ extensive pet market research database and report collection.
Our estimates of market size and company performance are based on reported revenues of pet product manufacturers, retailers, and pet services providers; surveys of independent and chain retailers; government data including U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Consumer Expenditure Surveys; and figures from other market research sources. The consumer discussion draws on trended MRI-Simmons National Consumer Studies data though the Spring 2021 release, with field dates through May 2021.
The COVID-19 pandemic took a toll on the pet services market in the U.S. The non-medical services sector slumped 22% to $8.1 billion in 2020. The two travel-related segments, boarding and pet sitting/walking, suffered the most, plummeting 45% and 35%, respectively.
As difficult as 2020 was for non-medical pet services, it could have been worse. While nearly three-in-five (57%) pet owners report that the pandemic affected their household’s spending on non-medical pet services over the course of 2020, only 11% of dog or cat households decreased their spending. A slightly larger share (14%) increased spending, as shown by Packaged Facts’ February 2021 Survey of Pet Owners.
The summer/fall resurgence of the COVID-19 pandemic due to the Delta variant injects much uncertainty into any market projection. But as of September 2021, the U.S. economy seems stable as unemployment declines, the percentage of vaccinated Americans rises (albeit slowly), and the pandemic-era new normal of safety-minded vigilance becomes the norm. The pet services business will continue to benefit from the factors mentioned above, as well as from additional venture capital investment that will also likely do much to propel the business forward.
For more essential pet market insights, read the newly published Packaged Facts report
, which examines key industry trends and emerging market opportunities for pet grooming, boarding & daycare, training, other services, and pet insurance. Pet Services in the U.S.
The report draws on a mix of primary and secondary research, including a national online consumer poll of U.S. pet owners, interviews with pet market experts, and participation in pet industry events such as the Global Pet Expo (American Pet Products Association) and SuperZoo (World Pet Association).