"Just as many Americans are proactive about their own health diet-wise, a sizeable majority of pet owners believe the pet foods they buy have a strong impact on the health of their pets," said David Sprinkle, research director for Packaged Facts.
Survey data published in the report revealed that 72% of dog and 67% of cat owners agreed that "High-quality dog foods/cat foods are effective for preventive healthcare," and more than three-fourths of dog and cat owners agreed that "targeted pet foods with special nutrition formulations are beneficial to pets with specific health concerns." Top functional foods sought by dog and cat owners include:
- Oral/dental health formulas
- Skin and coat/long hair formulas
- Senior/mature formulas
- Weight management formulas
- Joint/mobility formulas
- Digestive/sensitive stomach formulas
- Hairball formulas (for cats)
Many of these conditions are related to the greying of America's companion animals. Dogs and cats are living longer, and as a result are dealing with or suffering from age-related conditions including joint, coronary, cognitive, and immune-system-related issues, as well as diabetes and cancer. Senior-targeted pet products cover all of these needs as well as routine daily concerns, and because of their more specialized health focus, senior products and services are typically priced well above the market average.
Older pet populations also drive human-style advancements in veterinary care, medications, and supplements supported by newer payment options such as pet insurance. Moreover, as pets age, the human/animal bond deepens, creating an increased willingness among pet owners to do whatever it takes to keep their pets healthy and happy for as long as possible. Because of all these factors, Packaged Facts forecasted functional pet food targeting conditions related to aging will have excellent growth prospects in coming years.
The report predicted market growth for veterinary services in the overall context of pet food and non-food products and non-medical pet services. The analysis tracked the diversifying ways pet owners can access veterinary services, the impact pet superstores and online retailers have on veterinary channel trends, new and upcoming products shaping veterinary care services and revenues, the impact of "pet parents" and millennial pet owners on market trends, the effects of pet population and health trends on the veterinary practices, and the trump card of veterinarian influence on pet owners, pet product purchases, and pet health and wellness.