Veterinary Spending Projected To Slow In 2012
Spending on Veterinary Care
Spending in the veterinary care category grew by 2.9 percent from 2010 to 2011, and the APPA anticipates a 1.3 percent rate of growth through 2012. The pet industry as a whole grew by 5.3 percent from 2010 to 2011, surpassing $50 billion in overall spending, and is projected to grow by 3.8 percent through 2012.
Spending on pet insurance, included in the veterinary care category, grew by 9.2 percent to $450 million from 2010 to 2011, and is expected to increase to $500 million in 2012.
The pet services segment, including grooming, boarding, pet hotels, pet sitting, day care and other services, was the fastest-growing category from 2010 to 2011, expanding at a rate of 7.9 percent. The APPA expects pet services to lead the growth in 2012 as well, with a projected rate of 8.4 percent.
“As the total pet population continues to grow, despite a slower pace, we still see the overall industry expanding year after year,” APPA President Bob Vetere said. “As pet owners continue to pamper pets and treat them like members of the family, we see positive growth and a response to consumer demand for more products and services which we expect to see through 2012.”
The pet supplies and over-the-counter medications segment nearly kept pace with the services category, growing by 7.6 percent in 2011 versus the previous year and representing the second-largest source of consumer spending behind the food category. Increased use of OTC medications as an alternative to veterinary care drove spending in the supplies and OTC medication category, and the pattern is expected to continue in 2012 with the expected growth of 6.7 percent, according to the APPA.
The food category grew by 5.8 percent from 2010 to 2011 and is estimated to rise by only 3.1 percent in 2012. Vetere attributed two factors to the lower projected growth in 2012. First, pet sales and adoptions are flattening, according to the APPA’s National Pet Owners Survey and other sources, meaning the total money spent is spread over virtually the same number of animals. Second, most of the polarization to high-end foods has taken place, so the food segment is reverting to a more traditional growth model.
The APPA figures were computed as part of the organization's annual comprehensive spending and data report.
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