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Study: Vets Most Popular Source for Pet Health Information

Posted: Thursday, Nov. 4, 2010, 6 p.m. EDT

At least two-thirds of pet owners in the United States and Europe turn to their veterinarian or veterinary assistant for information about their pet’s health, according to a study by Grey Healthcare Group, a communications company in New York.

The online study interviewed 1,355 pet owners in the United States and the United Kingdom, France and Germany in September. Pet owner is defined as a dog or cat owner.

The second most popular source for information is online (59 percent for the United States and Europe), followed by friends/family with pets (33 percent in the United States and 24 percent in Europe).

“It is not surprising that the study results show pet owners turn to websites as the second most popular source for information, but this represents a tremendous opportunity for pet care companies, along with the veterinary health care community, to help shape an expert-guided dialogue,” said Lynn O’Connor Vos, CEO of Grey. “Engaging owners online represents a significant opportunity to connect on their terms and become a more trusted source that understands their needs and wants.”

The study also revealed:

• In both the United States and Europe, about 50 percent of money spent on pets is used on regular visits to veterinarians and preventative measures.

• 89 percent of owners in the United States and 91 percent in Europe would give up their vacation for a pet’s surgery.

• 30 percent of owners in both the United States and Europe view pets as children, while 60 percent considered pets very important for their overall happiness.

• Pet owners in the United Kingdom spend about $1,255 a year on their pet, compared to $864 in Germany, $799 in France and $871 in the United States.

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