M/A/R/C Research completed a third wave for its COVID-19 Animal Health Tracker among 1,003 pet owners between August 17th-19th, 2020. A supplemental survey of 1,008 pet owners was conducted to provide additional context on vet visits, pet adoptions, and telemedicine.
Wave #3 of the study revisited pet owner behavior related to veterinary hospital appointments. Overall, respondents reporting cancellations of planned appointments as a result of Covid-19 fell from 22% in wave #2 to 18% in wave #3.
Of the pet owners who called to cancel or reschedule an appointment, only one type had a significant increase when compared to the last wave which was dental cleaning at 37% compared to 25% in the last wave. Both results are significantly lower than the 50% reported in wave #1. Surgical appointments, including both pre and post-surgical appointments, showed a slight increase in cancellation or rescheduling at 22% compared to last wave’s 19%. The highest percentage of cancellation or rescheduling was consistently dealing with annual wellness/vaccination/heartworm testing appointments which was at 47% in wave #3.
The majority of respondents who called to cancel or reschedule an appointment planned to do so within the next 2 to 8 weeks (53%). Some 27% did not plan to reschedule until after the Covid-19 crisis has subsided, a decline from the wave #2 response rate of 37%. Some 21% of respondents did not have any plans to reschedule at all which is up from last wave’s 18%.
Packaged Facts - a leading provider of pet industry news.
Packaged Facts 2020 reports on pet owner psychographics during this Covid-19 year.
The difference in pet owner psychographics among those who strongly agree vs. don’t strongly agree that pets are family is notable in expectations about pet food—a trend that has made high-priced brands including Blue and Freshpet highly successful in the mass market, as well as in the pet specialty channel.
For the week ending November 21st, the canine and feline core vaccine indices combined and expanded with the inclusion of the “Lifestyle” vaccines for Lyme, Lepto, and FeLV, is currently running at a robust 8.2% YTD growth across the 32,000+ practices and shelter locations in the Animalytix Marketplace. Growth in Kennel Cough vaccine purchases, which provide a measure of the pet mobility, is more modest, at 2.2% growth YTD but with a steadily improving trendline. Growth in purchases for products designed to address behavioral issues in pets are virtually flat with YTD growth of 0.5%. Purchases of medications for chronic conditions and surgical consumables are trending in the typical growth ranges for those sectors at 4.6% and 4.2% growth YTD respectively. All metrics were up compared to last week.
Among the “Bellwether” Vetalytix zones selected for routine reporting primarily based on the relative size of annual core and lifestyle vaccines purchases, the Miami, FL zone continues to lead YTD with 16.8% growth over 2019 though up from last week’s 15.4% followed by Nashville, TN at 15.2%. All but one zone, Birmingham, AL, in this group were up for the week. Lagging among the “Bellwethers” is Denver, CO reporting 5.4% growth YTD for this category, up slightly from 5.0% last week. Annual core and lifestyle vaccine purchases were selected as the principal “Bellwether” metric given 50% or more of annual visits to a veterinary practice are associated with the administration of these products.
*Map displays YTD Core & Lifestyle Vaccines sales courtesy of Animalytix
YTD totals for reported parasiticide purchases across all segments for the week ending November 21st, remain ahead of 2019 results by 7.6%. Week over week sales results among the 32.000+ practices and shelter locations in the Animalytix Marketplace, reflected growth for all categories with canine combination flea and heartworm preventatives leading with growth of 29.4% for the week. YTD growth for that category has now improved to 11.5% and is followed by canine heartworm preventatives which are now second fastest growing segment at 9.4% growth YTD.
Among the leading “Bellwether” parasiticide market zones, Raleigh, NC continues to lead with 15.5% growth YTD in total parasiticide purchases followed closely by Birmingham, AL at 14.2%. Among the lagging “Bellwether” zones is Boston, MA at 3.7% YTD growth versus the same YTD period in 2019.
*Map displays YTD Canine/Feline F/T/HW Parasiticide sales courtesy of Animalytix
For the week ending November 21st, aggregate YTD practice revenues improved from 5.0% last week to 5.1% growth for the ~4,000 reporting practices. Unique patients and clients continue to improve as well while growth in total invoices slightly lag 2019 results at (-0.5%) YTD.
Among the “Bellwether” market zones, San Diego, CA leads all markets with 11.4% YTD growth followed by Seattle, WA at 11.3%, both unchanged from the previous week. Greenville, SC leads among this group in terms of unique patient growth with a 6.9% improvement YTD. Among the lagging zones, the Philadelphia, PA market is notable, reporting (-6.6%) revenue growth and (-7.6%) growth in unique patients YTD compared to 2019.
Following more current trends, the 3-week rolling average practice revenue growth nationally softened, falling from +5.6% last week to +3.9%, a notable decrease versus the prior week’s results. All census divisions experienced a decline in their current 3-week average revenue growth rate compared to prior week. The Mountain division moved into negative results with a (-1.8%) 3-week rolling average. New England leads all divisions for the most recent 3-week period with average revenue growth of 8.5% versus the same 3-week period in 2019. The addition of the rolling 3-week average revenue growth index is designed to provide a view of relative robustness of growth trends (e.g. market velocity) for each reporting zone. A positive value indicates rolling revenue growth vs the previously reported 3-week period.
Map displays YTD total hospital revenue courtesy of Animal Care Technologies
*Indicates Merged Zone Group
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