Pethealth Inc. published aggregate results for its third online survey of new cat and dog adopters. The April 2013 Adopter Survey revisits and provides an update on the company's first survey on petfood and pet specialty retail purchasing behavior of new pet adopters, published in May 2012.
The survey aimed to determine the difference in purchasing behavior between those who adopt from an animal welfare organization and those who adopt a pet from the same organization's satellite location within a pet specialty retailer; determine if shelter petfood programs, which feature the distribution of free bags of petfood to new adopters, create loyalty among adopters for those brands, and if animal welfare organizations or pet specialty retailers have a greater impact on that brand's loyalty; and determine the degree to which pet adopters purchase pet supplies and petfood items online.
The survey found that about 83 percent of pet adoptions took place in animal welfare organizations, nearly unchanged from a year ago. At the point of adoption, 33 percent of pet owners said they were provided a bag of complimentary petfood, 5.2 percent of which said they were subsequently contacted by the petfood company. Of those who received complimentary food, Hill's Science again remained the leader at 45 percent.
However, 78 percent of respondents indicated that they now purchase a different brand of petfood from what they were provided at the time of adoption. Purina continued to lead as the top food manufacturer with pet adopters, 16.7 percent of whom indicated they feed newly adopted pets Purina Pro Plan or Purina ONE, followed by Science Diet (11.8 percent) and Blue Buffalo (9.4 percent).
More than 7,000 pet owners completed the survey. Survey respondents included new adopters of dogs and cats during the 13-month period from March 2012-13.
New shelter data casts doubt on whether the pet population and pet ownership are truly growing.
While the pandemic caused unprecedented suffering worldwide in 2020, the disruptions to dogs, cats and other pets adoption numbers may normalize in 2021.