The coronavirus pandemic has disrupted life in many ways and pet care is no exception. A new study from Brakke Consulting documents significant changes in veterinary care and pet product purchasing. 

COVID-19: Impact on Pet Carhttp://brakkeconsulting.come is a nationally representative survey of 1,000 pet owners conducted in early May. It is the first of three waves of a major effort to track pet owner behavior changes as a result of the pandemic. Future waves will be conducted over the next 2-3 months, which will help discern how pet owner behavior changes evolve as the country exits from the lockdowns. 

The study found that nearly half of US pet owners have been impacted economically, either through job losses or reduced income. 

“Expenditures on pets have held up remarkably well given the financial burdens on pet- owning households,” said Dr. Robert Jones, President of Brakke Consulting. “Interestingly, 20% of pet owners even added a pet since the beginning of the year, a testament to the importance of pets in people’s lives.” 

Still, the study shows that some households have reduced expenditures on pet food and medications, and many have changed the way they purchase products. In addition, many pet owners have either cancelled veterinary appointments or been unable to schedule them because their veterinary practice was not available. 

The study offers significant detail on pet product purchases, especially the largest categories of pet food and parasiticides, purchase channels, veterinary care, use of telemedicine and a host of other topics. 

This first of three reports on “COVID-19: Impact on Pet Care” is available now by contacting John Volk at Brakke Consulting at john@volkonline.com or at (312) 524- 4941. The price of the full three-wave tracking study is $17,500.