COVID-19 , News

Packaged Facts predicts decline in pet boarding

A virus-caused slowdown in non-medical pet care services also could extend to sitting and grooming.

Packaged Facts predicts decline in pet boarding

Within the pet industry, non-medical services such as boarding, sitting and grooming are expected to take the “hardest short-term blow” due to economic fallout from the coronavirus pandemic, according to Packaged Facts.

Under a best-case scenario, the market research firm reported, pet boarding revenue through veterinary practices and other business owners will grow by 2% in 2020, down from 5% in recent years.

The forecast was contained in a white paper released March 18 and available at

“Non-medical pet care services, a $10 billion sector, will take the hardest short-term blow,” said David Sprinkle, Packaged Facts’ research director. “Particularly affected will be pet boarding, which accounts for over a third of the non-medical pet care services sector and ties in closely to business and leisure travel.”

Packaged Facts reported that the “impact is inevitable at least through Q2 2020 due to travel curtailment and to the cancellation of larger-scale events, and more generally to the recommended and (increasingly) enforced practices of social distancing, staying home and avoiding non-essential outings and contact with others.”

The white paper also predicted movement in:

  • Veterinary telemedicine: “Telehealth has lagged in the veterinary sector even more so than in the human health care sector, but may accelerate as veterinary players including Banfield (Vet Chat), Petco and Vet24seven (Ask.Vet/MyPetDoc) emphasize telemedicine. While this trend is fairly neutral for the pet industry’s bottom line, it could place local/independent veterinarians who are already struggling with resources at a further competitive disadvantage.”
  • China-sourced ingredients used in pet food, treats and supplements: “Purveyors of pet nutritional products marketed as “Made in the USA” may find themselves exposed — and under a harsh glare in the wake of the pet food recalls of 2007, a crisis that traced back to melamine sourced from China.”
  • Pet product consumables: “Pet owners stocked up on … food, treats and litter. Sales of most pet medications, because they are purchased in multiple-month doses, should not be dramatically affected in the short term.”

The white paper was released in advance of the Packaged Facts report “U.S. Pet Market Outlook, 2020-2021.”

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