Most Pet Owners Rely On Vets For Heartworm, Flea/Tick Meds, Study Finds

A study by Market Directions Inc. has found that veterinarian opinion weighs most heavily on pet owner decisions.

Veterinarians have significant swaying power when it comes to pet owners’ decisions on which brand to buy, even if the pet owner is not buying from the veterinarian, according to a new study conducted by Market Directions Inc., a brand performance consultancy, and Brakke Consulting Inc., a management consulting firm.

Still, pet owners are more likely to purchase products such as heartworm prevention, flea and tick control and joint health supplements from their veterinarian rather than other sources like pet stores, grocery stores or online, the Pet Owner Channel Use/Buying Preferences Study found.

For example, 75 percent of pet owners purchased heartworm prevention from their veterinarian while 9 percent (the second largest percentage) bought it online. About 44 percent purchased flea and tick control from their veterinarian while 19 percent bought it from a mass merchandiser, also the second largest percentage.

The exceptions are pet food, which is purchased frequently, and dental health products, which tend to be low-cost products, according to the study.

Pet food is most often purchased from a mass merchandiser (35 percent), grocery store (25 percent) or pet super store (24 percent) while dental products are often purchased at pet super stores (34 percent) or a mass merchandiser (26 percent).

The survey showed that only 3 percent of pet owners purchased pet food from their veterinarian. However, when it came to therapeutic/prescription pet food, 37 percent bought it from their veterinarian.

About 19 percent of pet owners purchased dental health products from their veterinarian, according to the survey.

The study is based on a survey of a random national sample of more than 1,000 dog and cat owners.


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