Pet Medications Market Thrives in Wake of Pandemic

Press Release
Jun 8, 2021

With 13% sales growth in 2020, the pet medications market not only navigated COVID-19 pandemic challenges but posted its largest single-year growth rate in the past decade, as reported by Packaged Facts’ just-released Pet Medications in the U.S.

Market sales were $10.8 billion in 2020, representing a compound annual growth rate of 9.2% for the recent five-year period, driven higher by the sales gains made during 2020.

Market prospects for pet medications are very positive, according to David Sprinkle, Research Director for Packaged Facts: “The market is being spurred by the recently expanded population of pet dogs and cats, a deepening pet parent focus on pet wellness, and increasing brick-and-mortar and online options for pet health care services and products.”

As has been widely reported in the media, the pandemic-driven trend of Americans spending more time at home has fostered a pet boom, and America’s enlarged pet population will for years to come benefit the pet industry generally and the pet medications market in specific. Packaged Facts estimates that the overall percentage of U.S. households owning pets notched up from 54% in 2019 to 56.4% in 2020, with 44% of households now owning dogs and 25% owning cats.

Senior pets, moreover, represent a prime health care opportunity within the pet population. As of 2020, 55% of dog-owning households had pet dogs age 7 or over, up from 45% in 2014. Pets are living longer due to advances in veterinary care, and pet owner interest in pet wellness and nutrition is at an all-time high. Growing numbers of aging dogs and cats therefore need health care for weight management, obesity-associated conditions including diabetes and joint pain, immune response, heart health, and cognitive support, in addition to anti-inflammation and pain management products.

At the same time, the priority on protecting health triggered by the COVID-19 pandemic, along with the associated shift to stay-at-home lifestyles, increased pet parent awareness of the health and well-being of their pets. Packaged Facts survey data show that 41% of owners are paying closer attention to their pet’s health and wellness because of COVID-19, and 14% have changed the pet health care products they buy, including to address COVID-related pet health concerns including anxiety/stress and immunity.

Despite challenges and setbacks early in 2020, the veterinary sector—accounting for 72% of overall prescription and over-the-counter pet medication sales, according to Packaged Facts—managed to end the year with higher-than-average growth. The veterinary sector was buoyed in part by the pet population surge, but as importantly by entrepreneurship and innovation in  leveraging  “concierge” pet drop-off/pick-up services and remote consultation options such as telemedicine.

Even so, the pandemic drove overall pet product sales further online, and pet medications were no exception, with 16% of retail sales occurring over the internet, according to the Packaged Facts report. Pet medication e-commerce has been fueled by new market components including Chewy’s Rx compounding service and Tractor Supply’s launch of an online pet pharmacy, as well as the continued success of WalmartPetRx and Petco’s online pharmacy.

About Packaged Facts  

Packaged Facts, a division of, publishes market intelligence on a wide range of consumer market topics, including consumer demographics and shopper insights, consumer financial products and services, consumer goods and retailing, and pet products and services. Packaged Facts also offers a full range of custom research services. Reports can be purchased at our company website and are also available through

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