This report defines digital pet care as including pet products and services that rely on the internet and/or Bluetooth technology and computers and/or smartphones, encompassing e-commerce (pet food and non-food pet supplies purchased online via computer or smartphone), veterinary telemedicine health services, app-based non-medical pet services (primarily pet sitting/walking and boarding), and digitally connected products including pet trackers/monitors, automatic feeders/waterers, and litter boxes. Factoring in thoroughly the current and expected impact of the coronavirus pandemic of 2020, the report analyzes industry trends and projects future market directions.

With the advent and ongoing impact of the coronavirus pandemic, all areas of digital pet care have gained momentum as pet owners, together with everyone else, seek to limit their exposure through social distancing, telecommuting, distance learning, and contactless modes of commerce including online purchasing for home delivery and/or curbside pickup. From April 28 to May 5, 2020—a period about a month and a half after the first social distancing measures were announced in the U.S.—Packaged Facts conducted a pet owner survey predicated on the statement “Because of coronavirus…”. Confirming the broad impact of the pandemic on pet owner behavior, the survey finds that over three-quarters of U.S. pet owners (76%) had changed their daily routines, with four-fifths (81%) going outside the home less, nearly three-fifths (57%) working from home/away from their typical workplace, and an even half (50%) putting in fewer hours. Regarding digital pet care:

  • Over three-quarters of U.S. pet owners (77%) were using the internet more
  • Nearly two-thirds (64%) were ordering/buying online more
  • Nearly three-fifths (57%) were using smartphone apps more, with almost half (49%) ordering/buying more via smartphone
  • Nearly three-fifths (57%) were using social media more
  • Over two-fifths (43%) were buying groceries online more
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Table Of Contents

  • Executive Summary
    • Scope & Methodology
      • Scope of Report
      • Report Methodology
    • Market Overview
      • Pandemic Drives Pet Adoption, Stockpiling, and Spike in DIY Pet Care Sales
      • COVID-19 Alters Pet Owner Behavior, Fast Tracks Digital Pet Care
      • Digital Pet Care Sales: $27 Billion for 2020 and Going Strong
        • Table Modeling of Digital Pet Care Sales in 2020 by Sector (dollars in millions and percent share)
    • Market Opportunities
      • Pandemic-Related Pet Industry Silver Linings
      • E-Commerce for All
      • Veterinary Telehealth and Back-Office Systems
      • Veterinary Sales of Pet Medications
      • Veterinary Sales of Science-Based Pet Foods
      • Subscription- and Loyalty-Based Products and Services
      • DTC Marketing of Fresh Pet Food
      • Opportunistic Mergers, Acquisitions, and Investments
  • Introduction
    • Chapter Highlights
    • Scope & Methodology
      • Scope of Report
      • Report Methodology
    • Pet Industry Climate
      • Pandemic Drives Pet Adoption, Stockpiling, and Spike in DIY Pet Care Sales
        • Table Pet Adoption Rates by Type of Pet: Last 12 Months vs. Last 3 Months, April/May 2020 (percent of pet owners)
      • COVID-19 Alters Pet Owner Behavior, Fast Tracks Digital Pet Care
      • Digital Pet Care Sales: $27 Billion for 2020 and Going Strong
        • Table Modeling of Digital Pet Care Sales in 2020 by Sector (dollars in millions and percent share)
  • E-Commerce
    • Chapter Highlights
      • E-Commerce/IT Upend Retail Dynamics
      • E-Commerce Pet Product Sales Growing Exponentially
      • E-Commerce Recasting Channel Shares, Surpassing Pet Specialty
      • Frequency of Online Shopping
      • Pet Product Spending Levels: Online vs. In Store
      • Hierarchy of Pet Product Types Purchased Online
      • E-commerce as Pet Food Sales Driver
      • Chewy Out Front in Pet Product E-commerce Sales
        • Table Chewy.com Sales, Fiscal Year 2011 through Fiscal Year 2019 (in millions of dollars and percent growth)
      • Amazon Leads in Percent of Online Pet Product Shoppers
      • Pet Food Subscription and Auto-Replenishment Programs
      • Rapid Home Delivery and Click-and-Collect
      • E-Commerce in Context
      • Leading E-Tailers Setting Their Sights on Pet Medications
      • Amazon PillPack Unit Likely to Lead to Prescription Pet Meds
      • PetMed Express Feeling the Online Heat
      • Amazon Plus Brick-and-Mortar Pet Specialty?
      • Amazon and Chewy Banking on Private-Label Pet Food
  • Digital Pet Services
    • Chapter Highlights
    • Veterinary Services
      • Impact of Coronavirus Pandemic
      • Veterinary Market Climate
        • Table Attitudes of Dog or Cat Owners Toward Alternative Veterinary Approaches by Age Bracket, 2020 (percent)
      • Vet Service Providers Going Digital Pre-Pandemic
      • Telemedicine and Teletriage in the Pandemic Era
      • Boehringer Ingelheim Introduces PetPro Connect and PetPro Tele+ Platforms
      • Chewy Beta Testing New "Connect with a Vet"Service
      • Veterinarians Countering E-tailers with Digital Pharmacies of Their Own
      • Vet2Pet Partners with Gravity Payments to Offer Contactless Payment
      • Vet-Connected Pet Wearables
    • Non-Medical Pet Care Services
      • Non-Medical Pet Care Services Sector Harder Hit By COVID-19
      • Non-Medical Pet Care Services Market Climate
      • Internet as Pet Care Assistant
      • Digital Pet Care Providers Revolutionize Home-Based Pet Care
      • Venture Capitalists Go All In on Rover and Wag!
      • But SoftBank Pulls Back Massive Investment from Wag!
      • Wag! Replaces Rover's Dog Sitting Partner
      • Wag! Teams Up with Adopt-a-Pet.com, Adds Drop-in and Daycare Services, and Introduces Wag! Tag
      • Rover Expands into Cat Care, In-Home Grooming, and Abroad
      • Pet Sitters International Sticks Toe in App Waters by Promoting"Time To Pet"
      • App-Based Pet Care in in the Age of Coronavirus
      • Mars and Nestlé Purina Also Supporting Tech-Based Service Providers
  • Digital Pet Products
    • Chapter Highlights
    • Digital Pet Products
      • Impact of Coronavirus Pandemic
      • Internet/E-commerce Part of Larger IT/IoT Trend
      • Sales of Pet Tech Products Post Double-Digit Growth
      • Pet Food Marketers Overlapping into Pet Tech
      • Tech Trend Creating New Digital Pet Product Categories
      • Multi-Product Pet-Centric Smart Product Marketers
      • Digital Supplies for Other Pets
  • Introduction
    • Scope & Methodology
      • Scope of Report
      • Report Methodology
    • Pet Industry Climate
      • COVID-19 Drives Pet Adoption, Stockpiling, and Spike in Sales of DIY Petcare
        • Table Pet Adoption Rates by Type of Pet: Last 12 Months vs. Last 3 Months, April/May 2020 (percent of pet owners)
        • Table Median Household Income: Overall vs. Pet Owners, 2020-2019 ($ thousands)
      • COVID-19 Alters Pet Owner Behavior, Fast Tracks Digital Petcare
        • Table Modeling of Digital Petcare Sales in 2020 by Sector (dollars in millions and percent share)
    • Pet Owner Trends in Online Shopping
      • Steady Upswing in Online Activities
        • Table Pet Owner Base for Selected Online and Smartphone App Activities, 2013/14 2019/20 (use in last 30 days in thousands and percent of U.S. adult pet owners)
        • Table Pet Owner Use of Selected Online and Smartphone App Activities: By Generational Cohort, 2019/20 (use in last 30 days in thousands and percent of U.S. adult pet owners)
        • Table Dog or Cat Product Shopper Base: Online vs. Other Channels, 2010/11 2019/20 (percent of U.S. dog- or cat-owning households)
        • Table Dog or Cat Product Shopper Base: Online vs. Other Channels, 2010/11 2019/20 (in thousands of U.S. dog- or cat-owning households)
        • Table Selected Pet Product Spending Psychographics: Internet vs. Other Channels, 2019 (percent who strongly agree or somewhat agree)
      • The Amazon Juggernaut
        • Table Overview of Amazon’s Overall and Pet Owner Customer Base, 2019/20 (percent and number of overall and of dog- or cat-owning households)
      • Online Pet Product Shopping by Pet Type and Number of Pets
        • Table Online Pet Product Customer Base: Dog vs. Cats Owners: 2008/09, 2014/15, and 2019/20 (in percent and thousands of U.S. dog- or cat-owning households)
      • Pet Owner and Online Shopper Demographics Contribute to Market Resilience During COVID-19
        • Table Indexes for Online Shopping Pet for Products Among Dog or Cat Owners by Overall Types of Pets Owned: Key Demographics, 2019/20 (percent)
        • Table Rate of Online Shopping for Pet Products Among Dog or Cat Owners by Overall Types of Pets Owned: Key Demographics, 2019/20 (percent)