Millennials and Their Pets - What Vets Must Know

Millennials are the driving force of the consumer pet industry right now. Studies indicate that today's pet owner has a vastly different way of caring for their pets than older generations, particularly in when and why they seek out a veterinarian.

What the Studies Say

One study, called The Pet Owner Paths Research, sponsored by Merck, Unfenced, and Kynetec focused specifically on how Millennial pet owners take when making decisions about their pet's health. This includes how they make decisions about pain, dermatology, and dental health. The study brings to light a variety of interesting facts including these:

  • Millennials are more likely to use veterinary products as a preventative treatment (not just when necessary to treat a condition).
  • They invest more money in their pets than other groups before them. They seek out information about their pet's health.
  • These pet owners are more likely to provide their pets with dental cleanings and rinses.
  • They see visiting the vet as an important part of the ownership process.
  • They will use products consistently to help their pets.

These pet owners are more likely to follow their veterinarian's advice and guidance. Though they take much longer to make a decision about what is right for their pet – mostly because they seek out as much information as possible to do so – they still rely heavily on their vet's specific recommendations and care. The survey found:

  • 57 percent of Millennial pet owners will involve their vet in their journey compared to just 42 percent of older pet owners.
  • Millennials are more likely, though, to seek out information from multiple sources before making decisions.
  • About 50 percent of the time, they are more likely to follow a vet's advice, compared to just 31 percent of the older generation's ability to follow a vet's advice.

Serving Your Millennial Pet Owner

It's also critically important that veterinarians have a clear understanding of how to meet their Millennial client needs. For example, communication is very important to this group. While over the phone conversations are okay, many want the ability to chat or text. In fact, the survey found that 24/7 chat and texting services were some of the most important services offered by their vets. 

They are also much more likely to provide comprehensive care to their pets from the start. Preventative care, the use of excellent sources of nutrition, solid physical exercise, and emotional well-being are all areas that these pet owners view as important. Providing this level of care is essential to today's younger pet owner.

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