Pet Healthcare in India is Set for Disruption, Will Cross $5 Bn by 2030
Pet Healthcare in India is Set for Disruption, Will Cross $5 Bn by 2030

The pet care ecosystem in India is undergoing a metamorphosis and pet healthcare specifically is growing faster than ever before.

Growth Catalysts of the Pet Care Market in India

Increasing urbanization, nuclear households, rising disposable income, and a drop in childbirth rates in families are accelerating the rate of pet adoption in India. Pets have become the playmates and guardians of children, and best friends of adults. The humanization of pets has led to a very welcome change in the pet healthcare landscape and this change is here to stay.

Pets have become integral parts of families. The changing trends are reinforced by the growing number of pets in Indian households. While it was only around 22 million in 2019, the number has surpassed 32 million in the last quarter of 2022.

China saw a similar boom in the pet ecosystem around 15 years ago. Their one-child policy, increasing disposable income, and rapid urbanization led to a sharp growth in the number of pets. The total number of pets reached almost 140 million as of 2022 with an industry size between USD 35-40 Bn. India is at a similar juncture, with urban fertility rates dropping to 1.6 and an increase in disposable income.

Hence it is only logical to expect a similar pet landscape and potential growth in the pet healthcare sector over the next 5 years in India. With a steady rise in the number of pets and the per capita expenditure, we expect a CAGR of 18 percent to 20 percent over the next 5-8 years. The overall pet care industry will cross $10 billion, and pet healthcare will contribute 45-50 percent of the same, like in the US and China.

Interestingly, Tier II city pet parents are at par with Metros when it comes to spending on pet healthcare. Pet parents in the metro cities such as Delhi, Mumbai, and Bangalore spend Rs 4,000 to Rs 5,000 per month for the upkeep of their pets while pet parents in Tier II cities such as Nagpur, Surat, Chandigarh, Indore, and Jaipur are spending between Rs 1,500 and Rs 2,500 monthly based on the health needs and level of humanization of their pets.

Pet Parents Are Putting Pet Health First

A key change in the ecosystem is the evolving pet parent and pet relationship. Pets have become the core of the family and true emotional companions. Modern pet parents want the best for their pet’s well-being and expect a high level of convenience as modern urban consumers. Pet parents are paying more attention to any signs of discomfort, sickness, or distress in pets.

They look forward to quality products and the best medical care for their pets. Hence we see pet parents spending time and money on vaccinations, deworming, food, grooming, supplements, treats, and accessories for their fur babies.

While young puppies need a lot of effort during their initial days of adoption, senior pets require special health attention as well. Adult pets run the risk of picking up lifestyle diseases and acquired ailments such as joint issues, hormonal disorders, kidney-related issues, diabetes, and tumors. Hence the need for preventive care becomes important.

The emotional stress arising out of healthcare concerns for pets is leading to an increased focus on check-ups, diagnostic testing, vet consultations, treatments follow ups and nutrition.

The Recent Past of Pet Healthcare: What Did That Look Like?

Pet healthcare, which has evolved over the last 10 years, is highly dominated by fragmented veterinary practice across the country. The traditional vet clinics are characterized by small stores (300-400 Sq Ft), minimal primary care infrastructure without in-house diagnostics or advanced care, and focus very little on digitization. Until very recently, any advanced care consisting of 24/7 emergency care, IPD facility, and in-clinic diagnostics was limited to a selected few across the country.

Owing to a lack of awareness, pets rarely visited the veterinarians and even when they did, the ecosystem scarcely had the required infrastructure and services. Additionally, there was almost no focus on pet parent convenience driven by a highly offline mode of operations.

What’s the Future of Pet Healthcare in India?

With this inflection point in India's Pet ecosystem, pet healthcare is bound to revolutionize. A big part of the same will be healthcare getting organized. Large organized players, focussing on specialty care and all-around well-being for pets will drive this change. The USA had a similar journey, where over 20 percent of Veterinary Healthcare service is corporatized.

With increased awareness among pet parents, focus on primary care led by annual vaccination and deworming is leading the charge. Pet parents are opting for a full course of vaccines. Hence, along with anti-rabies vaccines, more and more dogs are being administered DHPPiL, Kennel Cough, and Canine Corona vaccines and boosters. Even cats are receiving the CRP vaccine and boosters.

Preventive care beyond vaccination is taking a lead in the form of focus on quality nutrition, grooming, dental health, regular health check-up aided by diagnostics, and elective surgeries.

Pet food is a major driver for the health and well-being of pets. Every pet is unique from the perspective of age, breed, and health condition; pet parents actively seek awareness and knowledge about the right nutrition and pet food combinations. Along the same line, vet-prescribed diets - specialty diets for gastro (GI) issues, joint pain, and kidney issues are becoming popular as pet parents demand the best for their pets. In addition, nutraceuticals catering to dental, skin, and joint issues are gaining traction in the homes of geriatric pets or pets with special needs.

As a result, we see pet parents investing in quality home food as well as pet food from trusted and established brands like Royal Canin, Pedigree, Farmina N&D, and Nestle Purina. There is a steady rise in e-commerce brands to fulfill the demands for similar pet care products in India. Reports predict that pet e-commerce brands will grow at a steady and impressive CAGR of 31.2 percent in the next 5 years.

As pet parents' awareness is increasing, a lot of them are opting for elective surgeries such as neutering, spaying, or dental scaling for preventive care of their pets.

In addition, to ensure that their furry buddies, specifically the senior pets lead a quality life, we see an increased focus on pre-emptive diagnostics and treatment across pancreatitis, gastroenteritis, diabetes, cancer, renal and orthopedic issues

As pet parents expect the best for their fur buddies, it is a massive opportunity for local players to step up and offer holistic consultation, grooming, diagnostics, and treatment services to their target audiences.

The pet healthcare ecosystem is awaiting a huge disruption. The Indian pet care ecosystem will evolve with multi-specialty players offering -

  • Specialized healthcare care services along with cutting-edge technology for diagnosing and treating pets
  • Pet care solutions across grooming and nutrition
  • Technology for pet lifecycle management to increase pet parent convenience

Pet care startups like Vetic are leading the pack with their focus on providing full stack pet care experience under one roof, along with their focus on advanced health care and convenience for pet parents via the use of technology. Their modern, tech-based clinics and services have garnered dedicated patronage from new-age pet parents and veterans alike.

We are skyrocketing towards a future where a household without a pet will become inconceivable. It is enough to justify the gigantic leap in the pet healthcare market we are about to witness in the next few years.

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