Companion animals are domesticated animals which are kept primarily for person’s companionship and enjoyment rather than as a livestock, working animal or laboratory animal. Companion animal include dog, cat, fish, bird, horse, rabbit, hamster, guinea pig, and ferret. According to the National Pet Owners Survey in 2017, conducted by American Pet Products Association (APPA), around 68% of the household owns a companion animal or pet in U.S. Companion animal drug include veterinary and over-the-counter drugs, supplements, nutraceuticals, vaccines, antibiotics and parasiticides, which are used in the treatment of disease associated with digestive system, immunological system, reproductive system, respiratory, and urinary system.

According to the report published by Federal Trade Commission (FTC), in 2015, U.S. spent around US$ 58 billion in 2014 on their companion animals, which include food, veterinary care, prescription, and OTC medications, and other pet services and products. Moreover, U.S. companion animal drugs market is significantly growing in both prescription and non-prescription based medications. Growing rate of companion animal ownership, progressive rate in pet health insurance, and longer life expectancy of companion animals due to the advances in animal health medication, expected to drive the growth of companion animal drugs market in the near future. According to the North American Pet Health Insurance Association (NAPHIA), in 2015, there is an increase of US$ 774 million in overall gross written premium (GWP), accounting to 17.2 percent growth in GWP. In 2015, around 1.6 million pets got secured with health insurance, increasing to 12% from 2014 to 2015.

However, growing antimicrobial drug resistance is the major factor hindering the growth of companion animal drugs market. According to the report by the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign (UIUC), in 2017, methicillin-resistant staphylococcus is a prevalent infection in companion animals, accounted to around 40% in North America, 20% in Europe, 12% in Australia, and 48% in China. U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) started Center for Veterinary Medicine (CVM), which is engaged in various activities to address the threat of antimicrobial resistance, by protecting human and animal health.

Companion animal drugs market taxonomy:

By Product Type:

  • Antibiotics
  • Parasiticides
    • Ecto- parasiticides
    • Endo- parasiticides
  • Anti-inflammatory drugs
  • Nutritional drugs
  • Behavioral drugs
  • Heartworm drugs
  • Skincare drugs
  • Vaccines

By Animal Type:

  • Feline
  • Canine
  • Equine
  • Others

By Distribution Channel:

  • Veterinary hospitals
  • Veterinary clinics
  • Pharmacy/ drug store

Growing obesity in pets fuels the growth of the companion animal drugs market

According to the report by Association for Pet Obesity Prevention (APOP), in 2016, there is a continuous increase in pet obesity, affecting around 54% of dogs and 59% of cats in U.S. Pet obesity is a major problem in U.S., which increases the pain and suffering and also affects the life expectancy of companion animal or pet. According to APOP, factors causing pet obesity include negligence of pet owners and veterinary professionals in providing nutritional diet such as corn, grains, and raw and organic diet. In 2016, According to the stats by American Pet Products Association (APPA), around 41.9 million dogs and 50.5 million cats were classified into overweight or obese category by veterinary healthcare professionals.  

According to the Mississippi State University, College of Veterinary Medicine, consumption of high calorific diet, genetic and age factors, are some of the factors accounted for obesity in the companion animal, which further lead to osteoarthritis, diabetes mellitus, hepatic lipidosis, cardiovascular disease, and early mortality. This is expected to augment the growth of companion animal drugs market in the near future.

Veterinary hospital/clinics segment are expected to become the more trusted distribution channel

According to the report by Federal Trade Commission (FTC) staff, in 2015, veterinarians and veterinary clinic or hospitals were accounted as the major distribution channel for pet medications. Nearly all major manufactures of pet medications distribute their medications through licensed veterinaries or through authorized veterinary distributors. Moreover, consumers purchase pet medications from veterinarians at the time of examination and diagnosis of their pet.

Key Players in the Global Companion Animal Drug Market

Some of the major players operating in the companion animal drugs market include Merck Animal Health, Elanco, Zoetis, Boehringer Ingelheim GmbH, Virbac, Ceva Sante Animale, Bayer AG, Dechra Pharmaceuticals PLC, and Vetoquinol SA.

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