Pet supplement sales are booming amid the pandemic, making them an excellent stream of revenue in veterinary clinics.
The COVID-19 pandemic has brought about many changes to the way you interact with your clients and the measures you must take to ensure the health and safety of all who enter your practice. It hasn’t been easy, but you’ve made it work by being flexible and putting one foot in front of the other.
One surprising outcome that could benefit your practice has been the increased focus pet parents have placed on their own health and wellness, and that of their pets. We’ve known all along that pet parents who use human dietary supplements for themselves are more likely to turn to pet supplements to proactively support a pet’s health. But in 2020, a staggering 21% increase in pet supplement sales1 showed us pet parents are serious.
The veterinary channel accounts for 46% of this increase1, which could signal an opportunity for you to boost revenue by offering a curated selection of quality supplements your medical team feels good about and that offers you a reasonable margin. But keep in mind that your pricing must be competitive with online sellers. You differentiate yourself through the services you provide, client education and real-time answers to pet parents’ questions. But if you price supplements too high you risk losing the sale and possibly a client.
In terms of what to stock, the COVID-19 era has seen pet parents placing emphasis on products that support immune health and overall wellness:
- Daily multivitamin supplements can help fill in nutritional gaps and provide overall support.
- Antioxidant supplements can help to neutralize harmful free radicals and protect cell health.
- Digestive support supplements containing digestive enzymes, probiotics and prebiotics can support a healthy gut microbiome, which is essential to overall wellness and maintaining a strong immune system.
- Calming supplements are another area of opportunity, as many people have adopted “pandemic pets” and need support as these companions adjust to their new home environment, or as pet parents return to the workplace and leave pets home alone for the first time in a year.
- Joint health supplements are always a strong performer and can be recommended throughout all the life stages to support pets as they age.
Focus on the categories mentioned above, as well as those most often asked about or requested by your clients and be sure to offer several delivery formats—a tablet for dogs that will eat anything, powder that can be easily hidden in a finicky cat’s food, soft chews for small pets, etc.
Finally, make quality a priority when selecting products to recommend. Look closely at the supplier’s website and marketing materials, keeping in mind that supplements aren’t magic bullets and if claims sound too good to be true, they probably are. Remember that responsible manufacturing costs money and cheap products are probably cheap for a reason. Focus on selecting products with the NASC Quality Seal, as this will help to ensure you are choosing suppliers that responsibly produce and market their products and maintain ongoing compliance with the National Animal Supplement Council’s rigorous quality standards. To see a list of suppliers that have earned the Quality Seal, visit nasc.cc/members.
1 Source: Pet Supplements in the U.S., 8th Edition, Packaged Facts, January 2021