Animal programs

Canadian Animal Health Institute details rise in pet ownership and medicalization

TORONTO, ONTARIO — The Canadian Animal Health Institute (CAHI) released the results of its 2022 pet population survey on September 22, detailing the increase in the number of pet owners in all the countries. Four thousand pet-owning households took part in the national survey, which was conducted by Kynetec.

According to the data, more than half of Canadian households (60%) own at least one dog or cat. The data also detailed the growing pet population. For 2022, the dog population increased to 7.9 million from 7.7 million in 2020, and the cat population increased to 8.5 million from 8.1 million in 2020.

“We know that dogs, cats and other animals can provide many mental health benefits, including companionship and coping with stressful situations,” said Emily Bond, Ph.D., program director at the ‘ICSA. “It is not surprising that trends show increases in Canadian dog and cat populations, with the largest increases occurring from 2020 to 2022. It will be interesting to see if this trend continues, now that life is returning to the new Ordinary.”

The data also revealed that the gap between the medicalization of dogs and cats is slowly shrinking. According to the CAHI, the rate of dogs seeing a veterinarian remained stable at 86%, but the rate for cats increased from 58% in 2020 to 61% in 2022.

“The growth rate of Canadian dog and cat populations and the rate of Canadian pets visiting the veterinarian continue to exceed pre-COVID levels,” said Colin Siren, Senior Vice President of Kynetec Canada.

According to CAHI, the data demonstrates the role that COVID-19 has played in increasing owners’ interest in pet health and welfare. Although companion animal health awareness is growing, Canada is struggling with labor shortages in the animal health market. According to CAHI, the country currently suffers from a shortage of veterinarians and animal health technicians, which has prevented some pets from receiving care.

“Almost one in five pet owners wanted or needed preventative care in the past 12 months, but were unable to access it due to affordability or the inability to get an appointment. you, among other reasons,” Siren explained. “Despite these challenges, veterinary services remain highly valued.”

As the gap in medicalization rates continues to close and more cat parents visit the vet and become more aware of their cat’s health, Canadian consumers may become more interested in health products. for pets, especially those with veterinary claims and attributes.

Stay up to date on the latest pet food processing industry headlines on our News page.