Image for representational purposes only. Photo Courtesy: iStock
A recent survey titled âPawrents 2.0', conducted by Supertails, a tech-enabled pet-care startup sheds light on the state of pet healthcare in India. The evolving pet parenting landscape in India has now fueled remarkable growth in pet healthcare. India is home to over 32 million pets, and the Indian pet healthcare industry is expected to grow at a CAGR of 3.17 per cent, with the potential to reach up to INR 7000 crore.
However, the country has only 5,000 - 7,000 companion veterinarians, resulting in a ratio of just one vet for every 5,000 pets. This significant gap in the ratio underscored the essential role of tele-consultations in bridging this gap. It will help people gain access to expert veterinarians for their fur babies.
The growing awareness of Indian pet parents has led to increased demand for specialised services and a surge in veterinary clinics and pet insurance offerings. The survey received data from over 400 pet parents and the results revealed that 50 per cent of Indian pet parents have an inclination towards online vet consultations due to the convenience and accessibility they offer. The report emphasises the pet care challenges faced by India's pet-parenting community and the significance of online veterinary health consultations.
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A call for improved access to online consultations
38 per cent of Indian pet parents are not satisfied with the current veterinary consultations and are continuously looking for alternative choices to provide better care for their fur babies. With the number of Gen Z pet parents consistently rising in India, online avenues for pet consultations have opened up giving pet parents easy access to veterinary services.
However, only 16 per cent of pet parents in India avail of online veterinary consultations at the moment. This number is set to rise in the future as 51 per cent of pet parents from Tier I cities expressed the desire to use online veterinary consultations, along with 33 per cent of pet parents from Tier 2 and 3 cities. This emphasises the growing demand for convenient and cost-effective online consultation options, particularly in Tier I cities.
Aman Tekriwal, co-founder, Supertails, emphasised the importance of these findings, stating, "The insights from this survey shed light on the challenges faced by India's pet-parenting community, particularly those seeking healthcare for their pets. It is evident that pawrents often encounter difficulties due to limited resources. Even though there are online services available for pet healthcare, many pawrents are unaware of it and hence feel the inadequacy of pet healthcare in India. This survey reveals the importance of creating awareness on online veterinary consultations and pet healthcare as there is a huge scope for pet care brands to solve the issues being faced by pet parents in India."
The importance of regular veterinary care
In a country where pets are now beloved members of the family, access to quality pet healthcare is paramount. However, the survey shows that only 35 per cent of dog parents adhere to regular 3-month check-ups, compared to 32 per cent of cat parents. This highlights the critical need for pet parents to recognise the importance of regular veterinary consultations for the overall well-being of their furry companions.
The data also revealed that 49 per cent of pet parents tend to overlook the importance of timely deworming for their furry friends. This oversight underscores a critical need for pet parents to understand and prioritise the significance of regular deworming. Similarly, around 41 per cent of pet parents occasionally forget to ensure that their pets receive their vaccinations as scheduled. These statistics serve as a stark reminder of the ongoing need for education and awareness initiatives regarding essential pet healthcare practices, particularly emphasising the vital roles of both deworming and vaccinations in ensuring the overall well-being of our cherished animal companions.
Major health concerns for pet parents
In India, pets often contend with various health issues, and pet parents are actively engaged in addressing their furry companions' well-being. Data insights reveal that a notable 51 per cent of pets encounter skin and fur issues, underscoring the prevalence of dermatological concerns among our animal companions. Pet parents are keenly attentive to their pets' coat health, recognising that it can serve as a crucial indicator of underlying health conditions.
Additionally, a substantial 36 per cent of pets in India face gastrointestinal challenges, prompting responsible pet parents to seek veterinary care promptly. Digestive health is paramount for pets' comfort and vitality, and these attentive pet owners understand the critical importance of timely medical intervention to address their pets' stomach issues. These insights provide valuable perspectives on the prevalent health concerns pets face in India and the proactive measures pet parents take to ensure their furry friend's well-being.
Challenges of pet parents with veterinary care
30 per cent of pet parents complained about facing challenges with the accessibility of veterinary services in their respective areas. Over 85-90 per cent of concerns with pets can be solved online when provided a dedicated 1-1 conversation with a qualified and trained vet. This discrepancy emphasises the necessity of raising awareness about the importance of preventive online pet care to ensure a long and healthy life for fur babies.
The data also points to the perception of high veterinary costs among pet parents, with 48 per cent of respondents in Tier I cities expressing concern, along with 36per cent from Tier II and Tier III cities. These concerns underscore the importance of making veterinary care more accessible and affordable for pet parents across the country.