GUELPH: Overall pet ownership in 2020 in Canada was consistent with the 2018 results, which showed that 58% of Canadian households report they own at least one dog or cat.
The findings were the results of the 2020 Pet Population Survey by the Canadian Animal Health Institute (CAHI).
The nation-wide survey of 3,500 pet-owning households was conducted by Kynetec (formerly Ipsos), and continue historical tracking of pet population numbers on behalf of the CAHI since 2004.
From 2018 to 2020, the Canadian dog population continued to grow, increasing from 7.6 million to 7.7 million, while the population of cats stabilized. However, cats continue to outnumber dogs, with 8.1 million cats considered to be household pets in 2020.
Within the population of dogs and cats, the percentage of pets receiving veterinary medical care during the past 12 months increased more significantly for cats than for dogs. The increase in veterinary visits for cats was most pronounced in the months following the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The research conducted also tracks the number of key metrics related to the way pet owners perceive veterinarians and veterinary care. Since 2018, there have been improvements in several key metrics:
• The percentage of both dog and cat owners rating the value they receive at the veterinarian as “good” continues to increase among cat owners and is now consistent with that among do owners.
• While there has been a decline in veterinarians being cited as the source of pet care information consulted “most recently”, they remain the most frequently consulted source of information.
• Furthermore, the perceived credibility of veterinarians and veterinary clinic staff continues to lead all other information sources and is consistent with the 2018 results.
Research lead, Colin Siren, Senior Vice President, Kynetec Canada stated that, “Since the
start of the COVID crisis, Canadian veterinarians have experienced both a change in practice model and an increase in patient activity, particularly in cats. In such challenging times, it is reassuring the majority of dog and cat owners rate veterinarians highly for value of money spent and credibility.”
“It is encouraging to see the increase in veterinary care for cats as it has lagged behind that of dogs for many years,” said Colleen McElwain, CAHI Programs Director.
“However, there is still quite a bit of room for continued growth in the percentage of cats accessing veterinary care, which sits at about 58%.” Healthy pets mean healthy Canadians. The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the special relationship we have with our pets; they are our loyal companions who keep us active, and improve our quality of life and our mental health.
Animal health products allow our pets to live lives that are as long and comfortable as possible and give us the opportunity to better care for the animals that do so much for our own wellbeing. Keeping pets up to date on vaccinations, feeding them a nutritious diet, and regularly seeing a veterinarian are key elements of pet ownership.
Pet owners value their relationship with their veterinarians and the role veterinarians play in ensuring the health of the animals in their care. By accessing veterinary care for their pets, animal owners are safeguarding the beneficial relationship we have with our pets, the researchers pointed out. – Members of CAHI provide veterinarians and animal owners with the medications necessary to maintain the health of our pets and food animal population. More on the CAHI at www.cahiicsa.ca. (GLOBE NEWSWIRE)