The Billion-Dollar Business of Pet Wellness is Booming

Image: Jinx

Pet wellness, a billion-dollar business, is booming this year.

A wave of pandemic puppies have fueled record growth for everyone from mass retailers to DTC startups:

  • Going public. In February, pet sitting giant Rover announced plans for a $1.3B SPAC IPO, hot on the heels of BarkBox’s $1.6B SPAC deal in December 2020.
  • Raising money. Petcare funding exploded in 2021. Of note:  smart collar Fi ($30M), reimagined veterinarian Small Door ($20M), telemedicine provider Fuzzy ($18M), and insurance company Wagmo ($12.5M).
  • Partnering up. Healthy treats maker Brutus Broth saw 500% YoY growth in 2020 after striking retail partnerships with wholesalers like Target and Amazon.

Why the flurry? Isolated at home and with nothing to do, over 12.6M million households adopted pets during the height of the pandemic.

In parallel, millennials across the US are choosing pets over kids. 90% of owners view their pets as their de facto child, and last year, Americans spent an unprecedented $99B caring for their “fur babies.”

Enter pet tech. All this has buoyed a booming $5.5B industry. Entrepreneurs are rushing to cash in on an influx of first-time pet owners encountering doggie sticker shock.

Opportunities in pet tech fall under several buckets:

  • Wearables like smart collars and Fitbit-like activity trackers: Fi, Whistle, and PetHub.
  • Healthy treat makers like A Pup Above, Pepette, and human-tested The Farmer’s Dog.
  • New-age veterinary and insurance services, such as Bond Vet, Vetsource, and Pawp.
  • DTC doggie supplements—similar to human versions Ritual or Care/of—including Goodboy, Dandy, and Jinx.

As the market expands, keep a lookout for more esoteric offerings, like “Tinder for pets” Feragen or interactive AI pet toy Go Dogo.

Punchline: With millions of additional pet owners, many treating Fido like their first of kin, the pet wellness industry shows no signs of slowing.

As owners return to the office in the next few months, watch for outsized growth from pet sitting and walking apps like Wag!, Rover, and more.

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