Pet Parents, Puppy Influencers, and
the Next Generation of Pet Care

See how conversations across social media played out in a roller coaster year according to insights provided by social listening.

There’s no doubt: humans love their four-legged friends. But within all the love and adoration of the excessive cuteness, pet owners are consumers. They buy things - food, toys, medicines, and vet treatments. And they have thoughts about their experiences with their pets in which they share online. This is the ultimate consumer insights report on pets, pet owners, influencers, brands, products, and audience segments.

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Pet ownership is on the rise as mentions of breeds in social conversation increase throughout 2020

The data since the onset of the pandemic is clear: pet ownership is increasing. There is particularly an increase in pet parents describing the specific breed of dog that joined their family. Cocker spaniels, dachshunds, labs, and rescue dogs top the list of fastest growing dog type hashtags. Black cats also top the list, showing a rise in the adoption of the statistically less adopted black cats.

New pet parents, especially millennials, are ready to spend

Will the booming pet bubble burst? Data shows that this trend is likely here to stay, pandemic or no. As millennials grow up and gain higher incomes or job status, they’re looking for an alternative to starting a family until they’re ready for a bigger commitment. 

- New pet owners are more likely to describe themselves as "pet parents"
- Millennials have more disposable income and represent a top opportunity for pet brands to reach
- The events of 2020 impacted which consumers were most likely to acquire new pets
- Many consumers were considering pet ownership and the pandemic acted as the final push

Veterinarians, dog influencers, and pet parents differ in conversation

When looking at conversation across three groups, trends in conversation starts to show how those themes differ and have overlap. The largest disparity in conversation happens between veterinarians and pet parents. This is interesting for pet brands that are looking to use veterinary influencers to help connect with pet parents.

- Vet conversation has more volume but is less positive than Dog Influencers
- Vets talk most on Pinterest, while Dog Influencers are more active on TikTok
- Overall, pet parents in general mention recipes and homemade dog food the most. They also mention puppies more.
- Dog influencers tend to use a wide variety of positive adjectives to promote preferred dog foods. Dog influencers are the most focused on breed types (evident in their hashtag usage).

Vegetables and sustainable products are emerging trends in dog foods

Consumers express the most doubt in alternative proteins and talk the least positively about them in online conversations. Analyzing how pet parents talk about certain ingredients can help pinpoint demand and understand consumer concerns.

- Consumer attitudes toward various pet food ingredients are evolving
- There's a clear demand for fruits and veggies being added to their pets' diets
- Social listening analysis can help you track the emerging trends in ingredients over time

Amazon reviews show pet parents looking to fill a void in pet health from easy to access alternatives

Zesty Paws is a consumer favorite on Amazon with an overwhelming amount of 5-star reviews. Reviewers frequently mention how well the product works to alleviate their pet's symptoms, that their dog loves it, and the cheaper price compared to alternative options.

Using text analysis of Amazon reviews for this specific product, we discovered consumers liked Zesty Paws Aller-Immune bites as an alternative to Apoquel, a controversial vet prescribed medicine for allergies impacting a dog’s skin.  It’s prominent in topic clouds and had a substantial amount of mentions.
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Get more insights inside the full
length report!

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