How 21st Century Pet Ownership Has Affected Animal Healthcare

Small dog waiting to be examined by a veterinarian

While pet care is a priority for veterinarians, the expectations of pet owners have changed over the past few decades. With an increase in pet adoptions leading up to and during the pandemic, the demand for pet care and specializations have increased, too. Much of this comes down to supply and demand. However, pet owners also have greater access to information along with more choices for which practice they choose for their pets’ veterinary care. This has led to many dramatic changes in the pet healthcare market. Here are the most impactful:

  1. Increase in Vet Technology & Specializations 

Since the 1950s, there has been a huge shift in how Americans see their pets. Since the ‘50s, there has been a major decrease in outdoor pets and an increase in indoor cats and dogs. Additionally, the number of pets euthanized has dropped by nearly 60% [1]. So, why are people demanding better care? This may be thanks to Charlie Brown’s Snoopy. However, changes in the American lifestyle and understanding of animal psychology are likely the reasons why. Additionally, technological advancements have made better care more accessible.

This demand for sophisticated medical care for pets has been pushed even further to the limits in the 21st century. The number of American pets has nearly doubled since the 1950s. With more pets, came an increased need for pet care [2]. 

This boom in pet ownership has created a need for everything pet-related, including medical specializations. These include:


  • Oncological Care
  • Cardiology
  • Exotic Pet Care
  • Large Animal Care
  • Neurology 
  • Gastrointestinal/Abdominal
  • Orthopedics
  • Cardiology
  • Geriatric Care
  • Diabetes Care
  • Physical Therapy
  • Behavior
  • Holistic Care

In addition to a greater variety of available specialties, many pet owners also seek out the best diagnostic services.


  • 3D imaging
  • Ultrasound
  • In-house rapid test results
  • Tonometry
  • Allergy testing

If you have yet to specialize, having a board-certified specialization can elevate your vet practice. Additionally, your practice will have more options for pet owners who need immediate treatment, while also improving recovery times and therapy results.

  1. Increased Care of Pet Wellbeing

Over the past three decades, greater access to veterinary devices and technologies has improved overall pet care and wellbeing. Being able to perform advanced surgery, including MIS, for patients has become a lifesaver. With this new form of technology, practices can increase their skills and care, in order to provide better results for patients. 

Pet owners often have trepidation about leaving their pets under the care of ‘just any vet,’ especially when anesthesia is involved. With advanced technology, pets can be in and out of surgery quickly with minimal scarring and minimal aftercare.

Improved veterinary care has resulted in

  • Less scarring & pain for pets that receive surgery
  • Reduced risk of secondary problems
  • Longer lifespan
  • Increased range of motion and increased mobility
  • Better behavioral care
  • Minimal tissue damage
  • Decreased time under anesthesia
  • Smaller incisions
  • Reduced bleeding during surgery
  • Shortened recovery time
  • Better quality of life
  • Improved dietary options
  1. Veterinarians Stay Busier

Veterinarians have their hands full diagnosing and treating patients. There are simply a greater number of pets that need care. This is in addition to pet owners having a greater commitment to providing pets with preventative care and annual exams. 

Many vet practices must see two or three times more patients in the same operating hours. This has led to more vets working within practices and a need for technology that can speed up care.

Looking Toward the Future: Advanced Technology is Here to Stay

Alt text: Veterinarian xraying cat using the latest diagnostic technology

Veterinary practices that incorporate advanced equipment appeal to all pet parents. Technology makes for better and faster healthcare. Advanced technology draws new pet owners in by making practices more competitive. Why? People want to provide their pets the best. And with specialization, you are able to tell pet owners that you have earned the right to call yourself “the best” in your field. 

Surgery and other procedures can be traumatic for pets. They get into mischief so often, from eating a sock to breaking a bone. Quick care will create a lifelong relationship with pet patients and their owners. 

Animal Health Innovations was created to guarantee a trustworthy relationship with our clients, and ensure pets receive the care they deserve. We partner with the best veterinary manufacturers to get your practice life-long patients and quick pet care. You can expect to see immediate results. 




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