Corporate Questionnaire on Pets/Veterinary Hospitals in Japan: Key Research Findings 2019
Yano Research Institute (the President, Takashi Mizukoshi) conducted corporate questionnaire regarding management of domestic pet/veterinary hospitals, assessment of products/makers, and the demand. This press release covers the trend of increase and decrease of cats and dogs receiving veterinary care at clinical sites.
Summary of Research Findings
The questionnaire asked pet/veterinary hospitals about the tendency of increase and decrease in the number of dogs and cats receiving veterinary care, with three choices for response: increased, decreased, or stayed flat. When observing the overall tendency, the rate of the hospitals responding “practicing of veterinary care to dogs decreased” was higher than “practicing of veterinary care to dogs increased” by about 20 points, while those responding “practicing of veterinary care to cats increased” exceeded “practicing of veterinary care to cats decreased” by 20 points. Therefore, the dogs at clinical sites tend to be decreasing while the cats increasing.
When observing the recent tendency of increase and decrease of dogs and cats receiving veterinary care by area, while most of the hospitals responded “Stayed flat”, the hospitals in all areas (nationwide, in Tokyo, in ordinance-designated cities* and in other areas) responded that dogs receiving veterinary care decreased rather than increased, whereas cats increased rather than decreased.
When watching fluctuation range between “increased” and “decreased”, the difference in the number of dogs was larger in the order of “other areas”, “ordinance-designated cities”, and “Tokyo”. This indicated that decline in the number of dogs receiving veterinary care was intense in non-urban areas. As for cats, the fluctuation range was larger in the order of Tokyo, other areas, and ordinance-designated cities.
The questionnaire also asked about the year-to-year comparison: Almost half of the hospitals with decreased number of dogs to look after responded that the decreasing rate from preceding year was 10% or more. Adding them to those responded that the decreasing rate from previous year to be less than 10% made up about 80% of the hospitals with fewer dogs to provide the veterinary care. Meanwhile, 40 to 50% of entire hospitals responded that they had about the same number of dogs and cats as the previous year. Therefore, fluctuation in the number of dogs and cats receiving veterinary care was somewhat limited, but it seemed that the nationwide trend in business environment surrounding veterinary hospitals, as mentioned in the “Noteworthy Topics” below, has begun being noticeable in the clinical sites.
* Ordinance-designated cities, aka cities designated by government ordinance, or government ordinance cities are Japanese cities that have population of 500,000 or more, and have been designated as such by order of the Cabinet of Japan under the Local Autonomy Law. They function like the prefectural government.
Business Environment surrounding Veterinary Hospitals
According to the statistics by MAFF (the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries), the number of pet/veterinary hospitals that provide veterinary care to pets and small animals in Japan has been on the rise: The number of such hospitals has grown from 10,175 in 2010 to 11,981 in 2018, an increase by 1,806 or 17.7% from 2010 to 2018.
The number of veterinarians who provide veterinary care to small animals including dogs and cats has increased, just like the number of pet/veterinary hospitals. While there were 13,404 veterinarians in 2010, the number rose to 15,463 by 2016, an increase by 2,059 or 15.4% from 2010 to 2016. Thus, the numbers of both the hospitals and doctors for pets and small animals has been increasing.
As more pets live longer than before, there have been more chances for them to develop cancers and chronic diseases. Changes in diseases are affecting the needs of products and services regarding drugs, diagnosis, and treatment. While medical equipment for diagnosis to cover comprehensive veterinary areas has been widely introduced, the demand for veterinary treatment equipment differs by hospital, according to which veterinary area of treatment that the hospital provides and professes.
With respect to management of veterinary hospitals, while the competition has become fiercer, there are many hospitals that point out that the most significant challenge is to attract attention of more patients among other various issues that they face. On the other hand, not many hospitals are satisfied with the effects from the measures taken. As the competition likely to become even fiercer for the future, the idea to solve the challenges seems to differ by the location and by the business scale.
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