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This is proving to be an extraordinary year for the pet care industry. Adoptions are soaring due the fact that Americans have been stuck at home. Health services focuses on animals have seen volumes and revenues surge as well, something that typically doesn’t happen in a recession. Meanwhile, more companies are adopting pet-friendly workplace benefits to not only attract millennial workers but also to improve productivity and loyalty. All this adds up to a potentially huge spending boom in pet care.

Related ETF: ProShares Pet Care ETF (PAWZ)

Pet care, long considered a cyclical business, is defying patterns seen in previous economic cycles.Typically, pet owners spend more on medical care for dogs and cats when the economy is strong and they have more disposable income. Conversely, they tend to spend less on health care for pets during an economic downturn. Quite the opposite is happening during this downturn.

Pet Adoptions Surge During Pandemic

Adoption and sales of pets, particularly dogs, are soaring this year. The buying frenzy, as reported by The Washington Post, began in mid-March and has been ongoing since. Shelters, nonprofit rescues, private breeders, pet stores — all reported more consumer demand than there were dogs and puppies to fill it. Animal shelters are seeing lower than usual return rates on dogs that were taken into foster temporarily. More people are turning the temporary fostering into permanent adoptions. Some breeders say their wait lists now extend well into 2021.

The primary driver of this phenomenon is the fact that Americans have been stuck working from home. Some have children who needed something to do. Other adopters simply had no work and lots of free time, or felt lonely with no way to socialize. Some of these newly adopted pets even have names that fit the moment: Corona, Rona and Covid.

Booming Demand for Canine & Feline Health Services

Volumes and revenues are notably up at animal hospitals and primary care offices across the United States. VetSuccess, which tracks financial data from 2,800 clinics, estimates that revenue last month…

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