Survey shows pet owners seek health, nutrition info online

In the past 10 years, use of the Internet has more than doubled as a provider of pet care information, according to a report by Trone Brand Energy.

The report, presented at the BlogPaws pet blogging conference in June 2012, sheds insight on how the modern pet owner seeks pet care information for their animals.

The data showed that 42 percent of pet owners spend more than 30 minutes per week reading about or researching pet-related topics.

What does this mean for veterinarians?

Pet bloggers and online information sources are becoming recognized as authoritative sources for information on pet care, meaning that veterinarians are increasingly sharing the center stage in providing pet care information.

However, the report gives hope to veterinary clinics that strive to provide online resources about pet care.

What are pet owners interested in? Health and nutrition top the list, with behavior, safety, life stages and new products as categories of high interest as well.

Specific topics of interest include dangerous foods, veterinary care, hip and joint health, emergency care, elderly pet care and healthy treating.

Because pet owners are interested in health and veterinary topics, veterinarians have an advantage over pet bloggers who lack such expertise.

Clinic websites need to be engaging and information in order to capture the attention of the pet information seeker.

Sixty-seven percent pet owners surveyed said the layout and design of a blog impacted their willingness to read it.

On average, the information-seeking pet owner will be female, aged 40-49 and married without children at home. These people tend to be employed full or part-time, with an income of $50,000 or more.

Most are also tech-savvy, with 48 percent of the demographic owning smart phones.