The Post-COVID Pet Care Boom is Over – It’s Time to Chase New Business
For the last two years, the IMPACT team has asked pet-care facility owners the same question in late October: “Are you booked for Thanksgiving?” The answer has almost always been a resounding “Yes.” Sometimes, “For months, now.”
But times change. And something is different this year.
The New Breed: Puppies and Professionals Post-COVID
In March 2020, the world screeched to a halt when COVID reared its head. Social engagements became a luxury. Eager to scratch that companionship itch, many opened their doors to a flurry of furry feet. The 2020 holiday season was wrapped in the joy of new puppies.
Around this time, our Digital Performance Team began noticing some interesting search trends online.
- By early 2021, growing dogs began revealing their energetic personalities. As homes became makeshift playgrounds, the digital world witnessed a surge in searches for “dog training.”
- Weeks turned into months. Those same pups, now newly skilled, found themselves bored at home as their owners adapted to new work schedules – many were in desperate need of extra supervision, playtime, and socialization. As a result, “dog daycare” searches skyrocketed. This was followed shortly by “dog boarding” as the world began to test new waters and travel resumed (significant spikes also occurred in June of 2022 due to summer travel, which is typical in the pet care industry).
- Meanwhile, “dog grooming” services saw a huge spike during May 2020 and the summer of 2021, thanks in part, no doubt, to the surge in popularity of breeds like Labradoodles. A groomed pup is a happy pup, after all!
The Current Landscape
Fast forward to October 2023. Pet care facilities that experienced a post-COVID boom across the board may now be noticing a gradual dip in calls and reservations. Holiday bookings are holding steady, just not at the heights of 2021. Professionals who purchased a second facility – or underwent expansion – are now realizing things aren’t quite as easy as they expected.
Should we be shocked? Worried? Not really. There is still tremendous demand for what you do. Far more, in fact, than back in 2019. But while COVID yielded a temporary pet care boom, it also created an influx of competition as budding entrepreneurs realized what a great industry pet care can be.
This brings us to the golden question: Are you prepared for this changing tide? The ways customers reach out to businesses continue to evolve. A passive marketing approach won’t cut it anymore.
Taking the Next Step
For facilities that want to stand out, now is the moment to be aggressive with your marketing. If you’re wondering how – IMPACT Marketing has some answers!
Are you using Google Ads, are you doing it effectively & efficiently, and are your results outperforming industry benchmarks?
In the ever-evolving world of pet care, staying ahead could be the difference between you and your competitors.