The covid-19 pandemic has given a boost to pet adoptions and prompted people to spend more on pet care, said Kristin Peck, chief executive of Zoetis Inc, the world's largest animal health company, in an interview at the Reuters Next conference.
Adoption rates at animal shelters have jumped about 15% as people try to cope with the isolation from lockdown orders to avoid the spread of the virus.
Over 63 million American households owned dogs and nearly 43 million homes had cats as pets, according to a 2019 national survey by the American Pet Products Association.
Zoetis has also seen an increase to e-commerce revenues as veterinarians provide care and send prescriptions over the internet, with online sales rising by about 70% during the pandemic, Peck said.
The company expects to see continued gains in its livestock business as a burgeoning global middle class continues to increase its consumption of protein, she added.
Zoetis continues to assess potential acquisitions but its unlikely to pursue any large deals as its existing scale in the animal health market could raise antitrust complications, Peck said.