Special topic: Heart-wrenching plummeting pet demand

Published on 24 June 2024

Insights on the pet industry from Chief Economist Jarrod Kerr.


Jarrod Kerr

Chief Economist

Kiwibank State of Savings Survey

Covering an unexpected bill

Our Chief economist was a guest speaker at this year’s NZVA conference in Christchurch. It was a massive event, with great attendance. But one discussion stood out, and reflects the severity of current conditions. Apparently, many cat and dog breeders are facing a sharp drop in demand for kittens and pups. We saw a surge in demand over Covid, as people spent more time at home. But that demand has well and truly unwound. And in a sad turn, people are being forced to do the absolute minimum when it comes to looking after their pets at the vet. Of all the options they get, many are taking the cheapest option. Read into that what you will. This saddening anecdote is supported by a recent Kiwibank survey, highlighting that about one third of kiwi households will struggle to cover an unexpected expense of $500 (like a vet bill).