Veterinary Market Overview

veterinary marketThe Veterinary Market: The veterinary market can be generally categorized by species, product type, channels of distribution, and geographic regions.  Each of these veterinary market categorizations have varying economic factors to take into consideration when pursuing the animal health market.  Woods Consulting, LLC can assist clients in defining the appropriate species, target disease, and market to pursue.  Generally, the market can be divided by:

Species: Companion Animal (dog, cat and horse), Food Production Animal (cattle, poultry, etc.), Exotics (zoo animals, avian, etc.), or Aquatic (fish and aquaculture).

Veterinary Product Type: Pharmaceuticals (drugs), Biologics (vaccines, immune stimulants, diagnostics), Ectoparasitics (topical flea and tick products), Nutraceuticals (bioactives and natural products), Feed (animal food), or Biosecurity (premise control, disinfectants, etc.).

Approval Timeline for Veterinary Products: As a rule of thumb, most veterinary drugs and biologics for companion animal use can take 3-5 years to obtain veterinary market approval.  For livestock, veterinary drugs may take even longer as approvals for food production animals also requires residue testing and other studies to evaluate the veterinary drugs potential effects in the food chain.

Major Companion Animal Veterinary Market Categories:  In companion animal medicine, major veterinary markets consist of veterinary vaccines, antibiotics, anti-inflammatories, deworming agents, flea and tick products, heartworm preventatives, etc.

Major Food Production Animal Veterinary Market Categories: In Food Production Animal medicine, such as poultry, beef production, dairy, and swine, the major veterinary market categories are designed to increase feed efficiency (feed additives) and reduce or prevent diseases (antibiotics, vaccines, etc.).  Respiratory and gastrointestinal diseases are among the most common, including mastitis for dairy production.

Veterinary Market Quick Stats

Global ex-manufacturer sales of animal health products has grown from approximately 14 billion to nearly 24 billion in just 10 years.  Below are some approximate numbers for the animal health market.  Link to American Veterinary Medical Association’s Statistics Page

General Product Categories

The general categories of veterinary products are medicinal feed additives, biologics, parasiticies, anti-infectives, and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs.   


Veterinary Drugs - 62%

Veterinary Biologics - 26%

Feed Additives - 12%

Product Sales by Region 

It is estimated that the United States and Europe account for 30% of the market each.  A general breakdown is below.

Americas - 47%

Europe - 31%

ROW - 22%

Product Sales by Species

In the US, companion animal ownership is estimated to be:
dogs >80 million

cats >90 million

horses >7 million

Sales can fall into two general categories:

Livestock - 55%

Companion Animals - 45%

Top Animal Health Companies

Bayer Animal Health

Boehringer Ingelheim

Ceva Sante Animale

Dechra Pharmaceuticals


Idexx Laboratories






US Veterinary Statistics

The following is a general summary of the US veterinarians by category.

US Veterinarian

Practice Statistics

Private Practice ~67,000

Industry ~3,500

US Private Practice


Companion Animal ~ 50,000

Mixed Animal ~ 4,000

Food Animal ~4,500


Public and Corporate


Academia ~6,700

Government ~2,000

Uniformed Services ~ 800

Industry ~3,500 

US Veterinary Specialists

The following is a list of veterinary specialties are recognized by the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) American Board of Veterinary Specialties.  Specialists first obtain their Doctor of Veterinary Medicine, then enter a residency program (3-4 years) to receive advanced training to become a board certified specialist.