Tag Archives: veterinarian panel

What Your Veterinarian Should Tell You Before Tax Day

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Tax Day, April 17th, is fast approaching. One of the fiscal perks (maybe the only?) that comes with having children is getting a small tax credit. What about pet owners, many of whom consider their pets to be a part of their family? These furry family members can be expensive as well, with the average pet owner spending around $1,400 in the first year, according to the ASPCA. Good news, pet owners: you may be able to deduct costs related to your pet, as long as he serves another purpose besides providing undying devotion, and you can prove it. Here are 4 pet-related areas that could possibly provide you a deduction.

Business Animals

It’s not easy to claim your pet as a business expense, but if your pet guards your business location, you may be in luck. Dogs that work as a security measure for a business fall into the category of a business animal. That being said, it has to be believable—Chihuahuas probably won’t qualify. Even cats that “work” as rodent control at a business may qualify. Owners of business animals may be able to deduct expenses like food, veterinary care, and training related to the animal’s job. Just make sure you keep records about the animal’s hours and work-related purpose.

Foster Pet Parents

If you foster animals, you may be able to take advantage of tax benefits for charitable contributions. Any expenses you incur caring for foster animals from a qualified nonprofit are deductible as charitable donations, as long as you haven’t already been reimbursed by the nonprofit. The expenses must go toward caring for the animals, such as veterinary care, food, and other necessary supplies. Also, if you volunteer at a shelter or rescue organization, keep track of mileage because this is deductible at 14 cents per mile.

Service Animals

If your pet helps you in a health-related capacity, you’re likely eligible for a tax break. As noted in IRS Publication 502, deductions are available for individuals requiring a guide dog for vision or hearing impairments. Your pet must be trained or certified as treatment for a diagnosed illness or condition (complete with a prescription from your doctor) for the IRS to approve the deduction. Additionally, keep any documentation that shows how your animal was specially trained to help you with your medical condition. If you meet the qualifications, you can get a tax break for training, food, medical care and grooming.

Pet Move Expenses

67% of pet owners recently surveyed by Credit Karma Tax didn’t know that you may be able to deduct the cost of moving your pet. Moving is never fun, and with a pet involved, it can be expensive. Silver lining: pets are legally considered property, so you might be able to include the costs of transporting your pets as another item in your moving expense deduction. If the relocation is job-related, and you meet certain requirement regarding the distance and time of the move, according to IRS Publication 521, you can deduct the cost of shipping your pets to your new home.

QuestionPro Audience has more than 10 niche panels, including our veterinarian panel. Our vet panel is one of a handful in the continental U.S. and consists of more than 40,000 highly engaged, pre-screened veterinarians who provide critical insights. With industry knowledge, innovative tools, and purchasing power, QuestionPro Audience always meets the rigorous demands of our clients.


Inside the Mind of the Millennial Pet Owner

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Do you consider your pet to be part of your family? Or even, your “fur child”? Then you’re in good company. It’s no secret that millennials are putting off marriage and starting families later in life, and that may be in part due to their “starter children”. A recent study conducted by Gale found that 44% of millennials see their pets as “practice” for the real thing, with 21% citing that as the main reason for getting a pet, and 23% saying it was at least partially the reason. In an industry that topped $66.75 billion in 2016, millennials own more than 35% of pets in the U.S., according to the American Pet Products Association. Pet brands are realizing this demographic has been largely untapped thus far, and are conducting research to gain insight into the buying habits of the Millennial pet owner. We break it down below.

BRAND INTEGRITY Millennial pet owners are more conscientious when making purchases for their furry loved one than other generations. 86% of millennials prefer to buy items at smaller, locally-owned pet shops, and 73% are willing to splurge on a product if the company shows that they are giving back to the community in some way.  

QUALITY 68% of millennial pet owners report reading the nutrition labels on pet treats and foods. They expect high quality products for their pets, and are willing to pay more for it.  According to a report from Wakefield, 81% of millennials say BPA-free is essential in pet products. Furthermore, 78% say natural or organic materials are crucial, and 77% say the same for hypoallergenic shampoo.

VET GUIDANCE At $15.95 billion, veterinary care was the second largest category, behind pet food ($28.23 billion), of the $66.75 billion Americans spent on pets in 2016. Pet owners in the 18-39 age group are far more likely to depend on their veterinarian for advice about pet products. They are also more likely to use veterinary products and visits preventatively, rather than just treatment.

SPLURGING Studies show that 76% of millennials are more likely to splurge on an item for their pet than they would for themselves, including for expensive treats (44%) or a custom bed (38%). They will purchase discretionary products or services under the guise that they are nondiscretionary. Services such as dog walking or pet daycare are seen as essential, and these owners are more likely to cut something out for themselves than limit their pet.  

QuestionPro Audience has more than 10 niche panels, including our veterinarian panel. Our vet panel is one of a handful in the continental U.S. and consists of more than 40,000 highly engaged, pre-screened veterinarians who provide critical insights. With industry knowledge, innovative tools, and purchasing power, QuestionPro Audience always meets the rigorous demands of our clients.

Pet Food Trends: Humanizing or Jeopardizing the Health of Your Pets? [Infographic]

Without a doubt, the pet food industry is part of a booming economic market. According to the American Pet Product Association , in 2015, pet food sales reached $23.05 billion. This notable increase in sales is due to a major trend in the industry – pet food humanization. Pet food companies have identified a highly profitable market, by offering products influenced by human food trends such as: organic, natural and non-GMO. These food labels resonate with consumers since they are generally linked to healthier food choices. Millennials are driving the pet food market by acquiring loyal companions and putting an emphasis on their pets’ health, which subsequently makes these labeled pet products top sellers.

The two largest pet food manufacturers – Mars Petcare Inc. and Nestle Purina Petcare, dominate the pet food industry and gross more than $29 billion in pet food revenues worldwide, according to a report from PetFoodIndustry.com. Over the past few years, these two pet food giants have seen several problems in the manufacturing of their products, such as a string of recalls. In  2007, both Mars and Nestle Purina issued a major recall after discovering that wheat and rice ingredients imported from China contained melamine, a highly toxic chemical that caused kidney failure in animals. This chemical was eventually linked to thousands of pet deaths. Since this recall, food companies have focused on offering products that are considered 100% grain free, natural, gluten free, organic and non-GMO. In addition, some non-traditional product offerings have emerged such as: raw, vegan, paleo and holistic.

Due to the wide variety of pet related products on the market, qSample conducted a survey with its veterinarian panel to truly understand if these trending pet foods are providing better quality ingredients or jeopardizing the health of pets. The survey was deployed to more than 130 veterinarian professionals with specialties ranging from: general practitioners to internal medicine. The veterinarians indicated that on average, they see 86 patients weekly with the most frequent species being canines and felines. The increase of pet owners who are trying to find better diet alternatives for their furry friends have influenced veterinarians to offer special diets and premium ingredients for sale in their clinics. About 83% of respondents indicated that they sell food supplies in their clinics. The veterinarians were also asked what factors they considered when choosing a brand to sell in their establishments. Roughly 35% considered  the quality of the ingredients as a decisive factor, while 24% indicated that brand affiliations dictated their product offerings.  The increasing presence of health trends in the pet food industry illustrates that many consumers are interested in adopting better health practices in their pets diets.

Another important factor in veterinarians pet food recommendations is related to where the pet food is being manufactured.  About 95% of respondents indicated that they would only recommend pet food manufactured in the US. The main reason for this is to avoid low quality manufacturing standards since some countries lack regulatory agencies such as the FDA and AFFC. This was problematic before as pet food companies had to recall ingredients manufactured overseas.

Despite emerging pet food trends, veterinarians still recommend pet food with basic nutritional principles. Scientifically formulated foods are regarded as the most beneficial for pets’ health.  However, many consumers have a big misconception of what the scientifically formulated label means. Scientifically formulated does not mean the food is unnatural, it simply means that natural ingredients have been carefully chosen to increase nutritional content. Despite these misconceptions, consumers seem to gravitate towards labels that mirror human food trends. This is evident as more than half of respondents (60%) indicated that the main trend is “all free from: wheat and grains.”  Respondents were also asked the likelihood of recommending pet foods that are branded as vegan, vegetarian, organic, paleo, holistic and raw. More than 45% indicated that it will be extremely unlikely for them to recommend pet foods branded as such.

Marketing pet food through the guides of human food trends has been profitable for the companies but misleading for pet owners. Consumers are purchasing food that aligns more with human dietary trends than with pets’ nutritional needs. Marketing tactics that can link consumers understanding of their pets’ nutritional needs with language that can sell the product would be an optimum opportunity for both companies and consumers.

For more information about our key finding or to learn more about our veterinarian panel  please contact: andrea.sanchez@qsample.com


Market Researchers Need Empathy to Thrive

Empathy is a declining trait according to Psychology Today: “College students today are approximately 40 percent less empathetic than they were just 10 years ago.” Today’s values involve a lot of quick judgments and little understanding.

Without empathy, marketers would find themselves solely in the domain of quantitative research and rarely connect with their clients or customers. They must continue to search for their audience’s needs and decipher which of those needs is most crucial.

Generally and overall, companies are becoming more empathetic and are making it a priority to create an office culture that reflects their caring attitude. It is common to see “company teams” run marathons, create fundraisers, and sponsor charitable events. This, of course, is a great way to cultivate team empathy needed to do great work for the greater public.

qSample understands this. Our work would not thrive without empathy. We specialize in hard-to-reach audiences, one of them being veterinarians. There are only 100k veterinarians according to AVMA, compared to the almost 1 million physicians in the US. As the trends rise of pet parents, brunch with pups, and organic food for pets, so does the need for veterinarians’ insights. To get a better understanding of our panel—and instead of donating money as in the past—we volunteered for the biggest no-kill-animal rescue shelter in Chicago, PAWs.


It’s not until you are able to talk to the veterinarians, volunteers, and sponsors at PAWs events that you begin to see the tangible importance of the panel. A deeper understanding of what goes on in the pet world came to fruition when we attended their 8k run and their PAWs baseball outing.  We began to see the value veterinarians’ acumen brings to the 80 million dog owners and the 90 million cat owners in the US. With a richer background, understanding of veterinarians, and the pet world, we now know how to cultivate our panel to the best of our ability to help our companions.

Sometimes we are asked, “why do you have a veterinarian panel?” or “what insight would our panel have for companies?” It’s because of empathy and the need to better understand those who cannot tell us how to serve them better.

170 million combined “pet parents” care, and if we can help veterinarians, pet companies and pet owners gain just little bit more insight on how best to serve our animals going forward, we’ve done our job.


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