The veterinary medical profession touches nearly everyone's life, either directly or indirectly. An estimated 58.3% of US households own pets (AVMA, 2002), and most people consume livestock products in the form of meat, dairy products, wool, or leather. The health and well being of all these animals depend heavily on relationships with veterinarians. Veterinarians also contribute to public health through the FDA, CDC, USDA, and numerous other government agencies at the federal, state, and local levels. Issues of primary concern include food safety, biosecurity, and the numerous emerging (and re-emerging) infectious diseases that are zoonotic in nature. Finally, veterinarians have an additional impact through their research contributions. Virtually all of the laboratory animals used in research are raised, housed, and managed under the care of veterinarians, and veterinary researchers regularly provide valuable contributions to the knowledge base in the biomedical sciences. This study was designed to assess the general trends in pet and veterinary expenditures as well as factors associated with pet ownership and expenditures on veterinary medical services. Providing such key information on the sector of greatest economic importance will enhance the probability of sustained economic viability in the veterinary medical profession as a whole.
|Institution||Michigan State University|
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