ST. LOUIS — When reconsidering their spending amid rising prices, pet supplement shoppers in the United States are looking to their own expenditures before entertaining the idea of cutting spending on their pets, according to new data from MarketPlace, a full-service brand strategy firm based in St. Louis.

The firm recently wrapped its latest annual pet supplement survey, which was presented on May 17 at the National Animal Supplement Council’s Annual Conference.

Only 3% of pet supplement shoppers surveyed reported they would be willing to reduce pet-related expenses, instead opting to cut non-essential spending such as entertainment (64% of pet supplement shoppers) or apparel (38%). What’s more — this pet owner audience would also go as far as to spend less on their own food (19%), transportation costs (8%), and healthcare (5%) before spending less on products for their pets.

“Many pet parents consider their pets family, and these relationships influence their purchase behaviors and priorities,” said Nicole Hill, executive director of strategy at MarketPlace. “Pet supplement shoppers tend to be early adopters who also prioritize pet-related expenses. Brands that successfully build relationships with these pet parents serve the audience’s functional needs and share in their personal values.”

Three other top-level findings emerged from the new survey, some of which have been seen in previous studies and have now been amplified as the supplement market proliferates alongside the notion of pets as four-legged family members.

According to MarketPlace, the majority of pet supplement shoppers surveyed reported the first thing they look for in a pet supplement is a condition-specific benefit or need state, such as joint support. Price was the second thing these shoppers consider, followed by the brand.

Additionally, products touting certain claims are likely to build trust and confidence in a supplement product. “Vet-recommended,” “clinically proven” and “all natural” claims are top-contending attributes in this space, among others, according to MarketPlace.

“Validation — from a vet, clinical trials, or even online reviews — builds confidence; that’s why pet parents look to sources with authority and experience,” Hill said.

These shoppers are also utilizing all the tools available to them to research and find the best supplements for their pets. For example, more than one-third of pet supplement shoppers browse online to find resources on pet health and conduct product research. Additionally, more than one-third seek this information from their friends and family.

MarketPlace plans to release a white paper with more detailed findings from its latest pet supplement survey later this year. Learn more pet supplement insights from MarketPlace here.

Read more about pet supplement products and trends.