According to Michelson Found Animals, an animal welfare nonprofit organization, there are three major trends worth looking out for in the pet industry this coming year. The organization conducted a survey of over a thousand dog and cat owners and analyzed their findings. With the right planning, mindset, and marketing, independent pet stores can capitalize on all of them!
#1 - Smart Tech
As humans have become more and more technologically connected and dependent, our willingness to embrace new technology has extended to our pets as well. The industry continues to grow and produce new tech to make our pet’s lives easier, increase knowledge and know-how among pet owners, and build an open mindset toward trying and integrating new pieces of technology. Among pet owners that use health-related pet tech, they are interested in nutrition apps (47% ), vet telemedicine (46%) and fitness trackers (31%) to maintain the health of their fur family. Over half (53%) are interested in getting a pet tracking device or a microchip (52%) and additionally 40% are interested in pet monitoring cameras. With 1 in 4 pet owners admitting they spend more on tech for their pets than for themselves, the future of pet tech is very promising indeed.
#2 - Alternative Health
Pet owners who have tried alternative therapies themselves are likely to use them on their pets as well, further building this “open” mindset. Michelson’s survey found that as humans trend toward alternative therapy, we can expect their pets to trend in that direction as well. For instance, cannabidiol (CBD)- and hemp-based products are a growing trend among humans, and of those who have used these alternatives themselves, 74% percent have used them on their pets as well.
#3 - Diets
Pet owners today have more resources and knowledge at their fingertips to uncover the truth about pet foods and their manufacturers than ever before. Growing awareness of a particular food or brand’s effect on pet health and wellness leads them to try new diets, eating plans, and reduce food brand loyalty in favor of maximizing the health and life of their fur babies. Of those surveyed, 45% admit to personally following a diet and 70% of those admit to putting their pet on a special diet too; for instance, almost half of pet parents who eat organic feed their pets organic too (47% versus 12% average).
Pet owners with a more open mindset to these technological, health, and diet trends will have pets that are, willingly or not, more open to them as well. Nobody’s more loyal than a dog right? Man’s best friend! "Pets bring so much joy to our lives, it makes sense that we would treat them as we treat ourselves. But this goes beyond the humanization of pets, these predictions are about people leveraging emerging trends to make it easier to be a good pet parent and take the very best care of their pets," said Aimee Gilbreath, executive director of Michelson Found Animals Foundation. "The macro trend of health and wellness and the increasing number of millennial pet parents are changing the way we care for our pets, and it's an exciting time."
For more about what the survey revealed, see the infographic below.