Pets are no different from family members. They stay with us, sleep on our beds, exercise with us, and keep us company when we are feeling down in the dumps. There’s a very good reason we want the best for our pets, be it in the matter of food & nutrition, healthcare, or grooming. Accordingly, pet owners and lovers have always invested in buying products that help care for their pets better, and ensure their health and safety. Never lagging behind in cashing in on latest market trends and demands, the decades-old pet industry has subsequently worked to ensure the satisfaction of both owners and their pets. In recent years, the pet-care industry, like every other industry, has incorporated technology to make improved products, revolutionizing pet care forever.
Here are six important technology-driven trends that are changing what’s popular in the pet industry:
Online Petcare Shopping
Ordering what one likes with the click of a mouse, without having to walk or drive to a store, is an undeniable comfort. Like a lot of us have permanently switched to shopping online for all our needs, a lot of pet parents too nowadays prefer to buy their pet stuff online. In addition to convenience, online shopping comes with the benefit of express shipping options, custom-fit sizes, and customer reviews, among others. Consequently, not only have virtual pet brands and stores mushroomed, even brick-and-mortar shops have simultaneously commenced online operations.
Pet Wearable Monitors
Thanks to wearable monitors, keeping constant track of your pet dog or cat is no longer out of reach. There are monitors that can be clipped onto a dog’s collar as well as high-tech collars that can help track pets’ location through GPS technology, allowing pet owners to find out how their pet is doing and how much exercise it got. There are various wearable devices that can record a pet’s heart rate, how many calories it burnt, its body temperature, and other information. Such data can be transmitted in real-time to the pet owner’s computer or mobile phone.
Gone are the days when being away from your pet could easily mean worrying yourself sick about your furry friend. Live webcams with audio features enabling two-way communication between parent and pet are ensuring that the former have peace of mind even as they are at work or travelling. Webcam apps are increasingly being used in homes as well as at pet daycare facilities to give pets and their owners the pleasure of a little face time when they are apart.
The last few years have seen a profusion of petcare-related applications related to nutrition, healthcare & fitness, veterinary services, travel, and even socialization. There are many apps that can help you keep track of your pet’s diet and exercise. There are also specialized apps and websites for helping you find a mate for your dog or cat – with specific criteria for breeding purposes. Some of these apps also aim at forging valuable connections between pet owners. Then, there are apps designed to give pet parents better access to veterinary services by helping them connect with local vets and pet health experts easily and affordably. Pet owners planning to go out of town can also rest assured, thanks to apps designed to ease the process of finding a loving, temporary home for their fur baby.
New-Age Pet Bowls
Most pet owners remain highly committed to their pets’ health and nutrition needs. This has now become highly streamlined with hi-tech automatic pet bowls with advanced features such as food level sensors, a Wi-Fi connection to connect to an app on the owner’s smartphone, and the ability to track food consumption and program multiple feedings on a set schedule. Basically, this means that pet owners can breathe easy having programed their dog or cat’s feeder to dispense dry food at set timings. What’s more, most of these smart bowls are dishwasher-safe, sleek, compact, and more attractive than regular bowls!
Smart Pet Beds
Technology is even changing the way your four-legged companion sleeps. With features to track the pet’s weight, caloric burn rate, activity levels, and rest periods, these smart pet beds are designed to make pets live longer, healthier lives. Further, some of these beds have an embedded system that enables thermostatic cooling and heating, allowing owners to automatically or manually adjust the ideal temperature for each pet based on its breed and environment. This is to ensure optimal comfort and safety for pets through all climates and seasons. Smart pet beds are usually available in different sizes and come with washable covers.
While pet owners’ love and concern for their pets may have remained the same for decades, technology has transformed how we care for them as illustrated by the aforementioned examples. Though traditional ways of feeding, monitoring, caring, and entertaining one’s pet may not immediately make an exit, the use of technology is slowly but surely entering every pet home and effecting changes. A key reason for this change may also be people’s – and pet parents’ – attachment to technology in their daily lives. If they love the use of tech in their own lives, there’s no reason why they wouldn’t want to deploy it to look after their pets better. The good news is, the global pet industry has beautifully responded to these needs and come up with innovative products based on emerging trends.