2019 Pet Care Trends Focus on Tech

January 24, 2019
American Veterinarian Staff

American Veterinarian, January 2019, Volume 4, Issue 1

ACCORDING TO A SURVEY OF 1000 dog and cat owners conducted by the nonprofit Michelson Found Animals Foundation, 2019 will be the year of smart technology, alternative therapies, and diets that mimic human choices.

The survey responses revealed that pet owners are motivated to give pet tech a try, especially if it will give them a better grasp of their pet’s health and wellness. For those who currently use pet health-related tech products, nutrition apps (47%), telemedicine (46%), and fitness trackers (31%) top the list. More than half of the respondents indicated interest in getting a pet-tracking device (53%) or microchip (52%), and 40% are interested in pet-moni­toring cameras.

Of those surveyed who have tried alternative therapies themselves, 74% also have used them on their pets. Chief among these therapies are cannabinoid- and hemp-based products, which are used as part of a general health plan (45%), to care for an older pet (45%), for a specific behavioral condition (39%), or for temporary relief following surgery or on a flight (39%). In addition, respondents who have tried alternative therapies themselves are more likely than those who have not to treat their pets with aromatherapy (81%), reflexology (79%), or naturopathy (73%). More than a quarter of the respondents’ pets (26%) have expe­rienced mobility-related therapies such as massage, physical therapy, chiropractic, and acupuncture.

Although the surveyed pet owners said they are not putting their pets on fad diets (eg, ketogenic diet, intermit­tent fasting), they appear to be cogni­zant of what they feed their pets. Seventy percent of those surveyed who follow a diet for themselves put their pet on a special diet, too. For instance, 47% of respondents who eat organic foods feed their pets organic diets. Similarly, 45% of pet owners on a protein-rich diet feed their pets protein-rich foods.

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