The pet care industry continues to grow at a rapid rate fuelled by a rise in pet parenting across the globe.
Carla Bath, Hill’s Pet Nutrition’s marketing manager, says that it’s encouraging to note that both millennials and baby boomers are rapidly growing pet parent markets. Millennials are seeing pet ownership as good practice for their young families and baby boomers in the 70+ age category are embracing companion animals. In addition to these two demographics, multiple pets’ households are now far more common than they used to be. Plus, we’re seeing cultural shifts in perceptions on pet parenting in different parts of the globe with China, India and Latin America set to be central at boosting dog and cat ownership.
There is constant evolution and innovation in this fascinating industry, and, with this, there are several exciting trends that have emerged. Bath sights the below trends as her top five to keep an eye out for in South Africa:
- Tech focused healthcare. Technology is becoming an important part of better veterinary medicine. Trackers and wearables can provide vet’s with important information like frequency of scratching and improvements in mobility. There are also amazing advancements with 3D printing for prosthetics and surgical training models as well as a rise in telemedicine using smartphone video call features for fast veterinary care into your home.
- Rise of cannabidiol (CBD) being incorporated into pet care products. Interestingly this trend seems to come at a time when stress is also being recognised as a real thing for pets too. CBD could help pets who are suffering from anxiety, loss of appetite, cancer, etc. This area is still being actively researched and it is important that pet parents discuss any treatment with their vet.
- Microbiome. As we are seeing in human healthcare there is significant focus on gut health, and this is the case for our pets too. A healthy gut can be linked to all elements of health from immune systems, cancer to mental health. It turns out microbiotics is as important as genetics and our growing understanding of probiotics, prebiotics and postbiotics is creating powerful leaps in food technology for millions of pets with ongoing gut issues.
- Humanisation isn’t slowing. From pet gender reveals and first birthday shoots, to luxury hotel accommodation, specific TV channels, blueberry facials, massages at the parlour and dating apps to help your pet meet other pets - we’re cementing their poll position in the family. Thankfully getting them into a good school is one challenge you don’t need to face.
- Pet Enrichment – pet parents are beginning to focus more and more on creative and varied stimulating environments for their pets. Food bowls beware; food puzzles, snuffle blankets and lickimats are coming! On the cat front, best you find a great handy man because the Jones’s may soon have a ‘Catio’ – cat patios for indoor cats who need some outdoor space.
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