SPOTLIGHTING PET CARE TRENDS

PART ONE

When I launched PetPeevesUnmasked.com, my first three articles dealt with spotlighting pet care trends using the latest statistics. That was almost three years ago. And, as you probably know, it takes months for statisticians to gather and analyze the data. As a result, it’s never really up-to-date.

Nevertheless, I try to keep pet parents everywhere informed—particularly those in the USA—to help them make positive choices. So I am now publishing what I have researched these last few weeks. Altogether there are four articles. I hope you enjoy them and are also motivated to join in the open discussions.

PET SUPPLIES AND SERVICES DIDN’T GO UNDER “DOWN UNDER”

Despite a lot of generalized market negativity due to Covid-19, Australia is doing pretty well in the companion animal sector. Even some major Australian Stock Exchange-listed companies are diversifying and investing in all things pets. So I thought I’d share some highlights from a business article on the latest animal care tendencies over there.

Only Organic

Humans obsessed with maintaining a healthy lifestyle and eat only organic food, want their dogs and cats to do likewise. No more kibble and canned food for them. Instead, they nibble, or inhale, food that has real nutritional value. And, plenty of vitamin supplements, too.

Competing For Followers

Without the necessity to commute, pet parents have extra free time to spend with their four-legged companions. As a result, they are spending more on toys and outfits, and posting images and videos on Instagram.

Permanent Presence

And, finally, the pet preservation business is booming. No more burials for your beloved fur kid. Instead, grieving pet guardians are choosing individual cremations or whole body freeze drying. On Australia’s Sunshine Coast, a taxidermist now offers this relatively new technique because it achieves a more realistic facial expression. He states that this service now represents 30 percent of his business, and it is growing. To see photos of the work being done by Markus Michalowitz and his team, go to https://www.downundertaxidermy.com/freeze-dry-taxidermy.

Would any readers consider this option for a pet of theirs? Please send your answers by using the Contact form https://petpeevesunmasked.com/pet-peeves-unmasked-contact/

Believe it or not, dog waste disposal bags are spotlighting as an important environmental pet care trend
Believe it or not, dog waste disposal bags are spotlighting as an important environmental pet care trend

DOGGY WASTE DISPOSAL

You are probably wondering why I think this topic is worth spotlighting as a pet care trend. Well, it all comes down to doggy guardians wanting to do the ecologically right thing. They aren’t looking for rolls of just any type of plastic. Many are seeking out bags that are labelled biodegradable or oxo-biodegradable. But, here’s the catch. Not all items are created equal. Savvy consumers will soon want to see on the packaging words like totally degradable, degrades quickly, and earth-friendly. So just wait. Before too long, manufacturers will be seriously competing for this particular market niche. And, cats come next!

Since the number of cat pet parents is growing, manufacturers of kitty litter want to keep up with demand
Since the number of cat pet parents is growing, manufacturers of kitty litter want to keep up with demand

MEETING INCREASED DEMAND FOR KITTY LITTER

With an increase in the number of people owning cats, there might not be enough kitty litter in the stores. So, when current supply cannot meet the demand, increased production is called for. And, because some manufacturers are facing this situation, they are taking action. For example, Purina will be investing $182 million to expand its manufacturing facility in the state of Virginia. It’s here where they produce Tidy Cats products and work is due to be completed by late 2023. As we all know, our felines are meticulously clean and want their boxes to be scooped and refreshed frequently. Unhappy cats act out and we sure don’t want that to happen!

PET PRE-NUPS

Millennial couples may not yet have children before they get married but many of them do have pets. And, because the bond between animal and human caregiver is so strong, a special kind of pre-nup has evolved. It’s called a pet-nup! And, it’s becoming increasingly common.  Splitting up and divorcing is not always amicable. As a result, when things get ugly, people fight over possessions, and kids, and…animals. So, to guarantee a happy future for their furry family members, a prenuptial agreement is a good way to go.

Has anyone reading this ever drawn up a pet-nup? And, do they know of a situation where the outcome made the breakup a little easier for all concerned? Please let us know at https://petpeevesunmasked.com/pet-peeves-unmasked-contact/

Pet-nup? Well, it’s like a pre-nup agreement that manages companion animals in a breakup
Pet-nup? Well, it’s like a pre-nup agreement that manages companion animals in a breakup

MORE PEOPLE TRAVELING WITH PETS

Traveling with their four-legged family members is a trend that spotlights how caring for pets can be innovative and versatile. Due to the pandemic, people with a good, steady income have been buying RVs to get away from it all. At least this is what we have been seeing in the USA. They can escape their mundane indoor routine and have the ability to travel safely as a complete family unit. 

Pet Paraphernalia

Naturally, those in the pet industry have been noticing this development and seeing an uptick in sales of certain products. What exactly are pet parents purchasing? Well, items like vehicle safety restraints, collapsible food and water bowls, disposable litter trays, inflatable paddling pools… After all, having a well-integrated family member means catering to their every need. Just as if they were a child or other human relative. And, this trend shows no signs of slowing down. Pet guardians are discovering new ways to relax, de-stress and enjoy nature.

Are you RV-ing with your pets? I know three couples and a widow who are, accompanied by their dogs and cats. Do drop us a line https://petpeevesunmasked.com/pet-peeves-unmasked-contact/

One of the latest animal care tendencies in the Covid era is families taking pets with them on RV trips
One of the latest animal care tendencies in the Covid era is families taking pets with them on RV trips

PLAYLISTS FOR PETS

You have probably heard of the Swedish music streaming service provider, Spotify. Well, they did their homework and found that eight people in 10 play music for their pets because they enjoy it. And, also learned that almost half of them believe that music relieves stress especially if they suffer from separation anxiety.

So this company took steps to fill a void in the latest animal care tendencies by creating playlists for pets. But these are no random collections. They did extensive research in order to compile many options of tunes and sounds that fit the exact needs of a pet. Pet parents can pick just the right product according to animal category, breed, behavioral history and personality.

I can’t wait to hear from a reader who’s used a personalized Spotify playlist and if their experience has been a positive one. So, please get in touch https://petpeevesunmasked.com/pet-peeves-unmasked-contact/

On A Personal Note

As an experienced professional pet sitter, I know the effect that certain noises have on companion animals. Some music, sounds, and the spoken word are often entertaining and soothing to canines, felines and avians. However, the appropriate choice is really important. Some birds I take care of like to bob to pop and others dig the beat of hard rock. Most importantly, I would recommend staying away from sports events with yelling crowds and over-enthusiastic commentators. I tend to put on easy-listening vocals, and calm classical pieces, but my first choice is definitely music for meditation!

PETCO STORES PUSH SUSTAINABILITY

With 1,500 stores across the United States, Petco has an aggressive agenda. By the end of 2025, they are hoping that 50 percent of all the products they sell will be sustainable. So, to understand this concept better, here are the five sustainability pillars outlined in their initiative. 

Firstly, there is Responsible Manufacturing, which addresses manufacturing practices during production. Next comes Sustainably Sourced Materials, a preference for products made with materials like organic cotton or recycled nylon. Number three, Sustainably Sourced Ingredients, favors food/treats prepared with environmentally friendly ingredients. After this comes Responsible Packaging, and highlights packaging designs that allow refilling with the same product or for other uses. And finally, they mention Animal Welfare, to help ensure that animals are treated humanely and items meet Petco’s cruelty-free standards.

My comments on this matter are as follows. The message is persuasive and can do a lot of good. But when dealing with negative environmental impact, safe food ingredients, and animal cruelty, there is a lack of accountability. Real, positive change happens when you tackle the root of each problem. What is your opinion? Please share https://petpeevesunmasked.com/pet-peeves-unmasked-contact/

To Sum Up

Coming up soon I’ll tell you the changes that are happening in veterinary medicine. And, a little further down the road, I’ll be talking about pet food trends that are significant, amusing, and controversial. See you next time!

More must-read articles in this category:

In this very first blog I asked a question. How many families in the USA have at least one pet? https://petpeevesunmasked.com/how-many-us-pet-families

Here I showed how pet parents were impacting the economy in a big way https://petpeevesunmasked.com/pet-parents-economic-impact

And, this was a breakdown of what it can cost to adequately take care of your pet https://petpeevesunmasked.com/biggest-pet-caring-expenses

BIGGEST PET CARING EXPENSES

Industry studies reveal what the biggest pet caring expenses are with food and treats topping the list
Industry studies reveal what the biggest pet caring expenses are with food and treats
topping the list

Being a pet “owner” is both a moral and a financial responsibility. And, the biggest pet caring expenses they generally incur are food and treats, followed by veterinary care and then pet supplies together with over-the-counter medicines.

Every year, industry studies conducted in the United States reveal the latest statistics and calculate how much a pet parent is likely to spend on their four-legged companion. Here are the current figures. For a dog owner, that amount will be roughly $1,641 per year per pet and for someone with a cat, around $1,125.

The Entire Pet Picture

While I was researching data about canines and felines, I also came across this. So I thought I’d include it, just for fun. How about if we take a look at expenditures for the pet industry as a whole? 

These are the costs involving pet ownership of the entire group, which includes other species…birds, fish, reptiles, small animals and horses. For 2017, the projected amount is a whopping $69.36 billion. This is an increase of 24.5 percent over the last five years. And, interestingly, these figures have risen steadily each year since 1994, when spending reached a much lower, but still respectable, $17 billion.

Health Care For Pets

When it comes to our dogs and cats, this matter is also of concern to humans…access to affordable health care. In fact, providing proper medical attention happens to be one of the biggest expenses related to caring for pets.

The Cost Of Aging

Nowadays, many of our pets are living longer. And, with this extended longevity come age-related health issues, such as arthritis, cognitive disorder, diabetes, renal failure and cancer. In some instances, the necessary specialized veterinary care and medications can be rather costly. Consequently, a lot of pet owners are purchasing health insurance for their companion animals which is yet another expense to factor in to the yearly budget.

Annual Expenses

The following is a breakdown of the most significant costs that are involved with pet ownership. They are based on statistics gathered from a number of different sources that are know to be reliable.

  • Vet surgeries

Dog: $474; Cat: $245

  • Routine vet visits

Dog: $257; Cat: $182

  • Food

Dog: $235; Cat: $235

  • Treats

Dog: $72; Cat: $56

  • Kennel boarding

Dog: $322; Cat:$164

  • Vitamins

Dog: $58; Cat: $46

  • Groomer services and grooming aids

Dog: $84; Cat: $30

  • Toys

Dog: $47; Cat: $30

To Sum Up

As I mentioned at the beginning, pet ownership is a big responsibility. Our dogs and cats have no voice. It is up to us to ensure they have everything they need to lead a full and happy life.

More must-read articles in this category:

Three years ago I launched this site and wrote some articles on pet industry statistics. Now, I’m sharing the very latest trends so pet parents can stay well-informed https://petpeevesunmasked.com/spotlighting-pet-care-trends/

In this very first blog I ask a question. How many families in the USA have at least one pet? https://petpeevesunmasked.com/how-many-us-pet-families

Here I show how pet parents are impacting the economy in a big way https://petpeevesunmasked.com/pet-parents-economic-impact

PET PARENTS ECONOMIC IMPACT

With 94.2 million cats and 89.7 million dogs, pet parents’ economic impact in the USA is considerable
With 94.2 million cats and 89.7 million dogs, pet parents’ economic impact in the USA
is considerable

Last week my blog revealed the number of U.S. families that have a pet. And today I want to focus on the significant economic impact that pet parents have. We’re talking here about an estimated 85 million households that have a dog or a cat, or both. Or even more than just a couple of pets. And this is a number that’s steadily growing.

How Many Pets?

So, what are we really dealing with here? Well, in this country (the USA), there are approximately 94.2 million cats and 89.7 million dogs that have a human family. This not only means that more canines and felines have a home, which is a very encouraging trend in and of itself. It is also resulting in an increasing demand for products and services related to their care. Simply put, animal lovers are boosting business!

Products And Services For Pets

Pet parents’ economic impact is measured by their demand for products and services which is determined by lifestyle and empathy.  

As you will have read in my very first blog, we are treating our companion animals as true companions and members of the family. They live indoors, not in the outdoor kennels of decades past. Many are allowed to sleep on the bed. And, if their caregivers love the outdoors and the water, Fido will join the family on boat rides while he wears the latest technology in doggy life jackets.

As a result, pet guardians who are financially secure tend to choose products and services of higher quality. These include food, grooming, toys and medical care. Really what they are doing is treating their four-legged family members just like they would a child.

Business And Job Opportunities

Business in the pet sector is booming. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, job opportunities in the pet industry are expected to grow 11 percent over the 10-year period from 2014 to 2024. And, interestingly, businesses are employing people of all ages with a wide variety of skill sets. Sought after positions range from retail assistants, certified groomers, administrative personnel and highly specialized veterinary surgeons.

This, of course, also creates business opportunities for entrepreneurs who can zero in on an innovative idea and offer something that consumers will craving for. Success stories that readily come to mind are treadmills specifically for dogs to exercise indoors and de-shedding tools designed for long-haired cats.

To Sum Up

It is this bond between humans and their companion animals which is the driving force that has boosted the pet industry and this area of the economy. It’s a fact that is very noticeably in the messaging of so many advertising campaigns. 

For more on this topic, please join me next week when we analyze how much people are spending on their pets. There are some very interesting statistics. You won’t want to miss out!

More must-read articles in this category:

Three years ago I launched this site and wrote some articles on pet industry statistics. Now, I’m sharing the very latest trends so pet parents can stay well-informed https://petpeevesunmasked.com/spotlighting-pet-care-trends/

In this very first blog I ask a question. How many families in the USA have at least one pet? https://petpeevesunmasked.com/how-many-us-pet-families

And, this is a breakdown of what it can cost to adequately take care of your pet https://petpeevesunmasked.com/biggest-pet-caring-expenses


HOW MANY U.S. PET FAMILIES?

In my first blog I ask how many U.S. pet families there are and give dog and cat stats
In my first blog I ask how many U.S. pet families there are and give dog and cat stats

Here I am, embarking on my first blog, with a question. And that question is…just how many U.S. pet families do you think there are? It seems to me quite logical to ask this given that everything on this site is about dogs, and cats, and their caregivers.

Well, the answer may surprise you, as it did me. It turns out that an estimated 85 million families in the United States “own” at least one pet. And to give it some perspective, that number is the equivalent of 68 percent of all households in this country. 

How Many Pets?

The latest statistics show that as U.S. pet ownership grows, so does the number of canines and felines in their care. And, if we put all the dogs and cats together into one big group, we get a combined total of 183.9 million. Now compare this to the human population of roughly 324 million. That’s quite an impressive number of pets. Furthermore, that’s an increase of 56 percent since 1988, nearly 30 years ago. And, that happens to be the year the American Pet Products Association conducted its very first industry survey.

Pet-Owning Population Grows

As the power of social media surges, there is indisputable evidence that the relationship people have with companion animals is changing. It is closer, more intimate and it is definitely more mainstream. Pets are now considered an important part of the family unit. And, consequently, the bond between humans and their canine and feline friends is increasingly stronger.

Pet ownership is also getting a boost from stories about dogs and cats at shelters that are looking for a forever home. So many people have a desire to rescue and give these companion animals the better life they deserve. In addition, an important point to remember is how dogs are participating in our daily lives in a variety of other ways. They are therapy dogs and emotional support dogs, that work with veterans, the disabled, and traumatized children. You see them in hospitals and court rooms, schools and grief counseling session and, of course, in private homes.

Demand For Pet Products and Services

Now that we have a pretty good idea of how many pet families there are in the U.S.A., here comes the next question. Do we also know what products and services they want for their dogs and cats?

Actually, we do, and the next blog will go into this topic further. However, I can give you a couple of hints. Pet parents are choosing more quality items. And, they are spoiling their four-legged companions like they would their own child. 

A Question for You

To all of you reading this blog, do you treat your pets any differently now than you did when you were growing up? Please let me know by leaving a brief message in the Comments box. Thank you.

More must-read articles in this category:

Three years ago I launched this site and wrote some articles on pet industry statistics. Now, I’m sharing the very latest trends so pet parents can stay well-informed https://petpeevesunmasked.com/spotlighting-pet-care-trends/

Here I show how pet parents are impacting the economy in a big way https://petpeevesunmasked.com/pet-parents-economic-impact

And, this is a breakdown of what it can cost to adequately take care of your pet https://petpeevesunmasked.com/biggest-pet-caring-expenses