1. Pet travel is on the rise. The days of a dog simply jumping in the back seat and sticking his nose out the window are hopefully diminishing. Untethered dogs can become projectiles in an accident or at least distract the driver. This year, the top pet travel trends include pet-friendly travel apps, focus on keeping dogs in carriers or tethered using seat belt straps, more dog-welcoming restaurants, adventures and hotels. To learn more, check out www.gopetfriendly.com and www.bringfido.com.
2. Pet chow faces greater scrutiny. More people are seeking guidance on what to feed their dogs and cats as more recognize the connection between quality commercial food and the health of their pets. Among the pet food trends are a rise in online ordering of pet foods at websites like www.Chewy.com, more companies producing freeze-dried raw diets, greater attention on grain-free ingredients and more interest in vitamins, minerals and supplements that are designed to address digestive or joint-mobility issues.
3. Expansion of pet businesses. People overwhelmingly lead busy lives and also regard their pets as definite members of their families. Many are looking to companies that can not only meet their pet's needs but provide some pampering as well as enrichment. The APPPA forecasts growth this year for pet sitting, dog training services, mobile pet grooming, pet spa services, pet photography, exclusive pet hotels and pet tracker technology. Look for more people to offer upscale and holistic spa services, such as reiki, pet massage and paw-tinctures.
4. Increase interest in pet insurance policies. Addressing the medical needs of the 21st Century pet comes with a rising price. Although pet insurance has been offered in the United States for the past three decades, industry experts predict more people will buy insurance. The main reasons why are because people regard their pets as family members, more pets are living longer and have complex and extended medical care needs and advances in veterinary medicine have resulted in most expensive medical care.
5. Greater push for natural pet products. With more people conscious about doing their part to improve the health of their pets as well as the planet, look for increases in the sales of holistic pet food, natural cat litter, natural flea and tick repellents, pet toys made with natural fibers (and void of synthetic materials) plus more safe toys and items for senior pets, especially dogs.
By Sarah Zumhofe