Maddie's Pet Project

Pet Tech Trends

How Pet Tech is Changing Pet Parents for the Better
by Kimberly Wade

Kimberly and Newton

It’s a new year and that means new trends for our furry family, and these days, human trends and pet trends are coming together. A survey by Michelson Found Animals Foundation, a nonprofit social enterprise committed to saving pets and enriching lives, revealed that as we better ourselves, we are also doing the same for our pets.

It makes sense that we would want what is best for them; after all, pets bring so much joy and unconditional love to our lives. Yet it goes beyond this. People are leveraging tools that make it easier to be a better pet parent and give them quality care — which is something I do myself so I certainly understand the appeal.

While several top trends emerged for 2019, the most popular was by far the tech trend. Like it or not, everyone is living in an increasingly smarter environment. We are intrigued by pet tech — look at the growing popularity of video cameras that let us talk to our pets and give them treats remotely. People are quickly motivated to try it, especially when it helps them get a better grasp on their pet’s overall wellbeing. Here are some highlights from the survey:

Increasing tech usage: Most Americans (all ages, not just millennials) have turned their house into a smart home, and this includes technology that extends to pets. I’m guilty of this — I often use music and television when I am gone for long periods of time. From music apps that offer pet-friendly tunes to Amazon TV stations specifically for cats to games your pet can play on your iPad — even if you have a busy lifestyle, this tech makes it easy for us to enrich the lives of our pets. You can set timers, too, so your devices don’t run all day.
More pet apps: Popular pet tech includes health and nutrition apps, pet monitoring cameras, pet servicing apps and smart toys. We use fitness watches to count our steps, why not use a collar that tells you how much exercise Fido gets each day? And the cameras are also a big hit. Not only can you make sure your pet doesn’t get into trouble while you are gone, you can use treats and laser lights to engage them while you’re at the office.
Feeling more secure: Technology leads to a greater sense of our pet’s wellbeing and security. Microchips and tracking devices, such as GPS collars, give us confidence that we can easily find our pets if they play a serious game of hide and seek. Regarding their health, voice assistants or apps can help us keep a regular feeding, medication and exercise schedule.

Michelson Found Animals Foundation also found that one in four pet parents admits they spend more on tech for their pets than for themselves, which tells us the future for this is very bright. So, do you agree? If you’ve got a fun tech story, share it with us! Email me at kwade@humanenetwork.org and maybe we’ll feature you on our social pages!

Kimberly Wade is campaign manager for Maddie’s Pet Project in Nevada, aimed at increasing live release rates for dogs and cats at Nevada shelters and rescue organizations. She lives with her husband and their cats, who share an Instagram to raise awareness for foster and adoption programs. Reach her at kwade@humanenetwork.org.

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