Studies show that around 70% of US households have at least one pet. Many of us are animal loversand we view our furry friends as part of the family. Just as technology and scientific research have contributed to amazing advances in human healthcare and wellness, pet care has also come on in leaps and bounds in the last few decades. In this guide, we’ll explore some incredible innovations in animal medicine and pet care.
A growing number of people add supplements to their daily diet but supplements have also become big business for pets. Research indicates that the pet supplement market will be worth $1 billion by 2027. Examples of popular supplements include fish oil for enhanced joint movement and flexibility, dog vitamins for general health and probiotics for improved digestion. CBD products for dogs have also soared in popularity in recent years. In the last decade, there has been a 300% increase in the number of online searches for pet CBD products.
The growth in the pet supplement market is linked to a relatively new trend focused on pet wellness. As we have become increasingly interested in our own health and well-being, we’ve started to consider ways to boost wellness in our pets. As well as buying supplements, owners are also investing more time and money into pet food, with more and more people spending more to buy functional, nutritional food and products that are tailored to specific breeds or health issues. There has also been a surge in the demand for different food product types, including freeze-dried foods, raw ingredients and food items that can be added to standard meals in the style of a human side dish or extra topping. Wearable deviceshave been dominating Christmas wish lists and must-buy gadget lists for years, but did you know that you can now buy wearables for your dog? Pet wearables serve a range of purposes. Firstly, they track movement and use built-in GPS to locate animals, which is brilliant for owners who feel like they’re constantly chasing after their canine companions. Secondly, they monitor activity, which is beneficial for owners hoping to encourage their pets to be more active. Exercise is critical for good health and well-being and it plays an important role in reducing the risk of obesity. In the US, up to 30% of dogs are obese and up to 45% are overweight. Monitoring activity levels gives owners an insight into how much their pets are moving and it makes setting activity targets easy.
In addition to tracking motion and activity, wearables provide valuable information about pet health. The latest wearables provide data linked to vital statistics, including heart rate, body temperature and pH level. Using a wearable device enables owners and veterinary teams to keep a close eye on the pet and detect changes, which can help to speed up diagnoses and identify suitable treatment options.
Advances in treatments for injured pets mean that many more animals can be saved, even those that have sustained severe injuries or come close to death as a result of accidents, such as car crashes. One of the most exciting areas of development is pet orthotics. Developments such as knee braces for dogsand ankle supports enable dogs to recover from serious injuries and regain stability, mobility and strength without the need for invasive surgery. This is incredibly beneficial because undergoing an operation carries risks, especially for older dogs, those with underlying health issues and those recovering from severe injuries. Using devices like braces enables dogs to gradually heal and recover while ensuring comfort and support.
Pet prosthetics restore movement and facilitate independence when an animal loses a limb. If your pet has experienced a serious illness, or they’ve lost a limb as a result of an accident, there are solutions. It is possible to live a healthy, full life with a missing leg, but prosthetics offer an alternative. Today, veterinarians use bespoke implants and prosthetic limbs to enable pets to enjoy the same level of freedom and movement they had before amputation. Common examples include prosthetic legs for dogs, but prosthetics can benefit a wide range of animals. They have been used to replace damaged flippers for turtles and the beak of an eagle, for example.
In the last decade, there has been a seismic shift towards greener livingamong human populations and this has contributed to a growing interest in sustainability among pet owners. Owning pets increases our carbon footprints, but there are ways to embrace a more eco-friendly attitude to pet ownership. One important change is to shop sustainably. Sustainable shopping is all about reducing waste, championing recycled and reusable products and materials and choosing brands that support sustainable initiatives.
If you’re looking to make positive changes to your lifestyle as a cat or dog owner, small changes can make a big difference. Look for items and products that are packaged using recycled and sustainable materials and try to avoid buying items you don’t need. Make use of all the food you buy and make it your mission to cut out waste. Buy products, such as food, toys and accessories, from companies and brands that actively promote greener living. Read up on different businesses, learn more about corporate social responsibility and don’t be afraid to ask questions if you want to ensure you have all the information you need to make a decision about which brands to choose. Social media is a great platform for learning about brands and gathering information about sustainable practices and how brands support different initiatives, projects or charities.
Virtual vet visits took off during the pandemic when most practices were unable to provide face-to-face consultations to minimize the risk of infection. Virtual appointments enable owners to get advice without leaving their homes, which is beneficial both for them and their pet. Virtual calls and video calls save time, money and effort and they also eliminate the need to move a pet, which may be old or sick. For veterinarians, virtual consultations provide an opportunity to triage patients without seeing them in the flesh and provide advice quickly. If a pet needs further attention, the owner can then schedule a face-to-face appointment.
There are several benefits of virtual consultations for pets. As well as saving owners time and effort and enabling them to access help and advice rapidly, they can also be a lot less stressful than going into a clinic. Many animals get distressed when they are bundled into a crate or a carry case and taken to see their veterinarian in the car. A virtual appointment enables the animal to stay in a familiar, comfortable environment.
Most of us are used to video callingfriends and family members, but what if you miss your dog while you’re at work or you’re away on vacation? New technology allows pet owners to video call their pets to see how they’re doing. Dog phones, including innovative devices, which use a sensor in a ball to call the owner, enable closer connections between pets and their owners. Dogs are sociable creatures and most are happiest when they have human contact. Most owners find that their dog is thrilled to see them when they get back from running an errand or return from work. Dogs miss their owners and they like to have company. Although some owners might not want their dogs disturbing them during meetings, video calling is a way of ensuring that dogs don’t feel lonely when they’re home alone.
Smart technology has revolutionized the way we live and now it’s impacting the lives of our pets. Many of us have bought smart devices and appliances for our homes and we control security systems, lighting and room temperature using smart systems. Today, you can also buy smart products for animals. From toys and food bowls to doors and access points, smart innovations offer new opportunities for pets and their owners. Take the example of a smart pet door. Smart doors for dogs and cats respond to movement or contact with specially designed tags or microchips. When the dog approaches the door, the door will open. Smart pet doors enable pets to come and go while ensuring safety and security and eliminating the need for human involvement. If you don’t want your pet to go out, for example, following a medical procedure, you can lock the door.
For many of us, our pets are part of the family. As a nation of animal lovers, we’re passionate about taking good care of our pets and doing everything possible to make sure that they are happy and healthy. In the last decade, there have been some incredible innovations in pet care, technology and product development. Today, pet owners and their furry friends have access to amazing products, groundbreaking treatments and therapies and intelligent technology. From smart doors, video calling and virtual vet consultations to orthotics and prosthetics, eco-friendly products and pet wearables, there are all kinds of ways to capitalize on the benefits of cutting-edge pet care.