Caring for pets is a job that animal lovers take very seriously and it has evolved rapidly over the last few decades. Technological advancements like the internet and computers in every pocket have opened a world of competition and instant knowledge. We can use this to our advantage when caring for our beloved fur babies.
The veterinary world is changing as quickly as the human medical one and new treatments are developed every year. The internet has provided a more subtle improvement for pet owners in the form of information, answers, and even real-time dialogue with vets.
Navigating the internet for your pet health questions contains pitfalls of misinformation but if you’re discerning in your resources, you can find answers quickly. So make sure you are visiting websites with canine experts and dog-dedicated pages that love dogs the same as you do like The Pampered Pup.
We can also access our pet’s health records online just as we can for ourselves, making care across vets more streamlined. More employers offer pet health insurance to employees, as well, helping owners everywhere handle complex health issues that can arise. One of the best advancements for pet health is the now ubiquitous microchipping. This tiny technology has helped countless lost and stolen pets return to their owners.
It’s incredible to think about what’s in store for the future of our pets. There are current projects trying to develop reliable communication systems to let our animals talk to us, genetic engineering (though controversial) may afford opportunities to select desired traits without decades of breeding, and robotic pets are already becoming more sophisticated and popular for those who can’t have live animals but want the pet experience.
Pet products span a range of categories from grooming, to treats, to training, entertainment, and more. If you have a big shedder in your home, good news! You have ample brushes and shampoos to try. If you need allergy-free food, no problem. Custom collars, harnesses, birdcages, and almost anything else you can think of are easy to find online or in pet stores now. You can even get interactive devices that let you talk to your animals and dispense treats while you are away.
The future of pet products is bright and almost infinite. At roughly $60 billion per year in the US, this is a hot market that will draw plenty of investors for a long time to come.
If you were a dog owner 1980s, chances are you never even considered using a crate. Now, we’ve learned that crate training is a great way to protect your home and your pet while they’re learning or if they’re an anxious pup.
Similarly, doggie daycares were unheard of until the late 1990s but again have become commonplace. Now people will spend huge amounts of money to secure a place in a boarding facility with cameras, pools, and spa treatments for their dogs or cats while they enjoy their own vacation. Animal care services that come to your home are largely offered now – things like mobile grooming, dog walking, even pet care that includes your exotic pets while you’re on vacation are now available.
I think it’s unlikely doggie daycares or pet-sitting will go anywhere in the near future. Perhaps as our post-pandemic world veers more toward working from home, more pet owners will have in-home training services. It will be interesting to see where pet services go, but we can rest assured people will not stop spoiling their pets anytime soon.
Communication with animals has evolved drastically in the last decade or two. I was blown away when my first puppy was able to ring bells to let me know it was time to potty. Then super irritated when the same puppy learned to manipulate me with the bells just to go outside to play.
But now there are whole research and development teams dedicated to creating technology allowing our pets (typically dogs) to literally speak to us. There is also a growing movement where dogs and cats are using programmable buttons to tell us what they want. Debate remains around how anthropomorphized this communication might be, but I’m consistently surprised by what our animals can tell us.
Most of this technology is still being developed and perfected, but I expect the future to show us quite a vast array of ways our animals can more clearly speak to us.
Enrichment is the buzzword of the century in pet care. Pet owners everywhere have learned to embrace their fur babies’ natural instincts and creatively provide outlets. Hunting and working breeds have always been enriched in these ways, but now that border collies share apartments and cats no longer hunt their own food, people learned quickly how destructive bored pets can get.
Laser pointers have been entertaining toddlers and cats for decades, but more people are employing empty bottles as treat dispensers, blankets, tunnels, and tents for safe outside kittie adventures. Even muffin tins with peanut butter can provide surprisingly simple stimulation for our household animals. And that’s just reimagining household items. A quick Amazon search will make your head spin with entertainment options for your pals.
Much like microchips, GPS devices for collars have changed the game for owners. Long hikes with Fido can be more relaxed knowing if the unimaginable happens, we can pull up our pup’s location with the touch of a button. But a vast sea of other safety products and services exist for you and your beloved pet. Even things like Bluetooth smoke detectors are safety features for your pets since you’ll be notified if the smoke alarm goes off.
Other amazing safety features exist to keep our pets safe in the car. Harnesses, secured carriers, and tethers are being constantly improved. The internet has also proven a great place to spread awareness and knowledge of animal first aid, toxic plants to avoid, and keeping animals safe from wildlife.
Some old-school safety measures remain in the form of rabies vaccines, preventative spaying and neutering, and flea/tick medicines. Adding to those tried and true measures, we now have flu vaccines, specially formulated food options, and a wealth of lifestyle information to keep our animals safe and healthy.