Pets have always been a big part of human life. From dogs to cats to other pets like birds, and fishes, pets are a common feature in the lives of humans around the world.
In fact, the global pet market is now estimated to be worth nearly $179.4 billion annually. It’s an industry that has grown tremendously over the last few decades.
However, there are still a lot of issues with pets in today’s world. In fact, pet ownership is often associated with less attention, more stress, and some financial concerns.
Many companies are looking to solve these problems using the power of technology.
Enter pet tech.
What Is Pet Tech?
Pet tech or pet technology is the term referring to the usage of technology in the pet sector to improve pet care and their living conditions.
In simple terms, it is the use of technology to improve the health, wellbeing, surveillance, and safety of pets.
This can include using technology to improve animal health, automating pet walks, smart surveillance, or enhancing the lives of pets. It can also be the use of robots, big data, AI or any methods necessary to solve the challenges that the pet sector faces.
Pet Industry Challenges
The pet industry is one of the fastest-growing industries in the world. However, with its rapid growth, the industry faces several challenges that may change the market outlook. Some of these are –
- Demand and Supply: Demand for pet products, especially dog and cat food, is increasing significantly. However, the supply of the same is not keeping up. This results in shortages and high prices of pet food.
- Pet Lifestyle: As we all know, pets need attention and care to live a happy and healthy life. With their growing lifestyle and changing needs, pets need special attention. This requires pet owners to take time and effort to provide these needs to the pets. Pet owners face a challenge to providing their time to meet the pet’s needs.
- Health Issues: It is one of the biggest challenges pet owners face. They have to spend a lot of time and effort to ensure that their pets are healthy.
- Pet Waste: As pet owners live with pets all their lives, they are likely to have spent a lot of time with them and know them better than anyone else. However, pet waste has been a growing problem, and there has not been a solution to it. It is estimated that every pet owner in the US alone wastes about 1.5 million pounds of animal waste each year.
- High Costs: In addition to the time and money that pet owners have to spend on their pets’ care and wellbeing of their pets, there are also costs associated with the products and services they need to purchase. These can include pet food, vet care, grooming, pet training, and more.
- Surveillance: Pet owners need to ensure that their pets are safe at all times. This includes making sure of their safety when they’re not with them and more when the pets try to escape and wander around. But current technology isn’t optimal to provide all features in one.
- Pet Education: The rise in pet ownership is also leading to an increase in the demand for pet education. The problem is that most of the education is not easily available.
- Pet Training: This is a big problem for pet owners. They need to spend time and effort to train their pets and teach them the skills they need to be a part of the family. This is a time-consuming and stressful task for pet owners.
- Pet Insurance: Pet insurance has become a necessity for pet owners. They need to ensure that their pets are protected, and their health is covered. The problem is that most of the insurance is not easily accessible.
- Pet Hygiene: With the rise in pet ownership, there has been an increase in pet diseases and conditions. This has made pet hygiene a necessity for pet owners.
- Pet Medical Emergencies: Pet medical emergencies are a growing concern for pet owners. They need to spend time and effort taking their pets to the vet when they need medical care as there is still a shortage of pet ambulances and other medical services.
Pet Tech Use Cases
The use cases for pet tech are many and it involves the use of technologies and applications in order to solve the challenges faced in pet care. A few important pet tech use cases include –
- Pet Training Devices: Pet training devices help in improving the behaviour of pets. For example, e-collars are considered a great tool for pet training and a necessity for the treatment of aggressive pets (especially dogs). These collars are used to train dogs by sending physical signal feedback for good and bad behaviour.
- Automatic Feeding Systems: It is possible to create an automated feeding system for pets using sensors and remote monitoring systems.
- Pet health monitoring: Pet monitoring is very important in order to make sure the pet’s health is at its best. It helps keep track of pets’ health using behavioural data points and make sure they are not suffering from any health issues.
- Pet Monitoring Devices: Pet monitoring devices are used to help track pets’ location and make sure they are not wandering off. These devices can be worn by the pet separately or included in their collars.
- Pet Games: Tech-powered pet games that keep pets entertained and engaged with owners not being present with them. These games help to keep pets occupied, improve their health, and help to reduce their stress levels.
- Self-Cleaning Litter Box: A litter box that automatically cleans itself is very useful for pet owners. These litter boxes are designed to keep home and pets’ paws and paws free of litter and dirt.
- Smart Pet Doors: These doors are designed to be open to just pets and not unwanted guests and even be operated remotely via mobile applications. Moreover, these doors are also equipped with cameras and sensors that help to identify pets and allow them to enter or leave only when they are supposed to.
- Pet Wearables: Pet wearables are small devices that can be worn by pets that help track their health and activity levels. These wearables are usually connected to mobile applications and monitor pets’ health and behaviour.
- Pet nutrition: Pet nutrition-oriented pet food brands help pet owners to feed their pets with the right nutrition. These companies even develop apps that are used to keep track of their pet’s food intake and make sure they are eating the right amount of food.
- Pet grooming: Pet grooming is another important use case in the pet tech industry. Pet grooming devices help to make sure pets are clean and groomed regularly.
- Pet sitting: Several startups are working on developing platforms that connect pet owners with pet sitters. This is especially useful for pet owners who are on vacation or busy with work and cannot take care of their pets.
Pet Tech Startups & Companies
Today, pet tech is a growing industry with a huge demand for pet-related products. It is estimated that the global pet tech market is going to reach USD 31.9 billion by 2027.
The use of tech in pet care is growing because it is becoming easier to access and use technology in the daily lives of pet owners.
The Farmers Dogs
An alternative pet food company that manufactures researched-backed human-grade dog food, with a mission to help pet owners raise healthier, happier dogs.
The company solves the problem of heavily processed dog food that has the potential to cause digestive issues in dogs.
The company has developed a proprietary recipe of high-quality ingredients that are carefully selected to help provide dogs with the necessary nutrition they need to thrive, and that is healthy enough for even a human to eat.
Meowtel is an in-home cat sitting platform that connects cat owners with professional cat sitters in the USA.
The company understands that cats don’t do well outside of their home environment and so it developed a platform for pet owners to search for and hire the perfect cat sitter while they go for work or vacation.
Fuzzy Pet Health
A pet-healthcare platform providing 24/7 access to verified vets with a few taps on the mobile application.
The platform also provides pet owners with vet-verified pet products that they can buy in their ecommerce shop.
A subscription box brand for dogs and dog owners focused on every stage of the dog’s life.
The box constitutes personalised age-based treats, toys, and tips to help dog owners raise their dogs better with many surprises for them.
Tractive is a startup that develops smart GPS collars for cats and dogs to help pet owners track their pets in real-time.
The company’s smart GPS collars are equipped with real-time GPS tracking technology that helps pet owners track their pets’ location, develop a virtual fence, and get timely updates on their pet’s location.
The Future Of Pet Tech
While pet care has always been a major part of life, it has taken a quantum leap in recent years, thanks to new innovations in technology and consumer demand. In fact, the pet care industry is a $99 billion market opportunity in the U.S. today as over 67% of families own a pet.
The rise of the internet and social media means that there are now tools available to make life easier for pets and their owners.
A lot of pet owners are now constantly looking for new ways to keep their pets happy, healthy and safe.
The development of pet tech is a desirable industry, which includes all kinds of tools for keeping pets happy and healthy. From remote control collars to GPS tracking systems, pet owners are willing to invest in their pets to improve their lives.
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A startup consultant, digital marketer, traveller, and philomath. Aashish has worked with over 20 startups and successfully helped them ideate, raise money, and succeed. When not working, he can be found hiking, camping, and stargazing.