The pet tech industry is booming, and opening up new opportunities for savvy veterinary professionals in the pet care market. And we’re not just talking light-up toys and automatic feeders. Today’s technologies are getting more and more personal, and bringing pets and owners closer together in the process.

Driven by tech-savvy, time-poor ‘digital native’ consumers who treat their pets like they’re one of the family, this new segment of tech adopters has started to see rapid growth. With 56% of pet owners saying they have already invested in special tech just for their pets, it’s more than just a passing fad.1

In fact, owners count on this technology to help them look after their pet’s physical and mental wellbeing, with 57% of pet owners reporting it gives them a greater sense of their pet’s wellbeing or security. And as technology becomes more integrated into our day-to-day lives it’s only natural that this extends into the ways people care for their pets.  It’s also increasing the expectation of how technology will integrate with other areas of pet ownership – including veterinary care.

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Tech gives pet owners a great sense of security and wellbeing

So, what trends are leading the way now for the tech-savvy pet owner?

Wearable tech and activity trackers

Like their counterparts for humans, wearable tech for pets can track activity levels, sleep patterns and even location to help owners keep an eye on their pet’s behavior and health. GPS makes it easy to keep track of where a pet is if it goes missing, or make sure they’re getting enough exercise to keep them at a healthy weight.

Pet wearables usually come with an app that allows the owner to monitor their pet in real-time. This makes it easier to notice when something’s out of the ordinary – like sleep pattern or activity level changes – that could signal a trip to the vet is required.

Pet-sitter apps

Apps like Uber and Airbnb have revolutionized the personal transport and accommodation industries and app-based pet-sitter services are now changing how owners organize pet care for when they’re away.

Whether they just need someone to walk the dog or feed the parakeet while they’re stuck in a late meeting at work or someone to look after their pet for an extended period – there’s now an app that provides this service. These apps allow the pet sitter to log activity, so the owner knows when their pet’s been walked, fed, or did its personal business along the way.

Home monitoring devices

As pets increasingly become part of the family, owners often want to make sure they’re doing okay when they’re away from home. Home monitoring systems help them keep an eye on their pets and see what they get up to during the day.

But, far from just being cameras, some modern home monitoring systems allow for two-way video communication, dispense treats and aromatherapy, and even a button that lets a pet “call” its owner if they’re feeling lonely.

How savvy pet owners use their tech

Microchips

While microchips have been around for a while, they’re gaining momentum among today’s pet owners as they become more aware of the benefits of this technology.

They’re an incredibly effective way to ensure that if a pet gets lost or stolen, there’s a good chance of them being returned home. The chip contains the contact details of the owner and can be read with a Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) device, making it easy for vets or animal control to reunite them with their owner.

And, unlike biometric trackers with GPS, microchips don’t run out of battery power, aren’t easy to remove, and can even be implanted in smaller pets like rabbits.

VIP (Very Important Pet) access

While pet doors are already popular among cat and small dog owners, until recently they’ve been rather low-tech. With rising concerns around security and the potential for unwelcome critters to enter the home, a more high-tech solution was needed.

Smart pet doors that are triggered to open by an RFID tag attached to the pet’s collar are becoming more common. Some smart doors can even be controlled via an app that tracks how often the door is used, and signal when the pet is indoors. This way the owner knows they’re safe inside, and available for a quick chat via their two-way cam.

What's next?

Today’s pet owners are more tech-savvy than ever. And trends suggest they’re increasingly on the lookout for new technology that will help them remain more connected with their pets, and ensure their health and safety.

So, what does the rise in personal pet tech mean for you? Check out our pet tech infographic or check out our solutions to see how you can keep pace with technology and changing customer expectations.

Source: 1. Michelson Found Animals 2019 Pet Trends