Current Pet Trends: Are They Really Worth It?
As loving pet parents, we want to do everything possible to optimize our furry friend’s health. Part of great paw-renting is to research not just the food, but the products, services, and tools we incorporate into our animal’s day-to-day wellness routines. Thanks to the internet, you have a plethora of knowledge at your fingertips! But how can you be sure that you are getting credible information from reliable sources? Rest assured friends! We have dug deep to research the most current pet trends of the year. Results are in and we are happy to share the top six, worthwhile pet trends of 2022.
Covid-19 has affected furry friends just as much as human ones. Initially, experts predicted that our pets would benefit from spending substantially more time with us. In reality, before Covid, most pets spent their time waiting for us to return home from work to be with them! Working remotely or going out less frequently meant that they would spend less time alone. As the pandemic lingered, however, consumer demands for pet training and pet separation anxiety hacks became higher than ever.
Why do you think that is? Research has shown the most likely contributors to be less frequent outings and significant disruptions in our pets socialization routines. Today, most pet experts agree that exercise and recreation are of the utmost importance – specifically, for dogs. But many also still recommend avoiding crowded places, like dog parks and more public walking trails. Instead, they have urged reverting to more quiet neighborhoods and less populated walking routes.
So what are owners doing to help their pets relax? Glad you asked.
Get Your ESA Today
Due to the new Department of Transportation (DOT) policy, Emotional Support Animals are NO longer allowed to fly in airplane cabins for free. However, Psychiatric Service Dogs are eligible.
A surprising number are turning to CBD oil for dogs. Made from cannabidiol, it lacks the side effects that often come with prescription medications. It can also be mixed into food or put into a treat, which eliminates the hassle of hiding pills and hoping your dog won’t spit them out.
Not a fan of CBD? Calming treats are also trending. They seem to be popular options for dogs, but are available for cats as well. As the name suggests, they’re used to help lower stress, fear, and anxiety.
Reactive Dog Training
If you want to forgo all digestible options, some sources suggest that reactive dog training is also a popular choice. The training is meant to help canines learn controlled techniques in social situations, not only calming down hyper reactions, but teaching them how to be confident. Similar approaches are used when training Service Animals for public service.
Pet parents truly seem to be committed to going green this year! Many are consciously choosing pet care products that are planet-friendly. Past studies have suggested that domesticated cats and dogs in the USA leave heavy carbon footprints. Many are choosing to use more sustainable pet food and litter options to lessen this impact. Some even go the extra mile, opting to only buy products in eco-friendly packaging. Here are a few of the most interesting options we have found!
Tofu Cat Litter
One green product taking the cat world by storm is litter made with tofu. We bet you’d never have guessed THAT one, right? Online, it’s currently searched for over 4.5K times a month, which is 66% more often than it has been in the past. The flushable litter is said to be both non-toxic and biodegradable. Reviewers also claim that it offers superior odor protection, as the tofu provides more absorbency than competing cat litter materials. What do you think? Could be worth a try!
Biodegradable Poop Bags
Another trending item that helps pet owners do their part in cutting down on waste is biodegradable poop bags. There are many brands available! Some are both compostable and biodegradable. Others are simply constructed from recycled or bio-based materials. It’s important to note that some options come with very specific disposal instructions. If not met, they bags will be ineffective as a sustainable resource.
Humanity is not only becoming more aware of climate change, but more receptive to the benefits of having a well-balanced diet. Our pets are no exception! Conscientious paw-rents translates directly to our furry companions. Many consumers are looking to substitute their meat-based proteins and processed ingredients with more nutritious options that have less ecological impact. How is this being accomplished? Let’s take a look!
One example, is pumpkin puree which is being used more frequently as a dietary supplement for canines. High in fiber, beta-carotene, and essential vitamins, it’s known as a canine superfood. It can also be used to prevent constipation and help diarrhea. Bone broth has similar effects and can also be used to keep coats shiny and strengthen doggie joints.
Raw Food Diet
Some pet parents are switching their dogs to an all raw food diet. They believe it to be a superior choice when compared to canned (wet) food, which is usually processed and consists of lower grade animal meat. While there are clear health benefits, it’s important to note that few veterinarians are on board with this idea! The main concern is pets and humans being at a higher risk for food-borne illnesses such as E. coli, listeria, and or salmonella. Yuck! But despite the risk, many pet parents still believe that raw food is best. They also argue that it appeals to a dogs’ natural bodily instincts. After all, their ancestors survived on it!
The search for better pet nutrition extends beyond just pet food. More and more owners are purchasing products such as probiotics, slow feeders, and treat dispensers. These items not only aid in digestion, but also help curb overeating and obesity! Curious what else is on the list?
There’s even been an increase in health-centric toys, such as lick mats. Specifically made with materials to help clean feline tongues, lick mats are said to be very cathartic and can help with a pet’s mental wellness routine.
Another very popular pet brand product for the kitties is color-changing cat litter, known as Pretty Litter. Unlike normal litters, Pretty Litter was designed to monitor cat urine for potential health issues. Different colors indicate different types of ailments that may otherwise go undetected. Blue, for example, detects UTIs. Red indicates bladder infections (or stones). All in all, the litter is a non-invasive way to check for things that normally require a trip to the vet. That’s pretty inventive if you ask us!
It comes as no surprise that in an era which relies on gadgets, pet-friendly technology is a top-trending subject. Among the many tech products that have taken off this year (and last) are automatic ball launchers, smart collars, dog cameras, and self-cleaning litter boxes. There are even options for self-cleaning water fountains. Imagine what grandma would think of that one!
Pet tech is just as much about convenience for parents as it is for pets. In the midst of the pandemic, more and more owners have switched to tele-health appointments for veterinary consults right along their own doctor’s visits! Virtual dog monitoring tools are becoming just as trendy and predictions show that these trends will only continue to rise and expand.
Bonds between pets and their humans have (seemingly) strengthened as well. Much like with parents of human children, many pet parents appear to agree that giving their animals joyous, rewarding, and comfortable lives is a top priority. Pet humanization is trending all over the internet. Long gone are the days where most dogs stay in crates. More and more often, they’re given luxurious bedding, top-tier treats, and fancy toys. Pet spas and subscription boxes have grown in popularity, and many pets also have wardrobes!
My own dog, a 10-year-old rescue, has an entire bedroom – and a queen-sized bed – at his disposal each night. As someone who longs to have children but hasn’t had that chance yet, my pets are absolutely treated as my furry children. I even celebrated “Fur-Mom Day” this year, while many others celebrated raising their daughters and sons. With so many individuals living remotely these days, it’s only natural for our animal companions to tug on our heartstrings a little more strongly. They were already our best friends, but now they’ve become our “office” mates, as well! How lucky are WE? This “trend” is definitely worth it in our book.
On a truly serious note, Emotional Support Animals and Psychiatric Service Animals are literally life-saving companions. As such, it’s not unusual that they would be treated with intense adoration, care, and respect. Maybe, at times, even spoiled a little more than the average pet. They are, in fact, much more than a pet (even by law!). All life is valuable. It doesn’t matter if you walk on two or four legs! Some animals are just a bit EXTRA special at fulfilling an honorable and noteworthy calling. If you suffer from a mental health disability, the assistance of an ESA or PSA will certainly leave you wondering whether these animals are just angels in disguise.
The world around us is constantly changing and evolving. Many beneficial pet trends may improve the life of our pets, but don’t forget they will never have the same impact as human interaction. When all is said and done, the primary goal should be pet care assistance, not replacement. We need our animals, and our animals need us. That fact will NEVER change.
The benefits of an Emotional Support Animal certification and a Psychiatric Service Dog certification are drastically different. Fortunately for you, American Service Pets’ network of active board certified doctors can help you find the right path to certification. To find out whether you need an ESA or PSD letter, take our easy, three-step Pet Owner Survey!
More Great Resources