HOME - The humanisation of pets | PDD

HOME – The humanisation of pets


on December 3 2015

Our expectations of the home as a place of work, rest and play have evolved as family dynamics shift, new needs arise and technology advances. In this series of blog posts, we take a deep dive into the home and discover the products at the forefront of innovation. In this third post we take a look at pet care.

In the US, where 35.7% of Americans are obese, over 50% of pets are also piling on the pounds. Pet obesity rates are experiencing similar growth in the UK, with estimates that one in three dogs, one in four cats and one in four rabbits are overweight or obese. Consequently, the animal healthcare market is enjoying strong growth and smart technology has begun to makes its presence felt. Start-ups in particular are disrupting this sector, bringing the next generation of gadgets to our pets and harnessing the power of digital connectivity along the way. While still in its infancy, the market for pet tech is expected to explode in the next few years.

Image credit, clockwise top left to right: giphy.com, dogtv.com, petcube.com, Samsung dream dog house

Pet Wellbeing
It has become widely accepted that pet ownership and animal-assisted therapy can prove beneficial for human mental wellbeing. Similarly, a pet’s mental health, mood and behaviour can be improved with tools designed to encourage physical and mental stimulation, relaxation and engagement. Among the (sometimes surprising) products aimed at addressing the issue of animal wellbeing is DogTV, a 24/7 channel, with curated clips that help to stimulate or relax our canine friends.

Aimed at those 64% of dog owners surveyed who responded ‘yes ‘to more tech for pets, Samsung’s  concept kennel  is a £20k dream doghouse containing a cornucopia of luxury features. The padded bedroom and chill out area include a tablet TV, automated feeder and ‘woofing’ tannoy system (presumably to summon their owners). Additional props include a doggy treadmill and – wait for it – a hot-tub spa.

Controlled via a smartphone app, other interactive products, like Petcube, allow owners to watch, talk to, play and feed their pets via an in-built camera, microphone and food tray connection.

Image credit, clockwise top left to right: petpace.com, whistle.com, petcube.com, fujitsu.com, petchatz.com

The Quantified Pet
The “quantified self” movement has found its way into the pet world, with a series of monitoring devices that can be attached to your pet’s collar. Among the many options available for keeping tabs on your pooch is the Whistle Activity Monitor. In addition to location tracking, Whistle combines with an app that allows owner’s to compare their dog’s activity against a database, based on breed, age and weight of dog.

Suitable for cats and dogs, the PetPace collar can enable early detection of disease or health issues. The smart collar is fitted with an array of sensors that continuously collect data on your pet’s vital signs. In the event of any unusual activity the device can alert you and your vet via phone, text message, or e-mail.


Image credit, clockwise top left to right: dezeen.com, designboom.com, lushome.com, petpavilion.co.uk, sleepypod.com

The Homely Pet
Pets’ lifestyle needs have also been taken into consideration in furniture for humans. After all, why have separate items of furniture when an integrated design can seamlessly meet the comfort needs of both human and pet?

Image credit: tails.com

Personalised Pet Care
No two dogs are the same. This is the fundamental message from tails.com – a dry-food business committed to helping dogs achieve and maintain their happiest, healthiest self. Along with a personalised feeding plan, a two-minute nutritional consultation helps determine the optimum mix of ingredients and nutrients for your dog. Every month, subscribers to the service receive pre-measured portion food bags delivered to their home.

With factors such as the ageing population, rise in disposable incomes and increase in single-person households, it is of little surprise that an increasing number of people are turning to animals for companionship.  About 90% of pet owners consider their animal to be part of the family, with some treating pets like their children. This humanisation of pets is a strong cultural trend that shows no sign of slowing down; and with it, a generation of pet-parents keen on keeping their furry (or maybe not so furry) friend safe, healthy, happy and entertained at all times -even if it means forgoing luxuries in their own lives.


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