2019 Pet Trends That You (and Your Dogs and Cats) Can Get Excited About
In 2018, pet owners indulged in “pet-icures” and “doga” classes. Now, we’re looking forward to 2019 and drooling over several amazing up-and-coming pet trends. We spoke with Cristina Tudino, editor-in-chief of pet wellness brand Ollie, to learn about the most exciting pet trends on her radar. Reiki for dogs, anyone?
On-Demand Vet Care
How many times have you searched symptoms on WebMD to avoid a visit to the doctor’s office? (Heads up, you’re probably not dying.) We all know Dr. Google solves nothing and, more often than not, leaves us with more questions than answers. In the pet world, veterinarians are addressing this frustration head-on.
Companies like Vetted offer at-home, on-demand wellness checkups for pets. Currently operating in New York, Los Angeles and San Francisco, Vetted sends local vets right to your doorstep to assess your pets’ issues, saving pet owners the time and hassle of getting into the car (or Uber or subway) with an animal who may or may not be in pain—not to mention sitting in the waiting room. No, no, no. That is sooo 2018. With Vetted, your pup lounges in his own bed until the vet arrives, easing the stress of travel and fear of walking into a vet’s office full of other animals and their germs. Visits are longer, chiller and more informative. The pricing is also pretty comparable with a regular vet visit. Depending on location, a typical house call costs roughly $99, according to Tudino.
Employer Sponsored Pet Insurance
Pet insurance has long been a tricky investment. Pet owners wonder if the monthly premiums are really worth it, especially for low-risk pets like indoor cats or shelter animals that have already been spayed, neutered and vaccinated. In fact, as of 2017, only 1 to 2 percent of America’s dogs and cats were insured. It can be an expensive gamble though, as emergency and life-saving surgeries can run owners up into the tens of thousands of dollars.
According to an Ollie 2018 Dogs in the Workplace Survey, a whopping 92 percent of pet parents would love pet-related employee benefits beyond being able to bring Fido into the office every Friday. Tudino says the biggest trend when it comes to pet insurance is employers offering pet health coverage to employees.
Between one-third to half of all Fortune 500 companies now offer pet insurance as part of employee benefit packages, making it much more popular today than it was even two years ago. If your workplace doesn’t offer pet insurance, look into companies like Healthy Paws Pet Insurance to discover your options. You’ll be happy you did when the unexpected happens.
Glamsquad for Dogs
After the success of Glamsquad for humans, the next logical step is at-home spa visits for dogs. Sure, Glamsquad and Wag! had us fooled last April, but this is no joke. Mobile spa and grooming services catered to pups are in full swing, offering everything from blowouts to bath massages, facials to paw treatments. Though we have yet to see anything on the official Glamsquad site about dog services, companies like Hair of the Dog Spa (NYC) and SpaBark (Chicago) are leading the way for this trend. Tudino assures us these treatments aren’t just for long-haired pooches, “Short-haired pups can still enjoy services like bath massages followed by a soothing brush and blow out,” she says.
Plus, this might be the perfect solution if your dog gets freaked out every time you take him to the groomer. “An experienced groomer will be armed with tools like non-slip pads, grooming restraints and shampoos infused with calming scents,” says Tudino. “These can help even the finickiest of dogs stay still.”
Holistic Canine Care
No longer are holistic treatments like reiki, hydrotherapy, acupuncture, aromatherapy, sound therapy and CBD oil confined to the human realm. Dogs are getting in on these alternative treatments in a big way. For instance, pet parents with corgis or Great Danes know their breeds tend to have joint and arthritis issues later in life. Acupuncture can help decrease the amount of pain your dog feels. Just make sure you visit a certified professional. “When seeking acupuncture treatment for your pup, look for a veterinary acupuncturist with a CVA or FAAVA in addition to their DVM or VMD title,” Tudino says. “These veterinarians have gone through advanced training.” She also points out acupuncture may improve immune system performance and soothe anxious pups.
Speaking of puppy anxiety, CBD oil is quickly gaining momentum among pet parents dealing with stressed canines. Getting onto a flight or checking out the fireworks? Pop a few drops of CBD oil under your dog’s tongue (and perhaps grab a CBD lollipop for yourself) to weather the storm. This holistic treatment is known for its soothing, calming and pain-relieving qualities.
Other treatments like reiki, hydrotherapy and sound therapy are also worth investigating if you’ve got a dog bouncing back after a medical procedure, living with chronic pain or suffering from anxiety daily. Administered over time, these practices can work wonders.
And let’s be honest. Sometimes quality self-care means indulging in a massage! Treat your pup to the same kind of massage-for-fun luxury even if (or perhaps, especially if) he’s been a good boy lately.
In 2018, we saw tons of monthly delivery services offering wholesome treats for pups. In 2019, pet food manufacturers are taking it to the next level. We’re talking clean eating and personalized meal plans specifically designed for dogs and cats.
For example, Ollie takes individual needs and habits into account. Tudino says the company looks at “age, ideal weight, breed, activity level and allergies” before determining the best meal plan for the dog. On top of that, Ollie uses only natural, human-grade ingredients like lamb, chickpeas, blueberries and much more. These recipes line up with the rest of our 2019 trends in terms of treating dogs like true members of the family who deserve specialized care depending on unique needs.
One thing Tudino warned against is overdoing it on doggie supplements. Sure, some pets need higher doses of certain ingredients, but for the most part, dogs eating balanced, natural diets shouldn’t be given too much extra. “There is something called ‘golden paste,’” Tudino added. “It’s tumeric-based and awesome to add to any dog’s diet and has lots of anti-inflammatory benefits.” But, as always, check with your vet first.