Beginning in 2000 we have written about the increasing humanization of pets. Now, we have even more evidence.
As futurists, we “connect the dots.” It usually starts with anecdotes and eventually moves to proven fact, usually when some other entity conducts the research. Lately, we have seen an increase in this pet trend.
Literally billions of dollars in the United States is spent every year on the care, feeding, and pampering of pets. In fact, according to a report issued by Packaged Facts, by 2008, the market is expected to top USD$16 billion. From doggie daycare facilities that are multiplying like rabbits in metropolitan areas large and small to the advent of mobile pet groomers, there are few markets growing as fast as pet care.
However, surely the most phenomenal new development to support this growing pet trend is the coming of “dog nannies.” Like their human counterparts, dog nannies are responsible for the well-being of their charges. They take care of the pets both physically and psychologically.
One dog owner put it this way, “The dog psychologists say that dogs need three things: proper nutrition, discipline, and exercise. When dogs are left alone all day, they do not get the exercise they need to stay healthy.” This healthcare professional wants her pets to be as healthy as her patients. They are important members of the family.
Celebrities like Oprah Winfrey and Paris Hilton and have long engaged dog nannies, but now ordinary people are hiring them as well. What a great occupation for animal lovers!
Further evidence of this trend comes from the dog nutrition producer Nutro. The company has a line of “healthy pet desserts”. From their “Apple Torte” to their “Berry Cobbler” and “Carrot Cake”, Nutro includes “no added sugars”, real fruit or carrots and oatmeal, and of course, natural ingredients with vitamins and minerals. Nutro, we think you have a real winner there.
As the Baby Boomers age and younger people put off child-bearing, expect to see even more expenditures on these four-legged family members. The pet care market will continue its steady growth.
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