Seattle, WA – January 11, 2022 – Rover.com (Nasdaq: ROVR), the world’s largest online marketplace for loving pet care, today released predictions for the pet industry in 2022. The overarching trend anticipated for the upcoming year is an accelerated humanization of pets, as they face many of the same interests, desires and product demands that we do.
The “pandemic puppy” boom has ensured there are more American families with pets than ever before. There are now 85 million households in the U.S. with at least one pet*, and after leaning on companion animals for mental wellbeing during the darkest days of the pandemic, pet parents are now more nurturing and willing to spoil their beloved furry family members. Pets have entered a “golden age” of love from their human counterparts and an increasing share of the marketplace is likely to follow. In fact, Rover anticipates pet parents will stop at nothing to ensure the comfort and happiness of their furry family members.
“There are certainly more chapters that have yet to be written before this pandemic comes to an end, but one subplot has already emerged: love and appreciation for our pets has reached an all-time high,” said Kate Jaffe, Trend Expert at Rover. “More and more, we’re relying on our pets to be our friends and to provide emotional support. It’s a fair assumption that pet parents will repay the favor in 2022, accelerating the pet industry to new heights.”
While it’s impossible to predict the future with 100 percent certainty, Rover dug into the data and tapped the expertise of its Dog People Panel to identify five pet-specific trends expected to emerge in 2022.
Prediction #1: Anxiety solutions soar
- More time at home during the COVID-19 pandemic has contributed to rising attachment anxiety and behavioral interests among dogs and cats. In fact, demand for training and anxiety solutions is “10 times higher” than pre-pandemic levels according to Rover Dog People Panelist and Certified Professional Dog Trainer (CPDT-KA) Nicole Ellis.
- As we enter a third year of the pandemic, Rover expects to see a sizable increase in calming products and solutions such as calming treats, lick mats, and more.
Prediction #2: Pet parents go green
- With a growing emphasis on climate change, 2022 will see more sustainably-made and eco-friendly pet products come to market as pet parents learn more about the carbon “pawprint” of their companion animals.
- Expect more mindfulness, a ‘how-can-I-reduce’ mentality and eco-friendly products – including sustainable pet food protein sources, packaging and cat litter – to become a priority among pet parents.
Prediction #3: Nutrition goes next-level
- Two main factors will drive improvement in pet food nutrition in 2022: The aforementioned increasingly climate-conscious culture and the growing sentiment that furry family members deserve a healthy, well-balanced diet that fits their needs.
- Expect consumers to seek out alternative protein sources with more nutritional benefits and less environmental impact. Wellness trends will trickle down to pet care, with more options for digestive and immunity support, and rising “human-grade” fresh pet food options.
Prediction #4: The pet tech boom goes BOOM
- A growing pet industry market capitalization means more money and innovation will provide pet parents with more technology-based solutions than ever before.
- Dog-activated video calls, virtual vet visits, smart feeders and collars, microchip-enabled devices, and even online services – like a virtual weight loss clinic for pets – are already a reality. Expect these new technologies to double down as pet parents seek out tech that delivers convenience, safety and health monitoring solutions in the years to come.
Prediction #5: The humanization of pets continues
- There will be a growing recognition that pets are people too. If that sounds hyperbolic, consider recent trends in human culture – from organic bedding to meal delivery services and telehealth, insurance and even custody lawyers – and realize that they continue to cross over to our pets.
“If you ask most parents, they’ll say that their top priority is providing their children with happy, healthy and fulfilling lives – and they’ll do just about everything in their power to make that happen. I really think we’re approaching the point where the same can be said for pet parents,” said Jaffe.
For the full Trends Report and more expert insights from Rover’s Dog People Panel, please visit here.
* According to the Human Animal Bond Research Institute
Founded in 2011 and based in Seattle, Rover® is the world’s largest online marketplace for loving pet care. Rover connects dog and cat owners with pet care whenever they need it. Millions of services have been booked on Rover, including pet sitting, dog walking, in-home boarding, drop-in visits and doggy day care.
Rover makes it easier for people to have pet love in their lives through the Rover Guarantee, 24/7 support, vet consultations, and GPS walk mapping. The Rover blog, a trusted resource for millions of dog and cat parents worldwide, provides tips and articles that delight, inform, and enhance the bonds between people and their pets. To learn more about Rover, please visit http://www.rover.com.