From wearable technology for dogs to fine dining for felines, entrepreneurs are cashing in on pet startups—and it’s paying off. According to the American Pet Products Association, American consumers spent an estimated $58 billion on their pets in 2014—a number that’s grown every year for the past two decades.
As we become more accustomed to being connected 24/7, it’s only natural that we want to make our pets part of our digital world. The high-tech products that have recently entered the market for pets mirror new innovations in the human realm.
Take Fitbark, which tracks your dog’s vital signs and provides analysis into his behavior. It’s a lot like the human fitness gadget Fitbit, which has taken off within the fitness community and beyond. Another example is PetChatz, a Skype-like platform that allows you to communicate with your pet while you’re away from home. If there’s a new tech product humans love, chances are there will soon be a version available for our furry friends.
Leaving your pet for an extended amount of time? Never fear. Now she can stay in a kennel that puts many hotels to shame. Take Wagsworth Manor on the outskirts of Philadelphia, for example. The $6 million facility boasts an indoor swimming pool, doggie massages, and 24,000 square feet for Fido to play (when he’s not resting in his luxury suite, of course).
Leaving a cat? No problem. Check out the gallery of “cat condos” offered at the Morris Animal Inn in New Jersey. The two-story suites with unobstructed glass walls provide the ultimate in kitty comfort.
The Travel Channel has even devoted a section of its website to the top luxury pet hotels. With boarding facilities as nice as these, your pet will be itching for you to take your next vacation.
Finally, there’s the ever-growing niche market for specialized dog and cat food. As phrases like ‘gluten-free’ and ‘non-GMO’ become part of our dietary vernacular, we’re paying closer attention to what we’re feeding our pets. Small businesses like Your Pet Chef have popped up around the country to answer a demand for home-cooked pet food, delivering meals with all-natural ingredients directly to your door. And products like doggie cake pans can be found right alongside the rolling pins at national retailers like Bed Bath & Beyond.
The bottom line is, there’s never been a better time to start a business geared toward pets. Entrepreneurs are getting better and better at adapting our favorite technologies and products for our four-legged family members to enjoy.
Source: American Pet Products Association Pet Industry Spending Figures & Future Outlook
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