If you have a pet in your home, and you spend a significant amount of money on it, you’re certainly not alone. Pet spending among Canadians is at an all-time high.
Canadians’ love for their animals goes far beyond nutrition and basic medical attention. It’s moved into a more consumer-oriented direction, which includes pet-wearable technology, human-grade diets, and child-minding-like care for when owners go on vacation, or to work.
For some of us, this may seem over the top, but if you’re one of the many pet owners across Canada (with pets in more than half of this country’s homes), it’s right in line with the expanding Canadian pet culture.
Having A Pet At Home Is More Expensive Than Ever
It is more expensive than ever, but not just because average services like vet visits are increasing in price. It’s because our pets are increasingly being considered members of our family.
This new found status for our pets brings with it the extravagances of modern life, including high-end dining, hotel stays, and high tech to match the lifestyle of our own connected lifestyles.
Canadians spend $6.6-billion a year on their pets. And increasingly, more urban couples are opting to become pet owners. A recent pet food industry report suggested that there is a link between the fact that more city-dwelling couples are getting dogs and that more of us are waiting until we are older to have kids.
It’s Food And So Much More
The biggest part of spending still remains for food – a lot of it more expensive. As Canadians, we shell out big bucks, making pet food a thriving, multi-billion dollar industry.
If you need more evidence that pets are treated just like children, look no further than purchasing decisions of us as pet owners. We purchase holiday presents, designer outfits, and specialty shampoos for our pets.
As we make pets more important parts of our families, naturally, manufacturers have followed and introduced products that are less about basic survival needs. Premium pet foods and eco-friendly pet services are on the rise, as well as pet sitting and dog-walking services, puppy daycare, and pet spas.
Pet owners treat their cats and dogs like people.
Louis McCann, President and CEO of the Pet Industry Joint Advisory Council of Canada
Pets Are Good For Us
Older Canadians are largely feeding the industry’s growth, with some evidence suggesting pets are filling the void left by their children who have grown and moved away from home.
There is a body of science that now validates that pets are good for us. Having a constant, affectionate companion helps reduce stress and lower blood pressure. And the simple act of a daily walk provides fitness many of us would not otherwise achieve in our daily routines. This may not be influencing our spending habits on our pets but it doesn’t hurt the cause.
Over-the-top or Practical? 4 High Tech Gadgets for Pets
Just as we connect remotely with people with the help of devices, we Canadian consumers seem to want that same connectivity with our pets.
When it comes to pet tech, Canadians consumers typically want to improve their pets’ lives with devices similar to what they themselves are using. The two areas that are driving these purchase decisions are focused on pet safety and lifestyle enrichment. Check out the 4 high tech gadgets for pets:
1. The Whistle Activity Monitor
Not sure if you’re pet is getting the action they need? Then the Whistle’s got you covered. Basically, this is a wearable fitness monitor. An on-collar device that measures your dog’s activities including walks, play, and rest.
2. The iFetch
Suffering from tennis elbow? Or stuck finishing that report for work? Don’t worry, Sparky can still get in his daily ritual of ball chasing.
3. Pet Access Smart System Door
Tired of getting up to let your pet in or out? You like the idea of a pet door but you don’t want the neighbourhood cats coming over for a visit? The Smart System pet door is the answer.
4. The Petcube
Can’t take your pet to work? Not a problem. Watch, talk to and even remotely play with your pet (via the system’s integrated low-intensity laser pointer) through your smartphone.
Pets across Canada live more and more like little humans these days – and as long as people treat them that way, pet spending should keep climbing.
Do you have a have a ‘nothing is too good for my baby’ attitude toward your pet? Does someone you know? What is the most amazing or outrageous expenditure you’ve had due to your family pet?