At the start of a new year, it’s time to look ahead and consider how pet care will be changed and shaped in the coming months. What’s on the horizon that may impact this industry? Here’s a closer look at just a few things that are likely to transform pet care in 2021.

Pet subscriptions

Curated subscription services have been a hot seller for several years, albeit with offerings primarily focused on meal plans and fashion/beauty products. Now, more and more pet owners are being targeted, and tempted, with subscriptions for monthly boxes of goodies, pet clubs, or deliveries of pet supplements and medicines.

Estimates suggest that almost a third of all pet care customers are millennials, a cohort that’s extremely comfortable shopping online. That, coupled with the ease of internet-based browsing and buying, and the ability to customize and personalize subscription offerings, have combined to make pet-based subscriptions a big hit with the millennial crowd in particular, and plenty more pet owners, too.

Natural products

First, it was food, as large numbers of owners started putting organic, natural products in their pet’s dish. And while the options for healthier food products have grown, what’s new is the extent to which natural choices have pervaded the entirety of the pet care product line.

These days, in addition to all-natural meals, treats, medicines, and supplements, pet owners have the option to buy natural when shopping for pet bedding and litter, grooming products, flea and tick preventions, toys, and more.

The pandemic is bringing pets and owners closer

With so many pet owners working from home right now, they’re spending more time than usual with their pets. In many cases, it’s been a big help for people to have a beloved pet for company during these trying times.

With the relationship between pets and owners stronger than ever, some owners have responded by increasing the amount of money they spend on pet care. Industry research suggests one in five pet owners has boosted their pet-related spending during the COVID-19 crisis.

Pet tech

Tech is forever trendy, but it’s particularly taking off in the pet care world. These days, pet owners use apps to arrange dog daycare, pet grooming, pet sitting, or to find pet-friendly destinations for travel. Pet care businesses of all types know the importance of offering mobile-friendly services and maintaining personalized online profiles for owners and their animals. All the while, new tech-based pet products are hitting the market, including video camera systems that allow absent owners to monitor their pets, robotic, self-cleaning litter boxes, and microchip enabled pet doors. Then there’s wearable tech for pets, such as camera harnesses for dogs and Bluetooth-enabled smart leashes that monitor your activity levels while walking your pet.

Continued growth

It’s often been said that the pet industry is recession-proof. As it turns out, it looks to be pandemic-proof, too. Not surprisingly, pet owners tend to place a high value on the health and well-being of their adorable animals and are highly resistant to skimping out when it comes to paying for all manner of pet-related items, from food and supplements to grooming, daycare, and medical care.

Lockdowns and other public health measures, while worthy and necessary, have impacted earnings for some pet care businesses. Still, as more and more people turn to animal companions in this crazy and confusing time, there’s no reason to expect a major slow-down in pet spending, despite the overall economy remaining on rocky ground.