The Year of the Connected Dog
A look back at pet tech in 2017 and trends we're predicting in 2018
It's early in 2018, but already shaping up to be a good year for dogs. Look to the box office, your Instagram feed, or very likely, around your office, people everywhere—from Wes Anderson to Chrissy Teigen—fare all chiming in about an abounding love of dogs. As more pet parents are looking for new ways to meet our pets' needs now and in the future, pet brands are stepping up with product and service upgrades - we're going to see a lot of activity in the space this year.
We're headed back to CES this week for Whistle's 5th consecutive appearance to see what's new in tech and innovation. What better time to take a look back at what happened in pet tech during 2017 and share our predictions for what's ahead in 2018.
2017 Pet Tech Year in Review
Whistle stats from 2017
Last year saw several new pet offerings hit the market, and modern pet products caught the attention of consumers and investors alike.
Staying connected was a big priority
Nearly 10 new pet tracking products hit the market, including new devices from Whistle (Whistle 3), Nuzzle, and Fitbark. Some made a debut at CES 2017, others were not far behind coming to market in time for the dog days of summer. In addition to on-collar trackers, smart pet cameras and feeders like Petnet, Furbo, and Petcube Bites popped up on holiday gift guides appealing to pet owners who wished they could be home with pets more often.
Pet e-commerce made headlines
Chewy.com, one of the fastest-growing e-commerce sites best known for its above-and-beyond customer support, was acquired by PetSmart for over $3B in one of the largest ecommerce acquisitions in history.
Celebrity spokespersons joined the pack
Household names like Ellen DeGeneres and Olivia Munn got involved with pet products, everything from dog walking apps, to accessories, and pet food.
2018 Pet Tech Predictions
Newly enforced pet-friendly policies and initiatives like California's new pet-friendly housing law - recently going into effect this week, will continue to receive support from civic leaders and constituents. We're eager to see pets welcome in more places.
Pet-centric events and activities
Events planned to bring people and pet together are gaining in popularity. Cities like Austin have hosted pet-friendly movie screenings, whereas New Yorkers have attended an art show curated for dogs. Between Corgi Beach day and the canine surf competitions, beaches along the West Coast were crawling with well-loved dogs and their admirers. Look for new activities like the Dog Jog from Outdoor Voices and the Eukanuba Performance Games for events that combine pets and fitness.
Proactive healthcare for pets
Anticipate innovation in veterinary care to start looking a bit more like human healthcare, especially when it comes to proactive behavior changes. For example, Whistle will be rolling out brand new calorie recommendations based on your pet's body condition score. Combining this information with DNA results that detail your pet's unique genetic markers equips you with data to give them what they need for a health and happy life.
Pets in the community
Therapy dogs have been used with increasing frequency in busy airports, in local hospitals and senior homes, and the trend is gaining a lot of positive support. As we learn more about how dogs can positively impact our daily lives, inviting them into our offices and even the classroom will become more common.
The Year of the Dog is just the beginning
Dogs have been our companions for thousands of years, but for the first time, evolving technology, research, and data have helped us learn new things about our best friends. Today, we're learning they have complex emotions, remarkable vocabularies, and more people and communities are realizing the inherent value they bring to our lives – everywhere from the front lines to the foot of the bed.
Stay tuned to hear more about what Whistle is up to in the year to come, and check back to get our thoughts on new developments in the industry more broadly. Happy New Year!
Jan 8, 2018