The pet care industry is increasingly influenced by ‘lifestyle’ with trends in human life frequently crossing over into the world of pets. There is also increased focus on nutritional intervention to improve health and quality of life of pets. From OP Singh, Chairman-Vivaldis Health and Foods Pvt Ltd, let us understand what ‘lifestyle’ means when translated to the companion animal segment.
What motivates pet care?
To people pets are family and that is the theme in pet care. Our pets are becoming more important to us than ever before.
The recent increase in single-person households and less time for socialising have increased our need for social support, which we find in our faithful pets. This is in line with the reasons most people cite for having a pet, with the need for companionship being the main reason reported by 70 percent of pet parents.
This trend will not cease anytime soon – pet parents want their pets to mirror their affluent lifestyle.
Pets get birthday presents, cakes, special meals, shopping at specialty boutiques, spa treatments etc. So it should come as no surprise that they are willing to go to great length to make sure their furry friends are comfortable inside and out. With disposable income on the rise, they are willing to spend more on the pets they have, investing in premium products and services for them.
This luxurious lifestyle of pets has also started resulting in lifestyle problems in pets like ‘obesity’ which is the root cause of all the lifestyle diseases in pets.
About the new age pet parents
Almost 60-70 percent of pet parents treat their pet as a family member and their welfare is a priority for them. They prefer brands that feel safe, reliable and credible. Their indulgence can include but is not limited to providing their pet quality foods/treats, toys, grooming services.
While, 20-30 percent pet parents treat their pet as a well cared for animal, prioritising the pet’s health, but reject overt humanisation. This group embraces the animal nature of their pets. They are willing to spend heavily on their pets. They typically research all available products thoroughly and prefer small ethically positioned brands. This group treats their pets very well, and trends in their pet’s food echo those in their own food, looking to organic and sustainable ingredients, for example.
While, the rest five percent of pet parents treat their pet as a substitute child and are likely to buy clothing and accessories for him. Although small, this group is often willing to spend large amounts of money on their pets. For them, exclusivity tends to be paramount.
Reason behind specialised pet care
Pet parents want to do everything possible to keep their dog or cat healthy. So gone are the days of generic kibble. They can now choose from a range of natural therapeutic products that is scientifically geared for particular conditions. Just like in humans, the trend in pet parenting is now shifting towards the natural products, for nutrition as well as treatment.
So product development is hinged on this central idea of providing nutrition not just for wellness but also for treating many of the conditions in a natural way, without worrying about the side effects.
The industry is investing in R&D initiatives to continue to develop new products, especially natural alternative treatment options with advanced formulations to promote longer, healthier lives in pets.