Six Pet Trends That Are Worth The Hype

New Pet Owners  •  Pam Karkow  •  Monday, September 27, 2021

I picked up my cell the other day to hear my husband’s words, “Hey--how many doughnuts were left in the box this morning?” Ughhhhhh. This could mean only one thing. Our golden retriever had retrieved the rest of my kids’ breakfast and gobbled it down. Just how sick was she going to be, my husband wondered. She’d polished off the box but how many were in there when she discovered the box of doughnuts?

Enter the video camera we have conveniently located on a shelf in our family room. We were able to pull up the footage from that morning and watch as Hattie put her paws on the counter and lifted a doughnut out, took it into the living room, and devoured it. She did this three more times, so four doughnuts in all. We monitored her closely for the rest of the day and surprisingly, she had no ill effects from her sugary breakfast. But that camera was a helpful tool we were able to use to see just what our sneaky dog had gotten into when we weren’t watching. And my kids now know not to leave their breakfast remnants on the counter!

In our constantly evolving world, it can be easy to get caught up in the hype of new gadgets and gizmos. But which ones are worth it? Let’s take a deep dive into five of the latest pet crazes to explore their benefits.

Pet camera technology

This one I can say is worth it, hands down! If you have a counter surfer as we do, or maybe you’re just curious about what your dog or cat does all day (hello, Secret Life of Pets!), this one is a no-brainer. The Conico Pet Camera can double as a security camera and works with Alexa. Its motion tracking feature allows you to follow the action. One review of the camera reported that the device is super easy to set up and the picture is crystal clear.  Relax when you’re away from home, knowing you can check in on your pet any time with the click of a button.

Health and fitness trackers

According to Dr. Ernie Ward, veterinarian and founder of the Association for Pet Obesity and Prevention, obesity is the number one health threat facing our pets today.  Investing in a tracker that monitors how much exercise your pet gets each day and sends the info to your phone can help make sure your pet maintains his youthful figure. Many trackers will measure your pet’s exercise and then compare it to other pets the same age and breed as yours. Dogs should receive at least 30 minutes of exercise each day and cats at least three daily bouts of five-minute play sessions.

A fitness tracker can help you determine if your cat is active while you are away from home and help you remember to snap on your dog’s leash after work to make sure he/she gets in a 30-minute walk. It can also waive a red flag if your pet is getting less exercise than he/she once did. The biggest benefit of a fitness tracker and the reason I say they are 100% worth it? Accountability. "If all Americans would adopt this one simple rule -- walk your dog for 30 minutes a day -- not only would our dogs be healthier, but we would be, too," Ward says.


Speaking of making sure your dog gets enough exercise, try Doga!  Check out Doga: Yoga for You and Your Dog, by Mahny Djahanguiri, if you are interested in involving your dog in your yoga sessions. The author, a certified yoga teacher, includes full-color photos with practical step-by-step guides to communicate how to do the poses with your pet. One reviewer of the book commented on the creative names of the dog poses and liked that the book “included extra sections such as doggie massage.” Again, anything that gets you moving along with your dog is a winner in my book!

Subscription boxes

For your dog? Yes! For the busy fur mom or dad who wants to pamper their pet but doesn’t have the time (or the creativity) to go to the store once a month, this one is a luxury. When you sign up for a subscription box, you will receive a box each month filled with toys and treats to keep your pooch’s playtime and snack time interesting.  Barkbox is a popular subscription box with a themed approach. Every BarkBox has two innovative toys, two all-natural bags of treats, and a chew. Their January box is titled, “SAID AHHH IN JANUARY 2021” and has a spa day theme. Introducing a new toy or game to your dog can mix things up a bit and provide a refreshing change to your dog’s everyday routine. The best part about a subscription box? You don’t even have to think about it! New toys and treats arrive at your doorstep with the click of a finger. 

Pet portraits

I have first-hand experience with this one and can vouch. Amazing! My sister gave her husband a portrait of their dog for Christmas and it made his year! The process is simple. Pick a costume that fits your pet’s personality, upload a good quality picture of your pet, and within 2-3 days you’ll have a portrait to preview and approve.  Crown and Paw is the company that my sister used for her dog’s art, but there are lots of companies from which to choose. If you are in the market for some dog or cat art, see our post, Five Ways to Turn Your Dog into Art for five other companies that can turn your furry family member’s mug shot into a masterpiece fit to grace the walls of your home. Pet Portraits make great gifts and are a fun way to honor your pet as a valuable member of your family.

Pet insurance

While pet insurance has been growing in popularity over the last few years, it may be one of the biggest trends that’s here to stay. Pet insurance provides pet owners with a way to keep their pet healthy regardless of the cost. Reimbursing towards veterinary care for accidents, illnesses, wellness and much more, pet insurance is worth looking into!

So, which of these popular trends will you try in 2021?

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