Health and fitness have become major priorities in many people’s lives. Why? The answer is quite simple. Not only are people wanting to live longer, but adopting healthy habits can lower the risk of serious diseases, improve mental health, give improve energy levels, and more. Therefore, over the years, people have invested in many ways to keep track of their health and wellness through the use of wearable technology. Many people have turned to devices such as smart watches and other wearable trackers to monitor their performance and vital signs which have proven to be very beneficial for them.
As a result of becoming more health-conscious, people are also wanting the same for their pets. With major advancements in technology within the pet industry, owners are now able to monitor their pet’s health through the use of smart wearable devices as well. Not only can these devices keep owners up to date on their pet’s daily activities and track their location, but it can also allow for them to make better choices and decisions that can impact the overall wellbeing of their fur baby.
What are Pet Wearables?
Pet wearables, also known as “pet tech”, is a broad term used to refer to any smart tech product created to enhance the health, safety, and wellbeing of your furry friend. Examples may include smart collars, vests, cameras, or even harnesses. They are wireless communication technology devices—typically worn on a pet’s body—that operate by transmitting data and information directly to pet owners and veterinarians. Depending on the type of wearable device used, it can record various observations about your pet. For instance, many wearable devices can be used to track the location and whereabouts of your pet and record data on your pet’s activities and daily exercise. In terms of monitoring your pet’s health, specific information such as their heart rate, temperature, vital signs, and other health-related issues can be recorded in real time and sent to pet owners or veterinarians. This is significant as it can help detect early signs of diseases or illnesses before they become serious and allow for owners to respond quickly.
These technological advances have made it easier for pet owners to not only learn more about their pets, but take better care of them as well. Along with the ability to oversee aspects of their pet’s health, it allows for owners to gain more insight and a better understanding of their pet’s habits, needs, moods, and behaviors. It also provides veterinarians with data that can be used to manage their furry patient’s health, with the intent of providing your pet with the utmost care and assistance. Not only that, but it is a non-invasive way for veterinarians to check your pet’s temperature and vitals during visits.
Majority of the time, our pets are left to their own devices throughout the day. Whether we are at work, on a small trip, or handling business elsewhere, our pets are oftentimes left unattended which may leave us concerned about what they are up to. However, with the diverse amount of pet wearable tech devices out there, we are able to track our pet’s activity throughout the day and make sure they are staying safe as well. According to a survey conducted by Segmanta, 40% of consumers who regularly use pet tech devices cited safety as the main reason why they use pet tech products.
As pet owners, we’re all about enhancing the lives of our pets and giving them the best they deserve. Though it would be a dream—or perhaps a little startling, maybe even petrifying for others— if our pets can talk, they ultimately cannot communicate with us vocally. Therefore, it is up to us to take proper care of them and take the necessary steps needed to guarantee they are staying healthy and are in good shape.
So if that means investing in the latest technology to ensure that our best friends are living their best lives, then so be it! Their happiness, health, and safety are some of our top concerns.
Driving Factors of Pet Wearables
The Pet Wearables market is not only starting to gain more traction among consumers, but it is also experiencing steady growth as more pet owners search for efficient means to keep track of their pets health. Pet wearables offer a way for owners to connect with their furry or feline companions and make sure that they are comfortable, safe, happy, and healthy!
According to research by Spherical Insights, the global pet wearables market is expected to reach a market value of around $6.83 billion by 2030. There are many factors that contribute to the growth of this market and one of them which may come as no surprise—is the fact that people are wanting their pets to live longer and healthier lives. As people begin to make healthier lifestyle choices for themselves, they are simultaneously wanting the same for their fur babies as well. The rate of pet obesity has been increasing over the years and recent studies estimate that around 44% of dog owners and 45% of cat owners consider their pet as overweight or obese. That being said, there has been an increase in demand for activity monitoring pet wearables in order to make sure they are getting the right amount of exercise. Not to mention, these devices can help to facilitate preventative health care for pets.
Another factor driving the growth of this market is, of course, the technological advancements in the tools used to track pets health, safety and daily activity. For instance, the implementation of GPS systems in devices that can pinpoint the location of missing or stolen pets has been a useful and valuable feature for many pet parents. Other advancements in wireless area networks, low cost and efficient sensors, and digital mapping play a role as well. The data from these devices are also able to be easily accessed from apps downloaded on our personal devices such as smartphones or tablets.
The adoption of the Internet of Things (IoT) technology has also been driving the market growth of pet wearables. Internet of Things essentially refers to physical devices equipped with sensors, software, processing ability, and other technologies that are able to connect to the internet and other devices—with the intent of collecting, sending, and exchanging data and information. Examples include smartphones, smart appliances, and digital assistants like Siri. IoT enabled pet wearable devices are able to seamlessly track the health or location of your pet, as well as improve their wellbeing since the information provided can be used by veterinarians to formulate treatment plans.
Types of Pet Wearables
Depending on their application, pet wearables can be broken down into multiple categories. Within these categories, technologies such as Bluetooth, GPS, sensors, and RFID are utilized to help ensure the safety and health of your beloved furry friend. Lets take a look at some of them below!
Identification & Tracking
Identification and tracking are the most common types of pet wearable devices that pet owners look for. One of the main benefits of these types of tech is that it helps pet parents locate their fur babies if they ever get lost or stolen. This is especially important because according to the American Humane Association, almost 10 million pets are lost or stolen in the U.S each year. On top of that, 1 in 3 pets are typically reported missing at some point during their lifetime. As pet owners, this is absolutely our worst nightmare. The love and attachment we have towards our pets is special, so to ever lose them would be devastating. Two forms of wearable technology that can help prevent this are GPS and RFID.
GPS trackers allow pet owners to locate their pets, no matter where they may wander off to. This can help provide owners with a peace of mind knowing that they are able to track their pet’s whereabouts just by checking an app on their phone. These typically come in the form of a smart collar.
RFID is short for Radio Frequency Identification. These are microchips that are implanted underneath your pet’s skin—or attached to their collar—that when scanned, will identify the pet as being yours. Typically, this will only work if your pet is found and brought to the vet or other pet care facilities where they are able to use a specialized scanner.
Safety & Security
Tracking and the use of GPS falls underneath the safety and security category of pet wearables. However, another wearable device that falls underneath this category is pet cameras. If you’ve ever wondered what your pet gets up to when you’re not around, well here’s your chance! These cameras can be mounted on top of your pet and allows you to see the world from your furry friend’s point of view. This is useful in assessing their wellbeing and how safe they are. Some cameras even allow you to talk to your pet as well.
Behavior Monitoring & Control
Some wearable devices allow you to monitor and control your pet’s behavior. For instance, if your pet is behaving in a non-typical way, you will usually get an alert about it. Smart collars enhanced with a mix of RFID, GPS and sensors are usually the go to devices. Data from these collars will inform you about the daily behaviors of your pet, such as their eating and drinking activities, and monitor their movements. Smart collars will also allow pet owners to help control their pet’s behavior as well. If you’ve ever had a pet that barks constantly at every little thing, some collars might administer mild shocks that can get them to stop.
Medical Diagnosis & Treatment
This category is considered to be one of the major selling points of pet wearables. It allows pet parents to keep track of their pet’s health as well as receive important information about their pet’s vital signs or other abnormalities. Some pet wearable devices are able to detect early signs of illnesses or disease by using RFID systems and biosensors. Biosensors can detect your pet’s heart rate, temperature, stress levels, and other important vital signs. RFID chips can help to monitor your pet’s health and store information relating to their medical history, vaccinations, and other significant details.
Trend in Pet Fitness Monitoring
One form of pet wearable device that is trending and gaining popularity among pet parents and within the industry is pet activity trackers. Along with keeping up with their pet’s safety and health, owners are also specifically wanting their pets to become more active and stay fit, especially when it comes to exercise. Pet activity trackers can detect your pet’s sleep activity and the ideal amount of exercise they need every day. It can also track the amount of time your pet spends playing, walking, stationary, running, swimming, and more—along with the amount of calories burnt.
Pet activity trackers can come in the form of a whole collar or as an attachment. Customarily, these trackers will come with a downloadable app that can be connected to your phone, either through Bluetooth or Wi-Fi connection. They are typically small in size and should be a comfortable fit for your pets. For pet parents who want to know the whereabouts of their furry friends at all times, there are also activity trackers that come with GPS technology. Additionally, some may even allow for you to use geofencing which will alert you if your pet goes beyond a designated geographic perimeter you set up.
Here are two of the most commonly known pet activity trackers!
FitBark is a GPS-enabled pet activity tracker that monitors your pet’s health and tracks their location. Through the app, you can monitor your pet’s behavior, activity, and sleep quality 24/7. You can also monitor their mobility, potential anxiety, skin conditions, and other existing medical issues. Another FitBark feature that pet owners may find convenient is that you can even link your own human fitness tracker, such as an Apple Watch, Fitbit, or Healthkit to the app as well! This is an easy and convenient way of monitoring not only your pet, but your own personal health as well, all in one app. Other star features include:
★ Reliable and low power cellular coverage, utilizing both LTE-M and NB-IoT
★ Multiple geofence setups - up to 3 mile radius
★ Long lasting battery life
★ Small and light-weight
★ 100% waterproof
★ Monitor multiple pets
Whistle pet activity trackers can come with or without GPS. Both devices are able to track your pet’s overall health, such as analyzing their licking, scratching, drinking, and sleeping behaviors weekly. Both devices are also waterproof. Through the app, you can keep daily logs of how your pet is doing, set personalized fitness goals based on your pet’s breed, weight, and age, as well as receive a chronological breakdown of their daily activities. Multiple pets are able to be monitored as well. Pet owners are also able to connect with a licensed vet straight from the app! Below are a few noticeable differences.
★ For dogs of all sizes
★ Battery life up to 20 days
Health + GPS
★ Ideally for dogs 25 lbs. + up
★ Battery life up to 15 days
★ Location GPS tracking and escape alerts
★ In-app night light
Despite the multitude of benefits mentioned, there are still a few concerns regarding the use of pet wearable devices. Let’s discuss!
One of the main concerns regarding pet wearables is the pricing. Many of the products sold can be pretty expensive, falling between the ranges of $90 to $150. Some devices may even charge monthly or yearly subscription fees. This may pose a challenge to pet owners with lower incomes who are looking for something more affordable.
The use of technology comes with many security risks, one of them being potential data exposure. With the amount of data that is stored and analyzed by these devices, and then further sent to pet owners and veterinarians, it is always important to make sure that the software used is secure.
Pet wearable devices consume a high amount of power and require lots of energy due to the complexity of technologies used to make it work. Therefore, battery life can be limited for some devices and may require more frequent charging.
The Future of Pet Wearables
Already, pet wearables have been proven to be beneficial and helpful for veterinarians and pet owners in monitoring pet health and detecting early signs of an illness. Therefore, it is expected that the Pet Wearables market will continue to see future growth due to consumer expenditure and further advancements in technology.
If this is something that interests you, don’t be afraid to test it out! Make sure to do research so that you are well-informed on the variety of products that are out there. This will help you in choosing the best quality product for your furry friend!