The family dog
The concept of the pet as 'one of the family' will continue to motivate the buyer of pet products and services in 2005. In fact, this attitude has become so pervasive in the United States that the legal system is changing to address the shift. Fido is not a watchdog any more, but a child. Laws already on the books in Colorado, Massachusetts, California and Rhode Island make pet owners essentially pet guardians.
And our spending habits confirm this trend. According to the American Pet Products Manufacturer's Association 2003/2004 National Pet Owners Survey, the greatest expense for pet owners over a 12-month period is veterinary care. Then food.
Is college next?
(I'm not kidding. I always say to myself, "No more. No new product or idea can surprise me in this industry." And I'm always wrong.)
Products and services in 2005 will truly make the puppy feel like one of the family. Just like us, dogs will eat healthier and more specialty food: organic, low carb, vegetarian and diet foods will be aggressively marketed this year by some large companies.
And, of course, what dog in its right mind would go outside for a pee and to run naked around a park without vitamins, contraceptives, and pet insurance?
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Lesson for FEMA: feed the dog
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