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Brief Published: 9 Nov 2020

New Gadgets Supporting the Lockdown Pet Boom

Consumers are struggling to balance inquisitive pets with WFH responsibilities

The majority (89%) of US pet owners say that their animals have brought them comfort during the pandemic, with 18% reporting higher spend on them during Covid-19 (TD Ameritrade, 2020). Now is the perfect time for brands to invest in pet-tech devices to boost animal health, keep them entertained, and smooth ownership.

  • Talking Pets: With many consumers now spending more time at home with their animals – often as their only company – it’s not surprising that pet communication tech is flourishing.
    US brand FluentPet’s word board features buttons mounted on a tile grid which play recorded words when pressed. Animals learn their position and meaning through use to develop a human ‘vocabulary’ which can be used to express emotions or needs. FluentPet launched in May, retailing for $132.
  • WFH Distraction-Tech: Pets interrupting Zoom calls have added levity to an otherwise trying year, but some work calls are too important for animal cameos. US brand PetSafe’s Dancing Dot laser cat toy gives owners a reprieve by entertaining felines with a moving laser display. Launched in February, the device can be set for a certain time (to cover meetings), or activated for all-day intermittent play for when owners are away from home.
    Exercise tech for cats is especially important in the UK, as recent research has found that British felines are the laziest in Europe.
  • AR K9: The US army is currently trialling augmented reality headsets on military dogs to give commands remotely when they’re on precarious scouting or search-and-rescue missions. This research could eventually hold huge potential for the future of pet entertainment.

See the Pet Care Boom for more.