2019 pet care trends include more apps, essential oils, and homecooked meals

As in seemingly everything else, millennials are driving pet care trends.

According to recent findings from the American Pet Products Association, millennial pet ownership has officially overtaken baby boomer pet ownership by three percentage points and they now account for 35% of all pet owners.

And the lifestyle choices they make for themselves are being reflected in the lifestyle choices they’re making for their pets, particularly in the areas of technology, alternative health practices, and even diet. According to a new survey of dog and cat owners by the Michelson Found Animals Foundation, a nonprofit organization committed to saving pets, 2019 will be the year of plugged-in pets, alternative pet therapies, and pets who eat more like their owners.

Plugged-in pets

People love tech, and that includes pet tech. Of those respondents who use health-related pet tech, nutrition apps (47%), veterinary telemedicine (46%), and fitness trackers (31%) top the list of tools they use to improve, maintain, and keep track of their pets’ health. 40% are interested in getting pet-monitoring cameras.

Alternative therapies

As people become more comfortable with the idea of alternative therapies, they’ve become more comfortable with exposing their pets to them, too—74% of those who have used them have also tried them on their pets.

Mirroring the growing movement to legalize cannabis for human medicinal and recreational use, the most popular alternative therapies for pets are cannabinoid (CBD) and hemp-based products, with 45% of pet owners using them as part of a general health plan, 45% using them as part of healthcare plan for older pets, and 45% using them for a specific behavioral condition.

Other alternative pet therapies popular with pet owners include aromatherapy (81%), reflexology (70%), and naturopathy (73%). More than a quarter of pets have been treated with mobility-related therapies such as massage, physical therapy, chiropractic, and acupuncture.

I’ll have what he’s having

As people continue to grow more aware of how diet affects their own health and wellness, leading them to try new foods, diets, and eating plans, this trend continues to be reflected in the way they feed their pets. Of those surveyed, 45% follow a special diet and almost twice as many (70%) have put their pet on a special diet, too. For example, almost half of pet owners who eat organic also feed their pets an organic diet. And 15% cook meals for their pets.

So what does the future hold for your pets?

Whatever it holds for you, apparently.