The pet humanization trend has engulfed the entire world, with owners caring for and spending on their pets as they would for a family member. The rising demand for pet related products and services has proven to be a boon for the industry and by no means is it limited to food and drugs alone. Pet owners are increasingly treating their cats, dogs and even small mammals like members of their family. The opportunity to commercialize this trend into a vast range of goods and services — from dog beer to cat counselling, from pet weddings to “social petworking” — is staggering. And lets not forget plastic surgery, tread mills, clairvoyants, the list is endless. So here are a few examples of how we are humanizing pets in our homes. Wowser Bowser how times have changed!
For instance, given that astrology has a profound effect upon our human world so it also influences the lives of our pets and just as the zodiac is divided up into 12 very different personality types it is perfectly natural that this should extend to animals. For example a homely Cancerian dog is much more likely to prefer curling up by the fire than an adventurous Aries of the same breed who will constantly yearn to explore the great outdoors. And so too with cats. Cats can be hedonists, lazy, friendly, aggressive or timid. All these different traits can be explained by studying the astrological influences that determine their character and behavior patterns.
The increasing humanization of pets and emphasis on their health has created opportunities in, for instance, the veterinary healthcare market. Used to be, vaccines and pharmaceuticals accounted for the bulk of the demand in veterinary healthcare however, now pet owners are demanding technology reserved in the past just for just humans including advanced surgical options, cloning, 24 hour emergency care, another endless list.
Consider that The American Holistic Veterinary Medical Association defines holistic medicine as “treatment that is minimally invasive.” This means the techniques and products used to treat the animal cause less physical stress and typically produce fewer side effects than with traditional drugs. Holistic medicine’s popularity has sprung from the fact that many pet owners have personal experience with alternative medicine themselves (herbology, acupuncture, massage therapy, chiropractic, etc.). In turn, they are searching for less invasive ways to treat their pets. Holistic medicine is traditionally a natural, nonintrusive, and often affordable alternative that focuses on preventative treatments — as well as the emotional wellbeing of the patient.
And what Pet Gazette readers doesn’t know that treatment for pets isn’t cheap, and pet owners don’t mind putting down the money. According to a recent survey 61% of pet owners say they’d spend between $100 and $1,000 for life saving medical treatment. While 10% of owners said they would be willing to pay $3,000 or more for medical care if their pet required it. Beyond the heroic sentiment, animal health insurance has become increasingly popular in a world of unexpected veterinarian costs and tightening budgets. Several years ago, few companies existed that offer animal health insurance. Now the market is booming. Research found that 97% of pet owners surveyed had personal health insurance, and 60% of those employed animal health insurance for their pets.
But why the recent trend in pet humanization? Now it seems dog owners take natural tendencies of canines — loyalty, devotion and respect — as the deeper emotional characteristics of love, affection, connection and full acceptance. This quickly translates into a feeling that Fido is more than a family pet; they are family And the need for companionship is one of the most important factors driving the growth of pets globally. Hectic lifestyles, coupled with growing urbanization trend, has meant that most people have scant time for socializing. These trends have led to a rise in the number of people acquiring pets to deal with their loneliness.
Most people are familiar with dogs that assist their blind or otherwise disabled owners.But a Therapy dog offers a different kind of help. Some pay informal social visits to people to boost their spirits, while others work in a more structured environment with trained professionals like physical therapists and social workers to help patients reach clinical goals, such as increased mobility or improved memory. In some programs a dog may stay with a patient for as little as five minutes or as long as an hour, depending upon the patient’s needs.
Now think back to the last time you overheard a conversation about doggy day care or dog spas or saw a monogrammed dog sweater.The modern era of dog ownership has begun. It’s becoming a more accepted practice for owners to buy burial plots for their dogs. These premium offerings and services are more common in everyday life now. In fact TV’s first network for canines, DOGTV offers a promise to our beloved best friends that they should never again feel alone. DOGTV provides television for dogs as a 24/7 digital TV channel with dog — friendly programing scientifically developed to provide the right company for dogs when left alone. Through years of research with some of the world’s top pet experts, special content was created to meet specific attributes of a dog’s sense of vision and hearing and supports their natural behavior patterns. The result: a confident, happy dog, who’s less likely to develop stress, separation anxiety or other related problems. It is why DOGTV and The Humane Society work together to keep dogs happy and in their homes for a lifetime.
Although the overall growth of pets in our lives has been a trend for a long time, the recent phenomenon of pet humanization has a lot to do with the emotional discord that many people feel with the society. For example, according to a recent survey 41% of dog and cat owners said they thought their pets loved them more than their partner.
So it shouldn’t surprise anyone thinking of leaving a chunk of change to Fido or Fluffy that a Trust can be set up for them. “In our current legal system, an animal can’t own property. Some human has to be in charge. A will is a transfer of assets. Once it’s done, there’s no ongoing supervision,” explained Mary Randolph, a non-practicing lawyer and the author of “Every Dog’s Legal Guide”. Randolph suggests a pet trust. This legal document — recognized in 39 states and the District of Columbia — outlines the continued care and maintenance of domestic animals and names new caregivers or directs trustees to find new homes for pets. “A trustee has a legal duty of carrying out your wishes,” she said.
While owners may simply include their pets as provisions in their wills, Michael Markarian of the Humane Society believes a trust is a better option in case of disability. He said, “Wills may take weeks to be executed and could be contested, but a living trust can be written to immediately take effect.”
Creating one does take time. Select a pet-friendly lawyer or estate planner and expect to pay from $500 to $1,000 for their services. Be sure to consider your pet’s financial future. Some owners make outright gifts of cash for their animals’ care.
So it is obvious that pet humanization has led to a surge in the trend for luxury products that has brought pet humanization into the limelight. Dog houses and human’s own homes designed by experts, TV channel specifically dedicated to dogs, and pet insurance are just some of the offerings that the pet care industry has to scale up to in the recent times. The unique trend of pet humanization has even led to added emphasis on clothing. Owners want their pets to flaunt the latest styles, and fashion shows, and “collections” are featured on runways!
The trend towards pet humanization has brought about a complete change in the we care for our pets. It should be interesting to watch as it evolves further and further.