Dog-friendly hotels and pet centric activities like yappy hour and cat cafes are on the rise. Picture: Supplied

The world of pet parenting is changing. Pets are the family we choose and we treat them as such.  

From daycare, hotel stays, clothing and food choices, we are humanising our pets, says South African pet nutrition expert, Hill’s.   

There are six trends that are shaping the human world which underpin the humanisation of our four legged friends.

The quest for balance

Balancing health and well-being with a busy schedule is a perpetual struggle and one that leaves people looking for easy, quick fixes to optimise their self-care. Super foods and nutrient-dense ingredients have gained popularity over the past decade and the trend has filtered into pet nutrition too. 

Peace of mind

Peace of mind about what goes into your body is now worth the extra time and expense – and this trend now plays a role in pet nutrition too. Pet parents look particularly for "no lists" and "free from" claims.  

Pet parents are more aware, more critical and are on the hunt for simple ingredients, transparency and clean labels to reassure them that what their pets eating and feeding is healthy.

Treading lightly

Pet parents want to know where their pets’ food comes from and what impact the foods and ingredients are having on the environment. They want to know that they are making sustainable choices that won’t ultimately negatively affect the earth.

Less is more

Less is more, streamlining, simplification, downsizing – easier is better. Consumers around the world are demanding efficiency and technology is playing an important role.

From materialism to experientialism

It’s not about what you have, but rather what you do. People are spending more on experiences and travel and less on things – and taking our pets along with us is gaining popularity. Dog-friendly hotels and pet centric activities like yappy hour and cat cafes are on the rise.

One size doesn’t fit all

There is a surge of support for companies and brands that treat consumers as individuals and not as stereotypes. Pet parents are becoming less comfortable choosing a breed specific food or a one size fits all food when their pet might be battling with an ailment of sorts that the food doesn’t address.  

Pets are an expression of human identity and brands that understand this, are the ones that will win in the future.