Internet of ‘Pet Things’ makes for happy pets, booming business

The global market for pet wearables is growing rapidly due to the increasing awareness among animal lovers about their pets’ well-being. Nearly half of pet owners in Britain have bought gadgets to keep their four-legged companions well fed, in shape, and entertained.

Owners’ increasing attachment to their pets has resulted in more spending on IoT devices dedicated to companionship, entertainment, fitness and mental wellbeing. Consumer satisfaction with the products is anticipated to further boost market growth in the coming years.

Connected devices for pets enable activity tracking, such as monitoring heart and respiratory rates, rest patterns, or calorie burning. These devices generate data that pet owners can take to the vet if necessary, to better treat the animal if it gets sick.

According to Grand View Research, the global pet wearable market was estimated at USD 1.07 billion in 2016, a figure that has kept growing ever since. And a more recent survey by LaptopsDirect.co.uk has found that Britons are particularly drawn by the trend, with 48% of them investing in technology for pets.

The study found that 39% of pet owners have purchased at least one form of smart technology to check in on their companion at home when they are at work. 33% feed their pets while away via automatic pet feeders, and 9% have bought interactive toys, including video games, to keep pets entertained. However, 62% of pet owners surveyed said their primary concern was to keep pets from feeling lonely when they were away from home.

“We have seen some really innovative pieces of technology enter the market which allows pet owners to interact when with their animals now, when left at home during the working day including dog ball launchers, video pet monitors and pet feeders,” said Mark Kelly, marketing manager at LaptopsDirect.co.uk. “As pets are part of the family, it’s no surprise Britons are happy to invest in technology to keep them happy if alone for long periods of time.”

“Given how quickly an integral part of day-to-day life technology and gadgets have become, it was only a matter of time before pets started getting in on the action too,” Kelly said.

While the IoT market for pets is indisputably good for our hairy, feathery, or scaly companions, these devices also help expand the attack surface for potential bad actors targeting smart homes. But, in a high-tech version of the old cat-and-mouse game, IoT security solutions are getting better at thwarting hackers.

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