High Pet and Vet Convention Season Yields Five Top Pet Trends to Watch

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It’s early spring… which means I’m exhausted. Convention weary, in particular. To make matters worse, I’m still suffering an aircraft-induced upper respiratory infection. Winter can be so brutal for those of us who attend the annual flurry of pet- and vet-themed conferences that populate the early months of the year. Good thing I’ve got some solid pet-trend insight to show for it!

Which is the point, after all. Not only do veterinarians attend conferences to help cram in the continuing education credits we need to keep our licenses in good standing, we attend to celebrate the myriad needs and niceties due our pets in the service of their health.

What’s especially entertaining is that every year those desirable particulars take on a unique dimension that reflects where we are, as a culture, with respect to animals and their health care. And it’s these big picture takeaways that keep me coming back, year after year –– despite the minor risks afforded by modern air travel.

This year has been no different. Indeed, there’s been much to marvel over, not least of which revolves around the fact that the pet industry continues to expand. With that in mind, I offer you 2013’s top five pet trends:

Humanization

It’s not my favorite trend, but there you have it. The rise in the baby-fication of pets may have its creepy side, but its significant not only because it means more people are willing to treat pets as family (in a very good way), but, where the industry is concerned, because it fuels sales in all sectors.

Whether we’re talking about increased health-care spending or more little pink dresses, the notion of pets as children has some serious legs. Which has its implications for animal welfare, too, of course.

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