Zack Manko and his dog Sorcha provide some "predictions" for pet lovers & their pets as we move into 2022.
A new year is upon us! We hope you’ve recovered from the holiday celebrations and are ready to get down to business. In addition to resolutions that we are all definitely keeping beyond the second week of January (we swear), the New Year is also a time for making predictions about the coming months. From canine seers to market analysts, everybody is prognosticating about what will happen.
Sorsha and I are ready to throw our hats (or collars) into the ring. We’ve pulled out all the stops and are using a variety of sources for our 2022 predictions. This includes industry research, scientific evidence, and good old-fashioned guess work.
Of course, all these predictions will deal with dogs or pet ownership. So, dust off your copy of Nostradamus and get ready for some pooch prophecies!
Research from the American Kennel Club suggests that there will be a general increase in pet spending over the next 12 months. This rise in costs is not just for basic purchases like beds, crates, leashes, or collars either. Vet care, grooming supplies, and doggy daycare also make up a considerable portion of the swell. All told, the AKC predicts a surge of 35% in pet spending for 2022.
Additionally, we believe that some of this increase is due to premium pet products. From designer dog food (see below) to CBD-based pet products, there are more options than ever before to spoil your hound.
From Fur to Feathers (And Scales)
In addition to the changes in pet spending, 2022 should be a year where critters outside the norm get their turn in the spotlight. According to market research in the pet industry, there has been a general uptick in fish, small mammals (hamsters, gerbils, and other rodents), birds, amphibians, and lizard ownership. Reports indicate that over 12% of American households can now boast having such creatures.
Many of these pet purchases were in response to the pandemic, as people, denied the ability to meet with friends and family, needed a substitute for such companionship. Since 2020 saw a rise in dog and cat ownership, it is not that surprising that other types of pet ownership increased as well. After all, not everyone has the space, resources, or inclination to care for a dog or cat, so getting a smaller, more self-sufficient pet is only natural. Pets of any sort or size offer their owners something to focus their love and attention on.
Who knows? Maybe crabs and goats are next. Regardless, though alternative critters are on the rise, it is doubtful that they will outpace dogs and cats as the favorite household animals. For her part, Sorsha insists that we get a flock of sheep for her to shepherd. It would be great exercise for her, and it would provide a source of the many, many benefits of wool.
Packing in the protein is not just for bodybuilders (or working dogs). This nutrient is necessary for bodily function in all mammals, including humans and their furry companions. Luckily, there are bountiful options for acquiring protein in the people food realm, and such variety is now set to become a trend in dog food.
K9 magazine reports that unusual and interesting options for protein replacements will become more commonplace in 2022. This includes dry and dehydrated kibble that contains not chicken or beef but such exotic choices as venison, brushtail possum, and even kangaroo (from New Zealand manufacturer Addiction Foods). Other brands have launched or will launch lines that include pork, alligator, and even catfish proteins.
For whatever reason, there are also plant-based protein sources available for dogs and dog food. Plants such as sweet potatoes, lentils, tapioca, quinoa, and peas contain protein at a reasonable ratio to other nutrients.
However, be aware that not all protein is created equally. Plant-based proteins lack certain amino acids which are essential for protein metabolism (meaning that even if your dog does get protein from vegetable sources, their body won’t be able to properly use it). This is as true for humans as it is for dogs. Fortunately, these amino acids are readily available in animal proteins, so be sure that your critter eats a balanced diet (and that you do, too).
Going All Natural
Speaking of pet food, pet owners can look forward to exploring new, more health-conscious food choices for their animals this year. While “natural” has been a buzzword for a while now, 2022 will see an increase in the usage of other watch words.
For example, consumer market research group Packaged Facts indicates that terms like "fresh", "limited ingredient", and "superfood" will all supplant "natural" as the hip taglines for products and slogans. Dog food manufacturers will be jockeying to outdo each other in this regard.
Remember, while such trendy monikers and slogans sound good, that does not necessarily mean that they are good. Many are well-intentioned, but sometimes companies use such terms deceptively, to entice buyers while hiding unsavory truths about their food. The best companies will be transparent about how they source and use their ingredients. As usual, do your research, think critically, ask questions, and decide for yourself
The Fido Forecast Says . . .
2022 is a new year indeed. This can bring a lot of pressure, as some people may set high expectations for themselves, only to get discouraged when they fall short. This can cause them to quit prematurely.
Instead of falling into this bad habit, we suggest a different strategy—take a cue from your loving four-legged friend. Dogs are loyal to a fault and show benevolence toward you even when you fail. Be the same with yourself. If you don’t meet your New Year’s resolution goals (or your 2022 predictions turn out to be dead wrong), don’t beat yourself up—just try again!
Sorsha and I would also like to remind you that the best way to predict the future is to create it. So don’t just complain, worry, or dwell on the future—get out there and make it happen!
Happy New Year!