This Year’s Pet Wellness Trends

French bulldog smiling next to a plant

Looking for new ways to take great care of your four-legged family member? Check out these pet wellness trends for 2022.

Healthy Eating

Year over year, one of the top trends in pet wellbeing is a desire to provide our furry friends with a diet that is as healthy and nutritious as possible. Many pet parents are reading the packaging of pet food products carefully and avoiding selections that include fillers or complicated ingredient lists.

Products that are labeled “organic,” “natural,” or “human grade” are becoming increasingly popular. As you shop for pet food, keep in mind that these claims are not well regulated. For instance, the claim “human grade” lets you know that you could safely eat the contents, but there are no standards to define what that means.

The only claim you need to be aware of on your pet food labels is “complete and balanced.” Complete lets you know that the product has all the nutrients your pet needs. Balanced tells you those nutrients are appropriately proportioned.

Home Cooked Meals

Some pet parents have taken to cooking their pet’s meals on their own. This way, they know exactly what they are feeding their pets. There are plenty of safe and healthy options that you can make for your pet if you have the time and the interest.

For instance, you can roast skinless chicken breasts, bake white or sweet potatoes, or cook up a batch of carrots or broccoli. Avoid adding unhealthy fats like butter, salt, and spices that might upset your pet’s stomach.

If you want to cook all or some of your pet’s meals, talk with your veterinarian to ensure you’re meeting their nutritional needs. You’ll also want to make sure you’re feeding them the right amount for their size and age to help avoid weight gain.

Do you know what foods are safe for your pet? Learn about 13 things not to feed your dog and foods that can harm your cat.

Subscription Pet Food

Have you tried a subscription meal service like Hello Fresh, Blue Apron, or Purple Carrot for yourself? How about one for your pet? There are plenty of options, including the Farmer’s Dog, PetPlate, and Ollie, and they’re on the list of pet wellness trends for 2022.

Part of the draw of these services is their convenience. Healthy and nutritious pet meals are delivered to your door each week right on schedule. Some services even allow you to personalize your pet’s meals based on their breed, age, and health.

The downside to subscription meal services is that they can be costly. They’re certainly not for everyone, but they’re gaining ground as more pet parents look for new ways to feed their pets a healthy diet without a lot of effort.

fluffy dog on a gold leash eating out of a light blue bowl

Health Boosting Supplements

Lots of people take supplements to help improve their health, and many of us are giving them to our pets too. Here’s the scoop on some of the most common pet supplements.

Multivitamins

Does your pet need a daily multivitamin? Probably not. Commercial pet food labeled “complete and balanced” contains all the vitamins and minerals your pet needs. If you’re feeding your furry friend a high-quality brand of food, then multivitamins are not necessary.

In fact, excessive amounts of certain vitamins can result in health problems for your pet. Too much vitamin A can cause dehydration, and excessive amounts of calcium can result in bone issues. If you’re considering giving your pet a multivitamin, talk to your veterinarian first.

Glucosamine

Glucosamine supplements are commonly used to help pets suffering from arthritis or other painful joint issues. It’s said to reduce inflammation, slow further damage to the joints, and support overall joint health.

While there have been several studies on glucosamine in pets, more research is needed to scientifically judge its effectiveness. Ask your veterinarian if they think it could benefit your pet.

Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Like glucosamine, omega-3 fatty acids may have an anti-inflammatory effect that can help pets with arthritis or joint disease. Derived from fish oil, this supplement is also associated with promoting a healthy coat, helping with certain allergies, and preventing mental decline due to old age.

Not all the potential benefits of omega-3 fatty acids have been thoroughly studied. However, there is research that backs up its ability to aid arthritic dogs.

Antioxidants

Antioxidants, such as vitamin E and vitamin C, can help neutralize free radicals that damage healthy cells and reduce chronic inflammation. Research, including a study on therapy dogs, has shown that antioxidants can be beneficial to pets.

A great way to increase your pet’s intake of healthy antioxidants is to feed them safe fruits and veggies that contain antioxidants, like blueberries, carrots, or green beans.

Probiotics

Like probiotics for humans, pet probiotics are intended to replenish and maintain the healthy bacteria in the gut. They’re thought to support digestion and alleviate pet stomach issues.

Currently, there isn’t enough research to understand whether probiotics offer any real advantage for our pets. There is anecdotal evidence that they can help in certain instances, but it hasn’t been proven out by existing research.

CBD

CBD or cannabidiol is one of the biggest pet care industry trends in the last few years. There are all sorts of CBD products on the market, including oils, drops, chews, and treats. They also make lots of claims, such as reducing anxiety, promoting sleep, and managing pain. As of now, there is no research available to support the benefits of CBD products for pets.

There is some concern that these products could harm your pet, especially since they aren’t regulated. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) warns that some CBD products are being sold with unproven claims and of unknown quality. There is a risk that they could upset your pet’s stomach or damage their liver.

boston terrier smiling while resting on a walk

Health and Wellness Technology for Pets

Lots of us wear a FitBit or Apple Watch to help improve our health, so it’s not surprising that these types of high-tech gadgets are part of this year’s trends in pet care. Wearable pet monitors like Whistle and FitBark can help you make sure your pet is getting enough activity and sleep. They also have GPS capabilities, so you can track your dog’s movements and know where they are at all times.

Wearable monitors aren’t the only tech gadget that can help you keep your pet healthy. Two-way video cameras let you check in on your pet when you’re out of the house to make sure they’re safe and staying out of trouble. Some even let you toss out treats or play games with your pet from an app on your phone. 

There’s also kitty litter that can let you know something might be wrong with your cat. It changes color in reaction to the acidity and alkalinity levels in your cat’s urine. If the litter turns colorful, it could be time to visit the veterinarian.

A messy coat, loss of appetite, and hiding more than usual are all signs that your cat could be sick. Learn ways to detect an illness in your cat.

Alternative Therapies for Pets

Alternative therapies are another one of the fastest-rising trends in pet wellbeing. More veterinarians are recommending these types of treatments to help pets with certain health conditions. For instance, your veterinarian might suggest hydrotherapy to help with arthritis or physical therapy after an injury.

Other alternative therapies include massage, chiropractic treatment, physical therapy, acupuncture, low-level laser therapy, and stem cell therapy. Your veterinarian can help you determine if an alternative therapy would benefit your pet. They can also refer you to a reputable provider if they don’t offer the service at their practice.

One of today’s trends in pet insurance is to offer broad coverage, which includes alternative therapies and behavioral conditions. Find out what we cover.

Paying for Costly Veterinary Care

We call pets our fur babies for a reason. They’re part of our families, and we take care of them as if they were our own children. And like our children, we’re more willing than ever to spend whatever it takes on their medical care to help them recover from an accident or illness.

Why is veterinary care so expensive? In part, it’s because of the state-of-the-art treatments available for pets, like MRIs, radiation, and advanced surgeries, which can come with high price tags.

Fortunately, pet parents can get help paying their veterinary bills with a pet insurance plan. See if pet insurance is worth it for your pet.

The information presented in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and does not constitute or substitute for the advice of your veterinarian.

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