Trends and fads concerning pets come and go, as and when we get bored with them. The most recent fad to pique our interest this Christmas is to dress the whole family including the family pets in matching pyjamas or loungewear. Why? Who knows, but the worldwide pet industry particularly China, the USA and UK is making billions because of pet humanisation.
Not a year goes by without our poor pets being burdened with a new fad created to satisfy our misplaced force majeure or compulsion to demonstrate our love for them. Dogs, our supposedly bested friends that we love so much, tend to endure most of this selfish desire on our part.
Most are fuelled by social media and patronised sadly by our celebrity role models. This idea stemmed from last Christmas when family sets of PJs were on offer, and it did not take long for marketing brains to come up with the idea of including our other family members.
Retailers quick to cash in on our eccentricities.
UK Retailers like Next, Gap, Primark and Pets at Home have all jumped in providing matching festive family PJs sets for animals referred to as ‘Fam Jams’. With the help of Instagram they will no doubt become a short-lived hit. And as with all these types of fads, animal welfare and rights campaigners are outraged. But their protests are always ignored as they are viewed as spoil sports with no sense of humour as its only a bit of fun – isn’t it?
Unfortunately, most of these fads sadly tend to belittle our pets in some way and are done purely for our amusement by supposedly making them look cuter, rather than bringing any benefit to the animals.
Retailers and pet accessory industry have always been adept and quick to cash in on our love for our pets particularly our beloved dogs. Over the years they have invested in market analysts, designers, psychologists and behaviourists to guide them on the best course of action to provide for our whims.
A few years ago they were quick to notice an emerging trend of pet owners who wanted to treat their pets as equal members of the family, little people or surrogate babies and give them similar diets, presents and lifestyles.
Pet Humanisation – an awesome opportunity.
The pet trade soon dubbed this trend “pet humanisation” which they define as:
“Pet humanisation is a natural expression of the “pets as family” trend, whereby pet owners treat their pets like children and are highly receptive to products similar to the ones they use for themselves.”Petprofessional.com.au
And encourage ‘pet-preneurs‘ to cash in as the:
fur baby phenomenon is providing an awesome opportunity for those ‘pet-preneurs’ willing to take a risk on a new pet product idea.
And so the trade is gleefully obliging us by producing birthday and Christmas presents, designer outfits, automated food dispensers, mouthwash and even electric toothbrushes and companies can even arrange glittering parties.
Pet humanisation is now the main driving force of pet trade profits.
It is now the main market driver bringing them great riches and is yet another reason the industry is one of the few that avoids all the slowdowns in the world economy and continues to increase its sales and profit margins year after year. Investors rush to get into the market because they know that pet owners are extremely eccentric in their behaviour and easy to manipulate to quickly part with money on fads and crazes.
Behind the scenes they are no doubt having a good laugh as they take all this money out of the pockets of gullible pet owners with perhaps too much love for their animals. It seems sad that we insist on falling for this retail manipulation when it does not benefit our animals in any way.