There are countless wellness trends that are shaping up to influence us humans in a major way this year. But how many of them will affect our dogs?
We humans have been taking better care of ourselves lately. But some of the hottest wellness trends are going to the dogs – literally! Pet parents have plenty of exciting new products and services to choose from, all in the name of keeping Fido fit and healthy.
Cannabinoids just for dogs
CBD is everywhere these days, helping us ease our aches and pains, deal with anxiety, and sleep soundly. While THC (the psychoactive component in marijuana) is toxic to dogs, other cannabinoids can be beneficial. Holistic veterinarians and even some mainstream vets recommend organic CBD oil for dogs suffering from arthritis and inflammation, anxiety, and even certain seizure disorders. Dog-specific CBD products may help dogs deal with side effects from cancer treatments as well.
Since cannabinoids are still being researched, you may want to chat with your vet if you’re considering CBD products for your dog. The AKC’s Chief Veterinary Officer, Dr. Jerry Klein, explains that the legalization of marijuana and related products have triggered an increased interest in CBD and its potential health benefits for humans and pets alike, saying that “we are likely to see continued interest in CBD and an increase in research about its uses and efficacy in the coming years.”
Wellness-centered doggie cuisine
Customized meal plans that mimic healthy meal delivery programs like Blue Apron and Green Chef have been on dog owners’ radar lately. Just like the delivery services that bring us fresh, pre-measured portions for our own meals, these canine caterers whip up freshly-made food with premium human-grade ingredients.
But fresh delivery isn’t the only dog food trend. Many pet parents are embracing raw diets for their pups, some are going organic, and others are topping their pets’ meals with plant-based protein sources. We aren’t the only ones chowing down on chickpeas and other healthy legumes these days!
Speaking of sustainable options, there’s another option on the table. The cricket protein trend has enjoyed quite a surge recently and now it’s gaining traction as an ingredient in pet food. People have been eating insects forever – after all, bugs are a portable protein source that’s readily available. Now, the same cricket flour that makes its way into eco-friendly food for humans is a valuable protein source for dogs – and they love the way it tastes.
A stronger focus on gut health
Visit your favorite supermarket and you’ll probably notice more fermented foods, along with prebiotic and probiotic supplements aimed at balancing your gut’s microbiome. We’re seeing a trend toward improving Rover’s gut health too, with dog food that includes prebiotics and/or probiotics, special supplements, and more.
Fresh dog food delivery services
The online food delivery market is set to be valued at a whopping $200 billion by 2025. Chances are you’ve ordered food to your door this year, but have you started doing so for your four-legged friend?
While fresh dog food services don’t come cheap, most allow you to set up an online profile for your dog to allow for food customization based on health issues, weight, breed and/or age.
Healthy herbal supplements
Herbal remedies and natural supplements such as turmeric, hawthorn, and cinnamon are more popular than ever – and not only for people! You’ll want to chat with your vet if you’re hoping to address your dog’s issues with herbal medicine, particularly if your pet takes any medications. Once you’re given the all clear, you’ll find that there are plenty of natural ways to help your dog enjoy better health.
Fitness trackers just for Fido
Wearable technology is absolutely everywhere these days so it’s not surprising that this wellness trend has extended to fitness trackers for dogs. There are a number of options; for example, the FitBark tracks your pet’s activity and sleep, plus it’s compatible with fitness tracking apps you might already be using, including Fitbit, Google, and Apple. Others including the Findster Duo+ and the Link AKC Smart Dog Collar are dual-purpose activity trackers that feature built-in GPS to help you find your pet if needed.
What’s good for the planet is often good for us – and for our pets! Organic, non-GMO foods without herbicides such as glyphosate are all the rage, as are sustainable recycled materials. Natural dog shampoo and flea repellent, collars and toys made with earth-friendly bamboo or hemp, bamboo cooling mats, and comfy dog beds made with recycled plastic bottles are just some of the hottest options. Eco-friendly poop bags offer a sustainable alternative to the plastic variety.
If you’re drinking your water from a glass, ceramic, or stainless steel bottle these days, congrats! Just as it’s important for you to stay away from endocrine disruptors found in plastic, it’s vital to serve up your pet’s food and water in a healthy dish. While glass, ceramic, and metal dog bowls have been an option forever, they’re quickly gaining popularity over the plastic variety. There are even eco-friendly bamboo pet dishes made with hardened bamboo fiber that’s nearly indestructible.
Acupuncture, acupressure & more
These healing arts have been around forever but these days, they’re going more mainstream. So much so that it’s quite easy to find acupuncture and acupressure practitioners who specialize in treating pets. As acupressure involves no needles and is easy for pet parents to learn, it’s also possible for you to pick up a few helpful moves of your own.
Massage therapy, reiki, crystal healing, and other holistic wellness treatments are going more mainstream, too, giving you even more opportunities to help your dog thrive.
Besides embracing this year’s hottest wellness trends for yourself, you might want to consider updating your dog’s routine. There are lots of healthy options to explore!
Emma Williams is a professional writer and pet parent who has written for big publishers including Canadian Dogs Annual, The Telegraph, Home Beautiful and Marriage.com. She enjoys sharing her knowledge on pet health, lifestyle topics and pet behavior.