A Quick History
By recording metrics like pulse, respiration, body temperature, calories burnt, rest patterns, food intake, heart rate, and more, as well as the movements of pets, these devices have become increasingly popular over the past few years among people who want to improve tracking the health and wellness of their pets.
“The growing trend of pet humanization, along with the increasing concerns among pet parents about the well-being of their pets, represents one of the key factors influencing the demand for pet wearables positively,” concluded a new report on the worldwide pet wearable industry recently published to ResearchAndMarkets.com.
Another driver of growth has been an uptick in missing or stolen pets. Per American Humane, approximately 10 million cats and dogs are stolen or lost in the US each year. In England and Wales, in particular, dog theft increased by 20% from 2016 to 2018.
All this, compounded by the development and integration of advanced technologies — radio-frequency identification (RFID), internet of things (IoT), global positioning systems (GPS) trackers, Bluetooth sensors, cameras, transmitters, and more — has helped drive growth. Specifically, the global pet wearable market increased in size at a compound annual growth rate of around 15% from 2014 to 2019 — and experts say this is just the beginning.
Today’s Market Snapshot
“Wearable technology is witnessing a swift adoption owing to its diversified applications in tracking and identifying, monitoring behavior, diagnosing medical problems and the safety and security of pets,” reads a separate study from analytics firm Grandview Research. “The integration of various technologies…for enhancing the quality of life of companion animals has also influenced the pet wearable market growth.”
Grandview Research valued the market at $1.6 billion in 2019, following years of steady growth driven by changing consumer habits both domestically and abroad that have opened the door for these devices, in addition to the potential applications of these devices in medical diagnoses and treatment.
North America leads in terms of countries contributing to market growth. The Grandview Research study clarifies that North America was responsible for $635.1 million in market revenue in 2019, an amount that is expected to continue rising as Americans increase their pet care spending. While the global market is in its “emerging stages,” other countries, including several in the Asia Pacific region and Australia, have signaled burgeoning interest in these products.
“The increasing number of pets in countries such as China, Japan, and Fiji is anticipated to create substantial opportunities for the players operating in the region as well as global market,” said Grandview Research.
The market is segmented into the four key applications of pet wearables: 1) Behavior monitoring and control; 2) Identification and tracking; 3) Medical diagnosis and treatment; 4) Facilitation, safety, and security. The biggest contributor to growth in 2019 was the identification and tracking segment, which dominated the market with a share of 63%.
The most prominent players in the market include:
- Allflex USA Inc.
- Avid Identification Systems, Inc.
- Garmin Ltd.
- Intervet Inc.
- Invisible Fence
- Konectera Inc.
- PetPace LLC
- Trovan Ltd.
- Whistle Labs, Inc.
These companies have managed to stand out in a market described by Grandview Research as “witnessing intense competition among new entrants and existing players.” The development of new technologies and the expansion of product offerings help businesses rise above the rest. “Companies are focusing on strategic collaborations, expansion, and acquisitions to strengthen their positions in the global market,” according to the report, which explains that large insurance companies are also trying to get involved in this business.
One example of this is that Fitbark, a manufacturer of wireless dog activity monitoring devices, forged a partnership with Fitbit in 2018 which allowed pet owners to track the activity of both themselves and their pets. Another is RSA investing in PitPatPet in January 2018, a move aimed at educating pet owners about the health of their animals.
Going forward, the market is expected to continue growing at a compound annual rate of 14.3% from 2020 to 2027. Grandview expects the market to reach a whopping $4.6 billion by 2027.
Despite its projected growth, however, there are some complicating factors to be aware of — particularly if you’re thinking about investing or entering the space. Key challenges, according to the reports, are a mix of technological flaws and long-term, large-scale consumer habit crises.
“Most of these wearable devices use advanced technologies that consume a lot of power, such as wireless networks and GPS, thus requiring frequent charging cycles,” wrote Grandview Research. “This reduces battery life, thus contributing to additional maintenance expenses for pet owners, which may hinder market growth. Additionally, the high initial cost of pet wearable devices owing to the integration of high-end technology is anticipated to hamper the growth of the market over the coming years, especially among emerging countries.”
Nonetheless, the market is expected to see significant and consistent growth, seeing more applications in the medical space so that things won’t be too “ruff.”
About the Author
Jemima is a journalist who enjoys reporting on business, particularly small business and entrepreneurship.