Sales of smart pet products grew 11% to $491 million in 2019, according to a Packaged Facts report, and many of the new products work with smartphones and mobile apps to let pet owners interact with the products. Pet doors and invisible fencing systems comprised 36% of the category, which also includes collars, toys, cameras and food dispensers.
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Some residents of Brickell Key in Miami, Fla., say the island's coronavirus sanitation measures have sickened them and their dogs. Sidewalks, a walk around the island's perimeter, parks, benches and trash bins were being sprayed with a commercial disinfectant each morning, and some residents blame the disinfectant for their dogs' vomiting and diarrhea.
Dogs are likely to try to rescue their owners if they perceive distress and can figure out how, researchers reported in PLOS ONE. Dogs were more likely to try to open a box if their owner was inside signaling distress than if the owner was calmly reading aloud or if food was dropped into an empty box.
Animal behaviorist Patricia McConnell says dog owners who have been staying home from workplaces should begin getting their dog accustomed to being alone again and continue providing mental stimulation by taking various walking routes, for example. If dogs do misbehave after household routines change, punishing them after the fact will do no good and could exacerbate problems, says veterinarian Katherine Houpt, a professor emeritus of behavior medicine at Cornell University's College of Veterinary Medicine.
Consumers avoiding crowds in the age of social distancing have shifted more of their grocery shopping online, and that includes pet food, according to a Commercial Cafe survey. Online sales of pet food are up 9% from before the pandemic hit, according to research firm Acosta, and as many as 40% of online pet product shoppers have set up automatic reorders.
A new restaurant and dog park hybrid, Hops and Hounds in San Antonio, offers bar food staples and dog inspired drinks. After a coronavirus-caused delay, the one-acre dog-friendly spot opened last week with limited capacity and plans to add more employees as demand grows.
With quarantine lasting into the summer, many people will have more time to spend with their pets. Rene Lynch has compiled a guide of pet-friendly summer activities including hiking with the dog and teaching cats new tricks.
An artist in Nova Scotia is working with local animal rescue groups to help find homes for dogs that are old, have medical problems or are otherwise hard to place in homes. Haley MacLean paints portraits of the dogs and donates them to people who adopt.