The pet industry is growing by leaps and bounds as a result of rising pet ownership across the globe. In 2023, the number of homes with at least one pet surged to 86.9 million, accounting for 66% of households. 33% of pet owners are represented by Generation Y, a quarter by Gen X, and 24% by boomers. The numbers more than doubled over the past few decades, with the highest spike witnessed in the following months after the lockdown caused by the pandemic.

From friends to mood-lifters, pets have become important family members for their owners. As interest in offering our beloved companions grows, so does their market and the share of products and services developed for pets. This makes businesses and investors seek ways to capitalize on the hype and analyze trends to come up with the best strategies for supplying, food processing, product packaging, marketing, and other internal operations.

If you want a slice of the pie, but entrepreneurship is not your cup of tea, you may consider investing in a start-up. More projects are emerging with revolutionary ideas to battle incumbent leading companies and make a name for themselves. However, only some projects are bound to succeed, as surviving the fierce competition takes more than an innovative plan.

So, what are the signs that a start-up is worth investing in?

Pet humanization

A smart start-up that may make a good investment opportunity recognizes how the better-for-you industry is innovating and finding its way into the pet economy, too. As the new generations become more aware of their eating habits, with the health and wellness food market expected to rise from approximately $22.8 billion to 1 trillion USD by 2026, pet owner interest shifts to better-quality and healthy supplies. If they were once used to spending valuable time searching for products for themselves online, today, they are increasingly focusing more on the well-being of their companionship. They’re pouring money into offerings that show care and understanding towards their furry friends, with over half of surveyed pet parents ready to spend more for eco-friendly and ethically-sourced products.

Therefore, many of the trends reflected in human food will also be seen in the pet economy. Ethical sourcing, sustainable objectives, and healthier products are the areas that a start-up should focus on to cater to customers’ preferences. However, entrepreneurs have a lot on their plate and should prevent issues in the pet industry, like inadequate ingredient procurement or cross-contamination, from occurring in their factories. According to experts from, cross-contamination can be prevented by using the right solutions and equipment.

A different approach to pet healthcare

The high cost of medication and expensive veterinary bills have always been the pet peeves of pet owners, often representing reasons that would restrain pet enthusiasts from adopting. According to research from American Pet Products Association, in 2021, over 32% billion were poured into the veterinary care industry and related products.

Pet insurance companies answer to a long-latent demand to create more diversified and lifelong plans for pet owners who want to keep their companions in check and ensure some or all of their treatments will be covered. There are also efforts to develop new clinical diagnostic tools and more comprehensive strategies for veterinary care.

The boom of telehealth

Just like with the better-for-you trend, remote healthcare is no longer limited to humans. Telehealth has grown significantly during the pandemic, with pet telemedicine following in its footsteps, especially since the FDA halted the requirement for in-person vet checks. The number of veterinary applications jumped during the first months of the lockdown, acting as a catalyst for the ongoing rise of pet telehealth.

This upsurge in the field did not show signs of stopping over the past years, as more telehealth companies are emerging on the market. Additionally, there’s a broader selection of products and services and a fiercer battle for the customer dollar. This is why start-ups are turning their focus towards telehealth and stand an excellent chance to thrive.  

If you look for companies to invest in, start-ups that look to the future and think further from their entry point are a good start.  

A new era of pet wellness

Pet wellness is gaining new means as owners grow increasingly concerned about their furry friends’ welfare and long-term health. This fuels a thriving wellness industry, with trends in mental health, gut health, hygiene, nutrition, sleep, skincare, anti-ageing and immunity at the forefront. A booming trend is the pet spa, which provides a vast selection of animal-friendly services, including massage, manicure, and pedicure.

With today’s oversaturated markets, newcomers should understand that it’s more crucial than ever to create innovative services and products that cater to ever-changing needs and address customers’ issues and concerns. The expanding pet industry, from health to food to wellness, demonstrates that pet owners perceive their furry pals’ needs in a similar light as they see their own. Gen X-ers are more willing to splurge on their pets’ well-being and pay more for premium products using high-quality ingredients and sustainable food processing. The projects you’ll invest in must be future-oriented, and you need to make thorough research in this regard.

Omnichannel shopping

Omnichannel shopping is another trend changing the face of the pet industry. Whether it’s treats, toys, or food the customer is spending on, this purchasing method is gaining ground. There’s a balance between brick-and-mortar experiences and online orders, meaning that the new start-ups have more ventures to reach out to customers from different walks of life.

It’s worth mentioning that this type of customer shows different behaviors compared to in-store counterparts. Instead of looking at the brand, they tend to value product attributes more. This is good news for fresh businesses in their infancy, as they’re encouraged to invest more in their offerings and provide quality over other offerings.

The pet industry is gaining new nuances as owners become increasingly more focused on their pets’ well-being and health. If you’re willing to invest in such a start-up, make profound research and do it when you’ve gained enough insight.