New research finds consumers think tech can improve their pets’ well-being
Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. recently released the 2022 Pet Living Study, revealing how the rise in pet ownership across Europe is shaping our technology choices as well as our interaction with technology at home. More than half of people surveyed think technology can help improve their pets’ well-being (56%), keep them active (56%), improve their health (52%) and/or reduce separation anxiety (52%).
There are now more pets in European households than children. The survey shows that close to two-thirds (63%) of pet owners consider their pets as beloved family members. So, like parents with their children, it’s unsurprising that pets have become influential in shaping home life and purchasing decisions:
- Almost half (47%) of respondents admitted they have changed their home setup to accommodate their pets
- One-third (32%) agreed having a pet impacted their decision-making when buying a new household appliance
- Close to a third (30%) said having a pet impacted their decision on what personal technology device to buy
The survey shows that tech-savvy owners would like to be able to use technology to clean up after their pets using vacuum cleaners (53%), keeping them fed using automatic feeders (49%) and using location trackers to monitor their movements (48%). Of those who do use technology, almost two-fifths admitted it is to keep their pets safe (36%), for their own peace of mind (36%) and for added convenience (33%).
Benjamin Braun, Chief Marketing Officer for Samsung Europe said: “More homes have pets than they do children in Europe. This is changing our purchase decisions when it comes to technology. That’s why at Samsung we develop products with both humans and pets in mind. We know that pets are beloved family members so we continue to develop technology that optimises our homes for pets so they can lead happier, healthier lives.”
Keeping pets happy and healthy – no matter the cost
At a time when households are facing the ongoing cost-of-living crisis, pet owners aren’t looking to compromise when it comes to their pets.
A huge 59% of surveyed respondents said they do not plan to cut down on overall spending for their pets – while a majority (61%) said they would make other sacrifices first before they consider cutting back the amount they spend on their pets. Some owners stated they would reduce their spending on everything from necessities such as utilities (27%) and socialising with friends (40%) before cutting back their spending on their animal companions.
Loneliness is a top concern for most pet owners
As many people have returned to the office post-pandemic, loneliness is now a big concern for pet owners who face leaving their animal companions home alone for extended periods of time. Almost half (46%) of respondents said they are worried about their pets getting lonely, a number rising amongst younger people – half (50%) of owners aged 18-34 admitted this concern when it comes to their pets.
In fact, when it comes to leaving their pets at home, concerns about pets feeling lonely and bored topped other worries such as the cost of caring for a pet and the damage pets can cause to their house, furniture, or garden. Two-fifths (40%) of respondents said they worry more about their pets now that pandemic restrictions have lifted.
It appears many concerned pet owners may be turning to technology for help, with nearly half (48%) of respondents who use technology for their pets being worried about their pets getting lonely.
Benjamin Braun, Chief Marketing Officer for Samsung Europe adds: “Our homes are becoming more digital and smarter. We are developing our home solutions for all family members. Whether that be for you, your children, or your pet. Samsung’s SmartThings for pets allows owners to create the optimal environment for their pets.
For example, if your pet is wearing a SmartTag, you can see where they are on a map, and play a tune for them to come home or you can switch on the TV or lights remotely.”
Samsung’s Pet model vacuums go beyond the function of a standard vacuum. These models are specifically designed to address the needs of pet owners for cleaning their homes, making it the perfect vacuum to help keep pet-friendly homes feeling fresh.
The future of technology for pets
Pet owners are optimistic about the benefits technology can bring to their pets’ lives. But this optimism isn’t without a degree of caution – as they would with their own personal devices, owners also want to make sure their pets are protected in a digital world.
Despite this, the study reveals a desire amongst pet owners for continued innovation. Over three-fifths (62%) of respondents think pet-friendly functionality is just as important as child-friendly, while nearly half (49%) want to see more pet-friendly technologies developed in the future.
Dr Ilyena Hirskyj-Douglas, Lecturer in Animal-Computer Interaction at The University of Glasgow, who collaborated on the 2022 Pet Living study, comments: “As our homes become smarter and better connected, the way we take care of our pets will continue to be revolutionised by new smart technologies that are built not only around our own everyday lives and routines but also around the lives of the pets we share our homes with. As younger generations increasingly adopt smart devices, and as the number of people who own pets also increases, smart technology designed with pets in mind is the natural next step.”
To find out more about SmartThings Pet Care, please visit samsung.com/ie/smartthings/care-for-your-pet/.