We’re now experiencing the dog days of summer -- so why not use the heat, and the hounds, to explore some trends?
There’s no doubt the pandemic has impacted the dogs that provide essential companionship in these home confinement times.
For one, it seems dog products are a fast-growing category. The global dog training equipment market is set to grow at a steady rate during 2021-2026. As reported by Adify, categories slated to grow include dog bark control devices, dog training clickers, collars and harnesses.
And there’s more. The pet dietary supplements market is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 6.4% from 2020 to 2027 to reach $1.05 billion by 2027.
And then there’s pet food. QY Research published a report titled “Global Pet Foods Market Research Report 2020,“ predicting that the global market will develop generously and succeed in volume and value during the predicted time period.
At the same time, there’s a growing concern about dog welfare as well. The COVID-19 pandemic hit Dallas hard. Operation Kindness, one of the region’s largest no-kill shelters, jumped in to make sure dogs were cared for, too. The nonprofit’s pet food pantry provides food, toys, and other supplies to pet owners who are struggling financially. In June, the pantry distributed 6,502 pounds of dry food and 23,782 ounces of canned food. “There are families and pets in need, and we can help them,” said Natalie Buxton of Operation Kindness.
And dogs are doing more than providing companionship in these trying times —- they’re also being trained to sniff out the scent of COVID.
According to a pilot study published in BMC Infectious Diseases by the University Veterinary Medicine Hannover — and reported by CBS News — eight armed forces dogs in Germany could identify the virus in humans after just five days of training. The dogs sniffed the saliva of more than 1,000 people, both healthy and infected, identifying the virus with a 94% success rate.
“We think this works because metabolic processes in the body of a diseased patient is completely changed, and we think that the dogs are able to detect a specific smell of the metabolic changes that occur in those patients,” Professor Dr. Maren Von Köckritz-Blickwede said in a YouTube video on the study.
Dogs are also being drawn into current politics.
White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany claimed on Friday that "Paw Patrol," a cartoon about rescue dogs, was canceled. McEnany said Trump is “appalled by cancel culture, and cancel culture specifically as it pertains to cops.”
But "Paw Patrol" fans, fear not. Nickelodeon's Executive Vice President of Corporate Communications David Bittler told USA Today the show will remain on the air. The "PAW Patrol" Twitter account also confirmed this in a tweet, telling followers there's "no need to worry.”
So cartoon police dogs remain very much part of Nickelodeon’s schedule. No need to howl about it any further.
As the summer heats up, and the dogs settle down for a cool drink of water under a tree, fear not. Man’s best friend -- or more appropriately, human’s best friend -- is going to do just fine, and will be there for you in these challenging times.