Pet trends and new buzzwords are two things we like at Small Business Labs. So we get really excited when there's a new pet related buzzword.
"Pet Partner" is the latest way to describe the relationship between a pet and its "pet parent".
Pet parent, of course, is a term used instead of "pet owner", which pet parents consider too coarse a term for the relationship they have with their pet.
People preferring "pet partner" like this term because it describes a more equal relationship between the pet and its significant human/humans than "pet parent".
I continue to be a dog owner.
Anyway, it turns out there's a growing trend towards pet parents and pet partners cooking food for their pets.
The Wall Street Journal's More Pet Brands Target Owners Who Like to Cook Their Own Dog Food describes this trend. Key quote:
More pet owners want to feed their dogs and cats fresh food like the stuff people eat. These pet "parents" want to do more than dump food from a can or a bag into a bowl. They want to prepare a meal for their pet the way they would for a family member.
Pet food companies are responding by making pet food that require humans to "refrigerate, freeze, dice, heat and/or mix-in additional ingredients like meat and vegetables."
For example, the Freshpet product below requires the dog's significant human to do a modest amount of prep work prior to serving.
The shift towards cooking for pets is part of the broader pet humanization trend. Key quote from the article:
"Just putting the bowl on the ground and walking away isn't the humanized experience that pet parents are looking for."
As the article points out, pet food is a big industry. 2013 U.S. pet food sales totaled an estimated $21 billion, up 24% since 2008.