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25 Bold Pet Predictions for 2016

Predictions are all the rage this time of year. Like a dog on a walk, we like to sniff out what’s happened and eagerly await what’s lingering down the path.

But with apologies to political gurus and sports enthusiasts, we’ll steer clear of those topics typically prognosticated by talking heads as the calendar turns. Rather, our predictions will focus on what’s most important — those four-legged furry friends we lovingly call family members.

The world of pets and pet ownership is constantly evolving, trending steadily toward a deepening human-animal bond. Doghouses, table scraps, outdoor cats, and refrigerator-adorning pet Polaroids have morphed into doggy daycare, nutrient-rich cuisine, indoor felines, and pet-dominated Instagram accounts. Pets have transitioned from being a part of our lives to the center of existence.

The Chinese calendar labels 2016 as the year of the monkey, but it might as well be the year of the cat and dog. Our society’s ever-increasing adoration for our pets shows no signs of slowing down.

But, for now, we’ll stop petting our four-legged friends long enough to don our fortunetelling caps. Here’s our 25 bold predictions regarding what 2016 holds for pets, pet owners, and the pet industry:

  1. Millennials – already the largest U.S. pet-owning population segment by some calculations – will become the clear-cut leader, with 40 percent of young people between ages 18 and 34 owning a dog or cat.
  2. The popularity of both pets and social media will give rise to a pet owner-exclusive social media platform that achieves mainstream success.
  3. Pet obesity will emerge as a major issue, prompting numerous owners to invest in pet food designed to promote weight control.
  4. The Secret Life of Pets – a computer animated comedy film set to be released in July – will be a box office hit.
  5. Dog parks will start to outnumber playgrounds in some communities.
  6. In response to growing consumer demand, more pet toys will be constructed from recycled materials.
  7. Lil’ BUB will unseat Grumpy Cat as the most popular internet feline.
  8. Downtown apartments nationwide will become increasingly more pet-tolerant to accommodate continued urbanization by young pet owners.
  9. Displaced pets will be a growing problem as pet-owning Baby Boomers continue to age.
  10. Incorporation of pet care into living wills will represent a growing trend.
  11. A short-haired dachshund will win “Best in Show” at The Westminster Kennel Club 140th Annual Dog Show.
  12. Having pet insurance will become the norm rather than the exception.
  13. The Labrador retriever will top the American Kennel Club’s list of most popular dog breeds for the 25th consecutive year.
  14. Two-thirds of all American households will own a pet.
  15. A hedgehog account will surpass one million followers on Instagram.
  16. Chewy and Hillary will be the trendiest pet names.
  17. With the continued popularity and profitability of mail-order pet boxes, more and more entrepreneurs will enter the pet industry.
  18. More dogs and cats will be adopted from shelters and rescues than purchased from breeders.
  19. Dog daycare will flourish to the point where more large companies start to offer on-site services to employees.
  20. Other companies will be pressured into adopting a pet-friendly office environment in order to assist pet-owning, dual-career couples.
  21. Maine Coons will serve as the most popular cat breed.
  22. Growth of organic pet food will start to mirror growth of organic human food.
  23. From electric collars to timed feeders, technology will dominate the future landscape of the pet industry.
  24. The recent release of The Peanuts Movie will cement Snoopy’s status as the most famous cartoon dog.
  25. Your pet will continue to shower you with unconditional love.