I’m a foodie and my dog happens to be one too. His current favorite cheese is Parmigiano Reggiano (really). I choose his foods just like I do mine. I scrutinize labels and search the aisles looking for the very best ingredients. Every once in a while I indulge. And so does my dog.

Pets have become almost as natural of an extension of their parent’s identity as children. If a pet parent is super curious about ingredients in their food, they are likely to be just as curious about ingredients in their pet’s food.

And the awesome part?

It’s EVEN easier to make healthier choices for your pet. Because they can’t exactly complain. Sure they cast their vote by eating or not, but it’s a different kind of complaining.

Human trends = pet trends

Marketers, tune in. Because if you’re a pet brand — or even considering tapping into the pet business, here’s what I’m seeing in the pet marketplace.

Healthy pet food is just the beginning of the story. There is so much more opportunity.  Mars knows how important pets are to their human parents. That’s why they’ve invested in a whole new category — pet hospitals.

As access to information continues to speed up, so does the desire to apply this knowledge to our pets. Consumers (the human ones) are learning more and more about their health. The next natural step is for it to overflow into the decision-making for their pets. Look at what’s trending in human food, fitness and even fashion then blink. You’ll be seeing that same trend apply to pets. For example, what’s trending now in pet food is all the same stuff trending for us humans.

Packaging could be a deal maker or a deal breaker

The whole BPA conversation is about to make its way to pets. Many – especially millennial – consumers would never buy something in BPA packaging. But BPA is found in pet food packaging. While there is not conclusive research YET about the effect of BPA on animals, isn’t it a logical assumption that consumers would FEEL BETTER knowing a brand was committed to safe packaging? Once you know about BPA you can never UN-know it. You make sure your food is packaged safely. The same goes for your pets.

Pet fitness is the new big thing.

We’ve all joked about putting a FitBit on our pets. Now there is a WHOLE CATEGORY dedicated to pet fitness trackers. The most-loved brand right now is FitBark. So loved, in fact, that the KickStarter that was created to raise funding for it earned $80,000 in just 27 hours. How’s that for a testament to how obsessed pet parents are? But so far, I’m not seeing any already established pet brands connecting with these trackers? This could be a huge opportunity for a legacy brand to reconnect with a fresh audience.

When it comes to pets, if you can dream it, pet parents will buy it. The innovation and marketing opportunities are endless.