Seem like everyone’s adopting a pet lately? It’s not your imagination! And the boost in pet adoptions is great news. But while the pandemic isn’t making pets sicker, the sheer volume of the fur baby boom has brought a big surge in itchy, barfy, achy, anxious and overweight pets—and a rush of pet parents taking Fido and Fluffy to the veterinarian.
As the world’s largest provider of veterinary care, we’re proud to be at the forefront of new innovations in pet care, helping pet owners solve growing challenges.
Explore three ways we’re harnessing tech and data insights to help create A Better World For Pets™, where they’re healthy, happy and welcome.
1. DNA tests, big data are helping us predict and prevent illnesses at scale.
Thanks to our veterinary hospitals and world-leading dog DNA testing service, Wisdom Panel™ we’re combining genetic information with medical records to investigate the inherited factors that contribute to pet health issues.
Our experts across Mars Petcare collaborate to analyze vast databases and conduct research to hunt out disease indicators, called biomarkers. Armed with these insights, veterinarians are better equipped to predict and prevent illnesses, instead of simply treating them.
2. Artificial intelligence (Ai) helps us better meet pets’ and pet owners’ needs
Across our veterinary, diagnostic, nutrition and pet technology businesses, AI is personalizing pet care in amazing ways. For example, based on our analysis of millions of pet health records from our Banfield Pet Hospitals®, we know that obesity can shorten a dog’s life expectancy by up to 2.5 years, depending on the breed. To help humans keep pets fit and trim, our Whistle® device, which clips onto a dog’s collar, collects health and fitness metrics (plus location tracking). This data gives pet parents insights on their pet’s physical activity levels and appropriate food portions. And our RenalTech™ diagnostic tool uses AI to predict chronic kidney disease in cats two years before any symptoms, helping to prevent damage and increase life expectancies.
3. Telehealth is a game-changer for making pet care more accessible
Telehealth is here to stay. Telehealth services, like Banfield's Vet Chat, the AniCura app and VCA's 24/7 Live Chat were already growing in popularity and this was accelerated by COVID-19. Telehealth will play an increasingly important role in making preventive care accessible to more pets and promoting their health and wellbeing. And new services, like nutrition counseling and home delivery of medications, are adding more convenience and customization to the virtual client experience.
Data and AI will continue play a central role in our goal to diagnose and deliver even more precise, personalized care. Through Kinship we’re focused on finding find new ways to realize the promise of transformational technologies—whether it’s a more connected health system, products to support individual pet needs or data-driven insights to drive healthcare decisions.
All the millions bits and bytes of evidence points to one conclusion: data-enabled innovation allows us to care for our four-legged friends smarter, so we can love them longer—and that’s something to wag about!