Pooja Yadav

Next frontier of pet care: Indulging the Pawrents

The last few years have seen a rise in pet ownership, humanisation as well as adoption in India. What more can the country’s pet care category offer?

There’s ice cream and baked dry food for dogs. Then, there’s vegan food options, ready-to-cook food, natural pet care products and pet care pharmacies. All these are a few examples of new launches in India’s pet care category.

Over the last few years, there’s been a rise in pet ownership, humanisation as well as adoption. So, what else can this category offer?

According to Varun Sadana, co-founder, Supertails, a tech-enabled pet care startup, pet owners are now looking at vet-prescribed products.

“This category is becoming quite big. We will see trends like nutrition toppers, interactive toys, dental treats/chews and even a pharmacy for pets, this year.”

Supertails launched a D2C brand ‘Henlo’ recently. The brand aims to create awareness about nutrition among pet owners. As a pilot project, Henlo’s first product – Nutritional Topper – was introduced in May 2022 as a dietary supplement for dogs. The brand also has its own online pharmacy.

“Anything that has to do with human lifestyle, reflects on the pet care industry. This category has a lot to offer. Travel, ready-to-eat food, Ayurvedic and hemp products, are some trends that we will see in this category. We will see products for differently-abled dogs. We will also see fashion statements – different colours and styles for pets, as another popular trend,” shares Samriddh Dasgupta – chief marketing officer, Heads Up For Tails (HUFT), a multi-category pet care lifestyle brand.

The emotional connection between pets and their owners, makes the category an exciting one for investment.

Next frontier of pet care: Indulging the Pawrents

Sanjeev Kotnala, a brand and marketing consultant, mentions, “We’re seeing more pet-friendly hotels-homestays. Pet travel is an area that needs to innovate, in terms of providing better facilities and services. Pet day and night care centre is another booming business. Then, there’s pet tiffin services, with raw, ready-to-serve, ready-to-cook and cooked products.”

Pet humanisation

Pet humanisation basically means that pet owners treat their pets as their own children. They’re like family. Post-COVID, many people felt quite lonely. It was a time when they started treating their pets as their own kids.

Startups, retailers and big brands are capitalising on the pet humanisation trend to sell new products and services.

Dasgupta of HUFT states, “People have started looking at their pets as their babies. They no longer treat them like any accessory or just an animal. We’re hoping for a shift from ‘pet ownership’ to ‘pet parenting’. So, the way you choose services and lifestyle for your pets, becomes quite different.”

According to a Euromonitor report, the market size of the pet care industry in India is $0.91 billion. It is expected to grow at a CAGR of over 13.9% from 2020-2025, to be worth over $2.2 billion by 2025.

Next frontier of pet care: Indulging the Pawrents

Prashant Kohli, CMO, Wiggles says, "India's young demographic is driving deep cultural transformation including the way we coexist with animals. With a shift towards smaller families, urban migration, and delayed parenthood, pets are increasingly being treated as a part of the family. However, there is a huge gap in awareness when it comes to well-being of companion animals."

With the humanisation of pets, there’s an emotional angle attached to the pets. So, people are willing to spend more on their pets.

Sadana of Supertails says, “Pet humanisation is a journey. Brands have started this journey and the early signs are good.”


With the growing popularity of this industry, it becomes important for brands to advertise and invest in it wisely. So, how are brands advertising in this industry?

Anand Ramanathan, partner, Deloitte India, shares, “Brands in the pet care industry in India are advertising through various mediums such as television, print, social media and online advertising. The spending on advertising in this category, varies, in terms of brand and company size.”

Ramanathan adds that with venture capitalists investing in pet care startups, there are opportunities such as increased capital for product development, expansion and marketing.

Usually, word of mouth and references work best, when it comes to pet care. Pet parents tend to feel quite close to other pet parents. Kotnala says, “Free pet clinics, fairs, grooming centres, social media and vet clinics are the prominent advertising and communication mediums. Then, there’s digital advertising. Very few brands have experimented with TV or print advertising.”

The online market for pet care products in India, is growing rapidly. Many pet care brands are taking the online route to reach out to a wider audience.

Ramanathan comments, “The online sales of pet care products, have seen significant growth over the past few years. This trend is expected to continue in future.”

Brands have launched many ad campaigns to promote pet care products; awareness about pets and adoption campaigns too. Henlo, launched a campaign - #KnockKnockItsHenlo, that's sure to make tails wag! The digital campaign showcases the brand's commitment to bringing joy to the homes of pet lovers in a quirky and emotional way.

Zigly, a tech-enabled omni-channel pet care brand, launched a brand campaign titled #NoCompromise. The campaign intends to spread a message among pet parents to not compromise in delivering quality pet care services to ensure the well-being and happiness of pets.

HUFT also released a campaign titled ‘date-night’, from a series of 3 films campaign produced by Cutting Crew Studio, featuring actor Kriti Sanon.

Kotnala adds, “There’s a strong brand loyalty in the pet care category. Pet parents are comfortable, when it comes to ordering over e-commerce. This is also because of not-so-well-established pet care shops across markets. The only hindrance is that many pin codes (smaller towns) are only serviced with larger packs of products and a minimum order value.”

HUFT is advertising mostly on digital. Dasgupta shares, “Pet community is well-networked and digitally savvy. We’re looking at 30 million addressable audiences, and the best way to reach out to them is through Instagram, Facebook and Google. We believe that audience segmentation is far sharper on Meta platforms, when it comes to profiling. People trust brands to guide them in their pet care journey.”

The brand is looking at two advertising fronts. One is to influence people to become better pet parents by providing expert feedback to them. Second is to influence people to adopt pets. HUFT wants to ensure that people have the right kind of knowledge about pet care and adoption, through its campaigns.

New customers

The younger generation are now the new pet owners in the industry. As per a Supertails survey, Gen Z drove the first-time pet-parent pool. Over 48% of pet adoption was led by Gen Z, followed by millennials (44%), over the last two years.

Pandemic-induced loneliness gave birth to first-time and new-age pet parents. Other catalysts included rapid urbanisation, nuclear family setups and pet humanisation.

As new-age or first-time ‘pawrents’, a pet parenting journey can seem daunting. In such cases, digitally savvy pawrents look for information online and are completely dependent on their local vets. However, 93% of Gen Z believe that there isn’t enough credible information available online to take care of their fur babies. In fact, 72% Gen Z pawrents believe that online vet consultations should be made available to them.

Next frontier of pet care: Indulging the Pawrents

The survey also highlights that pawrents have started spending more on pet care offerings. In Bengaluru, 55% of pet parents spend an average of Rs 3,000 per month on taking care of their pets, while in Mumbai, 52% of pet owners spend the same amount. 40% of Delhi-based pet parents spend between Rs 1,500 and Rs 3,000 a month on their fur babies.

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