Industry News Details

Take A Look At How Artificial Intelligence Can Improve Your Pet’s Health Posted on : Feb 23 - 2021

Over the past two decades, pet nutrition has become big business. Grand View Research says that the global pet food market size $83 billion in 2018 and is expected to grow by 4.5% from 2019 to 2025. The move from synthetic to natural ingredients in dog food has been a primary driver of this trend.

In 2017, Wild Earth, a technology company, launched a clean dog food brand based on sustainable plant-based protein. Today, the vegan dog food market is expected to grow at a growth rate of 12.0% in the forecast period 2021 to 2028.

According to Dr. Darren Logan, Head of Research, Waltham Petcare Science Institute, the pet care industry is nearing a moment when it is focusing on extending pet's health versus addressing health concerns as they arise.

"If you look at osteoarthritis and joint pain, for example, which are key health concerns often experienced by aging pets – being able to detect the signs and symptoms earlier will assist veterinarians and pet owners in helping to prevent the impact on a pet's quality of life," said Logan. "Unlike humans, pets can't tell us directly their likes, needs, or problems. That means to improve their lives; we need to obtain this information."

Logan says that has been historically achieved through observation. "For example, an observant pet owner might notice that their dog is scratching a bit more frequently, which could lead to a visit to the veterinarian and result in a diagnosis of a skin disorder. But many owners may not notice the increased scratching until it is quite severe, leaving the dog suffering discomfort in the meantime," said Logan.

It’s all in the data

"Today, we collect an array of data about our pets, from their veterinary medical records to their genetic make-up, from their diets to their daily activity profiles. Within that data, there are patterns [..] that can be connected to understand the health and behavior of pets better," said Logan.

"Artificial intelligence (AI) helps us review these patterns efficiently and effectively by unlocking the latent power of this pet data," said Logan. "In the case of dogs scratching, we use AI to find patterns of movement in dogs diagnosed with a skin condition, and now we can spot earlier when dogs begin to scratch more frequently, simply by using an activity monitor attached to their collar."

"Another application of the same technology can be used in spotting when our dogs first begin to develop joint issues like osteoarthritis," said Logan. "We can use AI to spot subtle variations in gait from activity tracking devices, to identify arthritis in dogs much earlier." View More