Innovative Ways That Pet Health Is Changing For The Better

January 17, 2022
Baby girl and her mother with dog lying on the bed and watching on tablet. Family spending time together.

The concept of 'pets' is not new to humanity. Throughout history, people are often shown keeping animal companions. And over time, we have gradually learned more and more about our furry friends and how to keep them happy and healthy throughout their lifetime.

As our value for our pets has increased through the ages, transitioning from simple companions to family members, so has the world of pet care improved. Today, there are many innovations that have been developed, or are currently being developed, to help us take the best care of our pets.

Here are some notable innovations in the pet owner world.

Embark

Embark Vet has the most advanced dog DNA test available. Embark is a research partner for Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine, and they work together to develop a DNA genotyping platform to help end preventable diseases in dogs in the future.

Similar to ImpriMed’s AI system, every dog whose DNA is shared with Embark is added to a database that allows a vast amount of information to be considered simultaneously. In turn, this collection of data will lead to many future genetic discoveries.

Embark has DNA tests available that can test for 350+ different breeds as well as 210 genetic health risks. And it has the ability to find your dog’s extended family by finding DNA matches from any other tested dogs in the database.

And it’s not just for mixed breeds or dog parents who are questioning their pet’s lineage. There is a specific test available for purebred dogs as well, which includes finding health risks as well as confirming your dog’s breed. Purebred dogs are great for advancing veterinary medicine due to their similar genetic makeup, so giving your purebred dog one of these tests is helping Embark toward their goal of ending preventable diseases in dogs.


Basepaws

DNA tests aren’t only for dogs. Basepaws is building the world’s largest feline genomics database. Because dogs’ genomes have been found more interesting over time, the amount of focus on cats’ DNA and breeds has been less developed. Basepaws is working to bridge that gap and bring cats’ health into focus as well.

With a Basepaws test, you can find out your cat’s breed as well as check for health markers for 43 genetic conditions, 25 traits—like blood type—and resistance to Feline immunodeficiency virus, as well as over 40 health tests for major genetic conditions and medical complications.

Basepaws also has a test that focuses on dental diseases because 50-90% of all adult cats have a dental problem. The Cat Dental Health test looks for most of the major dental conditions in cats and is easily shared with your vet to keep them on the same page with your cat’s health.


PetDx and OncoK9

Cancer is the most common cause of death in adult dogs. This sad statistic has triggered PetDx to develop the OncoK9 test that is an advanced multi-cancer early detection (MCED) test.

Most cancer tests out there today require an immediate threat at hand in order to be administered, and the process itself can be invasive and complicated. In a situation where your pet is unusually fatigued or you may notice a suspicious lump that needs to be checked out, your vet would need to either perform a tissue biopsy or use advanced technology, like an imaging device, to test for any cancerous activity. Unlike some of these other examinations, the OncoK9 test uses only a simple blood draw that can be done the same day, eliminating the need for a follow-up appointment.

And OncoK9 may be able to detect cancer long before the onset of clinical signs; the test is able to identify a cancer signal in DNA extracted from the blood sample. The test has also shown the ability to detect more than 20 different cancer types, including the 7 most common canine cancers.

PetDx works with your vet by prescription only, so be sure to ask your vet if they’ve heard about this advancement in canine cancer detection.


Dandy

Maintaining your dog’s health may sometimes require a bit more work and attention on what you are putting into their body. Supplements can be a great option for boosting your dog’s health and making sure that their needs are met. But finding the best supplements for their needs can be a bit harder.

Dandy makes that easier by offering personalized supplements for your dog’s needs that are formulated by vets and are made from all natural ingredients. And choosing the right ones is as simple as taking a quick quiz about your pup’s health and goals. Dandy will recommend the right supplements for your pet based on their health history and what needs you hope to fulfill. Have a dog that has a pollen allergy? Dandy will show you the right supplement for them.

Not to mention that the cost of the supplements can be less than a dollar per day. Dandy is both a quick process to find beneficial supplements for your pup and provides a solution that isn’t going to break the bank to help keep your pet happy and healthy.


Dig Labs

Pet owners encounter more poop than any other people. Dog owners have to face it bag-covered-hand first most days. So what if your dog’s poop could tell you what you need to know about their digestive health?

Obviously, as pet owners regularly interacting with our pet’s feces, we learn some clues about how they’re feeling based on what their normal poop looks like. But we don’t typically know much more than “that doesn’t look normal.”

Dig Labs has developed a patent-pending, image analysis method that helps pet owners understand their dog’s digestive health through a quick snap of a picture. Through the use of their app, Dig Labs gives you access to their AI system that looks at the photo of your dog’s poop and gives you an analysis of the information presented about how their insides are doing.

Not only do they offer an assessment of what your dog’s poop says about their health, but they have free expert advice available when you need it.


AnimalBiome

But that’s not all your pet’s poop can tell you AnimalBiome is advancing pet owners’ ability to maintain their pet’s microbiome and achieve great gut health.

AnimalBiome has studied the microbiome of more than 10,000 cats and dogs and has been able to develop science-backed methods to solve several health problems directly related to gut health and nutrient processing. Pets that have symptoms like diarrhea, vomiting, or even itchy skin could be helped by making some simple changes to your pet’s microbiome.

AnimalBiome makes it simple for pet owners to improve their pet’s gut health. Start your pet’s journey towards a better microbiome by taking a quick quiz and answering questions about your pet’s health, and they’ll give you the best recommendation for your next steps. Not only that, but after completing the quiz Animal Biome provides an explanation for the process and why a microbiome is important. If you’re not sure if you want to move forward just yet, they also have an option to save your quiz results so you can return at a later time if you’d like.


ClueJay

There are so many things that your pet’s stool can communicate if you know where to look. One of those things is the common threat of heartworms. ClueJay takes out the stressful trip to the vet’s office and gives you peace of mind from home.

With a simple 3 step process pet owners are able to make sure their pet is safe from the threat of heartworm, and have access to their results the moment they’re completed through a 24/7 results dashboard. Just by activating the test online, collecting a stool sample, and mailing it off, you can keep your pets safe and healthy without the stress of the vet’s office.


Gallant

Growing old is one of the health problems that we usually can’t help our pets with; time takes what it’s owed and our pets feel it faster than we do. But there's a way to plan for troubles that arise with passing time, and thinking about this early on in your pet’s life can lessen the burden on your furry friend.

Gallant works to maintain your pet’s stem cells to be able to provide helpful stem cell therapy that can alleviate many age-related struggles like arthritis, skin conditions, chronic dry eye, and kidney, liver, and bowel diseases.

When you plan to get your pet spayed or neutered, that’s when Gallant starts the planning process for their future. Ahead of that appointment, set up your pet’s stem cell storage plan and let Gallant get in touch with your vet. They’ll make sure that the vet doing your pet’s procedure will know to collect the stem-cell-rich from your pet’s reproductive system rather than discard it the way that is typical for these procedures.

Once Gallant gets your pet’s tissue, they’ll check it for quality and then isolate the stem cells and keep them safe until the time comes that they’ll be needed to provide vital care through regenerative medicine.


Healthy pets are becoming a bigger priority

Advancements in science and veterinary technology are just going up from here. Keeping our pets safe and healthy is just going to become a bigger priority as society’s value on them continues to grow. We’re happy to have them around for as long as we can keep them, and with the developments in veterinary care, that time is growing.