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Checking Pets by Camera Is a Fun Obsession for More Americans

Comcast released a survey and announced a new product feature.

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PHILADELPHIA — Americans are becoming increasingly obsessed with watching their pets on security cameras while away from home, according to new survey results.

The research, commissioned by Comcast and conducted by Wakefield Research, included 1,000 U.S. adults who are cat and/or dog owners and use a camera to monitor their pets.

Nearly half (44%) of those surveyed check in on their pets four times a day or more, and nearly 2 in 5 (38%) take a peek during work.

Additionally, 94% say checking in on their pet is one of the best parts of their day.

The survey also found:

  • Pet owners love furry distractions. Nearly 3 in 4 (73%) pet owners who check their cameras do so while on vacation to sneak a peek of their pet(s) whenever possible. Nearly 3 in 5 (59%) have checked while at a party or social event; more than 2 in 5 (44%) have checked during a workout; during a meeting (38%); while talking on the phone (38%); and while out on a date (32%).
  • Pets are more entertaining than family and friends. More than two-thirds (68%) of respondents reported checking in on their pet(s) more than social media to see what their family and friends are up to. More than 4 in 5 surveyed (84%) also reported they have shared video clips of their pet(s) on social media platforms.
  • Pets’ lives are not so secret. Eighty-eight percent of respondents have checked in on their pets and caught them doing something naughty such as sitting in a forbidden place (39%); making excessive noise (36%); eating human food that has been left out (33%); damaging furniture or accessories (30%); hiding or moving objects around the home (30%); relieving him/herself on the floor or on the furniture (26%); vomiting (19%); or getting stuck somewhere (17%).
  • Pet owners want ways to find videos of their pets quickly. Nearly two-thirds (65%) of respondents reported it is a bigger hassle to search hours of video clips of their pet(s) with no way to filter them, than to not have any clips of pets because their camera only has live feed, and they would like a filter feature to help them find clips faster.

Comcast announced that it has launched a new “pet filter” feature on its Xfinity Camera to make it easier for customers to keep tabs on their pets. The filter uses artificial intelligence to sort through hours of footage to identify just those with pets in them out of the more than one hundred motion-triggered video clips a typical camera can generate each day.

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“We developed this feature to help our customers quickly filter motion-triggered events by people, vehicles, or pets because we wanted to bring them the video clips that matter most even faster,” said Dennis Mathew, vice president and general manager of Comcast’s Xfinity Home. “It’s an intelligent home security solution that enables our customers to easily check in on their loved ones from anywhere, anytime.”

Since launching in 2017, PETS+ has won 11 major international journalism awards for its publication and website. Contact PETS+'s editors at editor@petsplusmag.com.

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Cosmic Pet Makes an Acquisition

PetFusion is known for its cat scratchers.

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Cosmic Pet has acquired PetFusion, which is best known for its cat scratchers. PetFusion’s products also include pet feeders, dog beds, litter boxes, toys and more. The company was founded in 2010 and sells primarily though e-commerce.

“PetFusion is a very exciting addition to the Cosmic Pet family of leading pet brands,” said Cosmic Pet CEO Tim Blurton. “Their leadership team brings deep, valuable insight into the pet industry and the e-commerce channel that will benefit all Cosmic Pet brands, plus their high-quality, well-designed products are excellent additions to our current offerings. There is a strong cultural fit between the businesses, and we are so excited to have them on the team.”

Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

PetFusion joins the Cosmic Pet roster of leading pet industry brands including: Hyper Pet, Pet Zone, OurPet’s, Aussie Naturals, Wild Eats, Ultra Paws, Mad Cat and many more.

In March 2019, following a series of pet industry acquisitions made by Hyper Pet, Cosmic Pet was established. This corporate brand captures the ambitions of the three primary combined companies, Hyper Pet, R2P Pet and OurPet’s, whose mission is to lead the global pet industry by developing iconic, trend-setting, high-quality products.

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$16M Development to Be Among ‘Largest Dog Parks Ever Built’

It will have 50K square feet of off-leash space.

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Austin, TX, is set to get a $16 million indoor dog park.

With over 50,000 square feet of off-leash space, the air-conditioned facility will be called Canine Commons, Statesman.com reports.

The news outlet quoted a press release saying the development will be “among the largest dog parks ever built.”

It will employ as many as 35 people and have retail space, a coffee shop and training areas.

The dog park is being planned by Corbyt and TACKarchitects, both based in Omaha, NE. They’re considering various sites in Austin, according to Statesman.com.

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An opening date has not been announced. Construction is expected to take about a year.

Canine Commons locations are also planned for Omaha and four other yet-to-be-named cities, according to Statesman.com.

Read more at Statesman.com

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Pet Food Company Opens $60M Packaging Plant

It’s located in Emporia, KS.

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Simmons Pet Food Inc., a supplier of custom and private label pet food solutions in the U.S. and Canada, opened its new $60 million Flexible Packaging Facility in Emporia, KS, with a ribbon-cutting ceremony.

The investment brings approximately 100 new jobs, with the potential for up to 200 new jobs when the facility expansion reaches full capacity, according to a press release from the company. Before the expansion, Simmons Pet Food had about 500 employees at its Emporia location.

“The expansion of our operations in Emporia signals to our customers that we are stepping up our game in a major way,” said Jason Godsey, president of Simmons Pet Food. “We want to build strong and lasting relationships with our customers and flexible packaging is what our customers expect.

“Now we have the capacity and the capability to meet growing market demand and accentuate our leadership in the industry.”

With customer demand for cup, tub and pouch packaging formats projected to grow, the Flexible Packaging Facility strategically positions the company to be the leading supplier of flexible packaging solutions for the domestic market and to compete for new markets internationally.

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By 2022 the Flexible Packaging Facility expansion expects to increase annual facility output to an estimated 9 million cases of wet pet food cups and 2.4 million cases of tubs.

Simmons Pet Food operates three wet pet food production facilities, a dry pet food facility and a treats production facility. These operations are in Northwest Arkansas, Kansas, New Jersey and Ontario, Canada

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