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I was interested to read an article recently written in the Guardian newspaper about wearable tech for pets. It is no surprise that our obsession with fitness bands has spilled over into the animal world - I would love to know how active my dog is when I am out of the house! From the 'Fitbark' to the 'PitPat' and 'Whistle', fitness trackers for dogs are giving us insights into our pets activity and health. 

This technology is something I have been exploring, considering its use by superyacht animals – as both a tracker and as a complementary tool in remote veterinary care. The latest devices can relay essential information back to vet, owner or carer about the health and wellbeing of animals. Not only does this mean that accurate information about an pet is easily and quickly accessible from any distance, it could mean that any problems could potentially detected and treated faster, making a 'fitness' device an essential tool in remote veterinary medicine. This is ideally suited to superyacht animals, who often rely on a level of remote veterinary care. particularly when yachts are cruising in remote locations or for long periods. Starla is currently the guinea pig for these technologies in the SVS camp and based on what we find it could well be rolled out to all superyacht pets being looked after by us. 
With pet technology I think we are only just getting warmed up, and figures published in the aforementioned article agree, with the industry of wearable pet tech predicted by a source to be worth $2.3 billion by 2022. True, not every product released is going to be useful (pet to human translators leave me unconvinced with most things animals want to ‘say’ already picked up by their attuned owners), and no device will ever be able to replace direct veterinary care and an owners own knowledge of their animals health and wellbeing, but they can definitely complement them. The future of pet tech is bright, and I look forward to seeing the release of more and more sophisticated devices, with superyacht pets being animals that really reap the benefit.

Food, Glorious Food

When a pet joins you on a superyacht, it is important that both you and they have everything they need for their trip. There are so many pet products out there, and SVS has been doing the hard work for you, testing all the products a superyacht crew or owner might want for their pets. These products range from high-quality pet foods for the dogs who aren’t treated to chef-cooked meals (…and for those who are, we also supply nutritional advice), to water toys, to sympathetically designed beds, nautical collars and leashes. We understand but the quality and the aesthetic needed for any toys or equipment that is going to be aboard a superyacht and the importance of a wholesome and delicious diet. Our favourite food is a slow roasted free range roasted chicken and sweet potato food. Yum.

On the practical side of things, cleaning products that remove stains and don’t damage high quality furnishings are constantly put to the test, as although accidents are uncommon, it is important to know you have the right products to deal with them. Pet shampoos, towels and grooming products (trust us, the furminator is a dog hair-reducing dream) are put through strict quality control tests by the superyacht dogs here at SVS HQ – meaning that we don’t recommend or supply anything that hasn’t first received our seal of approval. Knowing you have the right products makes keep the yacht clean a far easier and faster task. Ask us all about it. 

Pet travel, the ultimate luxury concept

A recent visit to the 'What is Luxury?' exhibition at the V&A Museum in London was an inspiring insight into what we now consider 'luxury' to be. The exhibition stated; 'The question of luxury is ultimately a personal one. Everyone decides for themselves what their luxury could be.’

To Superyacht Veterinary Service, the chance to take your pet with you as you travel the world is the ultimate luxury. Rather than on the personal request of the owner or charterer, this is a luxury that should be offered and encouraged by agents and management teams from the outset, as a way to enhance a client's experience on board a superyacht.

The Oxford dictionary provides three different definition of the noun 'luxury':

1) A state of great comfort or elegance, especially when involving great expense
2) An inessentialdesirable item which is expensive or difficult to obtain
3) A pleasure obtained only rarely

According to these definitions of luxury, having your pet with you fulfils at least two of these definitions. Firstly, having your dog with you provides a great state of comfort that cannot be recreated or replaced by any number of opulent goods. Secondly, dogs and cats, or any pet for that matter, provide a pleasure obtained only rarely. Rarely in the sense of the human-animal bond; it is impossible for any other animal or experience to recreate the relationship someone has with their own pet.

An animal’s unconditional love and positive attitude is infectious to everyone around them, and their presence onboard is something that should be considered as a luxury experience to offer superyacht owners and charter clients.

‘In a busy and intrusive world, people increasingly value time and space for enjoying special moments and extraordinary experiences. Contemporary designers engage with how the availability of time and space, and the quality of time spent, can be seen as luxuries in their own right.' V&A exhibition.

In a world saturated with material goods and experiences, we can become indifferent to the amazing things around us, especially the super wealthy, who are exposed to more scenery, travel and experiences than most. This is human nature. For example, the 50th time you see something not as thrilling as the first, even if we want it to be. This is because something that should shock and awe becomes habitual, due to the fact we are unable to engage with it on a truly personal level.

This is something that never happens with your pet. Do you ever tire of seeing how happy they are to see you in the morning? The unbridled joy they experience out walking? They can turn an ordinary experience into something extraordinary with their infectious enthusiasm. Not only do they provide a happy familiarity that is so often lost with constant travel, they engage 'their humans' in their environment, making something as simple as a walk on beach something unforgettable. Imagine what they can do for an owner’s overall experience on board a superyacht. Every single luxury experience will be enhanced by the presence of their beloved dog or cat.

Therefore, a pets involvement in a trip should now be considered an integral part of the enjoyment of the client, and as such, be seen as a key service to offer. Superyacht Veterinary Service can provide all the support needed to make this happen for a client, from import and export requirements, to veterinary care, to advice on the dogs or cat’s wellbeing on board - just get in touch