According to recent survey results published by the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention (APOP), the rate of pet obesity in the U.S. has increased, with an estimated 56 percent of dogs and 60 percent of cats weighing in as overweight or obese.
Cats have a universal reputation for being great self-groomers. But it’s also becoming widely acknowledged that a little grooming help on a regular basis can go a long way in preventing hairballs, hair matts and other issues that felines experience, especially as they age and are not as efficient with their own grooming routines.
Cats are living well into their teens, in part due to excellent nutrition. Now with nutritional insights specifically targeting seniors, the goal is to further extend their longevity and keep them healthy into their golden years.
While pet owners are generally aware that there are diets for senior dogs and specific formulas that address aging issues such as bone and joint care, a survey conducted by Nestlé Purina PetCare in 2016 indicated that there was a gap in knowledge among dog owners on topics related to canine brain health and healthy aging.
The pet industry generally is all about re-inventing the wheel. Addressing feline waste management and keeping homes odor-free with innovation can make giving cats an indoor lifestyle even easier and keep more customers happy in their pet ownership.
Restaurants continually change their menus, adding new dishes or revising popular favorites to keep customer loyalty and attract new patrons.
Pet food manufacturers mimic this trend by changing recipes and adding more specialized formulas to their brands to keep pet owners happy with their choices as well as attracting new customers seeking ideal life stage recipes and looking to solve issues such as sensitive tummies and obesity.
The tag line for the new Wagz Explore Smart Collar sums up the role of pet technology and wearable IDs generally, as it touts “a completely connected lifestyle,” monitoring and connecting owners to their pets 24/7 when they are eating, drinking, sleeping and playing—and being able to do so from anywhere.
With so many behavioral and training products that address all unacceptable feline behaviors—particularly destruction of furniture—many believe there is no need for cat owners to even consider declawing a cat, an operation that the veterinary community says causes behavioral issues, especially relating to litter box usage.
There is a varied array of products available to help shape positive dog behaviors and assist in curbing unwanted conduct. Ways to help draw attention to the selection of products available in pet specialty stores include holding workshops with behaviorists and lifestyle experts and adding relevant content to store websites.
With the growing feline enrichment movement comes more focus on products that give cats access to the outdoors, whether it’s on a leash, in a stroller or in specially designed, secure outdoor areas ranging from window boxes to full enclosures that cats can share with their favorite people.
Doting pet parents often ask< “What supplements should I be giving my pets? And more importantly, from what age?” Heidi Nevala ,president and found of Natura Pets Organics, says those are good questions to be asking.
Once upon a time, Once upon a time, a cat owner went to her local store to look for a sustainable cat litter for her favorite feline, and her purchase was a pretty easy choice because it was such a niche market. That scenario has certainly changed as the selection of eco-friendly litters has expanded to include varieties made with products from wheat, corn, coconut husks, cassava and even green tea.
With dogs living longer, the number of senior pets is on the rise.Now with those over the age of seven being categorized as adult and sub-categorized as geriatric, it gives pet specialty owners the opportunity to focus on this market and stock the growing number of products targeting this category beyond just food options.
It’s interesting to note that when it comes to advertising flea and tick products, the focus is primarily on dogs. However, according to research done by the Hartz Mountain Corporation, cats in fact suffer more flea and tick problems than dogs. This is attributed to the fact that cats are very successful at grooming themselves against ticks.
According to Dr. Gad Baneth DVM, PhD, the director of the Koret School of Veterinary Medicine at The Hebrew University of Jerusalem and a world-renowned expert on canine vector-borne diseases, companion vector-borne diseases (CVBDs) pose a growing global threat as they continue their spread far from their traditional geographical and temporal restraints as a result of climatic changes and dog travel patterns. This means that fleas and ticks are now recognized as a year-round problem in many parts of the United States.
There is no question that the designation of February as Pet Dental Month has, over the years, helped shine the spotlight on the benefits of maintaining a healthy canine mouth. As a result, the dental health category has expanded exponentially, making it a very competitive space with lots of new products vying for shelf placement.Feline Supplement Selection Grows
Copycatting the human trend in supplements to improve general health and well-being, the selection of products for cat health continues to grow. Success, of course, depends a lot on how easy they are to administer and how their palatability overrides feline fussiness.
When it comes to wet cat food, is the can becoming an obsolete form of packaging?
While still a college student studying law, Rob Downey, president and founder of Annamaet Pet Food, was involved with dog sled teams. And, when his lead dog suddenly went lame, he started looking at her diet to try and determine the cause.Feeding Cats For A Better Life
Feline nutrition is a work in progress as scientists and researchers continue the quest to provide the right formulas to feed senior cats and also address the increasing problem of feline obesity. Consequently, there are some very innovative recipes on the market that deserve shelf placement in the pet specialty marketplace. Backed by a pioneering nine-year study, the nutrient blend found in the new Purina Pro Plan PRIME PLUS Adult 7+ has shown to improve and extend the life of cats ages 7 and older by a year.
A recent report called “Durable Dog and Cat Petcare Products in the U.S.” produced by Packaged Facts, a division of MarketResearch.com, cited pet beds to be the second largest category of durable pet products, registering retail sales of $683 million in 2016 and representing 18 percent of all pet durables.
With the holiday season only months away, now is the time for retailers to ensure they are well stocked with the latest carriers and crates. And there are a lot of new styles and colors with functional, innovative features from which to choose.
When it comes to dog training, there are several philosophies that can be followed. One of the most popular styles involves positive reinforcement. And when it comes to rewarding a dog for following a command, nothing says “well done” quite like a treat.
Hairballs: cat owners know only too well problems regarding ingested hair and its subsequent projectile ejection around the home as well as any medical issues that can ensue.
The same way that many restaurateurs have worked out that they can sell just about any dish if they simply add bacon, cat toy manufacturers have discovered that they can really expand their product lines by simply adding catnip, and cat lovers will respond and purchase on behalf of their felines.
They call it Moore’s Law: the prediction made by Intel founder Gordon Moore in the ’60s that technology-based products would dramatically increase in power and speed and simultaneously decrease in both size and cost every 18 to 24 months. And this is certainly holding true for wearable dog tech gadgets.
Last year, when Margaret Millspaugh, owner of Wagon Train Feed and Pet in Orange, California, attended SuperZoo in Las Vegas, she was so intrigued by the outdoor camping display that pet lifestyle brand P.L.A.Y did to promote its Scout & About Outdoor Dog Tent and accessories, that she decided to re-create the setting to display the products in her own store.
They say that necessity is the mother of invention, and it’s certainly been the impetus in developing interactive cat toys to give felines that have an indoor lifestyle the mental and physical stimulation needed for their overall well-being.
Cats that live indoor lifestyles can benefit from the growing variety of interactive cat toys designed to keep them engaged and boost both their mental and physical activity. Many are designed to keep pet owners engaged with their cats, too.
Feeding pets can be a great bonding experience. Consequently, the type of food and water bowls used play an equally important role in enhancing meal time—and they should be not only functional, but also attractive.
Like their feline toy manufacturing counterparts, the list of companies now producing dog toys in the U.S. is growing, and their home-based entrepreneurial spirit and commercial success is being recognized and winning them awards.
When it comes to cat toys, there is a growing number of local manufacturers who are proudly putting “Made in the USA” on their labels and producing a variety of products with feline appeal.
For retailers keen to promote a green and eco-friendly lifestyle for cats, this task has been ameliorated by the large variety of products being designed to reduce a feline’s carbon paw print manufactured across numerous cat-orientated categories.
As a result of great nutrition, grooming, lifestyle products and state-of-the-art medical care, dogs are living longer than ever before. Currently, more than half the dog population in the U.S. is considered senior (7 years of age or older).
Our dogs spend approximately 13 hours a day in snooze mode. Fortunately, pet bed manufacturers have created plenty of new options for dogs to enjoy both indoors and outdoors.
With “pet technology” being a popular term in the pet industry, more pet specialty retailers are considering the addition of tech products to their inventory. Apart from the wide array of fun gadgets, there is a selection of products that solve serious problems such as feeding cats in multi-pet households, tracking the amount of water they drink and finding them when they go into hiding.
Indoor cats that are exposed to artificial lights tend to shed year-round, making hairballs a perennial issue. This feline issue is best addressed from a nutritional standpoint as well as from a grooming one.
According to a recent report produced by the market research firm IDTechEx, the wearable tech market for pets is set to be a $2.6 billion industry by 2019. And this in turn is part of the bigger human wearable tech picture, which the same report predicts will be over $150 billion by 2026.
The purchase of food remains the biggest expenditure item for dog owners. And, in fact, according to the 2015-2016 APPA National Pet Owners’ Survey, premium dog food continues to be the type of food most purchased. Innovation in this category remains unparalleled across the industry as a whole, making it important for pet specialty retailers to constantly refresh their knowledge.
Despite the movement to promote an indoors-only lifestyle for cats, behaviorists and other experts believe that all cats should still wear a collar with an ID tag, even if they are microchipped. Consequently, manufacturers are taking this catcall seriously and producing collars in a variety of new colors and designs along with matching harnesses and leashes to enhance an outdoor experience.
In the past decade, ordinary pet bowls have been elevated to the status of pet “dinnerware” with both fun and functional designs. But the innovation hasn’t stopped here; the latest trends in food, water bowls and feeders have produced a bounty of great new products that certainly deserve space on the retail shelf.
Mention the word catnip, and it’s not only cats that sit up and get ready to pounce. Kitty crack—a popular moniker for the plant—has a positive effect on pet specialty retailers, too, causing frenzied activity at the cash register because cat owners believe that no cat can have too many catnip toys.
For many cat owners, brushing a cat’s teeth ranks alongside giving a cat a pill on the list of impossible tasks. One way retailers can grow the category is by adopting an educational role and highlighting the importance of feline dental health and the options available to their cat-owning customers.
Considering the fact that many dogs lead active social lives, crates and carriers are a well-established category in the market place. However, interestingly, there isn’t much new to be found in this category. Instead, it’s a case of the best-selling products continuing to pull in the big bucks. It may also be a question that, apart from a few tweaks here and there, manufacturers have pretty much thought of it all—for now.
Because dogs are game for anything, they make great buddies for outdoor activities. Manufacturers across a broad spectrum of products are all clamoring for a piece of the outdoor action—from the retractable patent-pending ThunderLeash that converts from a standard retractable leash to a “no-pull” solution in seconds, to RC Pets packable rain ponchos, Kurgo’s backpacks, coats and life vests and a myriad of Insect Shield products from PetEdge. It’s definitely a category for retailers to highlight and watch.
Eighty-eight percent of all cat owners surveyed do not give their pets vitamins or supplements. That’s according to the 2015-2016 National Pet Owners’ Survey published by the American Pet Products Association (APPA). This definitely leaves the door open for pet specialty retailers to start the conversation with their customers and grow the category.
For dog owners, collars, harnesses and leashes are all necessary items. But it’s the fact that dog people treat their pooches as furry kids that drives this category in a fashionable direction.
A healthy weight is key to a dog’s overall good health. As dog obesity is on the rise, pet food manufacturers are targeting the issue with special weight management formulas and are taking the lead in addressing the role that exercise plays in the weight management equation.
Cats are not supposed to be couch potatoes—and the pet industry is doing a lot to get this message out there by focusing on feline enrichment products. Retailers who endorse this message can educate cat owners and increase their profits through the sales of interactive cat toys.
Across the country, living spaces are becoming smaller. For this reason, it has become almost a necessity that certain pet accessories such as cat scratchers do “double duty” in the home by providing a place to scratch and possibly snooze as well as being an attractive decorative feature.
It is no secret that pets are living longer lives than ever before. With that positive trend has come a change in the terminology of pet aging.
If you adapt the saying, “The way to a man’s heart is through his stomach,” to apply to dogs, there’s no question that the way to win canine love is with treats and chews. Judging by the exploding product variety in this category, it is definitely time to rethink the treat jar.
Hairballs are an unwanted bonus of cat ownership. Cats shed and ingest hair as part of their self-grooming routines. Fortunately, there are lots of different weapons of attack to fight the shedding hair wars that collectively will benefit retail store coffers.
There’s no question that the Slow Food Movement, which embraces farm- to table-styled fare, is also influencing the way we feed our dogs.
Cat owners will agree; a household with cats can never have too many catnip toys. Cats love variety, and this simple nontoxic plant has added health benefits. It revs up a cat’s play drive, providing much needed mental and physical stimulation as a result of frenetic play sessions with “nip” toys.
Cat health includes both mental and physical well-being. This opens up the playing field for retailers to incorporate a plethora of different products into a wellness section both in store and online.
It comes as no surprise that a basic brush is the most common grooming tool of dog owners, with 84 percent saying they had at least one brush in a recent poll.But, according to the 2015-2016 National Pet Owners Survey just published by the American Pet Products Association, only 40 percent of owners considered building a grooming toolbox by adding a comb and/or nail clippers to their arsenal.
Pet nutrition is one of the biggest growing segments of the pet industry with new recipes coming to table on a regular basis. Dry foods are still big sellers for pet retailers, with new trends emerging in these products.
There is a growing trend in cat foods to respect a cat’s carnivorous ancestral roots and to focus on grain-free diets for felines.
According to a 2014 National Pet Obesity Awareness Day Survey, an estimated 53 percent of dogs are overweight or obese. Additionally, statistics published by Packaged Facts outlines that 28 percent of dog owners say they buy pet food formulated to address weight or obesity issues.
Cats are America’s most popular companion animals and there is no question that feline odors are a key topic for the vast pool of owners. It’s a matter of seeing cats around the home but not smelling them.
According to Bob Vetere, president and CEO of the American Pet Products Association, the pet industry continues to outpace most other retail segments. And now in 2015, one of the reasons for this situation is the growing number of Gen Y pet owners (18-34 years) entering the marketplace.
As more cat owners learn the benefits of their cats experiencing the sights and sounds of the outdoors, the options to allow them to safely experience fresh air have grown enormously.
Dogs bark for a variety of reasons from defending their territory to getting attention. But when it comes to excessive barking, Dr. Roger Mugford, renowned British pet psychologist and animal behaviorist and founder of The Company Of Animals says that it’s not just a matter of stopping the barking but finding the reason so that it can be addressed with the right anti-barking and training products available.
When it comes to cat toys, “interactive” has become the new buzzword as pet owners strive to ensure their felines get plenty of both physical and mental stimulation. Interactive toys provide both. Further, battery-operated electronic toys are leading the popularity stakes in this category.
There is nothing like spicing things up in bed. Well, in the dog bed category that is.
It’s refreshing to find lots of new innovation in what is typically a predictable market place governed by a plethora of offerings very similar in shapes, sizes and comfort options.
So many cats lose their homes as a result of behavioral issues. And while the number of products to counteract various issues is growing, many retailers have yet to take advantage of this category by showcasing such products and educating pet owners about their viability. Doing so could ultimately save felines lives and simultaneously create sales.
The humanization of pets is obvious across the industry but one category that truly mirrors human lifestyle trends is the one that embraces pet safety. Whether it’s about protecting pets in the home, in the garden or in the car, safety standards are copycatting principals closely related to keeping our kids out of harm’s way.
Cat litter is cat litter. Right? It’s not a category brimming with new innovation. Right?
This invention—which almost single-handedly is responsible for cats leading a much safer indoor lifestyle in America—has undergone some huge changes and continues to offer an excellent assortment of litter types. Consequently, this is a category that retailers should certainly consider allotting sufficient shelf space to as well as taking the time to discover all the new options.
Even if cats are microchipped, owners understand the benefit of doubling up on identification by means of a collar with an ID tag. But the focus doesn’t have to be only functional; fashion plays a huge role in collar selection, too.
Containment products, whether it’s a crate that can be used both at home or in a vehicle, or gates for both indoor and outdoor use, are important products for dog safety.
Cat owners are beginning to understand the importance of giving their cats enrichment within the home space. Enrichment not only entails a selection of toys but also furniture designed specifically to meet feline needs
When it comes to dog treats, there is no lack of options for filling store shelves. New from Castor & Pollux is a range of Organix Jerky Chip Cookies, oven-baked with organic whole grains such as oatmeal, barley, brown rice and oat flour, with jerky chips of proteins like chicken, salmon, beef and lamb. The cookies also contain organic fruits and vegetables and contain no corn, soy or wheat. They are being touted as the doggie version of the all-American chocolate chip cookie.
Every dog needs a toy box filled with action, distraction and lots of plush comfort toys. Plush toys do double duty in a dog’s life. They are essentially soft, cuddly comfort toys, ideal to curl up with at snooze time. But, they also make great prey toys, ideal for carrying and shaking around as part of the innate canine prey drive to attack and kill them. They also fit into the action category because many of them are also great for playing fetch.
Catnip, catmint, catswort, kitty crack or whatever you call the plant with the Latin name Nepeta catania, one thing is certain: The essential oil it contains, nepetalactone, has a powerful effect on felines revving up their play skills and prey drive by instantly turning snoozing couch potatoes into an ecstatic, flipped out balls of fur.
Cats scratch for a variety of reasons, such as to mark their territory, to stretch and exercise their toes and to shed the dead outer layer of their claws. Some cats like to scratch horizontally and others vertically. Cat-scratcher manufacturers have to meet all these needs when designing scratchers.
Just Saying No Doesn’t Always Work
There’s no question that dogs that understand and react positively to commands have better social lives, as well as an enhanced bond with their favorite people. And this ties directly to the plethora of training aids on the market to train dogs of all ages, sizes and individual breed traits. The good news for retailers is they can capitalize on this category year-round.
Cooling Products Do Double Duty
The dictionary definition of the words, “cool/cooling” says, “keeping temperature low, become less warm or become less intense.”
Innovation Makes Feline Travel Easy
Here’s an interesting factoid: Cat travel has doubled in the past four years. This information from the 2013-2014 National Pet Owners Survey, published by the American Pet Products Association, doesn’t spell out whether cats are checking into the Algonquin Hotel in New York City, or simply going to grandma’s house for a staycation, but the message is clear: There is a growing need for cat-related travel accessories.
When it comes to tough dog toys, most retailers would agree that they would all be multimillionaires if they received a dollar for every time a dog owner came in and said, “My dog chews through everything!”
Piquing The Interest of Feline Gamers
Psst. The Cat is out of the Bag. Feline enrichment may have started out as a buzz phrase touted by a handful of innovative cat toy designers to describe toys that replicate a cat’s natural instincts and hone inherent hunting skills, but it has become a full-blown trend and one that is definitely dominating the feline toy marketplace
Feline Treats Get a Makeover
When it comes to cat treats, felines certainly have their favorites in respect of tastes and textures.
Keeping Those Teeth Pearly White
February is pet dental month. And, while there may be discounts on related products and services for pet owners to take advantage of during this time frame, it’s also an excellent opportunity for retailers to educate customers that dental hygiene is something that should be practiced year-round, resulting in perennial sales.
Flea and Tick Control Becomes A Year-Round Problem
Continuously changing climatic conditions throughout the United States combined with the rising popularity of pet travel, are making veterinarians no longer consider seasonal treatments for fleas and ticks an effective way of controlling infestations.
Scoop It Up
While the number of litter boxes owned in U.S. households are on the rise, the focus driving sales remains the perennial need to make litter box clean-up more efficient and simultaneously control litter scatter, as well as odor. According to statistics in the 2013-14 National Pet Owners’ Survey published by the American Pet Products Association, 89 percent of cat owners have litter boxes. These figures indicate an increase in both standard pans in varying designs and automated boxes.
No More Odor
Small animals are very often “starter pets” in households with small children and also popular classroom companions. Consequently, good stain and odor control is key to happy co-existence.
Interestingly, when people bring dogs and cats into their homes, they take care of stain and odor issues from the get go. Yet, there is a common misconception that small animals don’t smell. Consequently, retailers often find themselves in the role of educators recommending suitable products. And, there’s no shortage of products out there.