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8 Fish Foods That Go Beyond All Filler, No Kriller

Look for aquatic nutrition that stands out when stocking up.

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A NEW PET INDUSTRY outlook from Crystal Market Research predicts rising demand in specialty fish foods for premium varieties, high nutrient values and time-release technology. The report also notes high-quality diets are becoming available at affordable prices, so when you stock up, look for aquatic nutrition that stands out.

Nutri-Pond Sticks

Aquatic Nutrition Inc.

KEY FEATURES: Nutritional diets packed in a stick-shaped floatable, designed for pond pals like koi and goldfish. Feed them as a daily primary diet or a special treat.

SALES TIP: Great for bait: Pond creatures will surface for these floating snacks, giving pet owners more selfie opportunities for #koifans.

aquaticnutrition.com, (352) 357-0902

$10.99

Nano Blanket Food Blocks

ZooMed

KEY FEATURES: Plankton and spirulina complement each other in this time-release diet, made especially for shrimp, crabs and crayfish.

SALES TIP: This one gives you three ways to sell: as a supplemental food source for difficult feeders, to mix up the daily diet, and for weekend and vacation feeding.

zoomed.com, (888) 496-6633

$2.99

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Spirulina 3-Day Feeder

Penn-Plax

KEY FEATURES: These nourishing vegetable supplements provide up to three days of food for mollies, catfish, algae eaters and snails.

SALES TIP: A life hack for those who travel: Drop in a shell-shaped feeder for any three-day weekend or business trip.

pennplax.com, (866) 625-2385

$1.99

Vibra Bites

Hikari Sales USA Inc.

KEY FEATURES: Imitating a vibrant pile of bloodworms, this high-end line offers outstanding nutrition and color-enhancing capacity you have to see to believe.

SALES TIP: This top-shelf food offers the big three for fish: growth, color enhancement and immune system support.

hikariusa.com, (800) 621-5619

$7.99

Algae Blasts

Elive

KEY FEATURES: Red algae pairs with spirulina, vitamins and minerals, plus whole anchovies and whole shrimp for this diet made for freshwater and marine algae eaters.

SALES TIP: It gives algae-eating fish a high protein boost and gets a big reaction from hungry fish.

elivepet.com, (855) 354-8318

$13.99

Bug Bites

Fluval

KEY FEATURES: A high-protein diet made of a unique insect-based formula starring black soldier fly larvae.

SALES TIP: Enriched with multiple proteins, balanced with fiber-rich ingredients and designed to sink, making it ideal for bottom feeders.

fluvalaquatics.com, (800) 554-2436

$7.49

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Coral Food

Cobalt Aquatics

KEY FEATURES: Rotifers and cyclops blend with spirulina to make these nutrient-dense frozen coral food cubes.

SALES TIP: Up that foot traffic — offer next-day delivery for these frozen foods to be the spot for corals and other filter-feeding invertebrates.

cobaltaquatics.com, (803) 591-9500

$6.97

Nutramar Ogo

Quality Marine

KEY FEATURES: A nutritious diet made of freeze-dried gracilaria algae that comes alive with full rehydration and looks as lively as it does in the wild.

SALES TIP: Show off the magic of how it rehydrates to approximately 10 times its dry weight.

aquatropic.com, (310) 846-4040

$12.99

Michelle Lange writes about hamster food, bath scrubbers and bird toys — all the new pet products coming to market.

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Catch the replay of this PETS+ Live! Lunch & Learn webinar hosted by Candace D’Agnolo of Pet Boss Nation. This episode featured Candace expanding on her May PETS+ column “How Pet Businesses Can Profit From Facebook Live.”

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SuperoZoo 2020 and More News Services

Dates are in!

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Let Your Voice Be Heard in DC

Join the Pet Industry Joint Advisory Council, the Pet Leadership Council, pet trade manufacturers, distributors and retailers in Washington, DC, on Sept. 18 for the Pet Care Community Fly-In to deliver the message to congressional offices that pets have an extraordinary and positive impact on human health and on the U.S. economy. pijac.org/dcflyin

Video Touts Pets at Work

The Human Animal Bond Research Institute’s video, The Woofice, combines research supporting the benefits of pet-inclusive workplaces with practical tools for offices that want to become pet inclusive, all delivered with an entertaining, lighthearted approach that pays homage to the beloved TV show, The Office. habri.org/the-pet-effect

Video: Digital Ads Need to Do One Thing and One Thing Only
Jim Ackerman

Video: Digital Ads Need to Do One Thing and One Thing Only

Video: More Ways to Make the ‘More Is More’ Principle Work for You in Advertising
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Video: More Ways to Make the ‘More Is More’ Principle Work for You in Advertising

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Impact Unleashed Registration Open

Registration is now open for The Pet Sustainability Coalition’s third annual Impact Unleashed summit Oct. 10-11 in Boulder, CO. Ben & Jerry of ice cream fame will be delivering the keynote. impactunleashed.petsustainability.org

SuperZoo Tweaks 2020 Dates

Pet pros are encouraged to mark their calendars for Aug. 31- Sept. 3 for SuperZoo 2020 — a slight change from dates announced earlier this year. The first day focuses on education, while the show floor opens Sept. 1- 3, 2020, at Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas. superzoo.org

Expo Hosts Boot Camp for Retailers

Pet Connections Expo is introducing a 2½-hour Boot Camp for independent pet retailers. Lynn Switanowski of Creative Business Consulting Group will facilitate a session on driving holiday sales. The session will kick off the second day of the show, which takes place Oct. 15-16 at the NJ Convention & Expo Center from Oct. 15-16. petconexpo.com/retailer-bootcamp

40th Annual Cat Show Returns to Las Vegas

The International Cat Association’s 40th annual show and awards ceremony, Viva Las Vegas II, is returning to Las Vegas this summer from Aug. 30 to Sept. 1. About 500 cats, across 70 breeds, will be there to strut their stuff and compete for best cat, best kitten, best neuter and best household pet in show. jazzycats2019.com

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8 Alternative to Live Food for Reptiles

Fill in the blanks when live animals aren’t an option.

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REPTILE OWNERS NEED alternatives to live bugs. Sometimes keeping feeder insects alive is one chore too many; sometimes people live in apartments and shouldn’t be bringing bugs inside. Plenty of reptiles don’t even require live food, which is why there are plenty of good alternatives on the market. Stock up on crunchy food toppers, nutritional water supplements and bugs so fresh you’d hardly know they’re not wild.

Fresh Feeders Variety Pack

Exotic Nutrition

KEY FEATURES: A variety of fresh, moist insects that have been sterilized, cooked and packaged for easy feeding and storage.

SALES TIP: Farm to table dining for a variety of insectivores.
exoticnutrition.com, (757) 988-0301

$10.95

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Freeze-Dried Crickets

Fluker’s

KEY FEATURES: Gut-loaded with Fluker’s High-Calcium Cricket Diet then freeze-dried to maintain the maximum nutritional value.

SALES TIP: All the nutrition without the mess and expense of live prey.

flukerfarms.com, (225) 343-7035

$8.88

Wardley Fission Reptile Food

Hartz

KEY FEATURES: A nutritionally balanced floating stick formulated with calcium for healthy bones and vitamin C for a healthy immune system.

SALES TIP: Stay strong: This diet promotes healthy bones and shell growth.

hartz.com, (800) 275-1414

$8.88

Vita-Drops for Reptiles and Amphibians

Oasis

KEY FEATURES: A concentrated liquid nutritional supplement with a complete multivitamin formula.

SALES TIP: Developed to help fill dietary gaps in nutrition for selective or picky eaters.

kordon.com, (800) 877-7387

$10.88

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Eco-Fresh Insects

ProBugs (Distributed in the U.S. by Cobalt Aquatics)

KEY FEATURES: Silkworms, grasshoppers, centipedes and roaches all washed and vacuum sealed.

SALES TIP: These organic, farm-raised insects are as close to live feeders as you can get.

cobaltaquatics.com, (803) 591-9500

$24

Reptile Munchies

Zilla

KEY FEATURES: These dehydrated fruits, vegetables and insects can be fed as a treat, with pellets or as a topper on some leafy greens.

SALES TIP: Quick and convenient reptile nutrition with no refrigeration required.

zillarules.com, (888) 255-4527

$13.99

Crested Gecko Food

Exo Terra

KEY FEATURES: A specialty blend that mimics a varied diet of fruit, nectar, pollen and protein.

SALES TIP: This easy-to-serve, single serving cup makes this diet very grab and go.

exo-terra.com, (800) 724-2436

$9.99

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Reptile Electrolyte Soak

Zoo Med

KEY FEATURES: Splish-splash it’s a reptile bath full of electrolytes, vitamins B and C plus pre-and probiotics.

SALES TIP: Works as a nutritional soak for nervous newbies who are too stressed to eat.

zoomed.com, (888) 496-6633

$4.99

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Hot Sellers

The Best-Selling Products for April and May

Dog Rocks are doing great.

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Dog Rocks are doing great. Focusing on one item in a month has helped tremendously to get the word out. — Debbie Brookham, Furry Friends Inc., Colorado Springs, CO

Dog & Cat Products

  • Our bestselling product was protein treats from Scout & Zoe’s. We have a self-serve treat bar with apothecary jars, and our clients love the look, the quality of the treat. And the dogs love the taste! — Krista Lofquist, Wagging Tails, Wolcott, CT
  • Durable outdoor toys were good sellers for us. Jolly Pets, Jersey Dog and West Paw have all been good sellers. — Kaye Busse-Kleber, Bark On Mulford, Rockford, IL
  • My bestselling product was the Ruffwear Front Range harness. People who love to hike with their dogs and explore nature love to have it on their dogs. It is durable and quite easy to size and fit. It is good for everyday wear also. It’s comfortable for dogs and has two leash attachments. — Jan A. Hopper, Living Pawsitively
  • We’ve been selling Vet’s Best natural flea and tick products well. We offer it as an add-on for application with grooming and make it a consistent brand in our retail section because we believe in the products! — Adrienne Preuss, Animal Loving Care, Brooklyn, NY
  • MyFamily Pet Tags. $8.99-$25.99. At Global Pet Expo we decided to take a leap and purchase a new tag machine. Our customers are loving all of the tag designs, and we love that they have taken ownership of making their own tag! It frees up our staff to help people with food consultations, toy recommendations, etc. — Kara Holland, Pittsboro Pet Supply, Pittsboro, NC
  • Our bestselling product (category) was dog food. We carry brands of food that people in our area cannot buy at Petco, Petsmart, Chewy. Most brands are independent retail exclusive, which means we have repeat customers. To expand the growth of this category, we added Open Farm in April with a BOGO promotion throughout the month of May to entice customers to try the brand. — Amy Schiek, Lucky Dogs, Skaneateles, NY
  • Fromm dog food. They had a coupon for free treats attached to their bags. — Paula Gorman, Pet Supplies ‘N’ More, Muskego, WI
  • Northwest Naturals freeze dried treats. The whole line sells well, with salmon selling best; beef liver No. 2. There are a lot of pieces in a bag. Prices $ 9-12. — Nancy Okun, Cats n Dogs, Port Charlotte, FL
  • Earth Animal No-Hides are a consistent hit for us since we don’t sell any rawhide, and we are excited about the new Peanut Butter flavor! — Jennifer Larson, Firehouse Pet Shop, Wenatchee, WA
  • Answers Goat’s Milk. We start all of our customers with young animals and seniors on this to help fortify their health and constitutions. — Pennye Jones-Napier, The Big Bad Woof, Washington, DC
  • Pet Releaf hemp products. Customers love it for its multiple remedy solutions. I sell it because it is helping pets with so many different ailments. — Kimberly Gatto, The Wagging Tail, Las Vegas, NV
  • Still loving all the Fluff & Tuff toys. For some reason the llama was a hit this month. — Angela Pantalone, Wag Central, Stratford, CT
  • Outside of our perpetual top item, bulk biscuits, it was Barkworthies 6-inch Gullet Sticks. At just $1.29 each, they are cost effective, work well for small dogs that are light chewers and are a meaty treat for bigger dogs. — Shane Somerville, Paddywack, Mill Creek, WA
  • Wellness soft puppy bites. We sent up a new puppy display because of all the spring puppies that are born! The packaging is attractive and cute which makes it distinct from adult treats. The treats are soft and easy to break in small pieces. — Sandy House, The Store at Paws, Hamden, CT
  • We did a Game of Bones promotion to tie into buzz behind the last season of GAME OF THRONES. Storewide discount on bones and chews. It was a good add-on for high-margin items. — Mark Vitt, Mutts & Co., Delaware, OH
  • We have hand-dyed Hope Ropes made locally. The woman who makes them comes up with crazy custom color combinations, and they fly out of here. We did an Instagram post with them and I sold three times as many as I normally do in a single post. We love to sell them because they are made locally, retail for $29.99 and are all custom. Everyone buys them! — Jocelyn Turner, Woof Woof Pet Boutique and Biscuit Bar, Bristol, RI
  • Baydog harnesses. Our customers loved the chest padding and the fact that it has three points of attachment. The fact that Baydog is a veteran-owned company also appeals to many of our clients, especially since we are located near several military bases. — Wendy Megyese, Muttigans, Emerald Isle, NC
  • A local food called North Star Kibble. Customers buy this due to the price point, dogs love it, and do well on it. Cost per 35-pound bag is between $40.99 and 44.99. Customers that buy this product feed this with the intent to feed their pets a better food and the cost. Customers range from low to upper middle class. It’s a fantastic food. — Cecelia Michaels, Lickin’ Good Whole Pet Food, Park Rapids, MN
  • Primal Pet Food (bone broth specifically). Our customers love how it has been helping theirs pets, especially with reducing itching. We have been selling it to any type of customer; it’s also a great way to introduce them to the raw freeze-dried. — Richie Powell, All American Pet Supplies & Grooming, Springfield, OR
  • Our hot sellers are a self-serve bath in one of our fully-stocked tubs and Whimzees potato-based chews. Our customers like Whimzees because they are a fantastic alternative to rawhides. — Charlsye Lewis, Metro Animals, Fort Worth, TX
  • Mobowl by Lowcountry Pet Specialties — a portable dog bowl that fits in your pocket, is made in USA and is under $5, plus, it’s a give back-company. So that hits all the bells and whistles for most of our customers! — Toni Shelaske, Healthy Pet Products, Pittsburgh PA
  • The Honest Kitchen Cup, 99 cent sale. Always a great way to get folks to try a dehydrated food. We also sell them to folks looking for a healthy filling in Kongs, sterilized bones or horns. Just fill and freeze! — Jack Carey, Food for Pets, Manchester, NH

Other Products

  • Pura Phosphate Pads. The pads remove phosphates from aquariums which decreases algae growth! They are a cut to fit product so can be used in any size or type of filtration system. — Nicole Olesen, Woofs & Waves, Sioux Falls, SD
  • #248 Kings Cages toy Rainbow Rocket. It comes in three sizes, holds up well to birds and is fairly cheap. Our No. 1 toy at the moment. — Paul Lewis, Birds Unlimited, Webster, NY

Services

  • Our Shed Less Service was our biggest seller. We purchased unique high-velocity hose nozzles several years ago that strip the loose undercoat out in the bathtub. It’s extremely satisfying to do on double coated breeds, and our clients are amazed at the results we achieve. — Danielle Wilson, Bath & Biscuits, Granville, OH
  • It was the season for “Blowing Coat” and we sold the heck out of our Hair Hair Everywhere Package to our bath clients. Our professionally trained bathers complete a five-step process to remove excessive undercoat. Clients love that we are helping them solve the problem of dog hair all over their clothes, homes and cars. We charge $15 to $25, depending on the amount of time and product required to complete the service. — Teresa Hogge, Belly Rubs N Suds, Ashburn, VA
  • Our Puppy Day School training program is always No. 1. It’s a complete day care and training program for puppies. — Katharine Ostiguy, Crossbones, Providence, RI

What’s the Brain Squad?

If you’re the owner or top manager of a U.S. pet business serving the public, you’re invited to join the PETS+ Brain Squad. Take one five-minute quiz a month, and you’ll get a free t-shirt, be featured prominently in this magazine, and make your voice heard on key issues affecting the pet industry. Sign up here.

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