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8 Toys to Get Your Share of the Billion-Dollar Dog Toy Market

It’s the largest durable dog and cat pet-care category.

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TOY SALES CROSSED the $1 billion mark in 2016, making it the largest durable dog and cat pet-care category. According to market research firm Packaged Facts, the growth will continue, looking ahead into 2020 and beyond. Areas of growth include steady demand in sport and fetch toys, renewed interest in chew toys and a continued love of durable plush. We’ve selected eight new releases across the spectrum.

Big Dawg

Ruff Dawg

KEY FEATURES: USA made of solid rubber, FDA-approved and free of phthalates, latex and BPAs. They bounce, float and are gentle on teeth and gums. Available in two sizes in assorted neon colors.

SALES TIP: Lifetime indestructibility guarantee: Customers can visit the company’s website to request a replacement.

ruffdawg.com, (330) 821-8011

$18.99/$27.99

CHOYS Crab

Aussie Naturals

KEY FEATURES: All-natural jute cotton rope meets water buffalo bone to create a durable chew toy. The rope fibers act as floss, too, for additional oral hygiene. New line includes seven toys.

SALES TIP: Well-suited for teething puppies and active chewers alike.

aussienaturals.com, (800) 456-5778

$13.99

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Rumpus

West Paw

KEY FEATURES: Made with patented Zogoflex material, Rumpus is built for tough chewers, with three chew lobes. Bounces on land and floats in water. Comes in two sizes and three colors.

SALES TIP: These Montana-made products are guaranteed tough, backed up with a refund or replacement warranty.

westpaw.com, (800) 443-5567

$11.95/$15.95

Back to School Collection

P.L.A.Y.

KEY FEATURES: Smarty-pups can become teacher’s pet, with this plush set that includes a calculator, football, artist palette, beakers, and graduation cap and scroll, which crinkle, squeak and glow in the dark.

SALES TIP: Stuffed with certified-safe PlanetFill material made from recycled plastic bottles.

petplay.com, (855) 300-7529

$51.90 collection; $7.90-$16.90 individual toys

Ricochet

PetSafe

KEY FEATURES: An interactive, paired set of two toys that will have dogs bouncing back and forth as they try to catch the “moving” squeak sound coming from each toy.

SALES TIP: Uses three AAA batteries, which last up to a month of daily use.

petsafe.com, (866) 738-4379

$59.99

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Fun Foods Chips

Ethical Products

KEY FEATURES: Whimsical, realistic designs on durable fabric with crinkle paper and squeaker inside. Available in seven snack styles, 8 inches tall.

SALES TIP: Tastes great, less filling: Each bag provides 100 percent of daily dose of fun and zero calories.

ethicalpet.com, (800) 223-7768

$7.99

LOBO the Wolf Puppy

Fluff & Tuff

KEY FEATURES: Lobo means “wolf” in Spanish and this ultra-plush pup’s blue eyes stand out in a pack.

SALES TIP: Lobo’s larger size means he can take the rough-and-tumble play of a larger dog, and makes an ideal holiday gift as one of Fluff & Tuff’s XL options.

fluffandtuff.com, (248) 705-5601

$28.95

Pacific Ring

Ruff Wear

KEY FEATURES: An engaging toy inspired by avalanche rescue dogs and their handlers during training. Built with Dual Shield high-tenacity rope.

SALES TIP: Versatile design engages diverse play styles, especially fetching and tugging, and it’s foldable for easy stow on the go.

ruffwear.com, (888) 783-3932

$24.95

After 15 years working for newspapers across the US (and even Alaska), Melissa Hart is now freelancing, working for a variety of publications and trade organizations. She specializes in content for the small nonprofit and business owner, in fields such as pets, IT, grocery and other retail. Melissa is based in Upstate NY with her husband, twin daughters, two rescue dogs and rescue cat.

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Pet Sustainability Coalition

Pet Sustainability Coalition Presents: Critical Sustainability Strategies for Retailers

This webinar, held on November 7, 2019, is the second in a series from PSC discussing how retailers can establish sustainable practices in their business. Moderated by PSC’s Andrea Czobor, the webinar unveils data behind the increasing consumer demand for sustainable products, what retailers have to gain from connecting with these purpose driven consumers, and a new PSC program that makes finding these products easier for retailers.

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8 Add-Ons to Trick Out Aquariums

Check out these aquarium blings.

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ACTIVATE YOUR AQUATICS sales with a monthly accessories program. Find a price that works for you and offer to send your fish folks a monthly pack of aquatics accessories with a featured new item and a few of your favorites. To drive in-store traffic, include a coupon for your pricier accessories.

Floating Aquarium Log
ZooMed

KEY FEATURES:This naturalistic floating log works for fish, newts, frogs and mudskippers to offer a spot for sleep, play, food and spawning.

SALES TIP:The bottom weighted log comes in various sizes and lets pets climb on top without the log rolling over.

mzoomed.com, (888) 496-6633

$17.99

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Natural White Aquarium Sand
Aqua Terra by World Wide Imports

KEY FEATURES: Premium-quality, all-natural substrate that provides ample living space for beneficial microbes and anchoring for plants.

SALES TIP: Let your fish folks know that in aquatic setups, it also aids the filtering process by increasing the surface area available for nitrifying bacteria to colonize.

(704) 732-0475

$4.99

GloFish Anemone
Tetra

KEY FEATURES: A black-light reactive ornament with a silvery finish that reflects LED lights.

SALES TIP: A helpful add-on, this colorful piece provides with swim holes perfectly sized for GloFish to swim through and hide.

tetra-fish.com, (800) 526-0650

$9.94

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Betta Aqua Décor Ornaments
Marina

KEY FEATURES: A pop of color and a fun activity for Betta fish, these ornaments are available in six different designs, like this red stone archway.

SALES TIP: Super safe: nontoxic and made from fade-resistant material.

usa.hagen.com, (800) 724-2436

$4.99

Maple Rock
Pisces USA

KEY FEATURES: The complex structure of this 9-pound rock adds immediate interest to any design, reminiscent of gypsum interlaced with sparkling white quartz.

SALES TIP: Natural, handpicked scenery for Iwagumi and Amano style aquariums, biotope, bonsai and rock gardens.

piscesusa.com, (424) 385-4294

$35.95

Nano ATO
Transworld Aquatic / JBJ Aquatics

KEY FEATURES: An automatic top-off system reimagined with dual optical level-sensors for ultimate precision.

SALES TIP: No mo’ overflow: This compact digital sensor offers the security of a full tank without a mess.

jbjaquarium.com, (877) 374-9981

$99

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Vintage Action Air Diver
Penn-Plax

KEY FEATURES: Add a touch of vintage to any tank with this classic aquarium ornament and attached aeration hose.

SALES TIP: Form and function: Bubbles flow from the vintage-style diving helmet to simulate breathing and improve water circulation.

penn-plax.com, (866) 625-2385

$9.99

LED Air Stone
Elive

KEY FEATURES: Create a colorful column of bubbles in your aquarium with endless color combinations thanks to color-changing LEDs. The air stone base features suction cups that will securely mount to the bottom of your aquarium.

SALES TIP: Doubles as a night light or to accent your favorite piece of aquarium décor.

elivepet.com, (855) 354-8318

e$4.99

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Cat Products

8 Toys That Give Cats the Variety They Crave

Like humans, cats crave variety in toys.

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WITH SO MANY innovative play products, cat parents don’t have to settle for catnip-stuffed mice (although there are some great ones out there!). Take the opportunity to remind your customers how different types of toys fulfill different needs: exercise, stimulation, hunting, etc. We’ve selected some new releases across a range of product types and price points.

Cat Cannon Tunnel
Catit

KEY FEATURES: Cats can use it as a hideaway or for playing. Can be stored easily as it is foldable and the wheels detach.

SALES TIP: Part of a pirate line of products promising a plundering adventure: pouches of gold, funny parrots, wooden barrels and more.

catit.com, (800) 353-3444

$24.99

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Recycled Plastic Wand
Beco Pets

KEY FEATURES: Four cute, colorful character choices — frog, butterfly, hummingbird and ladybug — on elastic bungee string attached to extra-long wand. Double stitched, stuffed with North American grown catnip.

SALES TIP: It’s part of a larger toy line that recycles 1.8 million plastic bottles a year.

onlyanocean.net, (843) 380-4042

$12.99

DoyenCat Honeycomb
DoyenWorld

KEY FEATURES: Made of natural cardboard with flowy feather and jingle bell to grab attention.

SALES TIP: Remind the customers about the extra bonus inside: a soft ball infused with catnip.

doyenworld.com, (909) 592-6893

$7.99

Peek-a-Bird Electronic Cat Toy
PetSafe

KEY FEATURES: Motion-sensored toy turns on when cat approaches. Two settings: One-Time-Play, with 10 minutes of play and automatic shut off, and Play-All-Day. Feather on each side, for the thrill of the hunt.

SALES TIP:: Features 30-day battery life in Play-All-Day mode. Comes with replacement feather.

petsafe.net, (800) 933-5595

$37.99

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Ripple Rug
Snuggly Cat

KEY FEATURES: Innovative, eco-friendly activity mat made in the USA from recycled plastic bottles. Flexible shape allows for endless configurations for kitty exploration and play. Sized larger than average mats, with non-slip rubber bottom.

SALES TIP: Show customers the rug in action at ripplerug.com/videos.

snugglycat.com, (212) 949-7449

$39.99

Sassy Sushi
P.L.A.Y. Pet Lifestyle And You

KEY FEATURES: Takeout time! Part of new Feline Frenzy collection. Built-in refillable pouches stuffed with USDA organic catnip, made with eco-friendly dyes and materials.

SALES TIP: Retailers get free rotating counter display with purchase of two Feline Frenzy starter kits.

petplay.handshake.com, (855) 300-7529

$9.90

RompiCatz Adjustable String Wand
Pet Ki Enterprises

KEY FEATURES: Extra-long string adjusts up to 36 inches for a variety of play options. Rod handle has a built-in storage compartment for the excess string. Three toy choices: mouse, bug and crinkle ball. Replacement toys sold separately.

SALES TIP: This toy is a “reel” catch.

rompicatz.com, (877) 269-0339

$15.99

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Shimmer Glimmer Hug N Kick
Ethical Products

KEY FEATURES: Brightly colored plush animal with irresistible, shimmering accents, crinkle material and fluffy tail. Comes in four colors.

SALES TIP: The extra-large size (7.5 by 3.25 by 2 inches) makes these the perfect prey for cats to hug and kick.

ethicalpet.com, (800) 223-7768

$5.99

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Dog Food

8 Selections to Help Customers Shake Up Their Pups’ Dry Food Diets

Encourage customers to do just this.

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YOU LIKELY STOCK dozens of types of dry kibble, but most pet parents stick to the same brand. Make it easy for customers who want to try a new dry food diet, whether they want to switch to ancient grains or a super-premium holistic blend. Design a simple graphic that offers easy instructions to transition foods and turn them on to these new blends available at independent stores like yours.

$ <$2/POUND | $$ $2-$3/ POUND | $$$ $3-$4/POUND | $$$$ $4+/POUND

 

Wellness Core Wholesome Grains
WellPet

KEY FEATURES:The four recipes in this protein-packed blend focus on poultries and fish, including deboned turkey, ocean whitefish and herring.

SALES TIP: Healthy by design, these recipes offer maximum protein, nutrient-rich grains and superfoods.

wellnesspetfood.com, (800) 225-0904

$$$$

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Lifespan Dry Food
PetGuard

KEY FEATURES:: Crunchy nuggets made from USA-sourced chicken plus beet pulp and alfalfa meal for fiber.

SALES TIP: This is the OG diet: The first all-natural holistic dry food for dogs of all ages, sizes and breeds.

petguard.com, (929) 515-1436

$$$

Cricket Crave
Jiminy’s

KEY FEATURES: A sustainable and nutrient-dense blend of cricket protein powder, oats, quinoa, sweet potato and other plant-based ingredients, baked in the USA in small batches.

SALES TIP: Every dog that snarfs an insect-based supper over traditional proteins saves 220 gallons of water.

jiminys.com, (844) 454-6469

$$$$

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Highlander Beef, Oats and Barley Recipe
Fromm

KEY FEATURES: This Scottish-inspired, grain-inclusive entrée features beef, lamb, haddock, oats, fruits and vegetables.

SALES TIP: Mix and match: The new recipe joins a larger family of grain-inclusive and grain-free entrées designed to be interchangeable, delivering variety with every meal.

frommfamily.com, (414) 439-1900

$$$

Natural Dry Dog Food
Hound & Gatos

KEY FEATURES: A protein boost for pups, this blend is more than 84 percent protein, made from real meat, fish or poultry and fresh, whole eggs.

SALES TIP: All killer, no filler — this blend nixes peas, chickpeas, lentils and white potatoes.

houndgatos.com, (888) 896-2951

$$$

Diamond Pro89 Beef
Diamond Pet Foods

KEY FEATURES: Pork and ancient grains join forces with energy-dense protein sources and amino acids to support hard work and endurance.

SALES TIP: An all-star blend for working and performance dogs, it contains 89 percent protein to help build and maintain muscle.

diamondpet.com, (800) 442-0402

$$$$

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Ancient Wetlands Canine Recipe with Roasted Fowl
Taste of the Wild

KEY FEATURES: Roasted quail, roasted duck and smoked turkey combine for a diet rich in highly digestible protein.

SALES TIP: The art of ancient grains: Focus on the pet parents who prefer grains like sorghum, millet, quinoa and chia seed over fillers.

tasteofthewildpetfood.com, (800) 324-4808

$$

Carnivore Grain Free Lamb + Wild Boar Recipe
Go! Solutions

KEY FEATURES: A heavy hitter in the protein aisle, with added digestive enzymes, probiotics and prebiotic fiber promote good digestion, protein utilization.

SALES TIP: Lamb and salmon and boars, oh my! Each recipe in the line includes between six to 11 animals as protein sources.

petcurean.com, (866) 864-6112

$$$

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