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9 High-Tech Products for the Dogs (Or Cats)

Innovative products aim to improve lives of cats, dogs and their caregivers.

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IN “FOUR PET INDUSTRY TRENDS to watch in 2018 and beyond,” market research firm Packaged Facts points to technology playing a bigger role in the development of new products. Especially products with goals of improving health, wellness and safety for our furry companions, and also products that help busy pet parents connect with and take better care of their animals. Fire up the smartphones, as many of these have companion apps that allow the user to connect and control remotely, allowing modern pet parents the ability to be present even when they aren’t physically at home.

Smarter Feeders

The next best thing to being there to scoop out the food is a “smart feeder” that can do it for you. The benefits of these feeders are many: enabling portion control, to help combat obesity and help keep those early rising dogs and cats satiated, as well as being able to remotely serve up dinner when you’re running late from the office.

Wagz Serve Smart
Wagz

KEY FEATURES: Built-in replenishment system that detects low food levels. Can be programmed to reorder and remote controlled via smartphone.
SALES TIP: When loaded with Whello cartridges that snap directly into the feeder, it’s like a Keurig for dogs!

wagz.com, (833) 438-9249

$349

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Small Pet Feeder
Eyenimal

KEY FEATURES: Holds up to 60 ounces of kibble. Owners can schedule feedings up to 12 times a day, as well as record voice messages calling out to “come and get it.”

SALES TIP: Cat owners can rely on it during overnight trips, for when a sitter isn’t available.

1-800-378-4385, idealpetproducts.com/shop/

$129.99

SmartFeeder
Petnet

KEY FEATURES: Smartphone controlled, customizable meal times and portion sizes, low-food warnings, food delivery updates and more.

SALES TIP: Compatible with Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant and Nest Cam, this will follow commands better than Fido.

petnet.io, (310) 497-6865

$179

Smarter Cat Parents

“Work smarter, not harder,” as the saying goes. These three products are geared toward making cat parents’ lives a little easier, and enabling them to be able to relax and enjoy time with their feline friends. We selected a solution for neutralizing litter box stink, the ultimate remote mouse toy and an on-demand water fountain.

Mousr
Petronics

KEY FEATURES: USB-rechargeable robotic mouse toy with interchangeable tail accessories, billed as the world’s first artificial intelligent mouse.

SALES TIP: Customers will like the two programming options: automatic or be in control via a smartphone or tablet.

petronics.io

$149

Purr-ifier Litter Box Odor Control System
DNKB

KEY FEATURES: Air filter and fan attach to the vent in enclosed litter boxes, neutralizing smells, and keeping down dust.

SALES TIP: Customers will keep coming back for replacement filters, which last about two months.

purr-ifier.com, (480) 659-7703

$39.95

AquaPurr eC
Chalmers Innovations

KEY FEATURES: Motion-sensor-activated drinking fountain that connects to any faucet. Decorative printed wraps available.

SALES TIP: If your cat is fascinated by running water,
this is the product for you.

aquapurrwholesale.com, (833) 278-2787

$129

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Smarter Dog Parents

Peace of mind, improving health and safety are the themes of these three products for dogs and their human caretakers. We also kept in mind a range of price points, because tech products shouldn’t necessarily mean expensive. Take a look at a low-cost speaker with some big selling points, an ultrasonic toothbrush and state-of-the-art tracker.

Mira-Pet Ultrasound Toothbrush
Techmira

KEY FEATURES: A three-sided brush head, paired with ultrasound, produces a deep clean with one swipe.

SALES TIP: This toothbrush will save customers from higher vet bills down the road.

techmira.com, (781) 975-3552

$239

G.O.A.T Pet SpeakeR
G.O.A.T. Pet Products

KEY FEATURES: Pint-sized Bluetooth speaker in four designs to stream calming music or play a recorded voice to help pets with anxiety.

SALES TIP: Host a “talking dog” adoption event. Even use it to “tell” pet parents about their day.

goatpetproducts.com, (586) 530-9333

$24.99

DOTT The Smart Dog Tag
DOTT

KEY FEATURES: Through the “Virtual Leash” app, users get alerts when pet is outside their range. Each user covers 9 acres. Expand reach by reporting the lost pet through the app, which sends notice to all area users.

SALES TIP: Can also track activity when on walks.

dottpet.com

$39.99

Melissa Hart is a content producer based in New York.

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JIM ACKERMAN

Things Are Looking Good in the Pet Business … but Don’t Get Too Comfortable

PETS+'s marketing guru just wants to remind you that eventually, the upswing will become a downturn. When that happens, will you be ready?

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Products

Learn the Future of Pet Sitting, Get Discounts on Camp, Education

Pet care services are ready for 2019.

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Pet-Sitting Forecast Released

Pet Sitters International has released its downloadable 2019 Pet-Sitting Industry Forecast (petsplusmag.com/11913). The report highlights the growth potential for pet-care businesses and examines how increased competition will influence industry trends as professional pet sitters seek to differentiate themselves from less qualified pet-care providers. petsit.com

PETS+ Readers Get Discount to Camp

Camp Pet Boss, a four-day retreat for small pet business owners and their dogs, is offering a $400 discount to PETS+ readers who use the code PETSPLUS400 when signing up in January for the April 30-May 3 event. Presented by Pet Boss Nation, whose founder Candace D’Agnolo is a PETS+ columnist and host of the PETS+ Live! internet show, the event will give pet pros the opportunity to learn about marketing, sales and leadership. camppetboss.com

FetchFind Partners with IBPSA

FetchFind, which provides staff training and other business solutions to pet-care service companies, has announced an educational partnership with the International Boarding & Pet Services Association. Starting in January, for a fee of $100, IBPSA members will be able to access more than 100 pieces of staff training and enrichment content. ibpsa.com, fetchfind.com

NYC Re-Tails Expo Planned for April

The seventh annual NYC RE-tails & Sales Expo takes place April 30 in New York. Presented by American Pet Professional and Whitegate PR, the one-day trade show showcases innovative pet products and draws retailers from throughout the Northeast. Vendor space and sponsorship opportunities are still available. retailsandsalespetexpo.com

Catsbury Park Returns

The East Coast’s biggest cat convention, Catsbury Park, takes place April 13-14 in Asbury Park, NJ. Catsbury Park will be bringing together celebrity cats, adoptable felines, DJs, games, activities, art, vendors, presentations, seminars, comedians, tattoos and vegetarian food. In addition, there will be seminars about rescue, kitten care, trap-neuter-return, and more. catsburyconvention.com

Animal Supply Co. Creates App

Animal Supply Co. retailers will be able to use a new app to scan a barcode to find and order from ASC’s product catalog, see what’s in stock, make lists of products they buy often and check status of orders. animalsupply.com

Camp Bow Wow Launches Software

Camp Bow Wow, the dog day care and boarding franchise, launched Data Dawg 2.0 software, which eases day-to-day business management for franchise owners, and quicker check-in and -out times for customers. campbowwow.com

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Products

Hot Off the Manufacturing Line for the New Year

Welcoming the new year with the newest pet products.

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Dig Dig Dig

When the weather outside is frightful, dogs become bored and can get into trouble. The iDig from IFETCH gives them an outlet for their physical and mental energy. Pet parents load toys or treats into the flaps and watch pups dig for treasure. The iDig comes in two versions: Stay (shown here) with a hard shell and Go with pop-up, flexible materials. The flaps in both are machine washable.

goifetch.com

 

$79.99

For Healthy Smiles

Because no pet parent enjoys trimming their small animal’s teeth, WARE PET PRODUCTS offers its Health-E Collection. The chews come in five varieties, including the Donut (shown here), and also help relieve cage boredom.

warepet.com

$5.99

 

Soft Rewards

Treats are an integral part of the training process. With that in mind, PRESIDIO PET introduces Off Leash Soft Bakes, its newest healthy training treat line. The tender, bite-sized biscuits come in meat-first flavors Beef & Cranberry, Chicken & Cinnamon Apple and Duck & Sweet Potato, plus Peanut Butter & Bacon. They are only 9 calories each, and do not contain grain, corn, soy or anything artificial.

presidiopet.com

$6.99 (5 ounces)

 

Smart Kitty Door

The SureFlap Microchip Cat Door Connect from SURE PETCARE appeals to those who want to give their kitties outdoor time — but also want control over their comings and goings. Used with the Hub, which plugs into any Wi-Fi router, and an app, pet parents can control from their smartphone which cats can use the door and at what times. RFID collar tags for non-microchipped pets also are included.

surepetcare.com

$200

 

Be My Valentine

HUXLEY & KENT introduces a Valentine’s Day line featuring sweet neckwear and fun toys. Pair the Puppy Love bowtie and toy for a gift every customer will want to give. Additional patterns and shapes available, all in pink and red of course.

huxleyandkent.com

$5.99 bowtie, $9.99-$13.99 toy

 

Premium Poop-Bag Holder

For some pet parents, a plastic poop-bag holder simply won’t do. Enter the Waste Bag Dispenser from ROMAN DOG. Handcrafted from bridle leather, it snaps onto a leash and comes in black, burgundy, tan and brown. Coordinating collars and leashes also are available.

roman.dog

$40

 

For On-The-Go Pets

Bella Roma Travel Bowls and Double Diners by LOVING PETS make it easier to feed dogs and cats when away from home. The bowls feature integrated locking lids for dry food storage, and legs raise the bowls to a more comfortable height for eating and drinking. Dishwasher safe and BPA-free, both pack flat and can be hung via the included carabiner.

lovingpetsproducts.com

$9.99-$17.99

 

Simple, Strong & Stylish

The Revol Crate from DIGGS checks a multitude of boxes. It has a modern design that blends into a variety of home decors. Reinforced plastic, high-strength steel-mesh wire and high-quality aluminum keep dogs safely contained. And a patent-pending mechanism allows for set-up, collapse and carrying of the crate with just one hand. A puppy divider, three openings and a removable tray make it perfect for all life stages. Available in small for dogs up to 30 pounds, with larger sizes coming soon. DIGGS offers an affiliate program with a free demo unit.

diggs.pet

$224.99

 

New & Improved Shrimp

HIKARI’s Bio-Pure Okanagan Lake Freshwater Mysis Shrimp are naturally gut-loaded with algae and high in phospholipids, which help unlock amino acids. This freshwater species also helps marine fish complete the osmotic process using less energy. Improvements include a three-step sterilization process, bio-encapsulated multivitamin enrichment, pure-water packing and a proprietary freezing process.

hikariusa.com

$7.79

 

Leggings, For Dogs

Icy streets, hot pavement, allergens and harmful chemicals. Dog paws come into contact with it all. WALKEE PAWS protect pups with leggings made from four-way stretch fabric, with rubber waterproof booties. Available in small, medium and large sizes and in Classic, Confetti (shown here), Camo and CoCoa styles.

walkeepaws.com

$19.99-$29.99

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Hot Sellers

PETS+ Readers Share Hot-Selling Products and Services for October

Treats for the good and fuzzy, vinyl stickers and more made it to October’s hottest.

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Goldpaw Series fleece as the weather gets cooler. It’s a great value, suitable for dogs of all sizes including our Pit Bull customers. Washes up easy and wearable indoors and outdoors — even under a jacket. Matt Brazelton, Four Muddy Paws, St. Louis, MO

Products

  • We sold a lot of VeRUS pet food. We tout it as our store brand and love to sell it because it is local to us, never been through a recall, and the company really backs the small-business owner. Diane Marcin, Benny’s Pet Depot, Mechanicsburg, PA
  • Frozen food was good. I like to sell it because those people who buy it are more serious about their pets. Danny Bik, Wet Pets SRQ, Sarasota, FL
  • I found a used bakery case to move my decorated cookies and cakes into for display. Wow! If I had known how much that category would start selling because of the case, I would have done it so much sooner. My decorated treats sales have more than quadrupled. Danielle Wilson, Bath & Biscuits, Granville, OH
  • S&C Wild Weenies were huge because we participated in their display contest. Dani Edgerton, Paws on Main, Columbiana, OH
  • Orijen original in the 25-pound bag was our top-selling food for the month. We also had successful promotions for Seresto collars and bulk pig ears. Keefer Dickerson, Nashville Pet Products, Nashville, TN
  • Bully sticks by the Natural Pet Company. Angela Pantalone, Wag Central, Stratford, CT
  • Our best selling products continue to be the CBD products. We sell CannaPet treats, Lazarus Naturals Oils, Scouts Blessings treats and Super Snouts Oils. They all sell well and are our top sellers. We love it when we can educate a customer on how it can help their pet, then they come back to tell us how much it helped and, they buy more. Terri Ellen, Nature’s Pet Market, Salem, OR
  • We sold a ton of die-cut vinyl stickers from Turtle’s Soup. They are adorable, fun and cheeky, and great quality. We have them in acrylic business card holders near our busiest register, and people love to rifle through them and grab one or two for themselves or as a gift. We keystone them at $2.99, and they just fly! Shane Somerville, Paddywack, Mill Creek, WA
  • The new goDog (Worldwise) sugar skull toys were our most popular dog toys. They are relatively durable and have such fun colors/patterns to them. Kara Holland, Pittsboro Pet Supply, Pittsboro, NC
  • Pet costumes seemed to be a big interest in my salon in October. I purchased a POP display from Rubie’s Pet Shop at a very reasonable price. It was fun watching customers putting on the hats and having a chuckle. Since I got great interest in it, I brought in the Christmas collection to see how it goes. Rachel Malmfeldt, Pampered Pups Grooming, Joliet, IL
  • Nutrisource Dog food. It’s a great seller as it’s a good food for a reasonable price. They have several flavors and choices and with the added probiotics and chondroitin/glucosamine it makes it an easy choice for customers, especially those coming off grocery store type brands. Nicole Olesen, Woofs & Wags, Sioux Falls, SD
  • After food, our best selling product(s) were hand-washed USA-made bully sticks. Chasing Our Tails has an incredible variety of odorless bully sticks that both our customers love, and their dogs do too! Options range from 6-inch standard to 12-inch XL and retail from $5.75 to $15.50. Johnna Devereaux, Fetch RI, Richmond, RI
  • Trapeze toy, both sizes by Super Bird. Paul Lewis, Bird Unlimited, Webster, NY
  • Dave’s Gobblelicious cat food in 5.5-ounce cans. Cases and cases and cases and cases. We did a Black Friday special for buy three cases, get one free. Eric Mack, Purrrfet Bark, Columbus, NC
  • Bravo Homestyle has really made an impact in the store. Clients with fuzzy dogs really benefit from this easy, natural homemade food. Debbie Brookham, Furry Friends Inc., Colorado Springs, CO
  • Our hottest seller has been Smallbatch freeze-dried foods. A top quality freeze-dried raw product that continues to sell itself! Duane Poland, Bones-n-Scones or Palm Springs, Palm Springs, CA
  • Our sales of Specialty Pet Products pet odor removing candles always go up in the fall and stay high through the holidays. I think the fall scents like Pumpkin Spice, Fallin’ Leaves, etc. are really popular and folks like to stock up for the long spring and summer months without them. They are usually $10.99 and occasionally we will sell them as buy one, get one 50 percent off, but we hardly ever do that during the fall. We have a hard enough time keeping them in stock as it is! Kris Minkle, The Whole Pet, Fort Smith, AR
  • Hot seller for October was Grandma Lucy’s biscuits. We opened a bag and let our human customers try them. Once they realize how great they taste, they flew off the shelf. James Henline, Asheville Pet Supply, Asheville, NC

Services

  • The self-serve dog wash just went wild with new customers, thanks to a concentrated television promotion schedule! Pattie Boden, Animal Connection, Charlottesville, VA
  • Our Seasonal Spa Package for our grooming clients always leads in add-on sales each month in my salon. We offer a special scent-of-the-month shampoo and cologne, toothbrushing, and they get a small bag of cookies from our cookie bar. Our total cost for the package is $1.79 and we charge $8. We normally sell between 175 and 225 packages monthly. An added bonus is once our clients have tried the treats we feature each month, I am finding they are coming in between grooming appointments to buy more treats for their pets. Teresa Hogge, Belly Rubs N Suds, Ashburn, VA
  • Our best-selling (non-grooming) service was our DIY dog wash. A big-box pet supply store 3 miles from us closed, and customers have migrated here. We help them get their dogs into the tubs, help them select the correct grooming tools and shampoos, and check on them mid-bath to see how they’re doing (friendly customer assistance the big-box store didn’t offer). We give them a new customer kit (poop bag that contains a welcome letter, food comparison chart, price list and Just Fur Pets pen) and talk to them about their dog(s) during baths and at checkout. Marcia E. Cram, Just Fur Pets, Springfield, VA

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