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9 Must-Have Habitats to House Pocket Pets

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Give your critters a happier, healthier home.

Mice, hamsters, gerbils, rabbits, guinea pigs, oh my! Since small furry pets were not created equal, there isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach to providing them with a comfortable home. Unless you are a retailer that specializes in pocket pets, it can be tricky to know how many different cages to carry. With that in mind, we’ve selected a few key products that will help you narrow down the choices and selection. 

Right Sizing

When helping your customers choose a habitat, it’s important to recommend the right fit for the type of animal. For instance, small hamsters and mice can squeeze through the gaps in wire cages designed for guinea pigs and rabbits. Customers should also consider the number of pets they will be housing. Even if they are starting with one, they may want to add a few more down the road, and it’s better to have more room than close quarters!

CritterHome 
Kaytee

KEY FEATURES: This colorful home is available in two sizes and is best suited for rabbits and guinea pigs. Front and top access doors, and deep base. Comes with food dish and water bottle.

SALES TIP: Let your customers know about Kaytee’s $20 mail-in rebate with the purchase of a CritterHome and Kaytee Guinea Pig or Rabbit food and Kaytee Clean & Cozy Bedding.

kaytee.com, (800) 529-8331

$99.95 – $129.95

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Bunny Villa 
KW Cages

KEY FEATURES: Made in the USA, powder-coated steel construction on caster wheels. Double decker, with extra room for bunny or guinea pig to move around.

SALES TIP: Point out the finishing touches such as carpeted ramp and “terra cotta” laminate flooring, so your customers will see this is more than a typical cage.

kwcages.com, (800) 447-2243

$299.50


Deluxe Critter Cage 
Prevue Pet Products

KEY FEATURES: Made in USA. Spacious multi-level cage has tight wire spacing appropriate for many small animals, especially active ones like ferrets, rats, and sugar gliders. Comes with platforms, ramps and hammock to create four levels.

SALES TIP: Highlight the details that make the pet parent’s life easier, such as the cage is mounted on casters, which makes it easy to move around, and there’s storage room underneath for food, treats and other supplies.

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prevuepet.com, (312) 243-3624

$299.99


Mod Squad

Part of the fun of small pet ownership is being able to add personal touches to make their house a home. The modular, modern habitats featured here are eye-catching, colorful, appealing to your customers who have an eye for design or appreciate a unique look. And better yet, they are customizable, with a full line of additional accessories such as tunnels, ramps, wheels and hideaways, giving your customers more reasons to come back.

OVO Dwarf Hamster Habitat 
Habitrail (Hagen)

KEY FEATURES: Part of the top-selling OVO line, this home is designed specifically for smaller hamsters and mice. Includes food dish, exercise wheel, water bottle. Clear tubes make for easy viewing.

SALES TIP: Point out that this modern look also meets small rodents’ natural desires to tunnel, with a result that’s pleasing for pets as well owners who have an eye for design.

habitrail.com, (800) 353-3444

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$40


CritterTrail LED Lighted Habitat 
Kaytee

KEY FEATURES: Highlight of this award-winning design is the two “Bubble Plugs,” battery-powered LED lights. The habitat also features expandable ports compatible with CritterTrail accessories, and comes with water bottle, exercise wheel and food dish.

SALES TIP: Set up a demo cage to show off the nighttime red light, which will allow pet parents a glimpse of what their gerbil is really getting into after hours.

kaytee.com, (800) 529-8331

$39.95


Critter Universe Ava Tower
Ware Manufacturing

KEY FEATURES: Three-level design that stimulates burrowing instinct. Compatible with line of Critter Universe cages and accessories. Comes with cube hideouts, water bottle and bowl.

SALES TIP: Your customers can connect multiple habitats and give their pets more legroom than first class.

waremfginc.com, (602) 257-8803

$43


Kid-friendly

Since hamsters, gerbils and mice are perfect first pets for children, it makes sense to carry some cages that appeal to youngsters (and their parents). Here are some starter homes, pet-tested and popular with people of all ages. Add some accessories, food and bedding to create your own kits, for an easier sell.

3-Level Hamster Cage
Iris USA

KEY FEATURES: Sized for a single hamster, this tri-level home has a plastic front and wire sides for good air circulation.

SALES TIP: Point out the cute and colorful background, which pairs perfectly with a kid’s bedroom.

irisusainc.com, (800) 320-4747

$54.99


Hamster Haven
Prevue Pet Products

KEY FEATURES: Colorful tri-level cage, available in an assortment of base and component combinations. Comes with platforms, ramps, hideaway dome and exercise wheel.

SALES TIP: Newly redesigned retail-ready packaging is available in English, French and Spanish, making it easier to sell to customers in diverse markets.

prevuepet.com, (312) 243-3624

$49.99


Pink Princess Castle
Penn Plax

KEY FEATURES: Lives up to its name, with plenty of accoutrements. Multi-level home has “cellar” to replicate underground. Comes in two- or three-level sizes.

SALES TIP: If a man’s home is his castle, then a girl’s pet hamster’s home is a princess castle. Set these out at eye-level for pint-sized customers to grab their attention.

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

$39.99/$69.99


This article originally appeared in the February 2018 edition of PETS+. 

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8 Bird Foods to Attract Multicultural Customers

Multicultural shoppers make big waves in the bird world.

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STOCK UP ON NATURAL bird food blends and treats labeled “Made in the USA,” data from a new report suggests. “Bird Products: U.S. Pet Market Trends and Opportunities” by market research firm Packaged Facts notes trends in bird nutrition are being set by influential Hispanic and Asian customers, who are far more likely to own birds for pets than other companion animals.

Crunch & Fun Parrot Treat

L’Avian Plus

KEY FEATURES: Pistachios, peanuts, raisins, pineapple and pine nuts — this specially formulated bar includes a complex mista of real fruit and nuts.

SALES TIP: First it’s a treat, then it’s a toy: Birds can munch the snack and then play with the rig inside.

lavianplus.com, (800) 543-3308

$23

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Bird Lover’s Blend

Brown’s

KEY FEATURES: Five pounds of nuts, berries and bugs in one colorful package.

SALES TIP: To bring in a backyard bird brigade, this blend attracts colorful songbirds throughout the year.

fmbrown.com, (800) 334-8816

$8.99

Nectar Pods

Exotic Nutrition

KEY FEATURES: A fruit-based jelly treat that comes in three different fruit flavors and with a boost of added calcium. Sell the specially designed Nectar Pods Holder as an easy add-on.

SALES TIP: For homes with multiple types of pets, these nectar pods work for birds, fruit-eating mammals and day geckos.

exoticnutrition.com, (757) 988-0301

$5.99

Sunburst Gourmet Blend

Higgins Premium

KEY FEATURES: This food and treat combo recently rolled out with fresh packaging and features mixed fruits, nuts and legumes fortified with plant-based DHA omega-3 fatty acids.

SALES TIP: It’s all about the optics — Sunburst colors are sourced from seeds, spices and vegetables rather than chemical colors.

higginspremium.com, (800) 878-2666

$12.49

Sizzle N’ Heat

D&D Commodities

KEY FEATURES: For outdoor feeders, this sizzling blend keeps squirrels out of the birds’ way.

SALES TIP: A classic product to introduce to the birdwatchers in your store.

wilddelight.com, (800) 543-3308

$18.99

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Organic Starter Crumbles

MannaPro

KEY FEATURES: Complete nutrition for young and growing birds developed without pesticides, medications or genetically modified ingredients.

SALES TIP: This blend of 19 percent protein and nutrients is an ideal start for young flocks of chicks.

mannapro.com, (800) 690-9908

$35

Parrot Food Pellets

Top’s Parrot Food

KEY FEATURES: These cold-pressed pellets keep natural nutrition intact and are naturally preserved with rosemary, rose hips, lemon and orange peel.

SALES TIP: Hype the ingredient label here: non-GMO, USDA organic certified and made in the USA.

topsparrotfood.com, (503) 286-1198

$5.26

Mealworms

Timberline

KEY FEATURES: Protein-packed mealworms are available in five sizes to fit the bill for birds that prefer a little wiggle in their meals.

SALES TIP: Timberline offers a strategic merchandising program for retailers to keep live food fresh and bring in repeat business.

timberlinefresh.com, (800) 423-2248

$1.99

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9 Items to Help Dogs Take on Mud Season

Use mud season to your advantage this year.

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“RASPUTITSA” IS THE WORD used in Eastern Europe, and in Alaska they call it “breakup”: It’s that soggy few weeks of late spring when low-riding Corgis and big-digging Malamutes always come home a muddy mess. This year, push rinse-free formulas for dogs that need regular spot checks and foaming cleansers for head-to-toe freshness.

Natural Shampoo Bar

Wondercide

KEY FEATURES: Freshly ground neem bark works as an exfoliant, getting dirty dogs extra clean and helping to alleviate common skin conditions.

SALES TIP: The bar lasts longer than liquids and prevents fumbling with shampoo bottles.

wondercide.com, (877) 896-7426

$2.49

Squeaky Clean Kit for Pets

Oxyfresh

KEY FEATURES: This cleansing combination pack includes a pH-balanced citrus shampoo and an alcohol-free solution to clean itchy, irritated ears.

SALES TIP: This all-in-one purchase covers dogs from head to tail.

oxyfresh.com, (800) 333-7374

$23.45

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Cape Towel

Tall Tails

KEY FEATURES: This towel has a collar with Velcro fastener plus two hand pockets for more control when drying.

SALES TIP: Super soaker — this terry fiber towel is 50 percent more absorbent than cotton.

talltailsdog.com, (937) 222-2132

$19.99

Oatmeal Honey Shampoo

Petology

KEY FEATURES: Ultra-fine colloidal oatmeal combines with honey extract to calm irritated skin while providing superior moisture, luster and shine.

SALES TIP: A long-lasting lather with long-lasting effects, and the creamy vanilla and honey keeps fur smelling good for days.

petology.net, (386) 672-1872

$14.99

Shed Control Shampoo

Pura Naturals Pet

KEY FEATURES: Sweet orange, coconut oil and omega-3 fatty acids moisturize and improve skin, and freshen coats.

SALES TIP: Reduce shedding, dander and allergens with this wash, and add on the sister Shed Control conditioner for shine.

puranaturalspet.com, (844) 698-4367

$15.99

2 in 1 Shampoo & Conditioner

Dr. Sniff

KEY FEATURES: A wash-and-go shampoo and conditioner naturally rinses unwanted odors and grime, leaving a subtle fragrance behind.

SALES TIP: The bottle has an easy pump top, and the two-in-1 formula means baths take half the time.

drsniff.com, (561) 901-5341

$7.49

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Oatmeal Waterless Foam Shampoo

John Paul Pet

KEY FEATURES: The special formula helps water grab the oil and dirt so they can be brushed out of the coat without rinsing.

SALES TIP: Sell it for senior pets struggling to get into the tub, and for spot cleaning dogs that love rolling in goose poop.

johnpaulpet.com, wholesalepet.com

$11.95

Flea and Tick Body Wash and Leave-In Treatment

Spina Organics

KEY FEATURES: Repel fleas and ticks with cedarwood and sandalwood in this organic shampoo and leave-in treatment combo.

SALES TIP: Straight A: anti-inflammatory, antispasmodic and antifungal.

spinaorganics.com, (310) 713-3223

$24 body wash; $16 leave-in

Conditioning Tea Tree Oil Shampoo

Healers Petcare

KEY FEATURES: A highly concentrated formula using all-natural ingredients like tea tree oils and designed to help with a variety of skin conditions. It works for all animals.

SALES TIP: Great testimonials — this shampoo has been used throughout the veterinary market for years; now it’s in the retail space.

healerspetcare.com, (800) 924-7036

$12.99

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8 Toppers to Lure Cats and Dogs to Their Bowls

They are more than just a treat.

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PET OWNERS ARE COMING around to seeing food toppers as more than just a treat. For cats and dogs who are picky eaters or suffer from food allergies, toppers can provide an extra boost of nutrition and hydration, making them an important addition to the pet lover’s pantry.

Organic Bone Broth

Primalvore

KEY FEATURES: Only three ingredients: certified organic bone broth, collagen peptides (for joint health) and organic turmeric. Beef or chicken. 12-ounce pouches, sold in packs of two and six.

SALES TIP: For customers looking for more organic options, paired with clean ingredients.

primalvore.com, (800) 987-0544

$19.99 for 2

Tiki Cat Dash Tuna Flakes

Tiki Pets

KEY FEATURES: Only one ingredient: wild-caught bonito tuna. Naturally smoked and flaked for easy sprinkling over wet or dry food. 1.5-ounce bags, also available in mackerel flavor.

SALES TIP: Tuna is packed with protein (86 percent to be exact), satisfying kitty’s carnivorous nature.

tikipets.com, (866) 821-8562

$9.99

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Pour Overs

The Honest Kitchen

KEY FEATURES: Limited-ingredient wet toppers in three types: Bone Broth Stew, Pumpkin Stew and Superfood Stew, with three flavors in each grouping. 5.5-ounce TetraPak, sold in packs of three and 12.

SALES TIP: With nine slow-cooked flavors, there’s something for all palates.

thehonestkitchen.com, (866) 437-9729

$6.99 for 3

PureBites Mixers for Cats

Pure Treats

KEY FEATURES: Just the basics: pure meat, packed in water for extra hydration, to be served as a wet topper or meal mixer. Five chicken and seafood flavors. 1.76-ounce trays.

SALES TIP: Just one or two ingredients per variety, appealing to clean-eating enthusiasts.

purebites.com, (888) 388-7873

$1.79

Beef Bone Broth with Turmeric

Solid Gold

KEY FEATURES: Made from human-grade ingredients: beef bone broth, carrot, sweet potato, apple, sesame seed oil, turmeric. 8-ounce pouches. Serve as a topper or add to water.

SALES TIP: Super-spice turmeric is prized for anti-inflammatory properties, making this good for aging dogs.

solidgoldpet.com, (800) 364-4863

$3.99

Fetch Fuel Active

Presidio

KEY FEATURES: Blend of glucosamine, omega-rich oils, antioxidants, vitamins and minerals that promote joint health and healthy skin and coat. 12.5-ounce pouches contain 25 servings. Part of a line of three formulas.

SALES TIP: Easy way for pet parents to sneak in some extra vitamins.

presidiopet.com, (888) 859-4280

$24.99

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SuperGravy

Clear Conscience Pet

KEY FEATURES: Just add water to the powdered mix. Barkinara red and Arfredo creamy white join the original brown. 4.5-ounce pouches come with a scoop to make 30 gravy servings.

SALES TIP: Hanging displays available, for squeezing more products into your food aisles.

clearconsciencepet.com, (239) 984-2705

$15.95

Smiling Dog Bone Broth

Herbsmith

KEY FEATURES: Bone Broth Kibble Seasonings contain only freeze-dried meat and bone broth, using USDA-certified sourced ingredients. Chicken (3.5-ounce) and beef (3.35-ounce).

SALES TIP: Serve wet or dry to appeal to picky pups. Cat approved, too.

herbsmithinc.com, (800) 624-6429

$9.49

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