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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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FEATURED VIDEO

CANDACE D'AGNOLO

How to Keep New and Potential Hires From 'Ghosting' You

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 June PETS+ column on preventing new hires and job candidates from “ghosting” you. Hint: Much of her advice will help you make better hires and keep happier employees.

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Rev Your Boutique Sales with These 8 Products

Boutique-inspired gifts for pet lovers and their fur babies.

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LOOKING FOR SOME RETAIL inspiration? Here are eight items across a range of price points, that provide some gift ideas for pet lovers as well as some boutique-inspired items for dogs and cats to liven up your store.

My Pet Pail

Pet Partners Worldwide

KEY FEATURES: Ultimate travel accessory. Retro-style design in six colors, comes with removable bowls, and two 20-ounce bottles.

SALES TIP: As added bonuses, the pail’s handle doubles as a dog collar, the strap is a leash, and there’s a built-in poop-bag dispenser.

mypetpail.com, (800) 850-4993

$89.99

Pet Greens Cat Grasses

Bell Rock Growers

KEY FEATURES: Live grasses available in two varieties: wheatgrass and a blend of oat, rye and barley. Safe and organic superfood for pets.

SALES TIP: Having these plants around will add a vibrant touch of green to your store. Pair them with fun, animal-themed planters.

bellrockgrowers.com, (888) 943-2847

$33.99 pack of 6

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Pet DeLux Treat Jar and Nested Bowl Set

Faux Paw Petique

KEY FEATURES: Boxed gift set features treat jar and two matching bowls for food and water. Lead-free, dishwasher- and microwave-safe.

SALES TIP: In four cat- and dog-inspired designs (Cuties Beaucoup shown here) created by California artist Debby Carman.

fauxpawpetique.com, (949) 274-3111

$79

Decorative Pillow

Up Country

KEY FEATURES: Pet love is the best kind, and this 20-by-20-inch accent pillow says it all. Made in the USA, part of a full line of decorative pillows.

SALES TIP: Cover zips off for easy cleaning (especially dog hair!).

upcountryinc.com, (800) 541-5909

$45

Car Magnets

Dog is Good

KEY FEATURES: “All you need is dog.” “Dog hair, don’t care.” Dog devotees will respond to the pithy phrases on this series of 4-by-6-inch oval car magnets from a brand that celebrates the dog/human bond.

SALES TIP: Display these fun, impulse-buy items near the registers.

dogisgood.com, (562) 735-0219

$5.99

Pendleton Pet Shearling Throw

Carolina Pet Company

KEY FEATURES: A scallop-shaped shearling throw with microfiber backing to protect furnishings from pet hair. Measures 24 by 40 or 33 by 66 inches and is machine-washable.

SALES TIP: Luxury look and feel, at a price that feels affordable.

carolinapetcompany.com, (803) 364-9333

$59.99 / $49.99

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Poopy Packs

Metro Paws

KEY FEATURES: Pet waste bags don’t have to stink, thanks to these colorful and biodegradable bags, in a variety of package sizes and designs, including XL bags and cat litter liners.

SALES TIP: Metro Paws are exclusively sold to independent retailers, so you don’t have to compete with big boxes.

metropaws.com, (347) 948-7297 ext. 2

$7.99-$14.99

Dog Bone Silicone Cake Pan

Puppy Cake

KEY FEATURES: Your customers can celebrate a pup’s milestone by baking a bone-shaped cake. Commercial-grade silicone, dishwasher and microwave safe, 7 by 10 by 2 inches.

SALES TIP: See Benchmarks in this issue (page 44) for inspiration on displays of party-themed accessories for a canine or feline fiesta.

puppycake.com, (412) 943-7250

$11.99

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Fresh from Global: 6 More Latest Releases

PB and CBD!

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PB & CBD

Easy Squeezy and Smooth & Dreamy from ROWLEY’S GOOD STUFF combine CBD and peanut butter in two formulas. Pet parents can give Easy Squeezy during the day, with its 750mg of active, medical-grade CBD and natural honey working to relieve discomfort, pain or anxiety. Smooth & Dreamy adds to that organic skullcap for trouble sleeping and restlessness. Each 3.9-ounce tube comes with a bamboo key to get every last drop.

rowleysgoodstuff.com

$80

Home Sweet Home

Aquatic as well as terrestrial animal and plant species can live and thrive in the EXO TERRA Paludarium. The bottom has an extra-high glass front, providing a higher water level and increased water volume compared to common terrariums, which allows enthusiasts to keep aquatic animals and plants adjacent to the land section. A false bottom supporting the land section can accommodate and hide aquatic appliances and double as a biological filtration media.

hagendirect.com

$79.99-$154.99

Scaly Good Fun

Dogs and cats alike benefit from snuffle matts, as sniffing and digging engage the brain and body. With PETIQUE’s Fish Snuffle Mat, they move the colorful scales to find hidden treats and food. Bonus: The fabric produces barely any fuzz, remaining intact and safe even with strong diggers.

petique.com

$29.99

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For Artistic Cats

Global attendees were buzzing about the new Yeowww!-ola Catnip Crayons from DUCKYWORLD PRODUCTS. The set of three colorful toys features durable cotton twill and comes filled with organically grown catnip. Putting together a back-to-school display later this summer? This fits right in.

yeowww.com

$9.89

For Indies Only

PETS GLOBAL introduces Essence, a line of wet and dry pet food for dogs and cats, sold exclusively through independent brick-and-mortar pet businesses. It contains 85 percent animal protein ingredients and comes in Ranch & Meadow (boar, goat, lamb and pork), Air & Game (guinea fowl, duck, turkey and chicken) and Ocean & Freshwater (herring, sardines, mackerel and salmon). Chia seed oil, coconut flour and pumpkin, as well as an exclusive vitamin pack produced in Europe by a human consumable vitamin plant, are on the ingredients list. Flax seed, alfalfa, potatoes, green and field peas, and sunflower oil are not.

essencepetfoods.com

$1.89-$94.99

Tug Toy or Toothbrush?

Dogs don’t like getting their teeth brushed, even when trained from an early age. Enter the Tug N Brush. When a dog bites down on the toy, its soft nubs gently massage gums, remove residue and freshen breath. When a pet parent tugs on the toy using its rope ends, it slides along tongue and teeth to further clean the mouth. Toothpaste, sold separately, easily applies and provides a treat on top of play.

thetugnbrush.com

$19.99

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8 Products to Keep Cats and Dogs Secure in the Car

Car safety becomes a priority for pet parents.

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A GROWING NUMBER OF states — New Jersey, Hawaii, Arizona, Connecticut and Maine, among others — have laws regulating the safety of people and their pets in transit. Even when it’s not mandatory, pet owners are catching on to the importance of safely transporting their animals and limiting driving distractions. Here are eight restraints and other accessories, some crash-tested and all pet-approved.

Buckle n’ Go

K&H Pet Products

KEY FEATURES: Mesh-sided safety seat keeps pet contained. Lead attaches to pet’s collar or harness and snaps into seat belt buckle. Comes in two sizes and two colors.

SALES TIP: One-year limited warranty can add to pet owners’ peace of mind.

khpet.com, (877) 738-5188

$82.99 / $99.99

Impact Dog Car Harness

Kurgo

KEY FEATURES: Available in four sizes, for dogs 10-110 pounds. Crash tests conducted on small, medium and large dummies. Design features four adjustment points and padded chest plate.

SALES TIP: Show Kurgo’s 30-second video of their product crash tests and you’ll likely convert some skeptics.

kurgo.com, (877) 847-3868

$79

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Natural-Step Ramp

Gen7Pets

KEY FEATURES: Getting up and down steep surfaces can be tough on older dogs. This 7-foot long ramp features a wide surface, auto-locks in place and has fake grass for easy gripping.

SALES TIP: Ramp folds up for easy storage and weighs only 17 pounds.

gen7pets.com, (610) 913-1906

$99.99

Bergan Auto Harness

Coastal Pet Products

KEY FEATURES: Crash-tested, available in four adjustable sizes. Run seat belt through harness loops. D-ring connects to any leash for transition from car to walk.

SALES TIP: If the pet is involved in a crash, Coastal will replace the harness for free.

coastalpet.com, (800) 321-0248

$24.99-$33.99

SHERPA Forma Frame Carriers

Worldwise

KEY FEATURES: Crash-tested carriers that use existing LATCH and car seat tether systems for three strong points of contact. Two sizes, for cats and small dogs.

SALES TIP: It’s multi-modal: Extra-small size is part of the Guaranteed On-Board program, a partnership with airlines to standardize pet carriers.

worldwise.com, (303) 623-3327

$149.99 / $199.99

Load Up Harness

Ruffwear

KEY FEATURES: Built with strength-rated hardware and components that withstood rigorous crash testing. Attaches to existing seatbelts, allowing dog to sit or lie down.

SALES TIP: Restraining the dog in the back seat is the goal, while also maintaining comfort on roadtrips.

ruffwear.com, (888) 783-3932

$7.49

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Sleepypod Atom

Sleepypod

KEY FEATURES: Sleek, modern pet carrier doubles as a car seat and airplane travel carrier. For dogs and cats up to 12 pounds.

SALES TIP: Atom has many of the same design features as the Sleepypod Air, with a scaled down size and smaller price tag.

sleepypod.com, (626) 421-6818

$109.99

Drive Harness

EzyDog

KEY FEATURES: Crash-tested safety solution for dogs, featuring an EVA foam that conforms to the dog for a custom fit. Comes in three adjustable sizes.

SALES TIP: Point your customers to the website, which has detailed instructions and video tutorials for getting the perfect fit.

store.ezydog.com, (877) 3EZYDOG

$99

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