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A Gently Cooked Food Cheaper Than Fresh Pet, Plus More Bestsellers in September

Pet stores share their top sellers for September, including the “why” behind their successes.

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Pet-House-pet food

PET HOUSE candles! The fall ones fly off the shelf! I keep some by the register for people to smell. — Nicole Voegtle, Earthwise Pet Voorhees, Voorhees NJ

ALLPROVIDE gently cooked food! We’re getting quite a few small dog households seeking an alternative to FRESH PET (it seems it’s been hard to find) as well as the expensive mail-order fresh foods. The silver lining to these direct-to-consumer programs is they’re doing the conversion from kibble for us, but customers aren’t forecasting the long-term costs when it comes to shipping, etc. Now they’re hooked on fresh, but need a cheaper alternative, and we’re ready for them. — Rebecca Martino, Stately Pet Supply, Clarks Summit, PA

Products

  • We do amazingly well with WILD MEADOW FARMS Gibson’s bacon treats. Whenever you order these, you get a bag to break open and sample out to your customers — they are a HUGE hit with all our pup shoppers. — Laurie Seaman, Dolittle’s, Charleston, SC
  • THYME OUT for Pets. We ordered this product at SuperZoo, expecting to maybe need to reorder in the winter. Within two weeks, we had to reorder and are nearly sold out again! What worked? One of our staff members used it on her dog, Mushroom, who has horrific skin issues. It immediately helped, and she has shared her experience with staff and customers! The product is now flying off the shelves. — Alison Schwartz, All Pets Considered, Greensboro NC
  • ROGUE SCIENCE Origins 5-in-1 (the 5-pound is the bestseller out of them and retails for $39.99). No promotions running. We always sell a ton of it! Our staff uses it and has seen results first hand, so it makes it easy to sell. We also get fantastic support from the owners of the company. — Kat Forry, A1 Pet Emporium, Oklahoma City, OK
  • WEST PAW Seaflex toy line has been flying off our shelves. Dog owners love the bright nature-inspired colors and durability. I purchased a bunch for my doggy day care, too, and all the dogs love them! My employees love that the toys are easy to clean each night. — Danielle Wilson, Bath & Biscuits, Granville
  • HIGGINS Worldly Cuisines. They come in many flavors, are easy to prepare for your bird, cheap at only $3.98. People will try several. Put near the checkout for a conversation and impulse buy. — Paul Lewis, Birds Unlimited, Webster, NY
  • TRIKRILL capsules are a regular bestseller, and we had our top sales last month. This product has a proven history of success, and we are seeing a high return rate. — Shawn Kombogiannis, Pet Wants, Austin, TX
  • I always struggle with this question because the number of crickets we sell makes the reports viewer crash on this question (LOL). Live fish sales are definitely up, which usually happens this time of year when people start spending less time outside. — Paige Elder, Buzz n’ B’s Pet Shop, Erie, PA
  • 2 HOUNDS DESIGN harnesses were our top seller — clients love all of the color options and adjustable sizing! We have a gondola full of the harnesses, leashes and collars, and everyone is drawn to the colorful display. — Jennifer Frankavitz, Four Leggers Pet Supplies & Services, Beverly, MA
  • Long-lasting chews, in general, are a huge seller for us, and I reconfigured our chew section to give our customers more options. The new collagen chews from RED BARN were a big seller in September. They are new and anything new sells, but they seem to be fairly long-lasting and provide a good value so we are getting a lot of repeat buyers. — Cory Giles, The General Store, Collinsville, IL
  • The OUTWARD HOUND Nina Ottoson games have been our top sellers all summer, especially in September. I assume it’s a lot of back-to-school/back-to-work situations and trying to combat boredom and separation anxiety at home. CBD products also flew in the month of September due to hurricane/rainy season down here in Florida. — Lauren O’Hanlon, Ruff House, Fort Lauderdale, FL
  • LENNOX dog chew body parts. STELLA & CHEWY’S kibble. PRIMAL raw frozen. — Frank Frattini, The Hungry Puppy, Farmingdale, NJ
  • Everything duck. PRIMAL raw and freeze-dried duck, TAIL TAILS plush duck, VITAL ESSENTIALS raw and freeze-dried duck, VITAL ESSENTIALS duck necks. — Julie Johannes, Powder Hounds Pet Supply, Bigfork, MT
  • NORTHWEST NATURALS, as a whole, continues to be a hot seller with us with an average growth rate of 9 percent over the month prior.— Julie Sterling, Julz Animal Houz, Marysville, WA
  • VIP Tuffy Toys were a hot seller for us in September. We purchased them on sale, so we put up a big display of them and they went like hotcakes! Between puppies and strong chewers, our customers love these toys for their durability. — Shelly Nicastro, Essex Bird & Pet Supply, Essex, MA
  • Chews were way up! Bully sticks, antlers and bones. Lots of leaf peepers driving through the mountains and bringing their dogs, who needed treats! — Sarah Terrill, A&A Pet Supply, Frisco, CO
  • Freeze-dried foods were a big hit. STELLA & CHEWY’S and PRIMAL had good promotions, and it gave us a chance to get more people to try the foods. NATURE’S LOGIC continued to be a bestselling kibble, and NORTHWEST NATURALS was our bestselling raw diets for pets. — Cheryl Larson, Healthy Pet Market, Green Bay, WI
  • Raw Goat milks and broths from PRIMAL — 20th anniversary of Primal, so the deals have been great all summer, plus their products all have frequent buyer! — Karen Conell, The Bark Market LLC, Delavan, WI
  • PRIMAL raw goat milk — all sizes — are always bestsellers, especially with the $8.99 promo of the quart size in September. There’s a big focus on adding more moisture into our pet’s diets. The raw Butcher’s Blend Toppers were also a big focus with the $6 special for the month. We had a two-week focus on our Fresh Food Destination promotion in September with a lot of sampling and promotions on all of our raw food diets. — Jeff Jensen, Four Muddy Paws, St Louis, MO
  • Last month we had a very strong month for OC RAW frozen dog food. It’s a newer line for us, but has really picked up some good momentum. It helps that a lot of our staff feed it to their pets — even the pickier dogs on staff enjoy it! Our bestsellers were 7-pound beef for $44.99, and 6.5-pound rabbit for $67.99. — Shane Somerville, Paddywack, Mill Creek, WA
  • Our bestseller was the 50-pound black bag of VALUPAK. $33.99 retail. We order from Coastal Ag. — Trace Menchaca, Modern Pet Foods, Houston, TX
  • Halloween toys, treats and costumes! We decided to put out our Halloween merchandise extra early this year and it has definitely paid off. — Susannna Furlone, The Wishbone Pet Company, Freedom, CA
  • For September, our highest-selling product was our WHIMZEES small toothbrush dental chews. We weren’t running any promotions or sales; these guys are really easy to sell to clients, and they’re relatively inexpensive compared to similar products we have for sale! — Natalie Bosch, Albany Pet Hotel, Albany, OR
  • Bones and treats are huge sellers: PRIMAL raw bone six-packs and LENNOX bully sticks tend to be big sellers. For smaller dogs, we sell lots of JONES NATURAL CHEWS knee caps. These are a good value, last a long time and are pretty safe. — Barbara Clemmens, Aardvark Pet Supplies, Inc., Thornwood, NY
  • HAPPY HOWIE‘s 12-inch beef sausages were one of the hits this month. People like the price point, and it’s an easy grab-and-go item from the front counter. — Jennifer Hall, All Things Pawssible, Charlottesville, VA
  • CRUMPS’ NATURALS Mini Trainer Beef Liver. We opened these to sample for dogs visiting the store, and the sales skyrocketed. Dogs LOVE them. — Jennifer Guevin, Holistic for Pets, Bradenton, FL
  • Supplements! We pride ourselves on our supplement section and helping our customers heal naturally and holistically. We did not do any promotion and these are regular best sellers. — Samantha Youngblood, Youngblood’s Natural Animal Care Center and Massage, Wilkinson, IN
  • SODAPUP interactive lick mats, small and large sizes. I added GREEN COAST PET applesauce and Pawnut Butter next to the display, and they are off to a good start. OUTWARD HOUND puzzles/slow feeders. TALL TAILS leather antler and rope chews. Birthday section (cookies, PUPPY CAKE mixes, METROPAWS balls, elastic band tutus/necklaces, HUNTER bandanas, and cookies) was active. SKOUT’S HONOR ear cleaner, probiotic shampoos and conditioning sprays. Raw is growing: STEVE’S, STELLA & CHEWY’S, PRIMAL goat milk and BONES & CO (in the half gallon size). And PET RELEAF and AUSTIN & KAT CBD chews & oil, bully bar (natural chews all the way). — Janet Cesarini, Pupology, Georgetown, TX
  • VITAL ESSENTIALS duck hearts were on a run in September. At $0.39 each, they did very well. — Michael Dan, RedRidge Pet Market, Richmond, VA
  • NATURAL CRAVINGS Super Monster Bully Sticks, though everything body bar. Not sure why this continues to be a must-have, even a regular Monster Bully at a few dollars less doesn’t satisfy the Monster Crowd. Andrea Demmons, The TailGait Market, Asheville, NC
  • We recently got a few extra freezers and it has allowed us to monumentally increase our raw food sales. I have always been an advocate for raw and have been preparing for my own for my dogs for almost a decade — with the extra space for frozen — we’ve really been able to make an impact with our consumers. We only carry non-HPP brands, and SMALL BATCH is our favorite! — Johnna Devereaux, Fetch RI,Richmond, RI
  • MudBusters paw washers by DEXAS. — Jamie Parent, A Place for Fido, Duluth, MN
  • Dog hoodies with the location of the town we are in. Tourist location. — Steven Iannuzzi, Percy Paws, North Conway, NH
  • STEVE’S REAL FOOD beef 13.5 pounds. — Janelle Pitula, Wags to Whiskers, Plainfield, IL
  • Coats and outerwear. Rain has arrived here, and pet owners want their pups warm. RC PETS and CHILLY DOG are our bestsellers. — George Beebe, Pawki’s, Eastsound, WA
  • For quantity sold, chews were the hot topic for September. EARTH ANIMAL No Hide Stix have been as popular as ever and our top seller, with a few local brand chews coming in second (JUNKYARD BONES marrow bones) and third (NATURAL HOUND odorless bully sticks). — Stephanie Wright, Bend Pet Express, Bend, OR
  • Our Chew Bar was wiped out! EARTH ANIMAL No Hide, THE NATURAL DOG COMPANY tendons and bullies, and HONEY I’M HOME buffalo ears. Keeping their pets busy while they’re busy adapting to school life? I’m not sure, but the chew bar looked looted! — Cathy Dervalis, Dog Day Afternoon, Belleville, IL
  • ANSWERS goat milk, fish stock and kefir continue to sell better month over month! All about educating the customers! OC RAW patties are selling great… again,all about education. ANDERSONS NATURAL PET FOOD raw meat and bones are selling more and more! SUZIE’S CBD sells more and more each month… and I sell a TON of it! All about education and a GREAT Partnership with Suzie’s. BARK & HARVEST cheek rolls are selling fast! Seem to be more durable than BARKING BUDDAH! That said, Barking Buddah cheek rolls and cheek slices are one of my top sellers each month! Bubba Rose cakes sell out ALL THE TIME! I can’t seem to keep enough in my freezer! I recently started carrying products from RANCH TO BOWL LLC. They are a family-owned ranch in northeast Colorado! Their lamb ke-bobs, raw lamb bones, steer ears, goat ears and lamb ears (all with the hair) are selling great! I LOVE partnering with Colorado companies! NUTRISOURCE kibble, FROMM kibble and FROMM cans have really jumped up in sales lately! I tend to keep my margins a bit low on kibble because I would rather move lots of product, so maybe that is why. Educating customers on kibble has helped too. — Janet Huffor, Furry Friends Inc., Colorado Springs, CO
  • Birthday cakes and treats. — Stephanie Rossino, GiggyBites Bakery & MarketPlace, Chadds Ford, PA
  • Bakery cookies. We are in a touristy area so our bakery case is always a hit with people wanting to take special treats home to their puppers. — Jennie Dudley, Hairy Winston, Mount Pleasant, SC
  • Towards the end of the month, we received Halloween toys by ZIPPY PAWS and Halloween treats by BOCCE’S BAKERY. Both have been a huge hit. Peeps love seasonal spooky stuff! — Danny Offenbacher, City of Paws Petcare, Philadelphia, PA
  • ALLPROVIDE Gently Cooked, mostly the beef. We have had it recognized on Dr. Judy Morgan webcast, and customers have been asking for it daily. We have a hard time keeping in stock. — Christine McCoy, The Natural Pet Enrichment Center, North Royalton, OH
  • We ran a coat sale before new stock came in. Almost ran out of coats. — Chris Mitchell Crown Hill Pet Supply, Seattle, WA
  • Animal Snackers by PET SNAX. These have been a fun nostalgic impulse item we have at our counter! Almost every person comments on them and will usually add them on to their purchase. Retail is $3.99. — Elaina Stanley, Three Happy Hounds, Fernley, NV
  • MENDOTA PET Visi-Vests $26.99. Penny Murano, Unleashed, New London, NH
  • Treats and pacifiers were our biggest sellers as kids were back in school and people are beginning to venture back out in the world. Pets left at home are becoming bored and need something to pass the time that they are now alone. — Keith Henline, Asheville Pet Supply, Asheville, NC
  • WEST PAW Toys. We focused on the brand, merits of each item, posted about the company, etc. — Pamela Modica, Lazy Creek Pet Food Center, Lexington, SC
  • Our Halloween KRAZY KRATES sold out in two hours. We had to order more supplies and add a pre-sale option for those who didn’t receive one. — Nancy Guinn, Dog Krazy, Fredericksburg, VA
  • We kinda flattened out this month. People are getting back into routines and getting back into the office. Our raw category is still rocking and on fire though. — Jennifer Flanagan, Nature’s Pet Market Sherwood, Sherwood, OR
  • Beef cheek rolls, both 6 and 12 inches with bully dust. Supplier is HEALTHY DOG CHEWS and BULLY STICKS ORGANICS. I never have a promotion because they sell out so fast at regular price. It’s a hit because it’s an affordable long lasting natural chew that. — Amber Sutfin, Sutfin Group Inc, Pittsburgh, PA
  • Our hottest sellers were the HUGGLEHOUNDS fall gnome toys. They’re so ugly, they’re cute! They sold out the second they hit the shelves. — Sheila Spitza, Wet Nose, Geneva, IL
  • Bakery treats for sure! Always a repeat department. 🙂 — Beth Staley, Happy Dog Barkery, Downers Grove, IL
  • JOLLY PETS soccer balls and Tug-n-Toss have been popular lately! I am assuming with the break in the weather, dog parents are wanting to get outside to play with their dogs. — Cassie Nilsson, The Mill Stores, Whiteford, MD
  • Ohio State University dog jerseys. It’s that time of year. — Ron Keller, Captivating Canines, Westerville, OH
  • We have our own line of collars and leashes, and our Halloween collars were our bestselling item in September. — Brianna Swanberg, Mutts + Meows Natural Pet Market, Mt Juliet, TN
  • BARKWORTHIES collagen sticks. Our staff has educated customers on how awesome collagen sticks are and have been promoting them really well. — Lori Willis, A1 Pet Emporium, Oklahoma City, OK
  • Our in-store bakery items are always number one for sales. Our toy sales have really increased, we have expanded our offering there. P.L.A.Y. is one of the new companies we are bringing in, both their tough toys and their plush. — Jennifer Baker, Grateful Dog Bakery, North Ridgeville, OH
  • We did well with the WERUVA line in both cat and dog. It’s a regular item for us, but it seemed like more people were inquiring about wet food for both dog and cat. I feed the line to my pets, and everyone wants to know what the owner feeds. Perhaps that’s why the line did so well. — Diane Marcin, Benny’s Pet Depot, Mechanicsburg, PA
  • NUTRISOURCE dog food products were HOT! My retail competitor 4 miles away closed their doors (super sad), and they did a really good job selling Nutrisource and FROMM. We are inheriting their loyal customers. — Deana Deitchler, Dogs Paw, Park Rapids, MN
  • Some of the gift items are selling well, like the PET HOUSE candles. We are bringing in more gift type things as the holidays approach and definitely more branded merch. We are bringing in candles with our logo, stickers, magnets, shirts, cups, etc. People are paying to essentially market our brand, and these items sell more around the holidays. — Kendra Conze, Health Mutt, Tampa, FL
  • A few months back we started a “trend” of having customers zhuzh up their pet’s food. So in August, we gave away a 2-pound PRIMAL Butcher’s Blend topper with any dry dog food purchase of 12 pounds or more. It was very popular, and customers are coming back saying their dogs won’t eat the food without zhuzhing it up, so in September we had the 2-pound Primal Butcher’s Blend on sale for $5.99 (Primal had a promo, and we were paying under $4 for the 2 pound). — Paula Gorman, Pet Supplies ‘N’ More, Muskego, WI
  • BENEBONE fish chews have been a strong new item in September. Colleen O’Fallon, Sweet Paws Bakery, Gainesville, FL
  • As the weather gets cooler, interest turns to EARTH ANIMAL No Hides to keep dogs busy. We won’t stock rawhide and have been successful in promoting the safer option for chews. — Sandy House, Paws N Effect, Hamden, CT
  • HEALTH EXTENSION 40-pound original chicken and brown rice. It’s a regular best seller. Large bag of quality local product at a great price. — Brett Foreman, Eupawria, Owego, NY
  • September was bed month. It was our leading category after food and treats. Beds usually rank six, seven or eight in sales categories. BOWSERS is our leading brand. We did not have any bed promotions, but this trend shows me customers are going to be spending this holiday season. — Carol Will, Lola & Penelope’s, St. Louis, MO
  • SNUGAROOZ is a great seller of ours, and then PUPPY LOVE clothing was right up there. We had different people buy so many things. Our top seller is our large treat bar. We have over 40-plus jars of different, fun, healthy treats! — Cherie Iannuzzi, Percy Paws North Conway, NH
  • Clothing! Come September, we go from being a dog boutique to a dog outfitter. Our customers love to shop early for the best selection, and we don’t scrimp on filling the store. We carry PACO & LUCIA, WORTHY DOG, CHILLY DOG, GOOBY — and A LOT of it! — Ashley Lancaster, Hot Diggity, Mashpee & Dennisport, MA
  • Bully sticks, stickers, key chains, covid vaccine card holders, gift items. — Pam Sine , Pet Silhouette, Hobe Sound, FL
  • Pumpkin bakery cookies! Cause you know September was everything pumpkin. — Anna Woodcock, Brown Dog Bakery, Ankeny, IA
  • We continue to see a lot of growth in the frozen lightly cooked and CBD departments. These are regular best sellers, and we promote a brand consistently. We added A PUP ABOVE, and it is doing incredible. The new HOLISTIC HOUND mushroom powder and treats have also been a hit. — Terri Nichols, CityDog Market, Atlanta, GA
  • Best seller in September was EARTH ANIMAL‘s Wisdom dog food in the 3-pound package. It is a popular food and sells well in all three sizes, but during September the manufacturer provided 20 percent off the 3-pounders, and people jumped at the chance to save on what has become a K9 favorite. — Laura Backus, Purrrfect Bark, Columbus, NC
  • TRICKY TRAINERS semi-moist treats, all flavors in the 14-ounce bags, have been our top selling treats followed closely by FROMM Crunchy O’s. No promotion, and not actively suggesting them. Top selling toys are the Sherps line from KONG. They are cute, soft and mostly under the $10 mark. — Jennifer Thomas, Lucky Dog Pet Grocery & Bakery, Lawrence, KS

Services

  • We had three non-anesthetic dental days in September, which really helped overall numbers. My customers love this service, so hopefully we can continue even though they are having a price increase. — Kelly Ross, Woof Gang Bakery & Grooming The Woodlands, Tomball TX
  • Seasonal request for pond cleaning. Bob Bianchi, Blue Ribbon Koi & Marine, Catharpin, VA
  • Boarding. We are booked SOLID through New Year’s. Also day care. We had to stop accepting applications for new clients as we are running above our limit daily. And we don’t even have the snowbirds in town yet. Also employee applications are way up. So many we can’t hire them all. I feel so blessed. — Paul Lewis, The Green K9, Mount Dora, FL
  • Day care continues to grow, with more clients signing their dogs up for four and five times a week, rather than the part-time that was more popular during the pandemic. In retail, we’re selling a ton of DOGGONE GOOD Rapid Rewards treat pouches to training class students. — Katherine Ostiguy, Crossbones, Providence, RI
  • Grooming. We have a new groomer who is very disciplined in her scheduling. She is thorough when it comes to grooming each dog and finishes in a timely manner. She is also very good at selling add-ons such as gland expression, teeth, special shampoo, etc. — Margo Tortorelis, My Natural Pet, Brooklyn, NY
  • Our self-wash was busy last month, doing well over 200 baths. — Jennifer Larsen, Firehouse Pet Shop, Wenatchee, WA
  • Bark to School Pawty during day care was a hit and brought in an extra $1,200 in one day as an add-on service. — Krista Lofquist, Wagging Tails, Wolcott, CT
  • Cat clients were HOT this month and getting hotter. More and more new clients are cat clients. — cAmber Van Denzen Suarez, Atta Boy! Animal Care Pet Sitting + Dog Walking, Mulberry, FL
  • Our VIP Spaw Package. We sold the package upgrade to 47 percent of our scheduled grooming appointments. That is up from an average of 34 percent in the preceding six months. We did an incentive for the client care team and gave them daily updates as to how close they were to hitting their goal. They exceeded their goal by the 20th of the month, and the habit of suggesting the upgrade was already in place, so they are still selling the heck out of the upgrade a month later! — Teresa Hogge, Belly Rubs Pet Care, LLC, Ashburn, VA
  • Grooming. We are booked year-round, but had even more new clients wanting in. — Jessica Cooke, Yuppy Puppy, O’Fallon, MO

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