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Bird Food: Add Some Variety to a Bird’s Diet

Birds like it when you mix it up.

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MILLENNIAL PET NUTRITION expert Meghan Arriola gives advice on animal diets every week to her 150K YouTube subscribers — usually with a pet like Berry, a Rose-Breasted Cockatoo, perched on her shoulder. “When I’m feeding birds, I do vegetables and fruits in the morning, and save the seeds for later in the day,” she said. “Birds seem to like it when you mix it up.” 

Healthy Plates

“Companion parrots eat differently than in the wild,” says Arriola, who feeds more than 70 pets on her El Paso farm every day, and shares her online experiences as a video blogger at Happy Tails on YouTube. To get picky birds into vitamin-rich foods, Arriola’s trick is to feed kale, cilantro and squash early, when birds are hungrier and more likely to eat.

Pure Fun for Parrots & Conures
ZuPreem

KEY FEATURES: Peas, corn and pistachios are blended with papaya, pineapple and grapes to make a balanced dinner plate.

SALES TIP: The Pure Fun line matches birds big to small with right-sized food pieces to minimize wasted food.

zupreem.com, (913) 962-8887

$12.99

Tropical Carnival Ultimate Avian Diet
F.M. Brown’s

KEY FEATURES: Whole-grain brown rice blended with fruit and vegetables make a complete diet that prevents selective eating.

SALES TIP: Put out a sample. The bright colors, sweet scent and interesting textures will catch customers’ eyes.

fmbrown.com, (800) 334-8816

$10.99

Grains & Greens Nutritional Supplement for Cockatiels
ECOTRITION

KEY FEATURES: High-powered veggies like broccoli, leeks and peppers are backed up by healthy grains like buckwheat and barley. 

SALES TIP: This food combo implements diversity to keeps birds interested in their meals. 

ecotrition.com, (800) 645-5154

$3.99

Fruity Flavor

Feeding all of those animals means a lot of prep work. Each night, as Arriola mixes food for her chinchillas, snakes, alpacas and horses, she chooses two new fruits to add to the daily bird chop. “I like to add orange peppers and apples one day, blueberries and bananas the next,” she said. “It keeps the diet changing, and it keeps their interest in the food.”

Blueberry Tesoro Treat
Top’s Parrot Food

KEY FEATURES: Blueberries are matched with organic pumpkin, sesame and flax seeds, then topped with turmeric, cinnamon and dulse.

SALES TIP: The ingredients in this proprietary blend are germinated then gently dried to keep the nutrition alive.

topsparrotfood.com

$7.95

Fruit-Mania Instant Treats
San Francisco Bay Brand

KEY FEATURES: A fruit basket for the masses filled with bananas, blueberries, strawberries, mangoes and papayas, plus kiwi, apples and pears.

SALES TIP: Birds will love the surprise ingredient: bee pollen.

sfbb.com, (510) 792-7200

$22.99

InTune Natural
Higgins Premium

KEY FEATURES: Bananas and citrus fruits replace sprayed-on flavor in this natural bird food.

SALES TIP: Fake colors don’t fly here. The vivid colors in this line come from natural sources like annatto seeds and turmeric root.

higginspremium.com, (305) 681-4444

$13.99

Seeds, Beans & Grains

“My parrots would eat seeds all day if I let them,” Arriola says, but she doesn’t, of course, because indoor birds don’t burn as many calories as birds in the wild. “Birds in captivity don’t fly for miles. They’re not searching for food to stay alive.” She feeds her birds seeds later in the day, for a second meal or an evening snack.

Tropimix for Cockatiels and Lovebirds
Hari

KEY FEATURES: Birds get a burst of peanut flavor in this blend, which includes Tropican granules to encourage vibrant feathers and strong bones.

SALES TIP: This blend is 100 percent edible — free of all shells and husks.

hari.ca, (800) 361-6753

$11.99

Nyjer Seed
Wagner’s

KEY FEATURES: Finches and small songbirds love the high fat and protein of Nyjer, or thistle, seed.

SALES TIP: Use in wild bird feeders that have smaller holes and tiny perches — perfect for the finches but frustrating for larger birds.

wagners.com, (516) 933-6580

$16.99

Bean Cuisine
L’Avian Plus

KEY FEATURES: A bean-forward combination of kidney, lentil, pinto and peas, specially formulated for hookbills.

SALES TIP: After the boiling and soaking prep, bird owners can freeze the leftovers in ice cube trays to measure out perfect future portions.

lavianplus.com, (800) 543-3308

$25.99

Michelle Lange writes about hamster food, bath scrubbers and bird toys — all the new pet products coming to market.

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PETS+ Live with Candace D'Agnolo

This North Carolina Pet Business Thrives by Creating Unforgettable Customer Experiences

Catch the replay of this PETS+ Live! webinar hosted by Candace D’Agnolo of Pet Boss Nation. This episode featured Wendy Megyese of Muttigans in Emerald Isle, NC. Learn about ways to combat the big boxes and online — the key is to give your customers an experience they can’t get anywhere else — and learn why the business was honored in the 2018 PETS+ America’s Coolest Stores contest.

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Hot Sellers

Here Are August’s Hot Sellers

Pet Releaf leads this month.

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There is a toy company called FabDog, and their pizza toy is definitely the hot seller! It is a round disc that looks like a pizza, with a big squeaker inside, and comes in an actual pizza box! — Sandy House, The Store at Paws ’N Effect, Hamden, CT

  • Pets Global Zignature, Essentials, Fussie Cat. Great company, always available for education. Excellent sales rep: Andy Meese. — Greg Gorski, Cody Pet Depot, Cody, WY
  • Honest Kitchen Clusters $1.99 for a 1-pound trial size with a $5 off bounce-back coupon. — Jack Carey, Food for Pets, Manchester, NH
  • My Perfect Pet, gently cooked food. — Marilyn Texter, Pawsitive Karma, Castro Valley, CA
  • Pet Releaf continues to be a strong seller for us. I’ve scheduled in-store Pet Releaf demos on weekends to help boost product awareness. We’ve seen some trade-off between sales of grain and grain-free foods, with grain-free being down overall. — Keefer Dickerson, Nashville Pet Products, Nashville, TN
  • In prep for Fall we ran a BOGO special on Nummy Tum-Tum pumpkin cans. We gave customers ideas on how to add pumpkin to their dog’s diet to support overall digestive health and deliver nutrients in a fun way to promote mental stimulation. Many customers that may not have bought this product before, did — and they are coming back looking for it now that the special has ended! — Johnna Devereaux, Fecth RI, Richmond, RI
  • Answers Raw Beef 4-pound Detailed Formula Patties. (First time a raw food moved into the top spot.) — Janelle Pitula, Wags to Whiskers, Plainfield, IL
  • Himalayan PET SUPPLY’s JugHead’s were new to my store last month. When I brought them in I ran a promotion of Buy a JugHead, Get the Himalayan Cheese for Free. The promotion went great, getting a lot of the new toys in customer’s hands and have had a great return on customers returning for more cheese refills. — Taylor Gonzalez, Three Tails Parlor and Pantry, Columbia, IL
  • As always CBD. We sell Pet Releaf tinctures, capsules and treats. (Range: $21.99-$83.99.) I also sell a local CBD company called reLeaves from TSIGFY. (Range: $29.99-$259.99). Their product is for people and pets. I have customers from their 20s to their 80s coming to inquire and purchase these products. They love them because it changes their pets’ quality of life. From anxiety, pain management, arthritis/hip and joint issues, to even help with cancer symptoms (and so much more). The Pet Releaf has a loyalty plan just like most of the foods we sell (buy 10 get one free). ReLeaves is now working with Astro Loyalty too and soon will have a loyalty plan that we will be able to offer. It’s outstanding to be able to offer these plans to our customers. — Kimberly Gatto, The Wagging Tail, Las Vegas, NV
  • RedBarn bully slices sold in bulk were very popular with our visitors. Priced at 99 cents each, customers would buy several of each flavor as a quick and easy treat for their pups. — Wendy Megyese, Muttigans, Emerald Isle, NC
  • Heavenly Hounds – Customers really respond to a simple way to help their dogs with anxiety. We double expose it on the counter and with our other calming supplements. — Matt Brazelton, Four Muddy Paws, St. Louis, MO
  • Smallbatch freeze-dried treats flew off the shelves this month! — Katherine Ostiguy, Crossbones, Providence, RI
  • Primal Goat Milk pint and Fromm pet food. Fromm and Primal partnered for every bag of Fromm 12 pounds or more sold, the customer would get a free Primal Goat Milk. It was part of the Build a Better Bowl program. It worked; we are now selling more and more goat milk. — Paula Gorman, Pet Supplies ’N’ More, Muskego, WI
  • Our bundles are now a top seller in our boutique. After taking a training class in The Pet Boss Club a couple of months ago that was led by Doug Martin from Treat Planet, I applied the theory of bundling a few items at a set price to sell more of that item. We started with Bully Sticks and No Hide Sticks in groups of five, and our sales of these two items are up 18 percent since implementing. — Teresa Hogge, Belly Rubs N Suds, Ashburn, VA

What’s the Brain Squad?

If you’re the owner or top manager of a U.S. pet business serving the public, you’re invited to join the PETS+ Brain Squad. Take one five-minute quiz a month, and you’ll get a free t-shirt, be featured prominently in this magazine, and make your voice heard on key issues affecting the pet industry. Sign up here.

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Products

5 Products to Help You Do Business Better

Pets gazebo, boarding facilities and more…

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Gazebo Sweet Gazebo

Store pets deserve their own space, to curl up in at night and/or to take a break in during the day. ADVANTEK allows them to do exactly that in style with its Pet Gazebo. Available in four heights, six canopy colors, and with accessories for outdoor use, it also serves as a floor model, advertising the product.

$129.99 and up

advantekpet.com

Furry ‘Facetime’

Boarding facilities: Add use of a PETCHATZ HDX to your menu of services. This latest version of the two-way video chat system delivers better quality in low light, a wider camera angle, and improved streaming and Wi-Fi connectivity. Pet parents can also dispense treats and aromatherapy, play games, stream DOGTV, record and share videos, and even take calls from their pet via the PawCall button.

$349.99

petchatz.com

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Old-School Calendars

Yes, your POS system has a calendar, and so does your phone. But who doesn’t love to see a printed calendar hanging on the wall at their local pet business? QUARTO PUBLISHING’s Adorable Hedgehogs 2020 fits the bill and features 16 months of the cute critters. A must-have for stores that sell hedgehogs.

$14.99

quartoknows.com

For the Stylish Pet Stylist

Check out the Purple Galaxy Pulse ZR II Detachable Blade Clipper from ANDIS! The limited-edition tool features an eye-catching design on top of professional features such as its detachable blade design, five cutting speeds, and long-lasting removable battery that delivers three hours of continuous cordless clipping.

$518.40

andis.com

Brusha Brush Brusha

Grooming salons: Upgrade your teeth cleaning services with the Mira-Pet Ultrasound Toothbrush from TECHMIRA CORP. It uses gentle air oscillations to remove bacteria and tartar buildup, without the noise or vibration of traditional tools that may scare pets. Starter kit comes with single and three-sided heads, Ultrasound Toothpaste Gel and USB cord for recharging.

$239

techmira.com

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Cat Products

8 Cat Beds That Combine Comfort and Practicality

Because cats love napping and exploring!

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CATS LOVE NAPPING and exploring, so it’s no wonder that many feline beds pull double-duty, providing a place to curl up and sleep or a place to hide and pounce on unsuspecting pet parents.

2 in 1 Cuddler/Cat House

Messy Cats

KEY FEATURES: Collapsible design; easily converts from bed to house with pop-up roof, for a secure and private hideaway. Constructed using premium, heavy-duty upholstery, the peekaboo entrance folds down to convert to traditional bed.

SALES TIP: Non-slip base prevents shifting and keeps the bed in place.

messymutts.ca, (416) 644-1661

$49.99

Moccasin Cat Bed

Napping JoJo

KEY FEATURES: Handmade by the Amish in Pennsylvania for quality and a touch of craft. U.S.-made thick faux sherpa provides comfort and durability. Available in three colors.

SALES TIP: Inspired by cat’s obsessive shoe hugging behavior, cats can curl up and hide their heads under the “shoe flap.”

nappingjojo.com, (646) 407-8748

$92

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Cat Cave

Dr. Judy Morgan

KEY FEATURES: Cozy hideaways handmade in Nepal from New Zealand wool, an eco-friendly, chemical-free material. Breathable woolly comfort provides extra warmth in cool weather and air circulation in the summer, too.

SALES TIP: The whole cave is washable (gentle cycle), and then just reshape and air dry.

drjudymorgan.com, (856) 881-7470

$39.99

Cat Walk Luxury Lounger

Penn Plax

KEY FEATURES: Style and comfort meet value. Convenient handles and stabilizing feet for easy repositioning.

SALES TIP: Gone are the days of unsightly pet beds. The sleek, modern design blends seamlessly with any decor, which both pets and people will love.

pennplax.com, (866) 625-2385

$99

Felt Cubby Cat Shape Cutout Pet Bed

Furhaven

KEY FEATURES: Soft synthetic-wool fabric provides insulation and warmth, and is non-shedding and easy to clean. Sides zip together, to convert into open-top bed.

SALES TIP: Comes in six color options, and two styles: cat-shaped cutout opening or felt cat face appliqué.

furhaven.com, (888) 459-2337

$37.99 / $40.99

Seagrass-N-Burlap Square Bed

Ware Pet Products

KEY FEATURES: Cushiony comfort for contemporary cats: A modern look, made from soft woven jute and natural seagrass. Overstuffed pillow is removable for easy washing.

SALES TIP: The beds have an appealing aroma cats love (almost as much as catnip).

warepet.com, (602) 257-8803

$49.99

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Thermo-Basket Heated Pet Bed

K&H Pet Products

KEY FEATURES: A tisket, a tasket, kitty in a (heated) basket. The ultimate heated box for catnaps. Firm sidewalls and soft cushion filled with polyfill. Folds up for travel. Comes in two colors.

SALES TIP: The 4-watt heater is removable for all-season use and is MET Labs safety listed.

khmfg.com, (877) 738-5188

$89.99

Taco Meow Cat Bed

ShopMeoow

KEY FEATURES: Made of soft mop flannel and sherpa microfiber, well-padded and supersized for all types of kitties. Flexible wire in the trim holds taco shape or you can flatten it out like a tostada.

SALES TIP: Comes with three chili pepper catnip toys, to spice up any siesta.

shopmeoow.com, (435) 275-4536

$59

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