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Chewy’s Oil Painting Promotion, and More Headlines for Pet Store Owners





Fast-rising pet supply startup has a creative approach to customer service, including sending 700 customers a week a surprise gift — a free oil painting of their pet. Chewy, which is on track for $880 million in revenue in 2016, could be heading for an IPO in 2017. Bloomberg Businessweek, 11/23


A year’s supply of dog food was the gift for seven Michigan men who adopted a litter of abandoned puppies they found in the woods on a bachelor party trip. The men appeared on “Good Morning, America” and received a year’s worth of Loyall Life dog food. Michigan Live, 11/24


The owners of a dachshund that died while getting a pedicure are suing PetSmart for negligence. A groomer at PetSmart in San Mateo, CA, was arrested and charged with animal cruelty after the death of one-year-old Henry in May. Lawyers for the dog’s owners say PetSmart’s methods for training its groomers in safety are inadequate. Fox 13 Memphis, 11/23


A police officer earns our “Pet Hero of the Month” award for racing into a burning New Jersey pet store to save every animal inside.  Greenville Gazette, 11/25 


After a local woman offered to pay all adoption fees through the end of 2016, Sacramento’s Front Street Animal Shelter saw a surge in interest — with 250 people waiting in line the next morning to adopt an animal. Good News Network, 11/17


Protesters and supporters of Rhode Island pet store Perfect Puppy faced off outside the store in November. Activists claimed the store was selling unhealthy dogs from “puppy mills,” while supporters disputed the claim. Picket signs from opposing groups read “Need love? Buy a puppy!” or “Sick puppies sold here.” NBC 10 News, 11/26


Some pet owners are giving their older, sick or anxious pets treats containing cannabis. While anecdotal evidence has indicated possible benefits, the edibles have not been approved for use by federal regulators and California’s veterinary board has said any veterinarians offering or recommending cannabis to animals could lose their licenses. Santa Cruz Sentinel, 11/20


When sending holiday cards from your family, does your pet also “sign” the card? One in 12 British pet owners does this, according to a study of 2,000 people from a greeting card supplier. Sounds like a great idea, as long as the participation doesn’t extend to letting the family pet pick out the gift. Daily Express (UK), 11/25


PetSmart’s North American brick-and-mortar presence hit 1,500 with a location in Sheridan, CO. The store was one of 80 the company opened in 2016. Chain Store Age, 11/16


Next Thanksgiving, do feed your pets: sweet potato, vegetables and turkey. Don’t feed: chocolate, raw bread dough, or stuffing. NBC K5, 11/21





Pet Sustainability Coalition

Pet Sustainability Coalition Presents: Critical Sustainability Strategies for Retailers

This webinar, held on November 7, 2019, is the second in a series from PSC discussing how retailers can establish sustainable practices in their business. Moderated by PSC’s Andrea Czobor, the webinar unveils data behind the increasing consumer demand for sustainable products, what retailers have to gain from connecting with these purpose driven consumers, and a new PSC program that makes finding these products easier for retailers.

Promoted Headlines


Letters From Our Readers for August

“PETS+ continues to be my favorite magazine…”




Cover Love

  • Love the Pug butt! — Leel Michelle, Bow Wow Beauty Shoppe, San Diego, CA
  • Loved the cover dog. Good stuff inside, too. — Nancy Okun, Cats n Dogs, Port Charlotte, FL

Like the Sharing

  • I like the sharing of ideas we independent stores do — trading tips, advice, etc. — Greg Gorski, Cody Pet Depot, Cody, WY

Love the Products

  • Love this magazine and the glossy pages! I love being able to see all of the new products! — Sandy House, The Store at Paws ’N Effect, Hamden, CT

FB Live Experiment

  • I love the article and live webinar y’all did on using Facebook Live sales. We took your advice and tried one (with a few mistakes). We made $400 in sales on it. I’d say not bad for our first attempt. Your magazine always gives us new ideas to up our sales. Thanks. — David Price, Alabama Pet Foods, Pelham, AL

So Much from Each Issue

  • You guys are awesome!!! Sorry, I know that’s not detailed, but I literally get so much from each magazine. — Amy Zounes, CaNine to Five, Clifton Park, NY

Look Forward to It

  • I always look forward to getting your magazine. I love all the new ideas, trends, to-do lists and real-life experiences/examples. — Lisa Keppers, Sauk Centre Country Store, Sauk Centre, MN

Favorite Mag

  • PETS+ continues to be my favorite magazine. — Wendy Megyese, Muttigans, Emerald Isle, NC

Enjoy, Enjoy

  • I really enjoy your publication. I especially enjoy the monthly calendar on important pet-related dates and your ideas for management issues. — Bob Howard, DogWatch of Upstate NY, Otego, NY

Fresh Ideas

  • I often run out of ideas, so for me I love the magazine because it gives me fresh ideas to work with. — Paula Gorman, Pet Supplies ’N’ More, Muskego, WI

Continued Support

  • Love all that you do to continue supporting and elevating the collective pet industry! — Teresa Hogge, Belly Rubs N Suds, Ashburn, VA

Real-World Advice

  • Always excellent topics, vivid photos and graphics, and real-world advice and examples. Keep it coming! — Remy Bibaud, Pet Perennials, Pittsburgh, PA

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Letters From Our Readers for July




More Than Sales

As a veteran of indie pet retail, I am ecstatic over the number of pet parents advocating for their pets by reading, discussing and seeking out alternative remedies, raw food, herbs, etc. Our sales of raw and freeze-dried foods, supplements, CBD and herbs continue to climb. It’s not just the sales we love; it’s the feedback we are getting on the improved health and wellness of the pets. It doesn’t get much better! — Karen Conell, The Bark Market, Delavan, WI

A Fun Day

We have managed to put our daughter in daycare, previously a cost our budget couldn’t handle. By utilizing ideas from this magazine and its featured stores, and a business mentoring program for pet business owners, I can happily pay that $600-plus a month for my daughter to go make friends and have a fun day! — Sarah Cordes, Knotty Dog, Chelsea, AL

Great Relationships

We love the great relationships our staff members build with our customers. They support us on social media with congratulatory posts anytime our staff are promoted. It is very refreshing to see that! — Charlsye Lewis, Metro Animals, Fort Worth, TX

Grooming: Check!

I’m adding grooming! It’s going to change my store, and it’s exciting and scary at the same time! — Anna Woodcock, Brown Dog Barkery, Ankeny, IA

Life on the Ranch

We are so busy! My family and I are moving from a suburban townhome to a 2.5-acre ranch in the country, complete with a corral, chicken coop and a 96,000-gallon pond with plenty of wildlife. We’ll Instagram our homestead life adventures soon! — Leel Michelle, Bow Wow Beauty Shoppe, San Diego, CA

The Next Level

I will be launching my e-commerce shopping for pickup or delivery this week. Hoping will take my little store to the next level. — Kimberly Gatto, The Wagging Tail, Las Vegas, NV

Cool, But …

I love the America’s Coolest Stores feature because the ideas inspire me to try new or different things in my stores. But the latest winner — while extremely cool — is more of an attraction or restaurant than a store. Maybe you need a new contest? — Keefer Dickerson, Nashville Pet Products, Nashville, TN

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Here Are the Letters From Our Readers for June

You have expressed your disappointments and frustrations.




DCM Frustrations

This DCM thing has me stressed and frustrated. My hope is, it will allow more growth in foods that are less processed and more species-appropriate. My fear is that it will drive people blindly to low-quality brands because of the hysteria. — Shane Somerville, Paddywack, Mill Creek, WA

Podcast: Learn More About Fi, the Ultimate in GPS Dog Collars
Behind the Pages

Podcast: Learn More About Fi, the Ultimate in GPS Dog Collars

Podcast: Wellness Junkie “Coach Caitie” Teaches You to Care for Yourself as Well as You Care for Your Pets
Behind the Pages

Podcast: Wellness Junkie “Coach Caitie” Teaches You to Care for Yourself as Well as You Care for Your Pets

Podcast: Talking Cybersecurity, and Keeping Your Pet Business Safe Online
Behind the Pages

Podcast: Talking Cybersecurity, and Keeping Your Pet Business Safe Online

Investigate the Truth

I’m wondering how boutiques that sell the dog food listed by the FDA handled the DCM issue with grain-free foods. I printed out the letters from the food companies I sell and distributed them if my customers wanted them. I also researched and informed my customers that there is no scientific proof that these foods cause DCM, and all the foods we carry and sell are manufactured from reputable sources. The power of money and media can be destructive if you do not do your own research and investigate the truth! — Laura Haupt, Bark & Meow, Tarry Town, NY

Upsetting, Disappointing

I started in 1995 as a professional pet sitting service and today am so, so, so annoyed, aggravated, concerned and disappointed at the state of the industry. Wag and Rover have made every Tom, Dick and Harry a “pet sitter,” have cut into my clientele and have definitely diminished the “professional” part of the business that I have spent so long and worked so hard to make reputable. — Krista Lofquist, Wagging Tails, Wolcott, CT

Fear the Onslaught

I fear for small shops with the onslaught of big-box and online shopping. Leasing is also a huge deterrent to opening a business with low margins. It’s tough to make ends meet if you don’t have the volume coming in — a couple of bad months can easily bankrupt you. — Rosi Ladouceur, Barrkhaven Pet Boutique and Spaw, Ottawa, ON, Canada

Raise Our Prices

I would love to hear from other service businesses about raising the price of our services to reap more profit and security for owners. The Facebook group, Owners of Dog Daycares, sometimes details the grueling nature of pet care, and I believe that pet care is an undervalued service in society. Our rates should collectively go up! — Charlsye Lewis, Metro Animals, Fort Worth, TX

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