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Create a Halloween Trick of (Dog) Treat Map for Charity

Plus more proven promotional ideas for October and November to use in your pet business.

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OCTOBER

10 SAD is regularly cited as an apt acronym for the Standard (high-calorie) American Diet. With just one more “A,” it could just as easily apply to the Standard American Animal Diet. Sixty percent of the cats and 56 percent of the dogs in the U.S. are overweight, raising their chances of being afflicted with a range of conditions, from arthritis to heart disease. On PET OBESITY AWARENESS DAY, remind customers you have a pet scale. It’s a great way to talk about healthier diets with pet parents, and it will encourage them to visit to check weight loss progress.

29 Something we were only recently made aware of: The main factor that distinguishes a “big cat” (lion, tiger, etc.) from its “small” cousins is not body size but the ability to roar vs. purr (cheetahs, a small cat, are actually quite big). On CAT DAY, roll out a promotion that puts the roar back in your feline sales — we’re thinking something that plays to their predator/King of the Savanna skills. Failing that, put the raw back in their diet with a special on your minimally processed pet foods. (Yes, it’s a lame pun. We know you can do better.)

31 Halloween is here! If you still need an event idea, follow the lead of Dogma Bakery in Arlington, VA. Since 2010, owner Sheila Raebel has held the Annual Trick or Treat Halloween Celebration, for which she bakes and brings treats to 15 nearby businesses happy to have the foot traffic. She then “sells” a bakery bag and map for $12, with the money going to a local rescue. In 2021, more than 275 trick-or-treating pups and their families helped raise over $5,000! She kept the good times — and community buzz — going with a social media costume contest after, with participants competing in several categories.

NOVEMBER

1 The range of products targeting older animals and their various ailments has exploded in recent years. During NATIONAL SENIOR PET MONTH, do some concentrated messaging about supplements and/or services you offer to help older dogs and cats lead healthier, longer and less pained lives. You could even make it part of a “Senior Showcase” on your social media pages!

6 During ANIMAL SHELTER APPRECIATION WEEK, which starts today, shine the spotlight on local shelters via your website and social media. Offer a free small product or service to anybody in your area who adopts a shelter animal this week. And if you haven’t already, consider creating “New Pet” kits, complete with a $5 gift card to your store, for those organizations to give out to adopters. Ask vendors to donate the items!

24 On THANKSGIVING, celebrate your staff, your vendors, your customers. And to double down on the spirit of gratitude, offer a goodie bag to your 50 best customers. It’s likely they provide an outsized contribution to your success.

25 To encourage BLACK FRIDAY shopping at the Barkville Bakery in Peculiar, MO, owner Kayla Swatzell hosts a Black (Dog) Friday promotion that offers 10% off to all black dogs shopping with their pet parents in tow. Give it a try!

MORE EVENTS

  • Oct 1-7 National Walk Your Dog Week — Host a group dog walk starting at your business.
  • Oct 9-15 Build Your Business With Business Cards Week. Bring your name cards into the 2020s with a digital version you can share via a tap.
  • Oct 16 Feral Cat Day. Support TNR by having traps on hand to borrow.
  • Oct 21 Reptile Awareness Day. A day for education, conservation and appreciation.
  • Oct 26 National Pit Bull Awareness Day. Educate and advocate for this breed.
  • Nov 1 National Cook For Your Pets Day. Promote supplements that complete homecooked diets.
  • Nov 19 National Dog Show. Play “Best in Show” on your store TV.
  • Nov 26 Small Business Saturday. No matter how you celebrate, be sure to enjoy this day devoted to you.
  • Nov 28 Cyber Monday. Boost signups by teasing a special coupon that will only be available via your newsletter.

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P.L.A.Y. Media Spotlight

At P.L.A.Y. — Pet Lifestyle & You — toy design is definitely a team effort! Watch PETS+ interviewer Chloe DiVita and P.L.A.Y.’s Director of Sales Lisa Hisamune as they talk about the toy design process, the fine-tuning that makes each toy so special and why every P.L.A.Y. collection is made with independent retailers top of mind.

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