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Editor's Note

Expansion Plans

Looking to go beyond dog & cat?
 The PETS+ Brain Squad can help.




FULL DISCLOSURE: I am a dog person. My pet parenting skills are limited to pups, and until joining the PETS+ team, I hadn’t written much about other species, either for consumers or for business owners.

So when it came time to report this issue’s lead, 20 Ways to Go Beyond Dog & Cat, I turned to the PETS+ Brain Squad for help. Our group of more than 800 independent pet retailers and service providers includes experts in fish, reptiles, amphibians, birds and small animals. Some possess expertise in several species!

They generously shared insights and advice on how those of you who focus only on dogs and cats can expand your offerings to not only attract new customers, but also to meet more needs of existing ones with other types of pets.


To be clear, the 20 ways and other tips in this issue are not meant to take business away from fellow indies who specialize in pets that swim or crawl or fly or slither. Not at all!

Instead, the advice should be used to compete against big-box stores and online-only retailers. After all, those stores are where most pet parents who like to buy for all of their family members at once shop.

For even more tips on this topic, visit Some of our Brain Squad members shared deep knowledge and extensive advice on certain products and services. These online exclusives needed to run in full so as to not leave out any important detail or direction. For example, carrying live feeders for your reptiles and amphibians takes serious consideration and significant effort, as does taking in bird boarders in a safe and efficient way.

Finally, for those of you who specialize in pets other than dogs and cats, or plan to in the future, expect more coverage on these topics from us in 2022. I plan to expand my pet parenting skills, too! Who wants to help me pick out a fish?

Five Great Tips From This Issue That You Can Do Today

  1. Celebrate Reptile Awareness Day by expanding your sitting services to these plentiful pets. (Calendar, p. 10)
  2. Reach out to your favorite photographer to make sure they will be available for holiday pics. (Manager’s To-Do List, p. 12)
  3. Reduce your use of “just” and “sorry” in emails with the Just Not Sorry plug-in. (Tip Sheet, p. 32)
  4. Deliver curbside in roller skates! (America’s Coolest, p. 38)
  5. Add empathy to your customer interactions. (Real Deal, p. 42)

Pamela Mitchell is the Editor-in-Chief of PETS+. She works from her home office in Houston, TX, with Ty the Boston Terrier as her assistant.



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