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Feed a Feral Cat, Pet Sit a Reptile and Other Promotional Ideas for October and November

Fill your calendar with these ways to promote annual “holidays.”

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OCTOBER

1 Email turns 50 this year, and since that first missive bearing the @ sign was fired off in October 1971, it feels as if we’ve been struggling to master the medium. Its ease of use, almost zero cost and wide reach are at once its greatest strengths and its weakness. To mark this milestone, think of a promotion to get more people to opt in to your email list (“$5 off your next online order!”), while also coming up with a way to tame your own personal use (maybe a “yesterbox” that allows you to only check day-old email, thus bringing calm to the relationship with your inbox.)

21 Who should a chameleon owner call when they need someone to care for their beloved pet? On NATIONAL REPTILE AWARENESS DAY, let your market know it’s you! Need help crafting and spreading your message? Pet Sitters International (PSI) will hold its annual educational conference (virtually again this year) Oct. 8-10 at petsit.com. Branding, marketing and public relations topics are on the agenda with expert speakers. There are nearly 5 million households in the U.S. with reptiles. It’s too big a market to ignore.

29 It’s been a rough 18 months for cats with all the bodies competing for their sofa. The last thing kitties probably want right now is more attention. But today is for them: CAT DAY, the biggest day of the year on the feline calendar. To celebrate, hire a photographer to take portraits of customers’ cats for a small donation to a rescue. Have treats on hand for kitties to try, and put together product bundles to offer attendees. You could even have a prize wheel! After all, cats love to swat.

30 Checklists are often looked down upon as a paint-by-numbers approach to management. But consider who uses them: pilots, surgeons, software engineers — people in critical positions. Ahead of NATIONAL CHECKLIST DAY, start working on a list for your business. Here’s a checklist for creating a checklist: 1. Establish a best practice. (Get input and feedback from those doing the work.) 2. Make it visible by posting it where everyone will repeatedly see it. 3. Then, communicate, prepare and train staff, and test it out and monitor its effectiveness.

31 Key statistics to consider about HALLOWEEN and pets, according to the National Retail Federation: 1. One in five millennials will dress their pets in a costume versus 13 percent of all adults. 2. The average amount spent to dress a dog for Halloween is now about $20. That’s double from 10 years ago. While most pet parents order costumes online, that doesn’t mean you can’t still profit from their use. Hold a Halloween parade and costume contest, even if only down your sidewalk. Then invite participants to redeem a $5 voucher, hoping of course they’ll spend more.

NOVEMBER

1 It’s NATIONAL SENIOR PET MONTH and a good time to do some concentrated messaging about products or services you offer to help older dogs lead healthier, longer lives. Parents of aging animals should be receptive and grateful for your guidance.

26 Once the preserve of big-box retailers, the last week of November now offers something for everyone: BLACK FRIDAY (Nov. 26), CYBER MONDAY, MOBILE WEDNESDAY (eBay’s contribution), and even a WEED WEDNESDAY (Nov. 24) for those who find all that family time a little too much. But for pet businesses, it’s SMALL BUSINESS SATURDAY that deserves the thickest red circle on your calendar, as many report it’s become their biggest sales day. This year, get serious. Give away branded totes or hold a treat tasting or other event that underscores the personal touch you provide.

29 CIDER MONDAY! We like this date: It’s an invitation to shoppers to visit a real store and touch real products and be greeted with a warm cup of cider for themselves — and perhaps a version for their pets featuring the health-boosting apple cider vinegar. First observed by Toadstool Bookshop in New Hampshire, the holiday offers a delightful twist on Cyber Monday, which kicks off the online shopping season today.

MORE EVENTS

  • Oct. 1 Adopt a Shelter Dog Month. Create sample bags to hand out to any newly adopted pups and their people.
  • Oct. 1-7 National Walk Your Dog Week. Ask customers to share their favorite neighborhood walks on a social media post.
  • Oct. 9 Business Card Week. Send staff out and about with the challenge to hand out at least 10.
  • Oct. 13 Pet Obesity Awareness Day. Those extra COVID pounds need to go. Help by promoting your pet scale for weigh-ins and nutrition consultations.
  • Oct. 16 Feral Cat Day. Donate food nearing its expiration date to the caretaker of a feral cat colony.
  • Nov. 1 National Cook for Your Pets Day. Promote home-cooking tools such as storage bowls, spatulas and dietary supplements.
  • Nov. 6 Team Manager Day. Can you do better than a pat on the back?
  • Nov. 11 Singles Day. A sales juggernaut in Asia, it’s catching on here. Consider a pet-friendly mixer.
  • Nov. 15 America Recycles Day. The recycling rate has increased from 7 percent in 1960 to 32 percent now. Keep it going by taking part in food bag recycling programs!

Since launching in 2017, PETS+ has won 16 major international journalism awards for its publication and website. Contact PETS+'s editors at editor@petsplusmag.com.

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