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Editor's Note

Happy New Year!

Here’s to a 2022 with less stress and more balance.




WHEN I ASKED members of the PETS+ Brain Squad what topics they’d like to see us cover in 2022, many mentioned that the pandemic has brought about stress unlike any they have ever experienced before — both professionally and personally. They asked for advice on how to better manage the stress and find balance.

We provide exactly that in “Balancing Act,” the lead story of this issue (page 18). Or perhaps it would be more accurate to say, members of the PETS+ Brain Squad provide the advice. Per usual, our reader advisory group generously shared their expertise and insight so that others in the industry may benefit.

One member even participated as both a mental health professional and a pet business owner: Alysa Slay. With her 25 years as a licensed clinical psychologist, she was able to explain the science behind why certain stress-management techniques work and how to make the most of them. She incorporates what she recommends not only in her personal and professional lives, but also helps others do the same at Camp Dogwood, her overnight camps for people and pups in Wisconsin, two of which are scheduled for 2022. (Visit for more info.)


You will also find additional advice in our Columns section that if followed surely will lower your stress levels: Bob Negen tells you step by step how to write a business plan, and Jane Harrell helps you decide how to spend your precious time and money on digital marketing.

One final note: Please join me in congratulating Desiree Lynch on her recent promotion to Publisher of PETS+. With her help, we will be taking this media brand to new heights in 2022! Our entire team wishes you the happiest — and most balanced — of new years!

Five Great Tips From This Issue That You Can Do Today

  1. Celebrate 2/22/22 with with a TWOFER DAY promotion. (Calendar, p. 8)
  2. Help customers show love for their pets with an in-store selfie kissing booth. (Manager’s To-Do List, p. 9)
  3. Gift a $50 bill to each employee on their birthday. (Tip Sheet, p. 24)
  4. Carve out half a day to get a solid start on your 2022 business plan. (Bob Negen, p. 26)
  5. Assess whether a digital marketing channel is worth your time before creating an account. (Jane Harrell, p. 27)



NASC Media Spotlight

At first it was just an idea: Animal supplements needed the same quality control that human-grade supplements receive. But that was enough to start a movement and an organization —the National Animal Supplement Council — that would be dedicated to establishing a comprehensive path forward for the animal supplements industry. In this Media Spotlight interview, NASC’s president, Bill Bookout, talks to PETS+ interviewer Chloe DiVita about the industry today: Where it’s headed, what’s the latest focus and why it’s vital to gain the involvement of independent pet product retailers.

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