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Nine Cool Ways for Your Pocket Pet to Get More Exercise



In the wild, rabbits, mice and hamsters run miles through the night, hunting and gathering food. Caged, these creatures maintain their natural need for activity, which means pet parents need to offer exercise opportunities to keep pocket pets fit and healthy. The classic vertical metal exercise wheel has given way to a new wave of adventurous designs. Consider these running discs, cage add-ons and exercise balls to offer daily physical workouts for any small animal.  

Satellite Style 

The flat, solid surface of these open concept satellite designs eliminates the risk of tiny feet or tails getting caught between the bars of a traditional exercise wheel. Satellite designs also sit on sturdy bases to prevent high-pitched squealing, because as we all know, a squeaky wheel gets the grease, but a squeaky exercise wheel hits the trash. 

Flying Saucer Small Animal Exercise Wheel

Key Features: This thermoplastic running surface — with a touch of UFO realness — provides, high stiffness and low friction. 

Sales Tip: Dare customers to hear anything coming from this super silent spinner., (602) 257-8803


Treadmill Wheel 
Exotic Nutrition 

Key Features: Ball bearings make it quiet; a nontoxic powder-coated metal stand make it chew-proof. 

Sales Tip: Sell with Sandy Trimmer Strips, which trims pets nails as they run., (757) 988-0301

Running Disc

Key Features: The smooth running motion of this untreated, wooden disc protects pets’ spines from jostling. 

Sales Tip: Highlight the disc’s natural pine, harvested from New Zealand., +49 4638 2109-160


Cage Additions 

Add-on exercise wheels free up room in the cage for external play, which is why companies that specialize in small animal cages offer several options to snap on or easily install. The jewel-toned, translucent designs give off a futuristic effect and let pet parents peek in on the action. 

Habitrail OVO Trainer

Key Features: This squeak-free exterior hamster wheel can be used as an outside exercise wheel for an OVO habitat, or as wheels for a mobile set-up.

Sales Tip: This exterior add-on gives pets more living space plus a 24-hour place to play., (800) 353-3444

CritterTrail Snap-on Comfort Wheel

Key Features: This jewel-toned exercise add-on connects to the outside of CritterTrail habitats and features a grip-friendly design for active pocket pets.


Sales Tip: Connects universally to CritterTrail and Hagen Habitrail systems., (800) 529-8331

Whisper Wheel
Bio Bubble Pets 

Key Features: The virtual silence of this freestanding wheel lies in contrast to its loud metallic purple veneer. Check it out in 6- and 9-inch options.

Sales Tip: Display it inside BioBubble’s space-aged Small Animal Terrarium., (561) 998-5350

Free-Range Cruisers 

Free-range rollers give pet parents a chance to watch the action or take advantage of the distraction — pets are safely contained while they explore the world. They’re also a great distraction while the cage is closed for cleaning. These options offer a new spin on the out-of-cage experience.

Kaytee Critter Cruiser
Pets International-Kaytee

Key Features: The adjustable wheel works three ways: stationary exercise, free-range rolling and cruising on specialized tracks. 

Sales Tip: Pair it with the Hamtrac for a fully controlled exercise environment., (800) 529-8331

Komet Krawler
Lee’s Aquarium and Pet Products 

Key Features: This shatter-resistant and well-ventilated exercise ball gives off a luminous glow when the lights are low. Available in four sizes, from 5 to 12.5 inches. 

Sales Tip: Target Star Trek fans looking for a free show., (760) 744-8230

Hamtrac Exercise Loop

Key Features: This interactive racetrack keeps exercise balls contained during out-of-cage play. 

Sales Tip: Merchandise with checkered flags to highlight the racing angle., (800) 529-8331


This article originally appeared in the March-April 2017 edition of PETS+.



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.

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2020 Pet Sitter of the Year Named and More Service News




2020 Pet Sitter of the Year Named

Pet Sitters International has named Jeanne Crockett of Crockett’s Critter Care in New Bern, NC, the 2020 Pet Sitter of the Year. Crockett will serve as the “face of the professional pet-sitting industry” and will be crowned at PSI’s 2020 Pet Sitter World Educational Conference in October.,

Registration Open for Atlanta Pet Fair

Registration is open for the Atlanta Pet Fair and Conference, March 12-15. The fair will feature more than 100 exhibitors, 65 educational seminars, four panels, nine independent certification courses and half-day intensive classes. Throughout the weekend, there will be dog and cat grooming demonstrations and a variety of business development and marketing sessions.

ASC Helps Indies to Sell Online

Animal Supply Company is partnering with e-commerce platforms BigCommerce and Shopify to help independent pet retailers enter the online space.


PLC Initiative Helps Consumers Acquire Dogs

The Pet Leadership Council has launched Be Dog Smart to help consumers make informed decisions about dog acquisition, whether by way of a professional breeder, shelter or rescue, pet store, friend or family member. “The success of the pet care community rests on consumer trust and confidence, which is why the PLC found it imperative to gain a better understanding of the public’s wants and needs when it comes to companion animals,” said Bob Vetere, executive director of the PLC. Be Dog Smart offers a website with information such as costs to consider, questions to ask and information on identifying responsible breeders, shelters, rescues and pet stores. Resources are available for pet pros who wish to help promote Be Dog Smart to consumers.

Global Takes Place Feb. 26-28

Global Pet Expo, ranked the 46th largest trade show by Trade Show Executive magazine, and presented by the American Pet Products Association and Pet Industry Distributors Association, takes place Feb. 26-28 at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, FL.

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Better Air, Better Walls, Better Night Vision: 5 Products to Help You Do Better Business

Put a different spin on the popular decor item.




Work of Art

Odds are, you have a pet portrait — or 10 — hanging on the walls of your business. Put a different spin on the popular decor item with help from CROWN AND PAW. Simply upload a photo of a pet and choose a costume, and an artist will digitally combine it with that of an authentic 19th century portrait or Renaissance-era oil painting. Available in three sizes on canvas and poster paper.


Safety First

Dog walkers: Add a Max & Molly Matrix Ultra LED for nighttime outings. From ONLY AN OCEAN, the light comes on a silicone band that easily attaches to a collar, harness or leash, and a soft-touch button provides three flash functions. The LED lasts for 13 hours and recharges in 30 minutes via the included USB cord. Stock a supply yourself for sale.



Relationship Counseling

Do customers regularly ask you for advice about their cat’s less than desirable behavior? If so, then add “I Love Happy Cats: Guide for a Happy Cat” to your bookshelf. Author and animal behaviorist Anneleen Bru shares how to recognize subtle stress signals in cats and respond to them, to build a closer and more fun relationship.


Clearing the Air

Pets can sure stink up a room. The Good Dog Collection from HILLHOUSE NATURALS helps to mask odors with its Sweet Vanilla, Fresh Lavender and Soft Amber fragrances, available in candles, air and linen sprays, and diffusers. Use them in your business, and when customers ask about the lovely smell, have the products ready to sell.


No-Slip Grip

Dog training centers: Give your students even more grip for their paws with the KLIMB Traction Mat from BLUE 9 PET PRODUCTS. The perfect-fit mat goes on top of the KLIMB platform to ensure a slip-free surface for activities and routines that require even more traction. Made in the USA from all-natural rubber and UV-stabilized for outdoor as well as indoor use.


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8 Add-Ons to Trick Out Aquariums

Check out these aquarium blings.




ACTIVATE YOUR AQUATICS sales with a monthly accessories program. Find a price that works for you and offer to send your fish folks a monthly pack of aquatics accessories with a featured new item and a few of your favorites. To drive in-store traffic, include a coupon for your pricier accessories.

Floating Aquarium Log

KEY FEATURES:This naturalistic floating log works for fish, newts, frogs and mudskippers to offer a spot for sleep, play, food and spawning.

SALES TIP:The bottom weighted log comes in various sizes and lets pets climb on top without the log rolling over., (888) 496-6633



Natural White Aquarium Sand
Aqua Terra by World Wide Imports

KEY FEATURES: Premium-quality, all-natural substrate that provides ample living space for beneficial microbes and anchoring for plants.

SALES TIP: Let your fish folks know that in aquatic setups, it also aids the filtering process by increasing the surface area available for nitrifying bacteria to colonize.

(704) 732-0475


GloFish Anemone

KEY FEATURES: A black-light reactive ornament with a silvery finish that reflects LED lights.

SALES TIP: A helpful add-on, this colorful piece provides with swim holes perfectly sized for GloFish to swim through and hide., (800) 526-0650



Betta Aqua Décor Ornaments

KEY FEATURES: A pop of color and a fun activity for Betta fish, these ornaments are available in six different designs, like this red stone archway.

SALES TIP: Super safe: nontoxic and made from fade-resistant material., (800) 724-2436


Maple Rock
Pisces USA

KEY FEATURES: The complex structure of this 9-pound rock adds immediate interest to any design, reminiscent of gypsum interlaced with sparkling white quartz.

SALES TIP: Natural, handpicked scenery for Iwagumi and Amano style aquariums, biotope, bonsai and rock gardens., (424) 385-4294


Nano ATO
Transworld Aquatic / JBJ Aquatics

KEY FEATURES: An automatic top-off system reimagined with dual optical level-sensors for ultimate precision.

SALES TIP: No mo’ overflow: This compact digital sensor offers the security of a full tank without a mess., (877) 374-9981



Vintage Action Air Diver

KEY FEATURES: Add a touch of vintage to any tank with this classic aquarium ornament and attached aeration hose.

SALES TIP: Form and function: Bubbles flow from the vintage-style diving helmet to simulate breathing and improve water circulation., (866) 625-2385


LED Air Stone

KEY FEATURES: Create a colorful column of bubbles in your aquarium with endless color combinations thanks to color-changing LEDs. The air stone base features suction cups that will securely mount to the bottom of your aquarium.

SALES TIP: Doubles as a night light or to accent your favorite piece of aquarium décor., (855) 354-8318


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