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Pet Tech Firm Gets Into the Food and Treats Business

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The items ‘were a missing part of the equation.’

SAN FRANCISCO — Petcube, which sells pet monitors, has launched sales of pet supplies on Petcube.com for U.S. consumers with popular food and treats, including Iams and Greenies from Mars Petcare and Wellness Core and Petite Treats from Wellness.

Subscribers to Petcube Care, a membership for owners of Petcube cameras, are now eligible for savings on food and treats.

The company explains: “Petcube Care is an optional service that offers annual or monthly plans, which come with multi-day 24/7 video cloud recording, extended video recording, and 2-year device warranty. Petcube Care membership provides an all-access pass to a range of partner pet care perks, from medical insurance for pets, vet care, pet sitting, home goods and entertainment, to gadgets and pet supplies.”

Partner brands include Ollie, Rover.com, Trupanion, Tile, Audible for Dogs, DOGTV, Whistle, Wisdom Panel and others.

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“The launch of pet food and treat sales further boosts the significant value and savings that the Petcube Care program is providing members, while improving the quality of their pet’s lives,” said Yaroslav Azynyuk, CEO and co-founder of Petcube. “Wholesome, healthy pet food and treats were a missing part of the equation.”

Petcube announced in October that it had raised $10 million in funding. The company said it will use the money to expand product development, marketing and sales distribution in North America and international markets.

Petcube is currently distributed in 18 countries in over 5,000 retail locations in North America, Europe and Asia Pacific.

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Dog Wanted: DOGTV Seeks Chief Puppy Officer

The winning candidate could become Instafamous.

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LOS ANGELES — DOGTV, a 24/7 digital TV channel for dogs, announced that it is looking for dog candidates to serve as the first-ever Chief Puppy Officer this year.

“We are thrilled to offer pet parents this unique chance to make their dog a pet influencer on Instagram,” said Beke Lubeach, general manager at DOGTV. “We’ve partnered with several popular social media influencers to provide the CPO’s dog parent with insight, tips, and training to help grow their pet’s Instagram account. This is our first time selecting a CPO and we look forward to working with the winner to spread the word about bringing joy to pups through DOGTV.”

The full benefits awarded for the dog selected as CPO include:

To be considered for the role of CPO, applicants must meet the following qualifications:

  • Be a pup of any age.
  • Be a fan of DOGTV.
  • Have an Instagram account (or their person needs to be willing to create one).
  • Love their human unconditionally and live to make them happy.

This contest coincides with DOGTV’s first-ever puppy takeover, called Puppies Gone Wild. During the week leading up to the Big Game on Feb. 2, puppies are taking over the channel. DOGTV is accepting applications for the CPO from now through Saturday, Feb. 1, at DOGTV.com/puppies. Applicants are encouraged to have their family and friends vote to increase their chances of being selected as the CPO. The identity of the dog selected to serve in this role will be revealed on DOGTV’s Instagram on Tuesday, Feb. 4.

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Feds Consider Cracking Down on Emotional Support Animals on Flights

Under proposed rules, only dogs could be classified as service animals.

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WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Transportation is considering a set of rules under which emotional support animals would no longer be classified as service animals.

The rules are intended to “ensure that individuals with disabilities can continue using their service animals while also reducing the likelihood that passengers wishing to travel with their pets on aircraft will be able to falsely claim their pets are service animals,” according to a press release from the department.

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The Washington Post notes that the proposed rules “narrow the definition of service animal to dogs that have received individualized training to do work or perform tasks for a person with a disability.” A psychiatric service animal would be classified as a service animal “and require the same training and treatment of psychiatric service animals as other service animals,” according to the department.

Department of Transportation officials “noted that the proposed rule doesn’t prohibit people from flying with emotional support animals but the decision will be left to the airlines,” according to the Post.

The agency is seeking public comment on proposed amendments to its Air Carrier Access Act regulation on the transportation of service animals by air.

The department proposes to:

  • Define a service animal as a dog that is individually trained to do work or perform tasks for the benefit of a person with a disability;
  • No longer consider an emotional support animal to be a service animal;
  • Consider a psychiatric service animal to be a service animal and require the same training and treatment of psychiatric service animals as other service animals;
  • Allow airlines to require forms developed by DOT attesting to a service animal’s good behavior, certifying the service animal’s good health, and if taking a long flight attesting that the service animal has the ability to either not relieve itself, or can relieve itself in a sanitary manner;
  • Allow airlines to require passengers with a disability who are traveling with a service animal to check-in at the airport one hour prior to the travel time required for the general public to ensure sufficient time to process the service animal documentation and observe the animal;
  • Require airlines to promptly check-in passengers with service animals who are subject to an advanced check-in process;
  • Allow airlines to limit the number of service animals traveling with a single passenger with a disability to two service animals;
  • Allow airlines to require a service animal to fit within its handler’s foot space on the aircraft;
  • Continue to allow airlines to require that service animals be harnessed, leashed, tethered, or otherwise under the control of its handler;
  • Continue to allow airlines to refuse transportation to service animals that exhibit aggressive behavior and that pose a direct threat to the health or safety of others; and
  • Continue to prohibit airlines from refusing to transport a service animal solely on the basis of breed.

The department’s notice can be found here. Comments must be received within 60 days of the notice, which was issued Jan. 22.

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US Pet Food Spending Falls to $28.9B

The segment accounts for 37% of total US pet spending.

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Pet food spending in the U.S. fell by 7.3 percent in 2018 to $28.85 billion, according to the Pet Business Professor blog.

The $2.27 billion decrease stood in contrast to 2017, when food spending grew by $4.6 billion “due to a deeper market penetration of super premium foods,” the blog’s John Gibbons writes.

A small increase in pet food spending had been anticipated in 2018. The unexpected decrease “was likely due to the reaction to the FDA warning on grain free dog food,” Gibbons explained, noting: “A pattern of over 20 years was broken by 1 statement.”

Pet food spending has been choppy since 1997, with the general pattern being “2 years up then spending goes flat or turns downward for a year,” according to the blog.

Total pet spending in the U.S. climbed by 1.9 percent in 2018 to reach $78.6 billion, according to the blog. The pet food segment accounts for 37 percent of total U.S. pet spending.

 

 

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