Welcome to the results of our first-ever, but expected-to-be-annual survey of independent pet retailers and service providers. Owners and top managers of businesses from across the United States and Canada — 520 to be exact — answered questions on a variety of topics, sharing everything from what they look for in new products and where they find them to how indies are responding to current challenges such as supply-chain issues and staffing shortages. A big thank-you to the American Pet Products Association for sponsoring our inaugural survey. THE BASICS Learn about the businesses represented in the survey: where they’re located, how long they’ve been open and the type of pets they serve. BUYING & SELLING 55% of independent pet retailers said a brand being on Chewy, Amazon or other big e-commerce site isn’t always a dealbreaker. PERFORMANCE Find out which products and services bring in the most revenue — and which brands top the food, treat and toy categories in terms of sales. CHALLENGES 37% of survey respondents said “Hiring and retaining staff” has been the biggest challenge in 2021-22. Read about their creative responses to the issue. MARKETING & ADVERTISING Retailers and service providers said social media reigns as the most effective way to promote their business. DoorDash, not as much. YOUR TEAM Employee retention rates, compensation above and beyond pay, plus some pretty wild stories about when staff left their bosses speechless. YOU, THE PET PRO Meet the generous indies who took our inaugural survey. They share who they are and what they love most about being a pet pro.