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Real Kids Pick 9 Accessories for Small Animals

Their shopping habits interesting to watch.

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TWO GUINEA PIGS reshaped the dynamic in the Spencer-Tippet household, a busy three-kid family brought together by Snickers and Butterscotch. “Going to the pet store helps the kids see all the ways they can play with the pigs, what to feed them and learn how to budget for it,” said Nicole Spencer, who runs the crew of 5, 7 and 12 with her fiancé, Dale Tippet Jr. All the kids have different sets of ideas for their new pets, which makes their shopping habits interesting to watch.


Minecraft Masters

The family’s middle kid and only boy, Aiden, is a Minecraft master. He’s interested in colorful pieces, the feel of bedding textures and small animal toys he can put together himself. “He’s also the most hands-on with the guineas, so we’re always looking for products that help with that,” Spencer says. Toys that give the kids interactive playtime are also a hit with all three.

Critterville Hamster Homes
MidWest Homes for Pets

KEY FEATURES: A variety of cages with fun themes like fast cars and butterflies, with clip-on art and colorful decals to dress up the home for hamsters, gerbils and mice.

SALES TIP: Heads up to gear heads, the wheels are fitted with external tires or flowers that spin around while the pet runs.

midwesthomes4pets.com, (800) 428-8560

$57.99

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Ware Loofah Salad
Ware Pet Products

KEY FEATURES: This small animal snack keeps hammies and rabbits from getting bored in the cage and trims their teeth, too.

SALES TIP: A true buddy treat — supervision is recommended so kids can plop down by the cage while their pets chow down.

warepet.com, (602) 257-8803

$4.99


Small Animal Bear Rug
Marshall Pet Products

KEY FEATURES: Small animals of any size can play hide and seek here, slipping in and out of this rug through the paws and the bear’s mouth.

SALES TIP: Easy cleanup afterward. Toss this fleece blanket in the washing machine when it gets soiled.

marshallpet.com, (800) 292-3424

$14.99


Bigger Wigglers

The youngest, Abby, is a budding preschool performer who brings gifts to the people she loves and walks her imaginary dog every day. “We’d have a much bigger pet if Abigail could have her way,” Spencer says. When Abby shops, she’s investigating ideas for her next companion pet, maybe a ferret or a rabbit. “You can count on her to ask for the biggest toys in the store.”

Teach ’N Treat
Living World by Hagen

KEY FEATURES: An interactive and educational toy that teaches small pets to search for treats through observation, listening and learning.

SALES TIP: Help kids bond with their pets using these interactive tools that keep small animals’ minds active and alert.

hagen.com, (800) 724-2436

$23.99

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CritterTrail Wide Open Door Fun-nel
Kaytee

KEY FEATURES: Designed with Syrian hamsters in mind, this tube is 10 inches long and easy to attach and clean.

SALES TIP: The large top access door is good for kids who want to get both hands in their pet.

kaytee.com, (800) 529-8331

$7.99


LED Lighted Run-About Ball
Kaytee

KEY FEATURES: The illuminated exercise ball for hamsters or gerbils gives off a soft glow that lets people play with pets during their most active hours.

SALES TIP: Good timing — this ball includes a 10-minute timer that can be set for strategic amounts of fun.

kaytee.com, (800) 529-8331

$12.99


Relaxation Time

On the verge of being a teen, Addison likes to chill. She’s also recovering from a scoliosis-related spinal surgery, so she spent a lot of the summer playing inside. “She’s the most patient with the small animals,” Spencer says. “Our house has a lot of energy, and Addison is the one who will sit quietly with a treat and encourage them to come out and play.”

Herbivore Sticks
Exotic Nutrition

KEY FEATURES: Triple baked for crunchiness and covered with a variety of seeds and grains so you can sneak in calcium, vitamins and nutrients.

SALES TIP: Crunch a bunch: These sticks stimulate the natural urge to forage in chinchillas, prairie dogs, degus and hamsters.

exoticnutrition.com, (757) 988-0301

$6.50

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Monsters Wood Munchies
PennPlax

KEY FEATURES: Kids can introduce their real-life pets to big screen characters from MONSTERS INC. with wood munchies based on the film.

SALES TIP: Great for active chewers who need to chomp out their nervous energy.

penn-plax.com, (866) 625-2385

$3.99


ZZZs Super Cozy Suede Hammock
Prevue Pet Products

KEY FEATURES: This super soft brown suede hammock offers a space saving, elevated design for small animals in tight quarters.

SALES TIP: This one-step room renovation gives small animals an instant spot to snooze.

prevuepet.com, (312) 243-3624

$10.99

 

Since launching in 2017, PETS+ has won 11 major international journalism awards for its publication and website. Contact PETS+'s editors at editor@petsplusmag.com.

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JIM ACKERMAN

Very Few Pet Businesses Do This With Their Ads … But You Definitely Should

Testing and tracking your ads can make a huge difference in the ROI that you get, says marketing specialist Jim Ackerman. But very few pet businesses take the proper steps to run successful ad campaigns. Here, Ackerman shows an example of what effective testing looks like.

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Rev Your Boutique Sales with These 8 Products

Boutique-inspired gifts for pet lovers and their fur babies.

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LOOKING FOR SOME RETAIL inspiration? Here are eight items across a range of price points, that provide some gift ideas for pet lovers as well as some boutique-inspired items for dogs and cats to liven up your store.

My Pet Pail

Pet Partners Worldwide

KEY FEATURES: Ultimate travel accessory. Retro-style design in six colors, comes with removable bowls, and two 20-ounce bottles.

SALES TIP: As added bonuses, the pail’s handle doubles as a dog collar, the strap is a leash, and there’s a built-in poop-bag dispenser.

mypetpail.com, (800) 850-4993

$89.99

Pet Greens Cat Grasses

Bell Rock Growers

KEY FEATURES: Live grasses available in two varieties: wheatgrass and a blend of oat, rye and barley. Safe and organic superfood for pets.

SALES TIP: Having these plants around will add a vibrant touch of green to your store. Pair them with fun, animal-themed planters.

bellrockgrowers.com, (888) 943-2847

$33.99 pack of 6

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Pet DeLux Treat Jar and Nested Bowl Set

Faux Paw Petique

KEY FEATURES: Boxed gift set features treat jar and two matching bowls for food and water. Lead-free, dishwasher- and microwave-safe.

SALES TIP: In four cat- and dog-inspired designs (Cuties Beaucoup shown here) created by California artist Debby Carman.

fauxpawpetique.com, (949) 274-3111

$79

Decorative Pillow

Up Country

KEY FEATURES: Pet love is the best kind, and this 20-by-20-inch accent pillow says it all. Made in the USA, part of a full line of decorative pillows.

SALES TIP: Cover zips off for easy cleaning (especially dog hair!).

upcountryinc.com, (800) 541-5909

$45

Car Magnets

Dog is Good

KEY FEATURES: “All you need is dog.” “Dog hair, don’t care.” Dog devotees will respond to the pithy phrases on this series of 4-by-6-inch oval car magnets from a brand that celebrates the dog/human bond.

SALES TIP: Display these fun, impulse-buy items near the registers.

dogisgood.com, (562) 735-0219

$5.99

Pendleton Pet Shearling Throw

Carolina Pet Company

KEY FEATURES: A scallop-shaped shearling throw with microfiber backing to protect furnishings from pet hair. Measures 24 by 40 or 33 by 66 inches and is machine-washable.

SALES TIP: Luxury look and feel, at a price that feels affordable.

carolinapetcompany.com, (803) 364-9333

$59.99 / $49.99

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Poopy Packs

Metro Paws

KEY FEATURES: Pet waste bags don’t have to stink, thanks to these colorful and biodegradable bags, in a variety of package sizes and designs, including XL bags and cat litter liners.

SALES TIP: Metro Paws are exclusively sold to independent retailers, so you don’t have to compete with big boxes.

metropaws.com, (347) 948-7297 ext. 2

$7.99-$14.99

Dog Bone Silicone Cake Pan

Puppy Cake

KEY FEATURES: Your customers can celebrate a pup’s milestone by baking a bone-shaped cake. Commercial-grade silicone, dishwasher and microwave safe, 7 by 10 by 2 inches.

SALES TIP: See Benchmarks in this issue (page 44) for inspiration on displays of party-themed accessories for a canine or feline fiesta.

puppycake.com, (412) 943-7250

$11.99

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Fresh from Global: 6 More Latest Releases

PB and CBD!

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PB & CBD

Easy Squeezy and Smooth & Dreamy from ROWLEY’S GOOD STUFF combine CBD and peanut butter in two formulas. Pet parents can give Easy Squeezy during the day, with its 750mg of active, medical-grade CBD and natural honey working to relieve discomfort, pain or anxiety. Smooth & Dreamy adds to that organic skullcap for trouble sleeping and restlessness. Each 3.9-ounce tube comes with a bamboo key to get every last drop.

rowleysgoodstuff.com

$80

Home Sweet Home

Aquatic as well as terrestrial animal and plant species can live and thrive in the EXO TERRA Paludarium. The bottom has an extra-high glass front, providing a higher water level and increased water volume compared to common terrariums, which allows enthusiasts to keep aquatic animals and plants adjacent to the land section. A false bottom supporting the land section can accommodate and hide aquatic appliances and double as a biological filtration media.

hagendirect.com

$79.99-$154.99

Scaly Good Fun

Dogs and cats alike benefit from snuffle matts, as sniffing and digging engage the brain and body. With PETIQUE’s Fish Snuffle Mat, they move the colorful scales to find hidden treats and food. Bonus: The fabric produces barely any fuzz, remaining intact and safe even with strong diggers.

petique.com

$29.99

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For Artistic Cats

Global attendees were buzzing about the new Yeowww!-ola Catnip Crayons from DUCKYWORLD PRODUCTS. The set of three colorful toys features durable cotton twill and comes filled with organically grown catnip. Putting together a back-to-school display later this summer? This fits right in.

yeowww.com

$9.89

For Indies Only

PETS GLOBAL introduces Essence, a line of wet and dry pet food for dogs and cats, sold exclusively through independent brick-and-mortar pet businesses. It contains 85 percent animal protein ingredients and comes in Ranch & Meadow (boar, goat, lamb and pork), Air & Game (guinea fowl, duck, turkey and chicken) and Ocean & Freshwater (herring, sardines, mackerel and salmon). Chia seed oil, coconut flour and pumpkin, as well as an exclusive vitamin pack produced in Europe by a human consumable vitamin plant, are on the ingredients list. Flax seed, alfalfa, potatoes, green and field peas, and sunflower oil are not.

essencepetfoods.com

$1.89-$94.99

Tug Toy or Toothbrush?

Dogs don’t like getting their teeth brushed, even when trained from an early age. Enter the Tug N Brush. When a dog bites down on the toy, its soft nubs gently massage gums, remove residue and freshen breath. When a pet parent tugs on the toy using its rope ends, it slides along tongue and teeth to further clean the mouth. Toothpaste, sold separately, easily applies and provides a treat on top of play.

thetugnbrush.com

$19.99

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8 Products to Keep Cats and Dogs Secure in the Car

Car safety becomes a priority for pet parents.

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A GROWING NUMBER OF states — New Jersey, Hawaii, Arizona, Connecticut and Maine, among others — have laws regulating the safety of people and their pets in transit. Even when it’s not mandatory, pet owners are catching on to the importance of safely transporting their animals and limiting driving distractions. Here are eight restraints and other accessories, some crash-tested and all pet-approved.

Buckle n’ Go

K&H Pet Products

KEY FEATURES: Mesh-sided safety seat keeps pet contained. Lead attaches to pet’s collar or harness and snaps into seat belt buckle. Comes in two sizes and two colors.

SALES TIP: One-year limited warranty can add to pet owners’ peace of mind.

khpet.com, (877) 738-5188

$82.99 / $99.99

Impact Dog Car Harness

Kurgo

KEY FEATURES: Available in four sizes, for dogs 10-110 pounds. Crash tests conducted on small, medium and large dummies. Design features four adjustment points and padded chest plate.

SALES TIP: Show Kurgo’s 30-second video of their product crash tests and you’ll likely convert some skeptics.

kurgo.com, (877) 847-3868

$79

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Natural-Step Ramp

Gen7Pets

KEY FEATURES: Getting up and down steep surfaces can be tough on older dogs. This 7-foot long ramp features a wide surface, auto-locks in place and has fake grass for easy gripping.

SALES TIP: Ramp folds up for easy storage and weighs only 17 pounds.

gen7pets.com, (610) 913-1906

$99.99

Bergan Auto Harness

Coastal Pet Products

KEY FEATURES: Crash-tested, available in four adjustable sizes. Run seat belt through harness loops. D-ring connects to any leash for transition from car to walk.

SALES TIP: If the pet is involved in a crash, Coastal will replace the harness for free.

coastalpet.com, (800) 321-0248

$24.99-$33.99

SHERPA Forma Frame Carriers

Worldwise

KEY FEATURES: Crash-tested carriers that use existing LATCH and car seat tether systems for three strong points of contact. Two sizes, for cats and small dogs.

SALES TIP: It’s multi-modal: Extra-small size is part of the Guaranteed On-Board program, a partnership with airlines to standardize pet carriers.

worldwise.com, (303) 623-3327

$149.99 / $199.99

Load Up Harness

Ruffwear

KEY FEATURES: Built with strength-rated hardware and components that withstood rigorous crash testing. Attaches to existing seatbelts, allowing dog to sit or lie down.

SALES TIP: Restraining the dog in the back seat is the goal, while also maintaining comfort on roadtrips.

ruffwear.com, (888) 783-3932

$7.49

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Sleepypod Atom

Sleepypod

KEY FEATURES: Sleek, modern pet carrier doubles as a car seat and airplane travel carrier. For dogs and cats up to 12 pounds.

SALES TIP: Atom has many of the same design features as the Sleepypod Air, with a scaled down size and smaller price tag.

sleepypod.com, (626) 421-6818

$109.99

Drive Harness

EzyDog

KEY FEATURES: Crash-tested safety solution for dogs, featuring an EVA foam that conforms to the dog for a custom fit. Comes in three adjustable sizes.

SALES TIP: Point your customers to the website, which has detailed instructions and video tutorials for getting the perfect fit.

store.ezydog.com, (877) 3EZYDOG

$99

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