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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

After 15 years working for newspapers across the US (and even Alaska), Melissa Hart is now freelancing, working for a variety of publications and trade organizations. She specializes in content for the small nonprofit and business owner, in fields such as pets, IT, grocery and other retail. Melissa is based in Upstate NY with her husband, twin daughters, two rescue dogs and rescue cat.

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SuperoZoo 2020 and More News Services

Dates are in!

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Let Your Voice Be Heard in DC

Join the Pet Industry Joint Advisory Council, the Pet Leadership Council, pet trade manufacturers, distributors and retailers in Washington, DC, on Sept. 18 for the Pet Care Community Fly-In to deliver the message to congressional offices that pets have an extraordinary and positive impact on human health and on the U.S. economy. pijac.org/dcflyin

Video Touts Pets at Work

The Human Animal Bond Research Institute’s video, The Woofice, combines research supporting the benefits of pet-inclusive workplaces with practical tools for offices that want to become pet inclusive, all delivered with an entertaining, lighthearted approach that pays homage to the beloved TV show, The Office. habri.org/the-pet-effect

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Jim Ackerman

Video: Digital Ads Need to Do One Thing and One Thing Only

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Impact Unleashed Registration Open

Registration is now open for The Pet Sustainability Coalition’s third annual Impact Unleashed summit Oct. 10-11 in Boulder, CO. Ben & Jerry of ice cream fame will be delivering the keynote. impactunleashed.petsustainability.org

SuperZoo Tweaks 2020 Dates

Pet pros are encouraged to mark their calendars for Aug. 31- Sept. 3 for SuperZoo 2020 — a slight change from dates announced earlier this year. The first day focuses on education, while the show floor opens Sept. 1- 3, 2020, at Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas. superzoo.org

Expo Hosts Boot Camp for Retailers

Pet Connections Expo is introducing a 2½-hour Boot Camp for independent pet retailers. Lynn Switanowski of Creative Business Consulting Group will facilitate a session on driving holiday sales. The session will kick off the second day of the show, which takes place Oct. 15-16 at the NJ Convention & Expo Center from Oct. 15-16. petconexpo.com/retailer-bootcamp

40th Annual Cat Show Returns to Las Vegas

The International Cat Association’s 40th annual show and awards ceremony, Viva Las Vegas II, is returning to Las Vegas this summer from Aug. 30 to Sept. 1. About 500 cats, across 70 breeds, will be there to strut their stuff and compete for best cat, best kitten, best neuter and best household pet in show. jazzycats2019.com

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8 Alternative to Live Food for Reptiles

Fill in the blanks when live animals aren’t an option.

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REPTILE OWNERS NEED alternatives to live bugs. Sometimes keeping feeder insects alive is one chore too many; sometimes people live in apartments and shouldn’t be bringing bugs inside. Plenty of reptiles don’t even require live food, which is why there are plenty of good alternatives on the market. Stock up on crunchy food toppers, nutritional water supplements and bugs so fresh you’d hardly know they’re not wild.

Fresh Feeders Variety Pack

Exotic Nutrition

KEY FEATURES: A variety of fresh, moist insects that have been sterilized, cooked and packaged for easy feeding and storage.

SALES TIP: Farm to table dining for a variety of insectivores.
exoticnutrition.com, (757) 988-0301

$10.95

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Freeze-Dried Crickets

Fluker’s

KEY FEATURES: Gut-loaded with Fluker’s High-Calcium Cricket Diet then freeze-dried to maintain the maximum nutritional value.

SALES TIP: All the nutrition without the mess and expense of live prey.

flukerfarms.com, (225) 343-7035

$8.88

Wardley Fission Reptile Food

Hartz

KEY FEATURES: A nutritionally balanced floating stick formulated with calcium for healthy bones and vitamin C for a healthy immune system.

SALES TIP: Stay strong: This diet promotes healthy bones and shell growth.

hartz.com, (800) 275-1414

$8.88

Vita-Drops for Reptiles and Amphibians

Oasis

KEY FEATURES: A concentrated liquid nutritional supplement with a complete multivitamin formula.

SALES TIP: Developed to help fill dietary gaps in nutrition for selective or picky eaters.

kordon.com, (800) 877-7387

$10.88

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Eco-Fresh Insects

ProBugs (Distributed in the U.S. by Cobalt Aquatics)

KEY FEATURES: Silkworms, grasshoppers, centipedes and roaches all washed and vacuum sealed.

SALES TIP: These organic, farm-raised insects are as close to live feeders as you can get.

cobaltaquatics.com, (803) 591-9500

$24

Reptile Munchies

Zilla

KEY FEATURES: These dehydrated fruits, vegetables and insects can be fed as a treat, with pellets or as a topper on some leafy greens.

SALES TIP: Quick and convenient reptile nutrition with no refrigeration required.

zillarules.com, (888) 255-4527

$13.99

Crested Gecko Food

Exo Terra

KEY FEATURES: A specialty blend that mimics a varied diet of fruit, nectar, pollen and protein.

SALES TIP: This easy-to-serve, single serving cup makes this diet very grab and go.

exo-terra.com, (800) 724-2436

$9.99

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Reptile Electrolyte Soak

Zoo Med

KEY FEATURES: Splish-splash it’s a reptile bath full of electrolytes, vitamins B and C plus pre-and probiotics.

SALES TIP: Works as a nutritional soak for nervous newbies who are too stressed to eat.

zoomed.com, (888) 496-6633

$4.99

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Hot Sellers

The Best-Selling Products for April and May

Dog Rocks are doing great.

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Dog Rocks are doing great. Focusing on one item in a month has helped tremendously to get the word out. — Debbie Brookham, Furry Friends Inc., Colorado Springs, CO

Dog & Cat Products

  • Our bestselling product was protein treats from Scout & Zoe’s. We have a self-serve treat bar with apothecary jars, and our clients love the look, the quality of the treat. And the dogs love the taste! — Krista Lofquist, Wagging Tails, Wolcott, CT
  • Durable outdoor toys were good sellers for us. Jolly Pets, Jersey Dog and West Paw have all been good sellers. — Kaye Busse-Kleber, Bark On Mulford, Rockford, IL
  • My bestselling product was the Ruffwear Front Range harness. People who love to hike with their dogs and explore nature love to have it on their dogs. It is durable and quite easy to size and fit. It is good for everyday wear also. It’s comfortable for dogs and has two leash attachments. — Jan A. Hopper, Living Pawsitively
  • We’ve been selling Vet’s Best natural flea and tick products well. We offer it as an add-on for application with grooming and make it a consistent brand in our retail section because we believe in the products! — Adrienne Preuss, Animal Loving Care, Brooklyn, NY
  • MyFamily Pet Tags. $8.99-$25.99. At Global Pet Expo we decided to take a leap and purchase a new tag machine. Our customers are loving all of the tag designs, and we love that they have taken ownership of making their own tag! It frees up our staff to help people with food consultations, toy recommendations, etc. — Kara Holland, Pittsboro Pet Supply, Pittsboro, NC
  • Our bestselling product (category) was dog food. We carry brands of food that people in our area cannot buy at Petco, Petsmart, Chewy. Most brands are independent retail exclusive, which means we have repeat customers. To expand the growth of this category, we added Open Farm in April with a BOGO promotion throughout the month of May to entice customers to try the brand. — Amy Schiek, Lucky Dogs, Skaneateles, NY
  • Fromm dog food. They had a coupon for free treats attached to their bags. — Paula Gorman, Pet Supplies ‘N’ More, Muskego, WI
  • Northwest Naturals freeze dried treats. The whole line sells well, with salmon selling best; beef liver No. 2. There are a lot of pieces in a bag. Prices $ 9-12. — Nancy Okun, Cats n Dogs, Port Charlotte, FL
  • Earth Animal No-Hides are a consistent hit for us since we don’t sell any rawhide, and we are excited about the new Peanut Butter flavor! — Jennifer Larson, Firehouse Pet Shop, Wenatchee, WA
  • Answers Goat’s Milk. We start all of our customers with young animals and seniors on this to help fortify their health and constitutions. — Pennye Jones-Napier, The Big Bad Woof, Washington, DC
  • Pet Releaf hemp products. Customers love it for its multiple remedy solutions. I sell it because it is helping pets with so many different ailments. — Kimberly Gatto, The Wagging Tail, Las Vegas, NV
  • Still loving all the Fluff & Tuff toys. For some reason the llama was a hit this month. — Angela Pantalone, Wag Central, Stratford, CT
  • Outside of our perpetual top item, bulk biscuits, it was Barkworthies 6-inch Gullet Sticks. At just $1.29 each, they are cost effective, work well for small dogs that are light chewers and are a meaty treat for bigger dogs. — Shane Somerville, Paddywack, Mill Creek, WA
  • Wellness soft puppy bites. We sent up a new puppy display because of all the spring puppies that are born! The packaging is attractive and cute which makes it distinct from adult treats. The treats are soft and easy to break in small pieces. — Sandy House, The Store at Paws, Hamden, CT
  • We did a Game of Bones promotion to tie into buzz behind the last season of GAME OF THRONES. Storewide discount on bones and chews. It was a good add-on for high-margin items. — Mark Vitt, Mutts & Co., Delaware, OH
  • We have hand-dyed Hope Ropes made locally. The woman who makes them comes up with crazy custom color combinations, and they fly out of here. We did an Instagram post with them and I sold three times as many as I normally do in a single post. We love to sell them because they are made locally, retail for $29.99 and are all custom. Everyone buys them! — Jocelyn Turner, Woof Woof Pet Boutique and Biscuit Bar, Bristol, RI
  • Baydog harnesses. Our customers loved the chest padding and the fact that it has three points of attachment. The fact that Baydog is a veteran-owned company also appeals to many of our clients, especially since we are located near several military bases. — Wendy Megyese, Muttigans, Emerald Isle, NC
  • A local food called North Star Kibble. Customers buy this due to the price point, dogs love it, and do well on it. Cost per 35-pound bag is between $40.99 and 44.99. Customers that buy this product feed this with the intent to feed their pets a better food and the cost. Customers range from low to upper middle class. It’s a fantastic food. — Cecelia Michaels, Lickin’ Good Whole Pet Food, Park Rapids, MN
  • Primal Pet Food (bone broth specifically). Our customers love how it has been helping theirs pets, especially with reducing itching. We have been selling it to any type of customer; it’s also a great way to introduce them to the raw freeze-dried. — Richie Powell, All American Pet Supplies & Grooming, Springfield, OR
  • Our hot sellers are a self-serve bath in one of our fully-stocked tubs and Whimzees potato-based chews. Our customers like Whimzees because they are a fantastic alternative to rawhides. — Charlsye Lewis, Metro Animals, Fort Worth, TX
  • Mobowl by Lowcountry Pet Specialties — a portable dog bowl that fits in your pocket, is made in USA and is under $5, plus, it’s a give back-company. So that hits all the bells and whistles for most of our customers! — Toni Shelaske, Healthy Pet Products, Pittsburgh PA
  • The Honest Kitchen Cup, 99 cent sale. Always a great way to get folks to try a dehydrated food. We also sell them to folks looking for a healthy filling in Kongs, sterilized bones or horns. Just fill and freeze! — Jack Carey, Food for Pets, Manchester, NH

Other Products

  • Pura Phosphate Pads. The pads remove phosphates from aquariums which decreases algae growth! They are a cut to fit product so can be used in any size or type of filtration system. — Nicole Olesen, Woofs & Waves, Sioux Falls, SD
  • #248 Kings Cages toy Rainbow Rocket. It comes in three sizes, holds up well to birds and is fairly cheap. Our No. 1 toy at the moment. — Paul Lewis, Birds Unlimited, Webster, NY

Services

  • Our Shed Less Service was our biggest seller. We purchased unique high-velocity hose nozzles several years ago that strip the loose undercoat out in the bathtub. It’s extremely satisfying to do on double coated breeds, and our clients are amazed at the results we achieve. — Danielle Wilson, Bath & Biscuits, Granville, OH
  • It was the season for “Blowing Coat” and we sold the heck out of our Hair Hair Everywhere Package to our bath clients. Our professionally trained bathers complete a five-step process to remove excessive undercoat. Clients love that we are helping them solve the problem of dog hair all over their clothes, homes and cars. We charge $15 to $25, depending on the amount of time and product required to complete the service. — Teresa Hogge, Belly Rubs N Suds, Ashburn, VA
  • Our Puppy Day School training program is always No. 1. It’s a complete day care and training program for puppies. — Katharine Ostiguy, Crossbones, Providence, RI

What’s the Brain Squad?

If you’re the owner or top manager of a U.S. pet business serving the public, you’re invited to join the PETS+ Brain Squad. Take one five-minute quiz a month, and you’ll get a free t-shirt, be featured prominently in this magazine, and make your voice heard on key issues affecting the pet industry. Sign up here.

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