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Editor's Note

Share Your Thoughts. Seek Ideas … or Just Vent




MANY OF YOU are familiar with the PETS+ Brain Squad, in which owners and top  managers of consumer-facing pet businesses and service providers sign up to receive monthly questionnaires and directly influence the contents of the magazine.

We love our Brain Squad members and their contributions to the magazine. They enable us get a broad range of voices and opinions into print, but moreover, their advice, drawn from being in the trenches, helps other readers as much as any top-down advice from business experts.

But that got us thinking: The Brain Squad is a great way for us to communicate with readers and them with us, but wouldn’t it be great if readers were able to communicate with each other too?

From that thought has emerged the PETS+ Community on Facebook, a closed group for independent pet businesses and service providers that allows you to connect with your peers on any matter related to running a pet business — or beyond.

Unlike the Brain Squad, where members are told up front that what they say may be printed in an upcoming issue, the PETS+ Community is private. (If we consider something you say as print-worthy, we will contact you to ask permission to use your words on a case-by-case basis. And we understand “No” completely.)

We see the PETS+ Community as a place to let loose with like-minded folks. Share your thoughts. Vent about your day. Bounce ideas around, however crazy they may be. Ask questions of your peers. Seek advice. All we ask is that you treat your fellow business professionals with respect.


Sign up, explore and let loose today at

And don’t think this is replacing the Brain Squad. We still want to hear from you about things we can print. Not a member? Join today here:

Wishing you the best in business,

ralf signature

Ralf Kircher
Editor-in-Chief, Pets+


Five Great Tips From This Issue You Can Try Today
  1. Brush the cobwebs off your old marketing files. Revisit ideas that worked for you and reconsider those that deserve a second look. (To-Do List, Page 11)
  2. Going live on Facebook? Use your smartphone with a mini-tripod, and turn on “do not disturb.” (About Face, Page 33)
  3. Hire a professional photographer to come in a few times a year to shoot your staff in action. Use those photos to populate your Instagram account. (Tip Sheet, Page 36)
  4. Before you fire that complaining customer, remind yourself that new customers are more expensive than loyal current ones. (Columns, Page 37)
  5. Getting noise complaints from neighbors? Schedule personal tours of your business for each neighbor. (Real Deal, Page 50)


Ralf Kircher is former Editor-in-Chief of PETS+. He has worked with SmartWork Media since 2006, and is the busy father of a son and three Jack Russells.



NASC Media Spotlight

At first it was just an idea: Animal supplements needed the same quality control that human-grade supplements receive. But that was enough to start a movement and an organization —the National Animal Supplement Council — that would be dedicated to establishing a comprehensive path forward for the animal supplements industry. In this Media Spotlight interview, NASC’s president, Bill Bookout, talks to PETS+ interviewer Chloe DiVita about the industry today: Where it’s headed, what’s the latest focus and why it’s vital to gain the involvement of independent pet product retailers.

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