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These Were the Most Popular Pets+ Stories of 2017

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INVISION headlines of the yearYour favorites, based on web traffic.

At the end of the  year, it’s always fun to look back at which stories have attracted the most reader interest.

Below are the 10 most popular Pets+ stories of 2017 based on web clicks. Note that there may have been further developments in these stories since they were published.

1. PetSmart CEO Resigns. PetSmart Inc. announced in August that Michael J. Massey had decided to step down from his roles as CEO, president and board member.

2. Petco Buys Company That Appeared on Shark Tank. Petco announced in November that it has acquired PupBox, a subscription service company that delivers customized products and training information to new puppy and dog parents.

3. Major Pet Food Maker to Add Target, Other Chains to Distribution Network. In August, we learned that certain products from Wilton, CT-based Blue Buffalo Pet Products would soon be available at Target, Publix, Kroger and Meijer.

4. Animal Supplement Maker Acquired. Manna Pro Products LLC, a Missouri-based manufacturer and marketer of animal nutrition and care products, acquired Corta-Flx Inc., a supplier of equine and canine health supplements.

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5. Top Dog Names of 2017 Revealed. My Dog’s Name, an online resource for finding dog monikers, announced the top dog names of 2017. It also revealed an interesting trend: a sharp increase in Star Wars-themed names.

6. A Major Trend Could Soon Take Hold in Pet Food, Report Says. Ten years ago, organic pet foods appeared ready to become the next big thing in the pet world, but the trend never quite materialized. But it soon may, Packaged Facts reported.

7. Pet Food Company Announces $38M Expansion. Simmons Pet Food Inc., a supplier of custom and private label pet food solutions in the U.S. and Canada, broke ground on a facility expansion at its Flexible Packaging Facility in Emporia, KS.

8. 4 Crucial Things to Know About Millennial Pet Owners. Younger pet owners could set the pet industry on a “new course,” according to market research firm Packaged Facts.

9. Here’s the Most Pet-Friendly City in America. A new list from WalletHub examines the “most pet-friendly” cities in the U.S., ranking Scottsdale, AZ, at No. 1.

10. How Will Pets React to the Eclipse? As the Aug. 21 eclipse drew near, many pet owners wondered what the event might mean for their beloved companions. Fortunately, eye damage from the eclipse was not much of a risk for pets.

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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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