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Trunk-or-Treat, Santa Mailbox and More Promo Ideas for Your Pet Store in October-November

Plan your promotional events with our Calendar section, chock full of ideas from your fellow indies.





1 During NATIONAL PET WELLNESS MONTH, give your supplements section a refresh and promote. For any new products you bring in, ask brand partners to provide credit for sampling. A supplement may not show efficacy immediately, but at least you’ve proven the pet will take it. “We’ve sampled out many over the years since palatability is a customer’s first concern,” says Karen Conell of The Bark Market in Delavan, WI.

6 Sixty years ago today, artist Harvey Ball created the smiley face as a way to spread good will. A squillion reproductions later, he introduced WORLD SMILE DAY, held on the first Friday in October, as a reminder of his message. Put your spin on a celebratory promotion! How about a bundle with smiley face toy, bandana and cookie? A pet smiles photo contest on social media? Or a smiley face “tattoo” add-on in grooming. Any and all will have people and their pets showing their pearly whites.

16 On NATIONAL BUTTON DAY, follow the lead of The Hungry Puppy in Farmingdale, NJ. Staff purchased an inexpensive button-making kit on Amazon and posted to Facebook, asking followers to comment with a photo of their “Hungry Puppy.” They then turned the photos into free buttons available for pickup in store! “We had hundreds of pictures,” Frank Frattini said of the promotion, from “a lot of new customers.”

31 With HALLOWEEN pet costumes available at just about every big-box and online retailer, many indies skip selling them altogether and instead focus on hosting an event that builds community and brand awareness. Buzz n’ B’s Aquarium & Pet Shop in Erie, PA, does exactly that with its Boo Bash Trunk-or-Treat in the store’s parking lot. Paige Elder says, “We stay open an extra two hours and invite different rescues and our neighbors in the plaza to set up decorated trunks and pass out candy.” In 2022, “We had over 200 kiddos come through! It was an amazing advertisement for just the cost of a few extra hours of labor and quite a few pounds of candy.” Orphan Angels Cat Sanctuary and Adoption Center was among those that decorated a trunk, shown here. If you do hold an outside event, put your branded photo backdrop inside the store and let attendees know they can take free pics while shopping for their pets.


5 DAYLIGHT SAVING ends, throwing the lives of pets out of sync — dogs ready for a walk an hour earlier, cats meowing for their “late” breakfast. Create a countdown promotion that prompts customers to adjust routines by a few minutes every day to get their pets ready. Offer a small discount on a different calming product each day, whether CBD or a chew or lick mat, to tie in their benefits during this difficult time.

5-11 In 2022, Pet Pangaea in Los Alamos, NM, installed a Santa Mailbox. The store played up its close relationship with Kris Kingle, pointing out that he shops there for hay and other reindeer supplies, and sent return letters to those dropped off by Dec. 14. Give this idea your spin during DEAR SANTA LETTER WEEK. In addition to return letters, send the adults in the household a coupon and information about any holiday events happening at your business. Need a lead on the actual mailbox? A quick online search turns up a variety of adorable options.

25 Looking for a fun new way to draw in shoppers on SMALL BUSINESS SATURDAY? Hang stockings by a balloon chimney with care like All Pets Considered in Greensboro, NC. Each one holds a coupon ranging in value from 10% to 50%, savings valid only on that day and most with brand support. Alison Schwartz says that in 2022 the promotion resulted in “record-breaking sales at both stores! Biggest sale days ever in all regards.”

28 Help your customers recover from BLACK FRIDAY shopping with a GIVING TUESDAY promotion. It can involve anything near and dear to your heart, and be a simple donation jar on the counter or a “buy one, donate one” opportunity. Reach out for brand support well ahead of the day to set up your promo.



  • 1 Adopt a Shelter Dog Month of Shelter Cats
  • 1-7 National Walk Your Dog Week
  • 1 National Black Dog Day
  • 6 National Mad Hatter Day
  • 9 CATober — Universal Birthday
  • 11 Pet Obesity Awareness Day
  • 21 National Fetch Day
  • 21 Reptile Awareness Day
  • 27 National Bandana Day
  • 28 Muddy Dog Day
  • 29 National Cat Day
  • 30 National Treat Your Pet Day


  • 1 National Adopt a Senior Pet Month
  • 1 International Pet Groomer Appreciation Day
  • 1 Scented Candle Day
  • 2 Day of the Dead
  • 5-11 Animal Shelter Appreciation Week
  • 10 Forget Me Not Day
  • 11 Veterans Day
  • 15 Steve Irwin Day
  • 18-19 The National Dog Show
  • 27 Turtle Adoption Day



P.L.A.Y. Media Spotlight

At P.L.A.Y. — Pet Lifestyle & You — toy design is definitely a team effort! Watch PETS+ interviewer Chloe DiVita and P.L.A.Y.’s Director of Sales Lisa Hisamune as they talk about the toy design process, the fine-tuning that makes each toy so special and why every P.L.A.Y. collection is made with independent retailers top of mind.

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