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Editor's Note

We Can Do It!

In fact, we’re already doing it — the pet industry continues to pivot, meeting the many challenges of COVID-19.




EARLIER THIS YEAR, we decided that the Big Story in our April-May issue would be about how independent pet businesses can leverage their local status to attract more customers and clients. I interviewed many of you and had dozens of amazing examples to include.

And then COVID-19 arrived in U.S.

We quickly swapped out the original article for “Recession-Proof Your Business,” which offers actionable advice on how to survive and even thrive during a downturn. Group Managing Editor Chris Burslem put together 19 tips covering a wide range of starting points, from assessing your business’s vulnerabilities to taking advantage of the opportunity for change.

Many of you have already run with that last bit of advice. I watched in awe the speed with which you launched online stores, introduced curbside pickup and delivery, and took to social media like never before to reach pet parents no longer visiting your business in person.

And your ability to pivot so quickly inspired and helped us to do the same.

We now offer webinars on doing business in this new and still evolving world, featuring industry consultants and readers alike. (Watch replays and see upcoming titles at Trace Menchaca tackles timely topics in Trace’s Store School, live at 3 p.m. Eastern on Fridays in the PETS+ Facebook Community. Speaking of the community, it flourishes as members share their ups, downs and advice with each other. (Join at And Digital Content Editor James Ritchie continues to post COVID-19 news at and in our e-bulletins. (Sign up at


Our purpose as a magazine has always been to help indies do business better. I hope we have done that and more during this crisis. After all, PETS+ and parent company SmartWork Media are small businesses, too. We want us all to come through this stronger than ever.

And we know we can do it — together!

Five Great Tips From This Issue That You Can Do Today

  1. For Mother’s Day on May 10, partner with a local pet-friendly restaurant to create a Dog Mom package. (Calendar, page 10)
  2. Know who is visiting your Google Business page and what they are doing, through its monthly Insights email. (Manager’s To-Do List, page 12)
  3. Take the Recession Readiness Assessment at to assess your vulnerabilities. (The Big Story, page 24)
  4. To get through less enticing tasks on your to-do list, alternate them with more enticing ones. (Tip Sheet, page 34)
  5. Respond to negative online reviews, but only after finding out what happened and coming up with a plan. (Crisis Communications, page 37)



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