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Editor's Note

We Want You to Be America’s Coolest

Fact is, we want everyone to submit an entry that’s so good, our judges will be deadlocked.




THE AMERICA’S COOLEST STORES contest entry season is in full swing, and I’ll let you in on a secret: We want you to win. And you. And you. And you, and you.

Fact is, we want everyone to submit an entry that’s so good, our judges will be deadlocked, and we’ll be stymied by what to do with all the winners.

Why? Because sharing America’s coolest pet businesses and the secrets to their success with our readers stands only to make your business better. And yours. And yours. And yours, and yours. (Because even winning, successful businesses never rest and always need an infusion of great ideas and inspiration.)

So we try to help you create a winning entry as best we can. Go to our entry page,, and you’ll find links to pages with step-by-step tips about how to create a winning entry. And feel free to email us at if those pages don’t answer your questions or assuage your doubts.

And we do hear doubts. Sometimes we hear from business owners who see the stores we’ve already featured in the magazine, and they tell us they don’t believe their store will ever look like that. Well, here’s another secret: America’s Coolest Stores is no beauty contest. Most times the coolest thing about a business is not how it looks but how it’s run or how its staff are trained or how it markets itself.

Those are the aspects we want to hear about, so we can share those stories with our readers — whether those stories appear in the Cool Stores section or elsewhere in the magazine.


The deadline to enter the contest is March 15, and our July/August issue will feature the three top businesses as well as eight honorable mentions whose stories will be told in the regular Cool Stores section of upcoming issues through June 2019.

Head to our entry portal today to get started on your entry. We look forward to seeing your business in the pages of Pets+.

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. Our Pet Quiz shouldn’t just be for your fun. Feel free to steal it and post to your website to engage your customers or social media followers. (Pet Quiz, Page 12)
  2. Plan to get more mileage out of Serpent Day! (Calendar, Page 14)
  3. De-ice your sidewalk using dish soap, rubbing alcohol and hot water. (Tip Sheet, Page 38)
  4. Sick of answering the same questions? Create an FAQ page and mention it on your voicemail message. (Ask Pets+, Page 40)
  5. Four hors d’oeuvres. That’s the rule of thumb, per person, you should plan for when you’re having an event. (Ask Pets+, Page 42)


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.

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