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What Indies Want More — and Less of — in 2024

Price decreases and overvaccination are on the minds of pet retailers and service providers. Plus, fresh praise for PETS+.




Jan-Feb Good Reads

  • I like the “Show Flow” article. It’s always great to get more tips on maximizing the value of a trade show when time is limited! — Shane Somerville, Paddywack, Mill Creek, WA
  • Very much appreciated the feedback in “Real Deal: The Case of the Employee Turned Competitor.” This has happened to me twice, and it’s very, very difficult to not take personally. It’s also hard to decide what to do, or what not to do, to try to prevent it from happening again. — Stephanie Bennett, Believe In Dog Training, Houston, TX
  • Loved the “How Going for a Walk in the Cold Sharpens your Business Focus” tip! — Denise Strong, Pawz On Main, Cottonwood, AZ

Industry Thoughts

  • Everyone is so focused on inflation, but the real story is about the companies doing the right thing and bringing down prices as the supply system has gotten back to normal. For two straight years, we had increase after increase, but now we are getting notices of price decreases! — Jennifer Williams, Ball Ground Hounds, Ball Ground, GA
  • Not all companies have detailed nutritional information online. You can ask them for specific formula info, but it can take anywhere from 12 hours to a month for them to respond, if they respond at all, which can be very frustrating when you have a pet with specific nutritional needs. To have the information readily available on their websites would be super helpful in helping people find options that are safe for their pets. — Corey Heenan, Boutique and Pet Spa, Altamont, NY
  • I’m seeing an upswing in public interest in integrative veterinary services. I’d love to see more of a push for holistic boarding, grooming and other services, especially in the way of vaccine requirements. When will other providers begin to accept titer testing? — Becci Scott, The Fetching Dog, Scottsdale, AZ
  • I wish there were more holistic vets across the nation and that the vets coming out of school weren’t conditioned to “hate” us indies. It should be a more united front, and I feel like it’s hard to respect the field as a whole based on what we promote for wellness in our stores and what they tell our customers. Too many have a holier than thou attitude, and we’d be serving our communities so much better if we could work together. They can’t ever admit their lack of knowledge and the financial support they receive to push the products they do. We have so much research at our fingertips that they choose to ignore and discredit. — Erin Paitrick, Woof Gang Bakery & Grooming, Summerville, SC

You’re Welcome

  • Thank you for all you do for our community. I love learning new tips and tricks from others in the industry. Lisa Kirschner Sit, Stay, ‘N Play, Inc., Stroudsburg, PA
    Your magazine is a wealth of knowledge, and the Sample Box exposes us to new products. Keep up the fine work you do keeping us indies well armed and well informed. — Doug Staley, Pet Palace of New City, New City, NY
  • It feels like the drama never ends in this industry — Covid, DCM, out of stocks — so I really appreciate PETS+ and the community surrounding it. It’s nice to know we’re not going through this alone. Thanks, everyone. — Jennifer Stanislawski, Eden Garden and Pets, West Allis, WI
  • I love how PETS+ gets my entire staff involved. They can’t wait to read the latest issue! — Loree Shirazi, Paw Pleasers, San Diego, CA
  • We have brought in so many new products as part of the PETS+ Sample Box program. Many I wouldn’t have seen if I wasn’t able to test them. — April Wright, The Dog And Cat,
    Essex Jct, VT

See You In Orlando!

  • I’m not going to Global Pet Expo, but I’m excited to hear about all the new products that will be launching there! — Katherine Ostiguy, Crossbones, Providence, RI

EDITOR’S NOTE: We got you! The PETS+ team will be reporting live on and



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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