Top Holiday Gifts For Pets
11/7/05 - If you're planning to put a present under the tree this holiday for your dog or cat, you're in good company. According to industry estimates, 153 million pet owners will spend $2.6 billion on pet gifts this holiday season.
Commenting on this year's possible pet "hits," Pet Supplies "Plus" of West Michigan President Mike Kothe said, "As the market grows, more and more innovation comes to pet gifts. This year is no exception; you can really find an interesting, fun gift for a great price." Possible hits this season include:
* A combination of high tech gadgetry and old-fashioned play, the Talk to Me Treatball. Dispensing treats as your pet plays with it, this ball also plays your recorded voice message and displays a motion-activated light show.
* Walk with your cat ... or your rabbit, or ferret ... even your aging or ailing dog ... with the Fresh Air Pet Stroller by Four Paws. Includes two cup holders, a food tray, and a flashlight for night visibility. Collapsible for storage or carrying.
* The PetMate Freshflow Cat Fountain : provides cool, oxygenated water for your cat or small dog.
* Greenies: called the "original green smart treat," are now the best selling dog treat in America. They clean teeth, freshen breath, taste great, and are environmentally friendly.
--Pet Supplies "Plus" of West Michigan
Halloween Goes to the Dogs
10/11/05 - Pet specialty stores are marketing Halloween aggressively, offering not only costumes but Halloween-themed hats, collars, bandannas, toys and other seasonal merchandise. According to a recent survey, 20 percent of Americans indicated they plan to dress up their pets for Halloween.
"It definitely expands every year," said Michelle Friedman, spokeswoman for PetSmart. "I think there's an overall trend toward humanization of pets," she said. She said costumes tend to sell out long before Oct. 31. "People really seem to like the (costume T-shirts), such as the ladybug, which are comfortable and easy to put on," she said. PetSmart stores carry a basic line of costumes but offer more elaborate styles through the company's Web site. "We track what's going on with human fashion trends," said Friedman. "The licensed characters like Darth Vader, Superman, Batman and Princess Leia are selling like crazy."
Holidays are Peak Season for Treat Purchases
10/11/05 - Long gone are the days when a tidbit from the Holiday dinner table was all that could be expected. Today, over three-quarters of dog owners and two-thirds of cat owners purchase treats for their pets. And the primary gift-giving season is Christmas. As with many luxury categories, dog and cat treats generate noticeable spikes in sales activity during December each year.
Promoting treats is a purrrfect tactic for Holiday success
Similar to candy sales, promoting pet treats early and often encourages consumers to purchase, use and repurchase while the Holiday Season is still in full swing.
- Treats are important to a significant number of pet owning households. Over 41 million dog and 16 million cat households nationwide purchase treats...that's over 75 percent of dog food buyers and 39 percent of cat food buyers.
- Promoting treats helps drive dollars up.
- Treats can be impulse buys - Place them in front of the consumer and they will sell. 80 percent of pet owners will buy treats once they notice them.
- Holidays are a hot time for treats. December sales for dog treats and cat treats are 23 percent higher than the average month.
National Pet Week May 1-7
4/27/05 - American Pet Products Manufacturers Association (APPMA) releases 2005-2006 National Pet Owners Survey, the pet industry's most comprehensive consumer research examining demographics, buying habits, and other traits of US owners of dogs, cats, fish, birds, reptiles, and small animals.
Pet ownership is currently at its highest level, with 63 percent of all US households owning a pet which equates to more than 69 million households. Americans own approximately 73 million dogs, 90 million cats, 139 million freshwater fish, 9 million saltwater fish, 16 million birds, 18 million small animals and 11 million reptiles.
"The steady increase in pet ownership confirms that a growing number of us are realizing pets truly enhance our lives," said Bob Vetere, managing director and COO of APPMA. "Pets not only provide unconditional love and affection, research now shows they also provide significant health benefits." Most pet owners agree with what research has shown. According to the survey, nearly all pet owners say companionship, love, company and affection are the No. 1 benefits to owning a pet.
Fifty-nine percent say pets are good for their health and the health of their family and help them relax. Forty percent say that owning a dog motivates them to exercise on a regular basis. It is universally agreed that pet owners are health conscious, like to look their best, like to exercise with their pet, are happy and maintain a well-organized home.
Three-quarters of dog owners consider their dog like a child or family member and more than half of cat owners say the same. There are many other interesting trends emerging from the NPOS including the following:
-Pet Gifts and Parties : One trend is that gift giving to pets continues to rise with eight out of 10 dog owners buying dog gifts and 63 percent of cat owners purchasing gifts for the family feline. And, the gifts aren't just purchased at Christmas, but also for birthdays, Easter, Halloween, Valentine's Day, Chanukah and on no special occasion. There's also a growing number of parties for pets with 9 percent of dog and 5 percent of cat owners hosting birthday parties for their pets. On average, $17 is spent per gift.
-Pets and Travel : A growing number of dog owners are taking the family pet with them when they hit the road. Nineteen percent of dog owners bring along their dog when traveling -- that's up from 16 percent in 2002.
-Bed : A majority of dogs and cats sleep indoors with most preferring to sleep in their owner's bed, on a blanket, or pet bed.
-Homeopathic Remedies : This is also gaining in popularity with 3 percent of dog owners using homeopathic remedies (up from 2 percent in 2002) and 9 percent of cat owners (up from 2 percent). The use of vitamins and supplements has also increased among dog and cat owners.
-Dental Products : The use of dental products is increasing with a rapidly expanding pet dental market including products such as pet toothpaste, whitening strips, mouthwash and orthodontic products.
-Treats and Toys : Giving pets treats continues to increase significantly with 88 percent of dog owners, 65 percent of cat owners, 73 percent of bird owners and 75 percent of small animal owners giving treats. This is especially prevalent in households where the pet owner thinks of their pet as a child. More owners buy toys and spend more money than ever for them.
-Internet : While most pet owners still rely on their veterinarian for information, the use of the Internet/online as a source of information about one's pet has steadily been climbing among owners of birds, small animals and reptiles.
-Pet Owner Leisure Activities : Spending time with one's pet is considered an extremely important leisure activity. Most pet owners go to the movies or rent movies. About 80 percent of pet owners also enjoy dining out, reading and shopping.
-Loss of Pet : As a newly added question to the survey, there are no comparisons in this category but a wide array of resting place options are now available for pets. Pet owners are showing stronger interest in urns. Remembrance memorials are also available which incorporate a lock of their pet's hair or some other token, mixed into perennial seeds. Another option upon the death of one's pet is to make a "created diamond" from the pet's remains. Such a ring, estimated at approximately one-half a carat, costs $2,500. Almost one-out-of-10 dog and cat owners are also interested in a headstone for their pet's final resting place.
Demographics indicate that the person most responsible for purchasing pet products is a 46-year-old woman.
4/24/05 - $36 billion will be spent on pets in 2005, with high-end pet products making up the fastest-growing sector.
More and more "people" designers such as Isaac Mizrahi, whose pet accessories for the new Target home collection debut this month - have taken a keen interest in pets. "As more companies recognize how much people are willing to spend on their pets, we see more traditionally human companies like Tiffany & Co., Old Navy, L.L. Bean and Pottery Barn entering the market," says Tierra Griffiths, APPMA spokeswoman. "Whatever the trends are with humans, they are crossing over to pets."
For its eighth annual Bergh Ball, held Thursday in New York, the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals auctioned off one-of-a-kind dog houses crafted by Mizrahi, Oscar de la Renta, Betsey Johnson, Zac Posen and Lilly Pulitzer. "This is probably the next evolution," says Matthew Bershadker, the ASPCA's senior director of major gifts and events. "People want the best for their pets as they want the best for their family. If you want to send your child to Princeton, you want to provide the equivalent for your dog."
Pet spa products- This fall, Paul Mitchell's pet-care line, John Paul Pet, will launch a new spa line of essential oil shampoos and sprays.
Nothing is too good for our pets, including the Talking Bone Dog Toy which enables a pet owner to record a message in their own voice to "talk" to their dog, pet CDs, designer wardrobes, bling-encrusted collars, and much more.
The humanization of pets will continue and affect many different aspects of life. As more Baby Boomers become Empty-Nesters, they will fill the nest with pets. Like children, these beloved family members will affect how we live, work, and play.
With the increasing popularity of pets, homes are now being designed to be pet-friendly. Windows are placed low on the walls so pets can view the outdoors at their own level. Bay windows are designed so that they can also serve as pet sunrooms.
Is it just Americans who are going pet crazy? No way. Dogurt Yogurt for Dogs, a biotin-enriched yogurt that designed for dogs, previewed in Germany. Japanese consumers can purchase the ISee Pet Food Dispenser whith its own built-in camera, giving web-enabled households the ability to see their pets eat or even feed them remotely by hitting a feed "button" on the internet.
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