Halo’s Commitment to Philanthropy Draws Retailers

Last night we had the pleasure of co-hosting with Halo, Purely for Pets, a group of VIP retailers in the New York City area at Halo’s City Tails pop-up shop.

The pop-up shop is part of a month-long event that unites pet lovers, provides easy ways for visitors to help pets in need and engages customers with the Halo brand and mission to give back to the community.

People are being encouraged to “pop in and do good,” for pets by supporting the Halo Pet Foundation in a variety of ways including charitable donations, pet adoption, raffles and more. Since the Halo Pet Foundation has no overhead costs, because they are covered by Halo, Purely for Pets, every dollar raised through the pop-up — and overall — goes directly to help pets.

Halo’s commitment to philanthropy is one of the many reason’s retailers I spoke to last night told me they stock the company’s products.

“I want to work with someone who wants to help save the animals,” Paul S. Leonard, owner of Animal Appetites Ltd. in Wantagh, N.Y., explained. “It puts in your mind the company is behind us. To see a company that wants to help the animals is an important thing.”

Paul told me Halo is “possibly one of the best foods for allergies out there,” adding that he sells “a lot” of their canned cat food.

Various members of our staff spent the past two days at the new pop-up shop, getting an up-close look at how the pop-up works and the company’s dedication to pets, as well as their retailers. Last night’s event kicked off a full month of public events, which includes pet adoptions, a pet fashion show and a book signing by Dr. Marty Becker.

Those types of events, which help build brand awareness and introduce consumers, to their products is one of the reasons Stefanos Tsartsalis likes working with Halo.

“This event they are doing is going to raise the awareness of the brand, and the direction the market is going,” Stefanos, the general manager of Pet Central in Manhattan, explained. “It helps educate the consumer on what they should, and shouldn’t feed their pets, and in a location where thousands and thousands of people pass by in a day. It educates people about the brand so people will come in [to a retail store] and ask about it.”



Halo Opens NYC Pop-Up Shop

Halo, Purely for Pets, is taking their commitment to philanthropy to a new level this month.

The natural food company, recognized for its social responsibility and innovative marketing practices which is co-owned by Ellen DeGeneres, opened a pop-up shop at The Corner, located at the Roger Smith hotel, 501 Lexington Ave. at 47th St. in New York City.

The May 29 to June 26, event, “Halo City Tails – NYC,” unites pet lovers, provides easy ways for visitors to help pets in need and engages customers with the Halo brand and mission to give back to the community.

People are being encouraged to “pop in and do good,” for pets by supporting the Halo Pet Foundation.

There are 10 ways visitors can do good: Donate to help pets, and get gifts from “The Ellen Show,” bandanas, wrist bands and more; enter weekly raffles; learn about pet care at their educational events; play Freekibble.com, and they will donate Halo to shelters; go in and play with a shelter pet; adopt a pet from one of their partner shelters, or donate or volunteer to help them; check in on Foursquare or Facebook to spread the word, and they will give you a rescue bracelet; buy Halo products at participating NYC retailers, and they will donate a meal to shelter pets for every $1 spent or participate in their various social media campaigns.

Since the Halo Pet Foundation has no overhead costs, because they are covered by Halo, Purely for Pets, every dollar raised through the pop-up — and overall — goes directly to help pets.

According to the company, Halo is the first major brand to host a pop-up shop that is purely for philanthropy.

“I feel blessed to be able to work for a company that engages consumers and retailers to capture the popular imagination by making a difference for pets,” David Yaskulka, vice president marketing communications for Halo, said.

For every $1 spent on Halo products at participating New York City retailers, Halo will donate one meal to a local shelter. But, the company expects their New York City efforts to help retailers in other parts of the country, too.

“While this event in New York is being showcased in the communications capital of the world, this is what we do on Main Street throughout the country,” Les Lewis, vice president of sales at Halo, said. “[People] are looking for a company they can believe in, and this can be conveyed on your store shelves everyday of the week.”

Yaskulka added that tourists who stop by the shop and receive coupons for Halo products, can use them at their local retailer no matter where they live.

“We are getting the message to the consumer,” Lewis said. “The food has to be terrific, the company has to be terrific and in support of their philanthropy.”

To draw people in, various events, including pet adoptions, a pet fashion show and a book signing by Dr. Marty Becker, will be held throughout the month of June.



Introducing HALO City Tails

Halo, Purely for Pets, recognized for its social responsibility and innovative marketing practices that is co-owned by Ellen DeGeneres, opened a pop-up shop in at The Corner, located at the Roger Smith hotel, 501 Lexington Ave. at 47th St.


Tips for Traveling With a Pet This Summer

The Travel Industry Association of America estimates that 30 million people travel with pets each year.

With so many pets traveling, Veterinary Pet Insurance Co., the nation’s oldest and largest provider of pet health insurance, reminds pet owners that preparation is the key to ensuring a fun and safe vacation.

Included are six travel tips for pet parents and their furry friends:

  1. Make sure the pet is wearing identification at all times in case she becomes separated or lost. Verify that the pet’s ID tag is up-to-date, durable, legible and includes their mobile phone number.
  2. Pack a recent photo of the pet owner’s pet photo along with current vaccination records. If the pet becomes lost, having a current photograph will make the search easier.
  3. Pack enough food to safeguard against travel delays.
  4. Book a pet-friendly hotel. With more than 25,000 hotels in the U.S. allowing pets, there are plenty of properties from which to choose.
  5. Choose early morning or late evening flights to avoid temperature extremes that may affect a pet.
  6. Look up details about a veterinary hospital near your destination (phone number, hours, driving distance). If a pet owners pet has a medical emergency they will be prepared and know where to go.

In addition to the tips above, VPI recommends pet owners consider their pet’s personality to determine if they will be content in surroundings outside of their comfort zone. A discussion with a veterinarian regarding travel plans may also be helpful.

“If you’re planning to take your pet on vacation, it’s a good idea to schedule an appointment with your veterinarian to confirm your pet’s vaccinations are up to date and that she receives a clean bill of health,” Carol McConnell, DVM, MBA, vice president and chief veterinary medical officer for VPI. “Traveling with pets by air requires specific attention because airlines will require a formal health certificate from your veterinarian.”

Investing In Their Health

If you’ve got a shelf full of multi-vitamins and dietary supplements that sits in a dark corner of your store and collects dust, it’s time to bring those products up to the forefront.

While supplements might still be a relatively small segment of your total sales, this is a growing category, and one that’s important for the health of all pets.

According to Greg Tilford, president and CEO of Animal Essentials, the category had sales of about $2 million in 1995, has grown to $1.4 billion now, and shows room for even greater growth.

The last survey by the American Pet Products Association reports that the percentage of dogs and cats given vitamins or supplements grew 2 percent each, to 14 percent of the total supplement category, from 2008 to 2010.

Even though that might seem like a relatively small percentage of sales, what’s even more promising for future sales is the survey’s findings that the increased use of vitamins and supplements may account for what appears to be improved general well-being of several species of pets.

“Your customers might be paying a little more initially, but when you take into the fact that you’re not going into the vet for an issue every three months or so, you save money in the long run,” Janice Coles, owner of Pet Store Universe, Lehighton, Pa., said.

Vitamins and supplements not only aid in a pet’s digestion, they will also help reduce gas and bad breath and help pets have more vitality.

“Vitamins are kind of like insurance;, they are essential to the body’s functioning and keep the muscle tissue in better shape,” Phil Brown, DVM and consultant for Nutri-Vet, said.

Customers who are already paying a premium for pet food might be reluctant to spend extra money on a supplement when they feel the food they’re feeding is a higher quality. The best answer to that is that the supplements will help the dog utilize the food to its full potential, making sure they process all of those great nutrients in the food.

The following are some of the most popular types of vitamins and supplements and how they work.


Pets are exposed to the same pollution, smoke and even radiation that people live in each day. Antioxidants can help break down the free radicals produced by these environmental stresses, which means the superfoods that are good for us are also good for our pets.

“Supplements are one way to help add antioxidants to the diet of dogs and cats to help their bodies detoxify and replenish on a daily basis,” Patricia Jordan, DVM, chief veterinarian for Rocky & Bella, said.

park, the new supplement from Rocky & Bella which came out on the market last year, is a combination of whole-food ingredients, including liver, blueberries and algae, available as a powder that can be sprinkled on dog or cat food.

Another choice is the Superfood Daily Supplement from Nutri-Vet.

Made with broccoli, carrots and spinach, it also includes some beef and pork liver to enhance palatability. Both of these products enhance the pet’s diet and help improve their quality of life.

Multivitamins and Herbal Supplements

“The role of a multivitamin is to compensate for any micronutrient that’s in a low amount in the pet,” Brown said.

The Multivite Soft Chews from Nutri-Vet are a similar make up to the multivitamins for people, with which pet owners are already familiar with. They have potassium, iron, zinc and vitamins A, D, E and C.

“It’s based on added B vitamins for energy as well,” Brown added.

Animal Essentials also has a vitamin, the Herbal Multi-Vitamin and Minerals, which has the familiar mix of A, B, D and E vitamins, zinc and folic acid, as well as herbal ingredients, including flaxseed, chia seed and barley grass.


One of the newest trends for people has also come to the pet world — probiotics.

“Our product, Plant Enzymes and Probiotics, is our best-selling supplement,” Tilford said. “Whether your animal is sick or not, they have a limited ability to process their food, and these enzymes help break down the vegetable matter and get the most out of their food.”

Annamaet Petfoods also has a supplement with probiotics and enzymes to help with the breakdown of amino acids. For Coles, the Annamaet supplements are what she recommends to customers.

People come to her looking to improve the health of their pet, and her first priority is to get them on a better food, and along with that a supplement to make sure the animal gets the most out of their food.

For the supplement category, educating a store’s staff is key to increasing sales. Make sure the whole staff knows what supplements the store stocks and the benefits of each item. Many times a manufacturer’s sales team can help to provide that education.

Another tip, experts say, is not to stock too many of one type of supplement.

“If there are 16 different supplements that do the same thing, the customer won’t be able to make a decision and will just walk away,” Brown said.

Finally, cross merchandising is a great way to get supplements out in front of the customer’s eyes.

Set up a display near the food to help remind customers that they can be feeding a supplement each time they feed their pet.

Put some supplements near the toys with signage explaining the increased energy and vitality supplements bring, and set up a display near the shampoos and grooming items touting the benefits to skin and coat.

“The more people see something is available the more likely they are to pick it up,” Brown said.

Renowned New York Groomer Opens New Store

Howie Binder recently opened Doggie-Do & Playtime Too, a lavish dog boutique in New York’s Upper East Side, with business partner Louis D’Alessio.

Doggie-Do provides a daycare facility as well as a pet boutique featuring designer collections from around the world of hand-knitted sweaters, custom coats and stylish rainwear. Customers can also find unique food and water dishes, couture collars and leads and designer jewelry for owners and their pets, as well as luxurious bedding made of the finest fabrics.

The Doggie-Do daycare has a “Central Park” motif, complete with humans to play with, benches, street lamps and floral designs. The location also holds monthly yappy hours, canine couture fashion shows, trunk shows, breed specific play dates and other special events.
“It is truly a great feeling when you see dogs pulling their owners into the store to come play with their friends,” Howie said.

Pet Sitters International Names Pet Sitter of the Year

Vanessa Sorace, the owner of Zoo Sitters LLC in Cape May Court House, N.J., was named Pet Sitters International’s 2012 Pet Sitter of the Year.

The award is presented annually to one pet sitter who embodies the passion and professionalism of the pet-sitting industry.

Sorace received her bachelor’s degree in psychology with a concentration in animal behavior and worked as a zoo keeper, caring for a variety of exotics including monkeys, lemurs, bats, bears and large cats.

After leaving the field, she decided to pursue her MBA and spent several years quickly moving up the corporate ladder as a national accounts manager. Despite her success, Sorace soon realized that corporate America was not as fulfilling as she had hoped.

“I began to think about combining my two passions—animals and business,” Sorace said. “After six months of living in Costa Rica and observing many exotics in their natural habitats, I decided to return to my hometown of Cape May and start a professional pet-sitting business.”

Created by Pet Sitters International in 1995, the Pet Sitter of the Year designation is considered the pet-sitting industry’s highest honor. The 2012 selection process brought in more than 360 nominations for professional pet sitters across the United States.

Serving on this year’s selection panel were David Pearsall of Business Insurers of the Carolinas; Jordan Di Marco, 2011 Pet Sitter of the Year and The Pawsitive Coach Arden Moore, pet expert and founder of Fourleggedlife.com.

Getting Ears Clean

Ear problems can drive a dog to distraction, and get their owner driving right to the doggy doctor.

Since the only time many pets get their ears cleaned is when they are professionally groomed, it is important that groomers choose appropriate cleansing products and use proper technique to help keep ears healthy.

“I think that what happens is that a dog may come in to be groomed and have some slight ear problem going on that the owner isn’t even aware of,” Lisa Christensen, of Chris Christensen Systems, Inc., said. “Then the groomer uses an alcohol based cleaner and that inflames the inside of the already sensitive ear. Suddenly the dog is showing signs of discomfort and the owner thinks it is the groomer’s fault.”

Chris Christensen’s Mystic Ear Cleaner is a product designed to gently remove wax and debris without causing any irritation.

EZ Groom has two different ear products they sell.

“Ear Magic is our medicated, all natural, oil based cleanser,” Eddie Marshall, of EZ Groom, said. “We recommend it be used before the bath. It has aloe vera and wintergreen oil in it. Wintergreen is known as ‘nature’s aspirin,’ so this is very soothing if the dog has sore ears. It is recommended by the American Cocker Spaniel club.”

Their second product is Ear Magic II.

“This formula is non-greasy, has a base of purified water and contains citric acid,” he explained.

Popular cleaners can come in alcohol based, oil based or water based formulas, with a variety of active ingredients to help control things like yeast and bacteria that owners hope to discourage from growing in the warm, dark, moist environment that dogs’ ears offer.

When choosing and using professional products for ears, groomers should read labels and be certain that the product is safe and appropriate for the pet they are using it on.
If the animal’s ear has a discharge, refer the customer to their veterinarian for cleansing and care.

“Don’t clean the ear first,” Dr. Kate Pierce, of Penbay Veterinary in Rockport, Maine, said. “The vet may want to swab and culture the discharge in order to determine the appropriate treatment.”

If a groomer is grooming a breed of dog that routinely has hair plucked from the ear canal, and the ear is already looking inflamed, avoid plucking, which can further exacerbate the situation.

One good cleaning technique is to moisten a cotton ball in cleanser and gently wipe dirt, wax and debris up and out of the ear. Make sure to choose 100 percent cotton balls. Some synthetic blended products can leave irritating fibers behind.

If using cotton swabs, they should never be inserted deeper inside the ear than can be seen. To do so risks damaging the delicate inner ear.

Use oil-based cleaners before the bath so any leftover residue will be washed away, and when using an alcohol-based cleaner, make sure the dog does not shake its head and get any of the product in its eyes.

If you are a groomer who owns your own shop, consider selling retail sized bottles of your favorite product to customers. Add in a free lesson on how to properly use it, as a bonus.

Creating an Underwater Paradise

There are several different reasons people have fish tanks. Some enjoy the calming nature they provide, while others like to explore the different habits of fish. And, most of all, there’s the lure of having a beautiful underwater scene in your very own living room.

But, sometimes people are a bit standoffish about starting a planted tank because they think it’s difficult. Yet if done correctly, it’s really not too challenging at all, said Brandon McLane, vice president of Florida Aquatic Nurseries, an aquatic plant supplier with over 180 varieties of aquarium plants.

“You just have to choose the right plants for beginners,” McLane said. “If you have them start out with the ‘bread and butter varieties’ they will have success and come back for more. It’s all about knowing your clientele and choosing the correct plants for them and their aquariums.”

McLane also suggests retailers set up a display tank with some beginner plants to show customers how nice it can look and how simple it can be to keep.

Florida Aquatic Nurseries’ plants are sold potted in rock wool, rooted on driftwood, bunched or bare root.  Expect large root systems on all potted plants and bare root plants, McLane said. Each aquarium plant is harvested from the growing beds the day of shipment so they are guaranteed to be fresh upon delivery to retailers.

Picking a Plant

One of the best plants for beginners and hobbyists alike that is manufactured by Florida Aquatic Nurseries is the Microsorum pteropus, better known by most as the Java fern. While these plants aren’t very fast growing, they live for quite a while when properly cared for, and look great as mid-ground plants in the aquarium.

For those looking for a “bushier” look, the Vesicularia dubyana, or Java moss, covers more ground in the aquarium. It works well for customers who are looking for places for their fish to hide if they’re being bullied or just seem overly shy. It will also attach itself to driftwood in the tank, making for a natural underwater scene.

Another series of plants that provide a visually appealing  look are the various Echinodorus species, better known as “swords.”

One of the more popular ones, the echinodorus bleheri, or amazon sword, can grow very quickly and take up space in both the mid- and background of the tank.

Overall, Amazon sword plants are a good choice for beginners as mid-ground or background plants in the aquarium and should last for quite some time, said McLane.

Other Factors

Choosing the proper plants for your customer’s size tank, the type of fish they have and the overall look they want to create is only the first step. Keeping the plants alive is the next, and obviously very important, part of the process.

Planted tank enthusiasts will want to be sure to keep in their aquariums a proper substrate, according to Doug Hill, president and COO of Seachem Laboratories.

Hill emphasizes the importance of choosing a substrate that will last, rather than a temporary one.

“Using temporary substrates, substrates that last and nutrify the plants for about 6-9 months isn’t a good idea,” he said. “The flawed logic here from a consumer standpoint is that as soon as the aquarium is looking its best we need to break it down and replace the substrate with fresh substrate. This brings a great deal of frustration, and our goal is to make the hobby simplistic. All of our plant substrates will last the life of the aquarium.”

Something customers will want to consider for their substrate is the use of fluorite.
Seachem’s fluorite is a specially fracted, stable porous clay gravel for the natural planted aquarium. Its appearance is best suited to planted aquaria, but may be used in any aquarium environment.

Fluorite is most effective when used alone as an integral substrate bed, but it may be mixed with other gravels. Gravel modifiers such as laterite are not necessary, and unlike competing products, Fluorite never has to be replaced. It remains effective for the life of the aquarium. Fluorite is not chemically coated or treated and will not alter the pH of the water.
Besides making substrates, Seachem is also known for their plant supplements—liquid solutions that can be added to planted tanks to promote growth.

One such product is envy, a comprehensive carbohydrate, vitamin, amino acid, and polyunsaturated fatty acid supplement that addresses the micro and trace nutritional requirements of plants, Hill said.

Envy contains ascorbic acid in a base of chlorella that comprises a rich assortment of amino acids and vitamins.

A second product Seachem makes for planted tanks is Flourish Excel, Hill said. Flourish Excel is a source of bioavailable organic carbon.

All plants require a source of carbon, which is typically obtained from CO2, but may also be derived from simple organic compounds (such as photosynthetic intermediates). The use of either CO2 injection or Flourish Excel does not necessarily negate the use of the other.

ecause the processes of producing photosynthetic intermediates and building onto them occur simultaneously, one can derive a substantial benefit with the use of Flourish Excel, either alone or in conjunction with CO2.

Planted tanks might not be as hard to keep as you or your customers might think, but in order to be successful, the right amount of research has to be done.

That includes research on the part of the retailer, who must know the proper questions to ask when customers are looking into this type of aquarium.

Ask things like: What size is your tank? What type of fish do you have? How much lighting goes into the tank? Do you have fluorite or substrate that can handle plants?

Then, if they are new to the hobby, get them started with some of those “bread and butter” plants that live easily.

– Bill Kolbenschlag

Website Helps Reunite Lost Cats With Owners

GetMyCat is an online resource that provides comprehensive lost cat resources of expert knowledge, pet amber alerts, lost cat cards, lost flyer/poster printing, lost cat insurance and immediate customer service.

In six months, GetMyCat helped 2,200 people find lost cats.

“When I lost my cat last year, I found some great information online, but no resource that had everything I would need in one place, and GetMyCat was born from this problem,” Jacques Habra, founder of GetMyCat, said.

GetMyCat receives dozens of inquiries daily. The website experiences over 10,000 plus visitors monthly.

“As a cat lover, I was thrilled to join GetMyCat and help reunite families,” Max Tracy, executive director of GetMyCat, said.

The website provides a unique questionnaire to help find lost cats by gathering key information about the missing cat so that the GetMyCat team may offer the best advice and services.

“Every situation is different,” Tracy said. “In some cases, you have an indoor cat missing for one or two days, or an outdoor cat in a rural area missing for over a week. We provide a custom search plan for each type of situation.”

The questionnaire is one of the many proprietary and unique features available to GetMyCat visitors.

“We want to provide the most comprehensive and accurate information for recovering lost cats,” Habra said.  “That’s why we are constantly re-investing into more service offerings, like our lost cat flyer and lost cat poster production and delivery services.”
“People are frantic when they lose their cat, and our job is to provide straightforward, easy to understand instructions and services that work,” Tracy said.

The Fat Gap

The U.S. pet obesity rates continued to increase in 2012, with the number of overweight cats reaching an all-time high, according to results from the sixth annual National Pet Obesity Awareness Day Survey conducted by the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention.

The survey found 52.5 percent of dogs and 58.3 percent of cats to be considered overweight or obese by their veterinarian. That equals approximately 80 million U.S. dogs and cats at increased risk for weight-related disorders such as diabetes, osteoarthritis, hypertension and many cancers.

“Pet obesity remains the leading health threat to our nation’s pets,” Dr. Ernie Ward, APOP’s founder and lead veterinarian for the survey, said. “We continue to see an escalation in the number of overweight cats and an explosion in the number of type 2 diabetes cases.”

Dr. Joe Bartges, a veterinary nutritionist and internal medicine specialist at the University of Tennessee’s College of Veterinary Medicine, cautions that many pet owners don’t recognize when their pet is overweight.

“In this survey, approximately 45 percent of cat and dog owners assessed their pet as having a normal body weight when the veterinarian assessed the pet to be overweight,” he said.

He calls the phenomenon of incorrectly evaluating an overweight pet as normal, “the fat gap.”

“The disconnect between reality and what a pet parent thinks is obese makes having a conversation with their veterinarian more challenging,” Bartges said. “Many pet owners are shocked when their veterinarian informs them their pet needs to lose weight. They just don’t see it.”

The 2012 survey, conducted in October and December of 2012, analyzed data from 121 veterinary clinics in 36 states, and included 1,485 dogs and 450 cats

Staying Cool When Temperatures Rise

Warmer weather means dogs will be spending more time outside, making it imperative to keep them from overheating or dehydrating.

In the past, a simple stainless steel or plastic dish were the only options available to consumers to provide their dogs with water. But now technological advancements have enabled dog owners to choose from an array of products that keep their dog’s water cold and fresh.

When looking for these products to stock a store’s shelves, it’s important to keep three trends in mind.

First, the price of the product is important because, while consumers will spend more on these products than they would on a standard bowl, there is still a threshold. Second, consumers expect all-day functionality from the watering product. Finally, form follows function: Consumers in the market for a water solution will choose one that complements their existing décor.

FrostyBowlz is one such product that meets those three core requirements. A stainless steel bowl sits atop the FrostyCore, the frozen insert that works to keep the pet’s water or canned food cold.

“Anecdotally there’s evidence that cats and dogs prefer cold water,” Jeffrey Brown, president of Talega Products, the inventors of FrostyBowlz, said. “Our bowls don’t put the water at an ice cold temperature. It’s between 45 and 50 degrees.”

Research has indicated that pets will drink more water at that temperature, which appeals to pet owners who are trying to keep their dog’s water cold on hot summer days. Plus, for owners who feed canned, fresh or raw food, FrostyBowlz can keep the perishable food from spoiling longer than a standard bowl would. FrostyBowlz is available in three sizes.

Staying Hydrated

Another customer favorite for keeping water fresh is the pet fountain.

“Our fountains have a patented free-falling water design that mimics the free-falling water that we see in nature,” Jon Cornwell, the category manager for the PetSafe water and feed solutions business unit, said. “Our goal is to entice pets to drink more water by appealing to their natural instincts. By drinking more water our pets stay hydrated and proper hydration, can reduce the chances, of kidney and urinary tract disorders.”

In addition to the health benefits, pet fountains offer dog owners the convenience of not having to refill the water dish as frequently.

According to Cornwell, consumers are expecting more from their pet fountains than simple functionality.

“Consumers are looking for health and wellness for their pet and convenience for themselves, primarily,” he said. “However, we are starting to see more consumers desiring products that provide fashion as well as function when it comes to a fountain.”

An easy solution to appeal to consumers is to offer several different styles, materials and colors in pet fountains so that consumers can find the right one to fit their home décor.

Cooling Off

Beyond water solutions, another product category that delivers cool relief on those steamy summer days is the cooling pad.

Ranging in price from under $10 for the Petiq Dog Cooling Mat to $100 for the Hound Cooler Dog Cooling Pad to over $245 for the TechNiche Phase Change Cooling Pad, there’s a solution for every customer’s needs and budget.

A cooling pad works by providing a dog with a comfortable, cool mat on a hot day. Some of the products options, like the Petiq product, keeps pets cool by creating a lower temperature than the pet’s body. It works indoors or outdoors.

Other technologically advanced options include a cooling system, like what is provided by the Hound Cooler Dog Cooling Pad. The Hound Cooler is a battery-powered system that pumps cold water from its cooler through insulated tubing. The cold water provides a cooling surface for the dog.

The TechNiche Phase Change Cooling Pad is on the far end of the price spectrum. Designed to maintain a temperature of 58 degrees Fahrenheit for four hours, the cooling pad contains the proprietary Cool Pax with unique Phase Change Material (PCM), which is 30 percent lighter than water and freezes at 58 degrees, compared to 32 degrees for water.

Ethical Products offers a cooling bed that features a non-toxic gel interior that stays cooler than room temperature by 5-10 degress and without refrigeration. It can be used alone, or with standard pet carriers and beds.

For the active dog, Kumfy Tailz offers the Kumfy Pax that covers a dog’s chest and abdominal area, or “core.”

It features the Kumfy Pax, a puncture-resistant nylon/pvc enclosure filled with special UltraGel, which can be cooled for an hour in the freezer and then inserted into the pouch.

By addressing the core, the product can help the dog better able regulate its body temperature.

– Maggie Marton

Bulldog Marketing Expands Services

Bulldog Marketing & Sales, Inc. launched a new website that reflects their expanded service offerings and added a new executive vice president of sales and marketing.

Bulldog is the pet marketing consulting and sales agency formed by pet industry veteran John Cullen to give entrepreneurs, start-ups, and small to mid-sized organizations access to top level marketing talent without the expensive overhead.

In addition to more traditional marketing and sales services, the agency now offers public relations and social media management through its strategic partnership with K. Sutherland PR and national and account specific promotions through its partner, Promotional Expressions.

Bulldog also offers a variety of web services, such as search engine optimization, website design and pay-per-click advertising.

“I wanted to make it easier for companies looking for marketing and sales help to find it all in one place,” John Cullen, principal of Bulldog, said.  “It’s more efficient and cost effective for a client if all of its needs can be met under one roof, since it is easier to integrate all the elements of the marketing mix.”

New to Bulldog is Gary DeFeo, who will be serving as executive vice president of sales and marketing.

DeFeo is a sales and marketing professional with over 25 years of experience in selling national retail accounts. Most recently he was the vice president of sales for Zoombak GPS Trackers and the general manager, mobile entertainment for JVC Co. of America.

He will not only be building Bulldog’s business, but the businesses of Bulldog’s clients, the company said.

DeFeo will also be engaged in account management across the company’s portfolio of clients.

“Gary is the consummate sales professional,” Cullen said. “No one knows more about selling and closing. I know, because I have seen him in action when we worked together at Zoombak. He will be an asset to Bulldog’s clients. I’m excited to have him on my team.”

To learn how Bulldog can help your company grow, call 1-855-456-4PET(4738) or visit www.bulldogms.com.

Govea Promoted at Natural Balance

Heather Govea was named executive vice president of sales and marketing at Natural Balance.

She recently held the position of senior vice president. Additionally, she was responsible for leading the marketing division to include product innovation and marketing strategies to the pet specialty channel.

Her new role will unite the independent, national and international sales teams along with the marketing divisions.  She will continue to report to Executive Vice President Frank Koch.

Promotions, Expanded Sales Team at Bravo!

Bravo!, manufacturer of the Bravo! Raw Diet family of products, announced several staff changes.

Bette Schubert, Bravo! co-founder and national sales director, is now the senior vice president of sales and new product development, while Michelle Carter was promoted to vice president of sales.

Bette Schubert

In her new position, Carter will be responsible for guiding Bravo!’s sales efforts and working closely with the sales team and distributor network to broaden the company’s overall geographic reach and brand presence.

Michelle Carter

Carter will be succeeded by Kandice Ray, who joins the Bravo! team as the west coast sales manager.

Ray’s primary responsibilities of West Coast retail outlets carrying the Bravo! family of products, as well as maintaining relationships with the current Bravo! retailers and distributors.

Kandice Ray

Beth Gallison was promoted to the New England sales manager post.

Gallison will be responsible for increasing the Bravo! brand presence on independent retail shelves throughout Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Connecticut, as well as maintaining current retailer relationships.

Beth Gallison


Purchase Tickets for the PA Garden Expo
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