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November 7, 2016

Many things occur as puppies become adult dogs. New habits become formed, friendships between human and canine have been forged, and many aspects of care change as dogs age. However, one thing is sure to remain the same throughout a pet’s life: their owners’ demands for high quality products and services.

Across all categories of the pet market, consumers are more often expecting high quality products made from ingredients set to standards equally as high. The newest products this year have been designed according to these standards and can be used by retailers to excite consumers for innovations in the pet market.

Food for Thought
For the base of a dog’s diet, Petcurean offers recipes separated by both life stage and breed size. The brand’s GATHER line comes in three varieties, each supporting different functions of an adult dog’s body: GATHER Free Acres, GATHER Wild Ocean and GATHER Endless Valley.

According to a press release from Petcurean, the product is called Free Acres because the chicken in the recipe is sustainably produced, certified organic and free-range. Wholesome foods such as organic peas, lentils, krill, organic flaxseed, blueberries and cranberries are also included to provide extra nutrition and flavors.

The Free Acres formula supports heart and brain health, bone strength, and healthy skin and coat. GATHER Wild Ocean is rich in omega-3 fatty acids and supports the same functions as Free Acres. It’s made with single source fish protein in the form of fresh line-caught cod from waters off the coast of Alaska.

The last of the GATHER line, Endless Valley, is a plant-based recipe rooted in certified organic pea protein with other natural ingredients. The recipe is designed to provide sufficient protein, so dogs consume all the essential amino acids and other nutrients for a balanced diet.

K9 Natural describes its Freeze Dried Lamb Green Tripe supplement as loaded with natural probiotics and created with 100-percent grass-fed lamb and green tripe to promote digestive wellbeing. The supplement is naturally free of grain, gluten, fillers and artificial flavors.

According to a K9 Natural press release, the company’s innovative freeze-drying process removes only water so all other nutrients remain in the food, including the taste. The release states that there are no additives in the freeze-drying process—simply add equal parts water back to a dog’s food to bring out the meaty flavor a dog will love or sprinkle over the dog’s existing food.

The company also offers meal topper and canned foods, giving pet owners a near complete diet supplement for their canine companions.

K9 Natural Toppers are described as offering the goodness of the brand’s freeze-dried range in a smaller, more convenient package. Pet owners simply sprinkle the toppers over dogs’ existing diet for a nutrient-dense, high meat boost that will entice even the pickiest eaters. The formula is low in carbohydrates, contains fresh fruits and veggies and, similar to the company’s the Freeze Dried Lamb Green Tripe supplement, is free from grain, gluten, fillers and artificial flavors.

K9 Natural canned dog food add more convenience to meal time and are free from any gelling agents, using only “Natural Fresh New Zealand Water,” according to the brand. Pet owners just “pop the top and drop the contents out with ease and no mess.” The wholefood ingredients and carefully selected essential vitamins, minerals and oils also add a boost to an existing diet.

Another supplement on the market is Lipiderm, from International Veterinary Services (IVS). Made in the USA, the supplement contains vitamins, minerals and omega fatty acids to promote moisturized skin and coat with reduced shedding.

Retailers can earn additional sales in the treat and chew category. Such products keep dogs engaged, discourage problem chewing or furniture damage, and can be used in training or given out of love.

Peanut Butter Bully slices by Redbarn Pet Products combine the durability of traditional dog chews with the unbeatable taste of bully sticks. The natural cowhide is coated with the company’s “secret bully gravy,” before being slow roasted.

“Our tasty bully coating helps to tempt even the pickiest of eaters,” said Rashell Cooper, marketing director for Redbarn. “In every bully coated chew, we’ve added natural functional ingredients to help support dogs’ health.”

Bubba Rose Biscuit Co.’s Pizza Crust is a tasty treat packed with parmesan, tomato and basil for great pizza taste without gluten, wheat, corn or soy. For special occasions, the Bubba Rose Wedding Collection is filled with a variety of wedding-themed treats and can be color customized to match the event. They’re available in bulk, gift boxed or individually wrapped and, like all Bubba Rose products, are made with organic flour.

Conquering the Great Outdoors
Now that your customers’ puppies have reached the adult stage, it’s likely they’ll be bringing two happy golden retriever dogs running togetherthem outdoors more often, and that means they’ll need proper collars, leads and leashes.

The Freedom No-Pull Harness by 2 Hounds Design is recommended by dog trainers and veterinarians around the world, according to the company. It works by discouraging the Opposition Reflex, which is the urge to pull against pressure applied to their chests. Traditional harnesses agitate this instinct, causing dogs to resist their owners on walks.

Instead, the Freedom No-Pull Harness features a patented action loop that sits at the back of the dog, between the shoulders. This allows the dog to walk in a straight line without twisting or straining, and at the same time discourages pulling by tightening gently around pets’ chests. An additional structural ring at the front of the chest gives owners a control point with which to steer or redirect pets’ attention. This is a helpful feature for owners training their pets.

The Freedom No-Pull Harness is designed for dogs of all sizes, and it comes with a chewing warranty. If a dog chews the harness, the company will replace up to two straps for just the cost of shipping.

The company even provides retailers with tips from other pet store owners on how to sell the product.

“Fit the dog with the harness and have it walk the dog outside the store,” said Lanie Mossey, owner of Wild Dog in Saugatuck, Michigan. “I rarely ever fit a dog with the Freedom Harness who does not buy it. Seeing is believing.”

Established in 1973, flexi is the inventor of the flexi retractable dog leash and the world market leader of retractable leashes. Their new Neon retractable leash combines a highly attractive design with additional safety features, including striking neon-colored detailing and honeycomb structured reflector sheets on both sides of the casing to mirror headlights from passing cars. The leash is designed with flexi’s short-stroke braking system and the optional Multi Box is easily clicked on to store treats or waste bags.

Active gear and other pet travel products are likely to be most successfully marketed to pet owners with dogs in their prime—just the right age to benefit from time outdoors. But before the hiking trail comes the car ride, making pet owners with adult dogs the ideal candidates for protective products for vehicles.

Solvit manufactures protective and assistive products for pets in the home and the car. They also produce bicycle attachments, strollers and other products to help active humans take their pets along for walks, runs and rides.

This year, Solvit released several car seat covers, one of the newest being the Car Cuddler. It’s developed specially for use in cars, covering the seat and protecting it from dog hair and dirty paws.

Though such car seat covers are useful for their protective qualities, one of their most important functions is to keep pets safe during car travel. Multiple connection points keep the Car Cuddler firmly in place, while the central plush section provides exceptional comfort. It’s available in a small size and a large size that covers the entire bench seat.

Perfect Age for Play
No matter the age, playtime is one thing that dogs never outgrow. Adult dogs, just like their puppy and senior counterparts, require a sufficient amount of playtime to remain physically and mentally healthy and happy.

“At Planet Dog, we believe in the power of play,” stated a product release from the company. “We believe that play keeps dogs healthy, social and happy. Planet Dog toys (all of which are molded) are perfect for a lifetime of fetching, chomping and tugging fun.”

The company’s dog balls come in various sizes and colors. Whether they squeak or come with rope for tugging, they are all designed with holes in which treats can be stored for extra enticement.

Planet Dog bones and sports toys also come in various sizes, colors and textures, providing options for every kind of dog throughout their lives.

P.L.A.Y‘s Wobble Ball 2.0 uses the motivating power of food to keep adult dogs engaged and active. Uniquely shaped to roll around unpredictably and coupled with the sound and sight of dog treats spinning inside, the Wobble Ball 2.0 stimulates pets mentally and physically with hours of interactive fun and enrichment. They can be used to reward positive behavior with pets’ favorite treats or kibbles. It is available in three colors and is 100-percent dishwasher safe.

The American Classic plush toy collection from P.L.A.Y comes in designs representing classic American foods, including a juicy burger, drumstick, hot dog, milkshake and a side of fries. They are machine washable with new sounds and fun, detachable components. The shapes make them just as fun for pet owners as for their pets.

For grown-up dogs with grown-up bites, ZippyPaws toys are made to last in homes even with the roughest play tendencies. Firehose Blasters are made with real firehose material, with high quality stitching and packed with three loud Blaster Squeakers. They are available in medium and large.

Available in two colors (red and green) and three sizes, ZippyPaws Z-Stitch Snakes have squeakers running through their bodies and crinkle paper tails to bolster dogs’ interest in playtime. The medium and large Snakes contain Blaster Squeakers, while the largest size, Colossal, features “ear-piercing” colossal squeakers. The toys feature the ZippyPaws signature ultra-tough stitching and four inner layers of nylon-mesh material for long-lasting play.

Dogs’ need for daily exercise also provides the opportunity for business with other pet service providers, as well as pet owners with large yards and room for doggie jungle gyms.

Gyms for Dogs is a manufacturer and installer of dog park products, with the mission of promoting health and wellness in the lives of pets and their owners. The company’s Bridge Climb continues Gyms for Dog’s line of natural dog park products, and is a versatile piece for any dog play area.

Eco-friendly and patent-pending, the Bridge Climb is made of 100 percent recycled plastic designed for dogs of any size. It combines features that enable dogs to climb, view and rest, and is ideal for indoor daycare, indoor and outdoor boarding facilities, public parks, multi-family projects and residential settings.

Brush the dog.Pristine, Squeaky Clean
Hygiene is just as important to a dog’s health as frequent exercise and a balanced, nutritious diet. In particular, the lack of dental hygiene is the root cause of the deterioration of bodily functions later in life.

By adulthood, many dogs (and cats) are afflicted with periodontal disease. According to the American Veterinary Dental College, it’s associated with microscopic changes in the heart, liver and kidneys. Thus, it’s safe to say that retailers would be doing right by their customers by informing them of the importance of dental hygiene and recommending effective products.

PetzLife Complete Oral Care is a dental hygiene system formulated to eliminate plaque, remove tartar, reverse gum disease and freshen breath immediately. The formula comes in spray or gel varieties, and is widely use and recommended by veterinarians, according to the company. No brushing is required with use, and the safety and natural ingredients are 100-percent guaranteed. The newest addition to the collection is a chew, creating a complete dental solution for pet owners.

Barkworthies Brushers combine the engagement of a dog chew with the health benefits of an oral care product. In addition to being pleasant tasting, the chews contain important minerals, including potassium, sodium, chloride, sodium bicarbonate and calcium oxides, which all strengthen tooth enamel. In step with market trends, Brushers are also harvested from a sustainable, renewable resource and are 100 percent natural. They are also additive, chemical and preservative free, according to the company.

New this year are Emerald Pet’s Fresh Smileezz All Natural Grain Free Dog Dental Chews. The formula contains real parsley, coconut oil, kelp, dill and mint to eliminate bacteria, which is often the root cause of bad breath. The chew’s firm texture, deep ridges and ride shape are designed to surround a dog’s entire tooth for deep cleaning and gum stimulation.

Tailored to each individual dog’s tooth size, Smileezz are available in mini, small, medium and large sizes, making them effective for breeds of all sizes. They are made in the USA, and have low caloric and fat content. Smileezz are free of grains, gluten and soy.

Whimzees, by Paragon Pet Products, are vegetarian, gluten free and easy to digest. Available for dogs in all sizes, from XXS to XL, Whimzees promote dental and oral health with their knobby shapes that support healthy blood flow to gums and teeth while removing harmful tartar and plaque.

Other hygiene products more firmly in the grooming category have also experienced a shift in consumer expectation. Following the current trend toward “natural” ingredients, many manufacturers have branded their shampoo and conditioning products as such.

CocoClean, for example, is a new line of grooming products by Isle of Dogs. It is human-grade and free of soap, parabens and sulfate. Made in the USA, the line consists of gentle recipes with matching fragrances to leave coats feelings clean, soft and sweet-smelling. Coconut oil, a central ingredient in the formula, is an all-natural and refreshing deodorizer.

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