It never fails. During my conversations with people in the pet industry—be it a retailer, distributor or manufacturer—at some point the question “So do you have any pets?” always pops up. That’s when the cell phones come out, smiles appear and the discussion gets lively.
Whether they enter our life via a breeder, shelter, family member or just through a door at our home or workplace, we are all happy to talk about our pets. And I encourage you to contact me at the email address below to share a photo or story about your pet and why they’re so special to you—it just might appear in a future issue of Pet Age.
It’s that relationship between pet and owner that drives our industry, inspiring consumers to purchase products ranging from organic foods and treats to a handmade leather collar or a jogger pet stroller. I was able to meet dozens of pets, face to furry face, at NYC Re-tails and Sales last month in New York City. Not only were plenty of pet influencers on hand, but several vendors—C’MiMi and the Puppy Hugger, I fondly recall— brought their own dogs to the trade show.
In this month’s issue, Colleen M. Murphy gives us an in-depth look at how a rising number of consumers are going “natural” with their pets, and the industry’s response to this is evident by the increase in the natural exhibitors at both Global Pet Expo and SuperZoo. In addition, Sandy Robins reports on how something as basic as a food or water bowl can be a bonding experience for a dog and its owner, while Andy Black offers his insights on the need for retailers to focus less on stocking cheap inventory when customers are willing to pay more for high quality products.
Of course, that’s just the beginning of our coverage in this month’s issue. Guest columnist Chris L. Middleton weighs in on the value of providing pet insurance to attract and retain talented employees, John Mack recommends retailers stock up on live feeder foods and Erik J. Martin explores urban poultry, which has seen rapid growth in recent years. There’s plenty more, but I’ve run out of room here, so turn the page and enjoy!
Glenn A. Polyn