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January 4, 2019

I have long admired the music of David Bowie, and my respect for the man is even greater.

A legendary singer-songwriter and actor who was one of the most influential musicians of the 20th century, Bowie died from liver cancer in January 2016. It was in the early 1990s, during his “greatest hits” tour, that Bowie said, “I feel confident imposing change on myself. It’s a lot more fun progressing than looking back. That’s why I need to throw curve balls.”

The new year is always a time for fresh starts, which often involve good intentions and the sacrifice of something that is considered a “bad habit,” such as alcohol, sugar or some other item viewed as one of life’s little pleasures. While the notion of self-improvement is not a bad thing, I feel that we should add to our lives rather than focusing on subtracting something from it.

As part of our January fresh start, this issue includes a redesign of the Trends and Products section that enables us to spotlight examples of each topic. This month also features a cover story that explores pet humanization, which is the newest phase that has been driving the pet industry. Not a month goes by without another product entering the market on the basis of it born out of the concept that pets are touted as fur babies that we want to raise as we would our human children. As a result, the quality of today’s pet food, treats and accessories is at the highest level that it’s ever been.

On the marketing front, we bring you a special report that reveals how brands are taking advantage of celebrity endorsements to attract the attention of potential customers and get them on board with their product offerings. In a time when the competition in several pet categories has become extremely fierce, marketers are finding a hook that allows them to incorporate celebrities in their ad campaigns.

Meanwhile, Robert Likins of the Pet Industry Joint Advisory Council has written an illuminating piece on the need for the pet industry to respond to misinformation being spread to tarnish retailers and manufacturers. We also examine the beautiful chinchilla as January’s Pet of the Month, spotlight stimulating toys in our Focus On spread and show a glimpse of the National Dog Show presented by Purina on the Community page.

No matter how we present it, Pet Age continues to be the trusted source of pet product news and information. Bowie was considered a “musical chameleon” who didn’t believe in playing it safe. He supported reinvention as an acceptable part of growth. We should all follow the mindset of a brave music legend like Bowie.

Glenn A. Polyn

Editor

gpolyn@petage.com

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