Trend in pet products goes from glitzy to green

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It’s the twenty first Century and pets are all the rage, in fact, some say that dogs are the new humans! Everything from diamond encrusted collars to $500-an-ounce cologne is available for your favorite Fido! But according to experts these days the industry is moving from glitzy to green and all natural.

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“Spring 2008 is nearly upon us, and there are some notable merchandising trends among pet boutiques,” says Bo Nelson owner of WholesalePet.com. “We’ve seen an increasing demand for all-natural, American made, and earth-friendly products.” Nelson maintains that the 2007 pet food/treat recall has inspired buyers to look for products that are safer, higher in quality and friendlier towards the environment.

Camilla Vitale, a pet industry consultant in the Bay Area agrees. “I promote organic treats like Robbie Dawg, natural spa products and bio degradable poop bags like Doggie Walk Bags. Keep your eyes open for materials made with non-toxic inks and organic fabrics or products made with natural fibers like bamboo or the more commonly known hemp collars like those from Earth Dog,” she added

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 “My hot item this year,” Vitale says, “are the Sublimation t-shirts by Kelly Michael. They feature, bright well-defined colors, the artwork is a digital heat transfer, the process uses no ink that can leave behind toxic residue.”

Nelson from Wholesalepet.com said that he is noticing a trend of getting “back to basics”. “Bling collars, pink outfits and faux fur accessories which were very popular at the start of the decade are giving way to classic designs, the use of higher quality materials, and an increased desire for functionality in products.”

“In 2008 it’s no longer about the novelty of having really cool products for pets,” says Lorna Paxton, owner of happytails Canine Spa Line. “Dog owners used to be amazed that there were such cute clothes available for dogs, or such great-smelling shampoos. Now it’s what people expect.”  She adds that in order for products to sell they have to be visually appealing, they have to actually do what they claim to do, and it helps if they perform more than one function. “They have to solve a problem,” she adds.

One new product out this season is InFuzion a combined shampoo and conditioner that boasts 14 amino acids and micro-beads which deliver nutrients directly to the follicle.  “This is a perfect example of a product that is very eye-catching and has multiple benefits,” Paxton says. 

“This year people are traveling with their pets,” says Leslie Houtkooper owner of Puplife.com, one of the industries fastest-growing websites.  She notes that travel-friendly products are hot sellers this spring. “Items like Soggy Paws Dog Towels, Dry Dog Instant Clean, a spray-on bath-replacement and the Backseat Barrier make traveling with your pooch more enjoyable,” she commented.

Another product that Houtkooper recommends, is Sleepytime Tonic. “This is a must have for travelers. It’s an all natural herbal Elixir that not only helps to calm a nervous dog, but can also help prevent car sickness!” So even if it is time to take off the fur and put on the hemp, there’s still plenty of ways to pamper your four-legged companion, not only can you look simply marvelous but you can also help save the planet!

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Top Trends

  • all-natural, earth-friendly or organic
  • American made
  • Products that are multi-functional (multi-purpose)
  • travel-friendly pet products

Products Resource Guide

  • Robbie Dawg– all natural treats- robbiedawg.com
  • InFuzion Shampoo & Conditioner  happytailsspa.com
  • Hemp collars from Earth Dog   earthdog.com
  • Bio degradable poop bags like Doggie Walk Bags doggiewalkbags.com
  • Sublimation t-shirts by Kelly Michael
  • Soggy Paws Dog Towels from Farfetched  farfetchedinc.com
  • Dry Dog Instant Clean, a spray-on bath-replacement  happytailsspa.com
  • Backseat Barrier   puplife.com
  • Sleepytime Tonic helps calm nervous dogs   happytailsspa.com

Bo Nelson is the owner and president of WholesalePet.com which is the leading business-to-business marketplace for the pet industry. In business since 2001, WholesalePet.com represents over 175 suppliers of quality, upscale pet products and supports a community of over 10,000 pet product retailers. Visit wholesalepet.com PupLife.com, located in southwest

Michigan, was founded in 2003 by husband and wife team Eric and Leslie Houtkooper. PupLife.com is one of the fastest growing online stores featuring the best selection of healthy products for dogs.” Visit puplife.com

 Based in Sausalito, California, Blue Rocket Sales is owned and operated by retail veteran Camilla Vitale.  Her extensive experience in marketing, manufacturing, and apparel design can help take any pet industry business to the next level. Visit bluerocketsales.com or call 415.382.3320 Lorna Paxton is owner of happytails Canine Spa Line which uses the finest (“better than human quality”) ingredients available to pamper, soothe and beautify today’s harried hound.  The products can be ordered through the company website at HappytailsSpa.com or by calling 1-866-HAPPY-20. 

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