BY KEITH LORIA
When it comes to dealing with the daily chore of picking up dog waste,
today’s pet owners seek products
that are stylish and functional,
as well as those that offer a more
sustainable way to deal with their
canine companions on walks.
That’s why there is a plethora
of new waste management products available for dogs, including
new designs in poops bags, poop
bag carriers, poop scoopers and
products to prevent or correct
urine burns on lawns.
George Bramble, co-founder
of Beco Pets in London, said the
company has invested a lot of
time and money in building the
sales of its degradable Beco poop
bag business, and growth in
sales has been 35 percent month
“Poop bags sales are up for
three reasons: Firstly, it is be-
coming a social taboo not to pick
up dog dirt after your pets,” he
said. “Secondly, supermarkets
and big-box stores have started
charging a levy for plastic bags,
which means people don’t have
loads of old shopping bags lying
around to use. Lastly, dog own-
ers are becoming much more
eco-conscious in their purchas-
The latest trends in dog waste
management products are porta-
bility, design and versatility, said
Tara Garland, project manager
for Earth Rated in Montreal.
“Convenience is also an ev-er-increasing factor with the
growing number of baby boomers jumping into the dog ownership lifestyle,” she said.
Listening to customer feedback has led the company to offer
a variety of formats and quantities in both scented and unscented poop bags, she said.
Clever displays can show how dog waste management products work, such as items that
prevent urine burn stains on the lawn.
OUTWARD HOUND’S Fun Fish Life Jacket features safety orange high-visibility
colors, reflective accents and adjustable side-release buckles. Adjustable straps
ensure a perfect fit; dual handles make it easy to grab a dog out of the water in an
emergency. Front float support; available in XS, SM, MD, LG and XL.
Pet owners today are looking for ways
to include their animals in every part of
their life, and ADVANTEK MARKETING’S
Advantek Select Pet Gazebo gives
them a way to do that. The product
offers an easy, safe and stylish way to
contain dogs in public or private, the
Let’s Talk Poop
It might not be the best part of owning a dog,
but poop pickup is an everyday necessity, and
savvy retailers should keep up with the latest
trends in dog waste management products.
Pets are unable to talk or complain
about their feelings, and owners are
looking for ways to ensure that pets
enjoy the best possible care, said Dr.
Asaf Dagan, chief veterinary scientist
for PetPace in Burlington, Mass.
Today’s product offerings
present a wide range of uses and
innovative solutions to provide
better pet care, from toys and
training to devices intended to help
keep pets healthy, fit and happy,
said Eliana Summer-Galai, director
of partnerships and community
for Tel Aviv, Israel-based Hachiko
However, apart from fencing
and training, the high-tech pet
product category is still very new,
said Curt McLay, pet product marketing manager for Binatone North
America, a Motorola official licensee,
in Carmel, Ind.
“Predictions regarding pet wearables show that we are on the verge
of massive growth,” Summer-Galai
said. “It’s estimated that by 2020,
30 to 40 percent of dogs in the U.S.
will be wearing a smart device; this
means almost 30 million dogs.”
While the category is poised for
expansion, Furry Face in Redlands,
Calif., does not currently offer these
products in-store, said Lorin Grow,
“My reasons for waiting are
price and technology related,” she
said. “As popularity for this cate-
gory increases, more and cheaper
options will follow.”
“The good news is, with the rise
of the Internet and social media, the
time required for this learning curve
to occur for new categories has de-
creased exponentially,” McLay added.
“The Internet of Things industry,
from smart devices to connected
homes, is in its infancy,” Summer-Galai said. “What we have now
will change and develop quickly
over the next few years. We can’t
wait to see what the future holds.”
As awareness continues to expand in
the high-tech sector, retailers remain
cautious. Lorin Grow, owner of Furry
Face in Redlands, Calif., said that she
first noticed these newer products
several years ago at SuperZoo.
“At this time, we don’t carry
anything like that, but that doesn’t
mean we won’t,” Grow said. “It’s been
a slow go for these types of products,
but they’re picking up in popularity.”
Demand at this time might be
“Tehachapi is a small rural town,
and practical things like healthful
food and treats are a higher spending priority for most people on a
budget,” said Susie Atherton, owner
of Canine Creek in Tehachapi, Calif.
The high-tech industry might
have some image and service issues
to address before these products can
take off, retailers reported.
“We don’t carry high-tech
products,” said Biff Picone, co-owner
of Natural Pawz, which has multiple
locations in Texas. “We’ve experienced
too many returns and companies that
won’t take the items back.”
Healthy Spot, which has
locations in Southern California, has
encountered some consumer inter-
est in high-tech products; however,
the retailer has not found them to
be high sellers.
“We have carried some high-tech
items, including early health detection
tools, mobile fitness trackers and
GPS,” said Andrew Kim, co-owner.
“They require a lot of education, and
due to price point, it is often not a high
Joseph Braha, CEO of PetKit and
Pet Life LLC in Edison, N.J., said that
retailers should not get discouraged.
“Retail store owners to store
managers of mom-and-pop [stores] to
retail chains may all face hurdles, and
my advice to such retailers is to train
and educate your staff to properly explain how such products may benefit
the consumer,” Braha said.
Education is crucial to marketing
high-tech products, according to
“People who are already using
technology in other parts of their
life will not have a problem taking
to pet tech,” said Peter Ostapowicz,
marketing coordinator for The
OurPet’s Co. in Fairport Harbor, Ohio.
“Since millennials grew up in a world
of smartphones and apps, there will
be less of a learning curve.
“The key is to increase the com-
munication on how to properly use this
technology,” Ostapowicz added.
Dynamic content on retailer
websites is an important educa-
tional component, said Curt McLay,
pet product marketing manager for
Binatone North America, an official
licensee of Motorola, in Carmel, Ind.
It’s important for retailers to display
a relevant web address, which will
allow consumers to access information
from their phone, McLay added.
Knowledgeable employees can
relate their own experiences and
understanding of how these products
are beneficial, said Dr. Asaf Dagan,
chief veterinary scientist for PetPace in
“The more knowledge pet retailers
have about the products’ features and
benefits means more information is
passed onto the customer to justify the
higher price point,” Ostapowicz said.
Ostapowicz also recommends
that retailers integrate high-tech
products into marketing and
promotions by cross-promoting
tech products while promoting the
category that the tech products
“Product videos or demos that
consumers can watch will also go a
long way to helping with consumer education,” said Nicholas A.
Monaco, senior product manager of
for Panasonic Corp. of North America in Newark, N.J.