CONSUMER EDUCATION IN
FLEA AND TICK PRODUCTS
The range of flea and tick products available to treat an infestation can seem daunting to
a pet owner facing a problem with the pests.
“We found that shoppers often get confused with the assortment and options at the
shelf,” said Jeriel Chua, senior brand manager for Advantage, a brand of Bayer HealthCare
in Whippany, N.J.
That’s where customer education becomes an important selling tool. The No. 1 recommendation manufacturers and retailers gave when it comes to education about flea
and tick treatments for the home? Help pet owners learn to read the labels on all flea and
tick products, no matter what their intended use.
“First and foremost, it is critical that consumers read the labels to determine the level
of safety,” said Stephanie Boone, CEO of Wondercide Natural Products in Austin, Texas,
noting that staff education is equally important. “When employees understand how fleas
breed and live—and how to truly eradicate and prevent them—they can effectively help
their customers live healthier and happier lives.”
Well-educated store associates can pass along valuable information to customers
and help them make purchasing decisions that will effectively treat the flea or tick infes-
tation in their homes while keeping their pets safe, retailers noted.
“We always try to ask questions about what our customers are looking for in a flea
and tick product before we recommend one,” said Jamie Kreines, manager of Jameson
Loves Danger in Chicago. “It is important to understand what exactly each product will
help to kill and prevent. Some products do not repel insects—they just kill the eggs or
Employees at Cherrybrook Premium Pet Supplies also take time to thoroughly explain
the features of flea and tick treatments for the home so the customer knows how to use
the remedy before they leave the store.
“It’s important to know how to properly use the products,” said Caitlin Sullivan, marketing manager for the chain of stores in New Jersey.
FLEA AND TICK DISPLAY
At Cherrybrook Premium Pet Supplies, employees stock higher-end
flea and tick control products at the front of the store in a high-vis-ibility area. The location allows employees to discuss the products
with customers who might not have come in specifically for flea
and tick remedies, said Caitlin Sullivan, marketing manager for the
New Jersey chain of stores.
“Our more-expensive flea and tick products are kept in a glass
case at the register area,” Sullivan said. “This prevents theft and
also enables our employees to instruct customers on how to use
Manufacturers recommend using the cash wrap area to display
the latest in flea and tick products as well as small, one-use sizes
of home treatments.
“An innovative way to merchandise flea and tick home treat-
ment products is by keeping a basket of samples by the register to
spur conversation with customers,” said Stephanie Boone, CEO of
Wondercide Natural Products in Austin, Texas. “Offering samples is
a low-cost way to drive new retail business from customers who
buy topicals from their vets.”
The samples might send customers back down the aisles to
pick up the latest products to treat the home. To that end, manu-
facturers emphasized the importance of eye-catching displays that
include a range of home treatment products as well as those to
treat the pet and the yard.
“Retailers can grow their category by ensuring they are offering
home treatment products with a variety of delivery methods,” said
Kevin Metz, brand director for Vet’s Best, a brand of RPG Innovations
in Dallas. “They should also ensure they have adequate representa-
tion of both traditional and natural-based solutions.”
The shelves at Cherrybrook Premium Pet Supplies stores in New Jersey contain a range
of flea and tick control products to treat the home: sprays, foggers, powders—even
diatomaceous earth. Caitlin Sullivan, marketing manager, said Cherrybrook’s customers
want products that will cover a large area yet keep pets and children safe.
Knowing the differences among these types of products allows store associates to
help customers find the appropriate treatments for their particular situation. Kevin Metz,
brand director for Vet’s Best, a brand of RPG Innovations in Dallas, summarized some of
the features of each type of product.
“Trigger sprayers … can often be used directly on pets,” he said, noting that contin-
uous sprayers might be less likely to startle a sensitive pet when used to treat both the
animal and the home. “Carpet powders and indoor foggers are designed to clear a room
of fleas and ticks … for those times when an infestation has gotten out of control.”
Still another option for pet owners is flea and tick wipes, which “offer a more-target-
ed home application that also works great on pets,” Metz said.
He recommended that stores stock a range of these types of products to “appeal to
the widest consumer audience.”
HOME SPRAYS, WIPES,
POWDERS AND MORE
MAGUIRE INNOVATIONS’ Portion
Paw for dogs and cats clips to the pet
food bag and has three sizes in one:
one-third cup, one-half cup and one
cup. The product makes it easy for
pet owners to quickly scoop out the
correct portion of food for their pet and
features a paw print design.
P.L.A. Y. (PET LIFESTYLE AND YOU) offers its Scout and
About Outdoor Collection. The line features outdoor
and travel-friendly products for active humans and dogs.
Training Treat Pouches, available in two sizes, include
multiple attachment options and, on the deluxe model, a
rear pocket for a wallet or keys, a poop bag dispenser and a
built-in squeaker. Travel Bowls fold flat and hook effortlessly
to belongings. Tug and Barbell Rope Toys provide interactive
pulling and tugging, while the Flying Disc and Toss
& Float Toys can be thrown easily through the air for
fetch on land or sea. The Outdoor Tent has a compact,
packable pop-up design and features a water-resistant
fabric and mesh sides for ventilation and visibility.
The collection offers two choices of weatherproof,
OCEANS WEST’S Woofaloo Dog Toilet, developed to match dogs’ natural behavior to pee on
or near trees, is designed to suit busy lifestyles.
The toilet is functional yet attractive and takes
just minutes to clean.
WELLNESSMATS presents Wellness PetMats. The mats offer therapeutic comfort
and support and are available in various shapes, sizes and colors. The antimicrobial,
low-profile mats evenly distribute weight
for better joint and orthopedic support, are
perfect for aging dogs and for those with
painful conditions such as arthritis and hip
dysplasia, contour to the bone to prevent
pressure sores and have a cushioned but
firm surface for sure footing to aid the pet in
getting up and down. The mats have a beveled edge to prevent chewing and tripping.
HEADS UP FOR TAILS’ easy wear
fun and color to
a dog’s day. They
come in a variety
of sizes and
colors, and sport
phrases such as
“Cuddle me not,
feed me lot!” and