BY STACY N. HACKETT
For many pet owners, the holiday season of October through December gives
them another reason to spoil
their pets with items that go
beyond the basics. From holiday-themed toys and collars to
specially packaged treats and
chews, pet owners can’t seem to
resist picking up an extra item
or two to tuck into their pets’
But holiday shopping isn’t
limited to the winter months.
Customers at Healthy Pet Products, which has two stores in the
Pittsburgh area, recently began
asking owner Toni Shelaske if
she could stock products for other
holidays as well.
“It used to just be Hanukkah,
Christmas and Halloween, but
now consumers are seeking out
Easter, Thanksgiving and even
St. Patrick’s Day [products],” she
Luckily for Shelaske’s customers, manufacturers offer a range
of products to make holiday gift
giving easy. Consumers can find
holiday-themed items for pets
and their pet-owning loved ones
in a range of categories, styles and
The Village Pets & Supplies
stores in California start celebrating the holidays in October with
a Halloween party for customers and their dogs. Owner Leila
Dada encourages her employees
to wear costumes, and any dogs
that wear costumes to the store
the weekend of the celebration
receive a goody bag.
“[It’s] like trick-or-treat for
pets,” Dada said.
The festive atmosphere contin-
ues throughout the holiday sea-
son. Dada offers premade stock-
ings stuffed with items for cats
or dogs and sells a range of hol-
iday-themed products including
red and green toy mice for cats,
toys for dogs, dreidel-shaped
squeaker toys, and blue and
white bandannas with gold bells.
Mike Dagne, president and
COO of Pet Palette LLC in Sykesville, Md., said many customers
enjoy shopping for these types of
items year after year.
“Most consumers will not
keep pet toys or neckwear from
season to season so they will
come in for fresh products,” he
said. “They might be asking for
their favorite products from last
year, or they might want to try
something new and fresh. Consumers will buy across category
segments, purchasing toys, treats,
gifts, neckwear, etc., so a retailer
will want to be ready for this
Focus on the Festive
Holiday-themed products for pets and gift items for pet
owners remain popular with celebrating customers.
At Dog Day Afternoon in Belleville, Ill., owner
Cathy Dervalis has created a unique and beautiful display that immediately draws attention to
the jewelry she sells as gifts in her store.
Gift items for pets and people alike certainly become more popular during the holidays,
but owners can capitalize on the products’
appeal by drawing customers in for a closer
look, said Myra Westphal, owner of Dazzling
Paws Jewelry in Plover, Wis.
To help retailers catch customers’ eyes,
West Paw Design of Bozeman, Mont., creates
holiday planograms, said owner and president Spencer Williams.
“West Paw Design has an on-staff merchandising expert who creates merchan-
dising tips,” he said. “We also have a Pinterest page with merchandising tips that we
constantly update with fun and easy merchandising tips and tricks.”
For Shelly Dillingham, owner of Pet Stop in Murrieta, Calif., decorating the store
for the holidays is an important part of drawing customers in and boosting sales.
Though she hasn’t brought in many products specifically for the holidays in recent
years, she makes an effort to create a festive atmosphere and highlights certain
categories of products for gift giving.
“We string lights throughout the store and put bows on small items that would
tuck nicely into stockings,” Dillingham said.
Mike Dagne, president and COO of Sykesville, Md.-based Pet Palette LLC, agreed
with Dillingham’s festive approach.
“[Retailers] need to set a scene to show gift giving, outdoor play, gifts under
a tree and stockings on the mantle to get the consumers thinking,” he said. “Be
creative and have fun with it!”