BY HILARY DANINHIRSCH
As spring gives way to summer and pet owners take to the out- doors, consumer demand for first-aid solutions and a wide range of summer safety products will rise. Pet specialty retailers will want to be prepared with an appropriate assortment to meet
this seasonal demand, reported industry participants.
According to Courtney Mack, marketing communications specialist for Innovacyn, the Rialto, Calif.-based maker of Vetericyn
brand products, the warm-weather months usually bring with them
an uptick in nicks and cuts, hot spots, and other skin-related pet
“During the summer, pet owners and their pets are the most
active,” she said. “Animals are outdoors, traveling and enjoying the
weather. All the activity can increase the likeliness for animals to be
injured or have skin issues.”
Fortunately, minor injuries and skin irritations don’t need to ruin
an otherwise fun day, as manufacturers offer solutions for address-
ing such conditions.
“Pet owners are becoming more aware about what they can
treat at home and what they need to see a veterinarian for,” Mack
said. “Pet health care products do not replace the need of a family
veterinarian but work together for the increased health care of the
Products that both kill germs and soothe and cool itchy, irritated
skin are expected to be in demand. In response to customers’ needs,
the latest modification to Vetericyn’s existing products has been the
added indication of “antimicrobial” to the labels.
“All of our Vetericyn Plus gel formulations are now antimicro-
bial and help relieve itch and pain associated with skin irritations,”
Mack said. “We believe this will have a big impact for our customers
who notice itchy and painful skin on their pets.”
Meanwhile, for minor injuries, MiracleCorp, based in Dayton,
Ohio, offers a line designed for on-the-spot control of minor bleed-
ing. Kwik Stop Styptic Gel Swabs are each a single-use swab filled
with the Original Kwik Stop Gel. Kwik Tips styptic-filled nail caps
come with an easy applicator for at-home use.
“The nail caps stay on the nail, containing the blood and allowing the quick to heal while benzocaine eases discomfort,” said Lori
Fouts, vice president of sales management for the company. “
Value packs for the professional veterinarian and groomer markets are
also available. They are both great [for] first aid kits, travel, hunting,
dog shows and performance events, service dogs, groomers, veterinarians and everyday use.”
While rising temperatures and abundant sunlight can be refreshing after a long winter, these conditions do require that pet owners
take precautions. With this in mind, Clackamas, Ore.-based Gold
Paw Series created the Sun Shield Tee, made of a UPF50 lightweight
stretch jersey that is comfortable in warm weather.
“What a lot of people are surprised to learn about the Sun Shield
Tee is that the light colors of the tees help mitigate heat absorption
from the sun, which can be especially nice for dogs with darker
coats,” said president Rebecca Gadd.
Keeping pets cool and safe are top priorities, particularly for outdoorsy pet owners, and demand for products that accomplish this
goal is driving innovation in the category.
It is a myth that dogs can’t drown, noted Diana Salerno, managing partner of Hedz Up Pets in Houston. Thus, water safety products are on the rise, she said.
Bend, Ore.-based Ruffwear plans to launch several new products
this summer that feature the company’s Swamp Cooler technology
to help keep dogs cool. The original Swamp Cooler will now feature
a leash portal on the back of the vest for connecting to Ruffwear’s
Web Master and Front Range Harnesses when worn underneath
In addition, said Susan Strible, director of marketing, the company will introduce a Jet Stream light-and-fast cooling vest that
features a Spandex panel on top, a zippered closure for a high-per-formance fit and a cooling panel on the bottom to keep pets cool
during high-intensity activities such as trail running.
“Our Core Cooler is an add-on product that connects to select
Ruffwear packs and harnesses to also keep dogs’ chests and bellies
cool while hiking,” Strible added.
The company also has updated its Float Coat life jacket in three
vibrant new colors.
In the southern states of the U.S., sun protection is a must year-round. At The Doggie Bag in Lakeland, Fla., owner Heather Moran
has success with an Aroma Paws product that is a coat conditioner
and sunscreen all in one. She also likes Buzz 4 Bugs.
“It’s a cedar oil product safe for dogs, puppies, humans and
cats—most are not safe for cats. Buzz not only repels bugs, it also
kills bugs,” she said.
At TailsSpin Pet Food & Accessories, which is a Bentley’s Pet
Stuff company and has stores in Georgia, the stores work to help
promote local manufacturers such as No Natz and the Savannah
Bee Co.’s Doggie and Me Balm and Hipster Hound. Co-owner Jeffrey Allen Manley said that Savannah’s warmer climate promotes
year-round consumer interest in safety vests and raincoats as well
as in flea and tick medications.
Out for Summer
In the coming months, pet owners will be seeking products to keep
pets cool and safe all summer long. Retailers and manufacturers weigh
in on the latest trends in first-aid and summer-safety items.
Catch consumers’ attention with POP displays
filled with products for outdoor activities.
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