something for themselves to the cart. Eighty-three percent of millennial pet owners have purchased dog- or
cat-themed merchandise. The most popular pet-themed
products are calendars ( 43 percent), clothing, such as
T-shirts or hoodies ( 42 percent), cups or travel mugs ( 37
percent), door signs or welcome mats ( 33 percent), and
wall art such as paintings or posters ( 32 percent).
While millennials are more apt to purchase some-
thing for themselves while shopping for their pets,
those surveyed by Zulily did not feel like a trip to the
pet store provides enough additional education. Near-
ly two in three ( 63 percent) millennial pet owners be-
lieve they know more about cats and/or dogs than pet
store employees do.
Online retailers continue to find their niche in the
pet products market, and 77 percent of millennial pet
owners prefer to buy certain items online rather than at
a brick-and-mortar retailer, and top purchases include
toys ( 40 percent), accessories ( 32 percent) and pet food
( 31 percent).
When it comes to treats ( 23 percent), bedding ( 24
percent) and clothing ( 24 percent), millennials prefer to
shop for these items in person. There are some items this
demographic prefers to shop for in person at smaller,
locally owned pet shops; treats ( 59 percent) top the list,
followed by toys ( 58 percent), pet food ( 55 percent), ac-
cessories (e.g., collars) ( 39 percent) and grooming items
(e.g., brushes) ( 34 percent).
“Younger shoppers are quite discerning when it
comes to the products they consider good enough
for their pets,” said Nathan Richter, senior partner at
Wakefield Research, which conducted the research for
Zulily. “Whether it’s food or clothing and accessories,
their preferences differ depending on whether they are
shopping at large versus small retailers, or online versus
in person. This is not the generation that is looking for
one-stop-shop convenience, so retailers need to be sure
they have an optimal mix of high-quality and specialty
CONTINUED FROM PAGE 9
MICHIGAN PET SPECIALTY RETAILER
PLANS EXPANSION FOR 2018
Chow Hound Pet Supplies is expanding its operations in West Michigan. The retailer, founded in
1989 with a single store in Grand Rapids, Mich.,
will add three locations during the first half of
2018 and grow to 11 stores in the Grand Rapids
metro area, which includes Holland, Grand Ha-
ven and Kalamazoo.
Chow Hound kicked off 2018 by celebrating the opening of its new location
on Burton Street SE in Grand Rapids.
The store marks the latest iteration in
Chow Hound’s ongoing brand evolution, featuring an updated color scheme
and flooring, new layout and colorful
Like all Chow Hound stores, the
location offers a mix of premium pet
foods, supplies, expert advice and personal service, along with self-serve dog
wash rooms for walk-in service, and humane society cats and kittens, which are available
In February, Chow Hound made its first entry
into the Kalamazoo market with a store in Portage,
next to an existing Target location. By mid-2018, the
retailer will open another Grand Rapids location at
the busy Knapp’s Corner shopping center off the
city’s East Beltline.
HABRI AND NAVC LAUNCH HUMAN-ANIMAL
BOND VETERINARY CERTIFICATION
The Human Animal Bond Research Institute (HABRI) and
the North American Veterinary Community (NAVC) have
launched a new certification course for practicing veterinarians,
veterinary nurses and veterinary practice managers: Human
Animal Bond Certified.
Through a series of online modules assembled by experts
in the field of human-animal interaction science, veterinarians,
veterinary nurses and veterinary practice managers can now
develop a formal understanding of the research demonstrating
the health benefits of pet ownership and human-animal interaction, and learn how best to use that knowledge in the practice
of veterinary medicine.
“Human Animal Bond Certified will become the new gold
standard for veterinarians looking to engage their clients in a
meaningful and effective way,” said Tom Bohn, CEO of NAVC.
“Through an easy online interface that can be completed at an
individualized pace, the certification will support every aspect
of a veterinary practice, from better client dialogue and compli-
ance to improved financial performance.”
According to a recent HABRI survey of pet owners, veteri-
narians are a trusted resource for scientific information on the
human health benefits of pets, and veterinarians have an oppor-
tunity to further strengthen their relationships with pet owners.
“With 98 percent of pet parents considering their pets to be
important members of the family, becoming Human Animal
Bond Certified will give veterinarians the tools they need to
safeguard these relationships,” Bohn added.
To assemble the course material, HABRI and the NAVC
convened a group of highly qualified veterinarians, researchers
and academics. The American Veterinary Medical Association
(AVMA) was a key contributor, serving as a founding educational partner for the certification.
“NAVC is a great partner for HABRI, combining human-animal bond science with an unparalleled educational experience
for participants in the course,” said Steven Feldman, HABRI’s
executive director. “This certification will help veterinarians,
veterinary nurses and practice managers understand the science
of the human-animal bond, using that knowledge to strengthen client relationships, improve animal care and boost practice
Greg Keane, president and Chow Hound co-founder
(right) with store manager Julie Ledger