ASSESSING THE OPTIONS
With so many different flea and tick products on the market, it is not uncommon for customers
to have questions. This poses an opportunity for retailers to shine.
Bethany Lontz, store manager of The Blue Dog Pet Shop in Lemoyne, Pa., said that most of
the direction customers need is regarding which product is best for them. In most cases, they
already have their minds made up about what type of product they prefer, in terms of natural
versus conventional, but they still need some guidance as to which product or brand to use.
Stephanie Volo, vice president of marketing and sustainability at Earth Animal in Southport,
Conn., said that these opportunities to educate begin with a common customer question: “What
do you have for flea and tick prevention or protection?”
“We feel that it’s up to us, the manufacturer, to help the retailer go on to answer customer
questions and also ask more questions to be able to engage in a truly helpful conversation,”
Volo said. “For us, a big question that retailers need to be able to answer is how to guide a
customer who wants to switch from a chemical product that kills fleas and ticks to a natural
product that prevents them in the first place.”
Mason Williams, pet specialty category and shopper marketing manager for Bayer Animal
Health in Shawnee, Kan., said that retailers hold a valuable role when it comes to guiding pet
“Store associates can make a big difference in helping pet owners understand the
importance of flea and tick prevention,” Williams said. “Bayer Animal Health is supporting
associate training through our partnership with [ExpertVoice, formerly known as] Experticity.
We have also invested in providing information about our brands and the flea and tick category
in general to help build associates’ confidence to proactively engage shoppers with product
While viewpoints might differ when it comes to determining which product is best, there is
no doubt that the end goal is the same for all pet owners seeking flea and tick control.
“Pet parents just want the best for their pets,” Lontz said. “It can often be challenging to
know what that is when it’s a category with varying opinions. But both sides are just trying
to do what’s best for their pet, which is protect them from dangerous fleas and ticks with the
product that is best for them. We believe the best thing that we can do is give our customers
DRAWING ATTENTION TO FLEA AND TICK CONTROL
Flea and tick control is one of those categories that most pet
owners already know is important. Even so, it is still essential
for retailers to give proper space to the category. For one,
many times pet owners forget that they can seek out these
products at their independent pet supply retailer as opposed
to their veterinarian’s office.
Jan Hopper, owner of Living Pawsitively in Lafayette
Township, N.J., said that the store carries options that the
veterinarian’s office might not even offer, such as collars and
While most retailers seemed to agree that there were
limited ways to get creative with displays, they all said that
prominent placement of product is a key to cluing customers
in to what products are available.
Stephanie Volo, vice president of marketing and
sustainability at Earth Animal in Southport, Conn., said that
the company provides free displays that will help draw
customers’ attention to its products. It is important for pet
owners to be able to see what their choices are, and displays
can make that possible, she noted.
Mason Williams, pet specialty category and shopper
marketing manager for Bayer Animal Health in Shawnee,
Kan., said that Bayer has made a concerted effort to ensure
that its merchandise and product packaging more clearly
articulate the differences between Bayer’s brands so that
customers can understand their choices.
“If shoppers aren’t clear about what makes products
different, they may choose a product that doesn’t solve their
problem or is just the least expensive on the shelf,” he said.
“If that product doesn’t end up meeting their needs, the
retailer risks the shopper going somewhere else to solve
Retailers can provide a comprehensive selection of flea and tick
control products and help consumers choose which products
are best for their preferences and situation.
32 DEGREES presents the Diamond
Quilted Down Vest. Dogs can be warm and
stylish all winter long with the reversible
vest. The Velcro closure makes getting this
vest on and off a breeze. It comes in small
( 10 in. to 12 in.), medium ( 14 in. to 16 in.),
large ( 18 in. to 20 in.) and extra large
( 22 in. to 24 in.).
BAYDOG’S Saranac Pack is a padded,
ergonomic harness with detachable
saddlebags for superior fit and
maximum utility. It features rear leash
attachment and has a padded handle
for ultimate support and control on difficult
terrain. It is made with durable materials
and features external tactical loops, multiple
stash pockets and a waste bag dispenser.
Reflective stitching and piping are designed
for low-light visibility. Six adjustment points
make for a perfect fit that eliminates chafing
and maximizes saddlebag balance. The pack
is available in blue, black and red.
BEVERLY HILLS DOG
presents the Sock Monkey Sweater. The hooded
sweater is perfect for the
dog going incognito. This
multicolored yarn sweater is highly detailed, with
six custom patches and
appliqués, as well as two
EZYDOG’S purple Soft Trainer Leash and purple Soft Trainer Lite Leash bring one of the company’s most popular color
choices to its long-standing line of ultra-comfortable training leads. The Soft Trainer Leash is made from EzyDog’s Soft
Touch Nylon, a proprietary blend of webbing that’s both durable and soft and features reflective stitching. It features thick
padded neoprene handles. A secondary handle is included at the end of the leash to keep dogs close when necessary. The
standard Soft Trainer Leash is 6 ft. in length with a thickness of 1 in., and the Soft Trainer Lite leash is also 6 ft. but with a
Chewing warriors will meet
their match with the PetSafe
Squeak N’ Treat Ninja Star,
from RADIO SYSTEMS CORP.
This extremely durable toy
combines the fun of an inner
squeaker with the challenge
of two treat dispensers. Treat
Meter prongs randomly distribute treats for longer playtime.
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