BY E THAN D. MIZER
Chews and toys for birds and small mammals are must- have items for independent pet stores, retailers report- ed, as these items are necessary to help customers maintain the health and mental well-being of their pets. Keeping
a variety of stock on hand and catering to customers’ desires
is the best way for retailers to ensure sales and happy, repeat
Birds and small mammals generally have preferences for
certain materials that stimulate them and meet their needs,
and increasingly, customers are seeking out more natural
chews and toys to help keep pets happy, manufacturers
“We are seeing a lot of nature-based toys,” said John
Lance, owner of A&E Cage Co. in Burlington, N.J. “[Custom-
ers want] toys that are more wildlife-like. You want your bird
to feel like they are in their natural habitat.”
Chew toys serve a particularly important function for small
mammals, which need to chew to keep their teeth healthy.
For this reason, toy and chew products are strong repeat sales
items that drive traffic in pet stores, retailers reported.
“When [customers are buying] a small mammal, they’re an
easy add-on,” said Steven Bateman, owner of Steve’s Pet Shop
in Oakhurst, Calif. “If you mention the pet’s teeth need to be
ground down, you’re going to add a sale real quick.
“It’s a little bit harder for the birds,” Bateman added.
Still, bird owners have to provide chews and toys to ensure mental stimulation. This can be tricky, as birds have
varied individual preferences. So it’s best to offer a wide
variety of options so that customers can accommodate their
picky birds’ tastes.
“Customers’ birds educate them on what they want,” said
One bird may play with a toy, and another may just look at it.”
Omar’s offers products from Molly Bird Toys, Aronico
;ird Toys, ;et Terrific, ;ungle Toys ;aradise and Super ;ird