BY KEITH LORIA
Pet owners want to take their dogs everywhere with them—on trains, planes, boats, cabs and even to
brunch. Amtrak recently approved pets
to travel on certain routes, and many airlines are becoming more lax with their
pet policies. JetBlue even offers dogs their
own air miles.
It’s no wonder, then, that manufacturers have seen an increase in interest for
travel products for dogs, and it is a category that has been growing for years.
“They are going for function and fash-
ion combined—why settle for anything
less?” said Dana Humphrey, a spokes-
person for A Pet With Paws in New York.
“Dog owners are looking for breathable
fabrics, chic designs, special pockets and
extra padding for comfort. They also want
to be as incognito as possible. I find that
pet owners are also caring more about the
environment and looking for eco-friendly
items that give back; they are environmen-
tally friendly and socially responsible.”
Chris Stahl, operations support manag-
er for Wag N’ Wash Natural Food & Bak-
ery, a chain of retail and grooming stores,
said there’s been an in;ux of buyers for
travel products such as car booster seats
for dogs and air travel-approved kennels.
A big trend of late is people bringing
their pets to work, so many manufacturers are creating travel products with this
customer segment in mind.
“As work spaces become more relaxed, we’ve noticed more of our customers are taking their pets to work, so we
are making sure our pet travel products
are work-friendly,” said Michael Leung,
co-founder and lead product designer
for Sleepypod, based in Pasadena, Calif.
“Multifunctional products help to address
the work-friendly pet products trend.
For example, the
Pet Bed and the
Sleepypod Air carrier
are designed to trans-
port pets then become
pet beds at the desti-
nation away from
Chris Castellani, marketing manag-
er for Muttropolis, which has locations
in Southern California, said the stores’
customers are particularly concerned
about car safety for their dogs.
“Not only are dogs joining them
on road trips, but also in their day-to-day
travel, so keeping their pups safe and
contained is important to them,” Castellani said.
Millennials and the next generations
have a unique attitude and view the world
differently than baby boomers, said Bruce
J. Flantzer, North American director of
sales and marketing for Moderna Products, which has U.S. headquarters in Gaffney, S.C.
“They want to take their pet along as
much as they can because it is their constant companion and gives them comfort
and a sense of belonging and stabilization,” he said.
He noted that ease of use is crucial for
pet owners shopping for travel products.
Have Dog, Will Travel
With more pet owners taking their pets on the road with them, from vacations
to the store to Sunday brunch, retailers are benefitting from having comprehensive
travel accessories sections.
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