Get Out and Play
Demand for pet products that promote inclusion in everything from
outdoor family activities to everyday errands is on the rise.
May 2018 Pet Product News International
BY LIZE TT BOND
Whether they are window-shopping at the mall, hiking in the park, lounging at he coffee shop or checking in to a pet-friendly hotel, owners find that their pets are increasingly welcome in public areas. In turn, this new four-legged
access is increasing demand for products that impart comfort and convenience in
“The pet parents that we work with are always looking for ways to get their dogs
comfortably out of the house,” said Joseph Watson, CEO of K9 Sport Sack in Provo,
Utah. “This might include pet shoes to eliminate burned or frozen feet, jackets so the
Chihuahua stops shivering or an inflatable bed to lay down when the hike pauses.”
On-the-go pet lovers appreciate dog gear that performs seamlessly in the outdoor
environment, contains nothing superfluous, and combines durability, quality, function-
ality and innovation, said Susan Strible, director of marketing for Ruffwear in Bend, Ore.
At Pets Naturally in Traverse City, Mich., manager Andrea Margelis noted a wide array of outdoor products in the store’s mix, from fleeces to long-sleeved outdoor overalls.
Margelis said that her area boasts hundreds of miles of hiking trails, so items such
as backpacks, jackets and booties are popular. In addition, it is surrounded by water, so
the store carries life jackets for dogs.
Paw protection is important in colder climes, and creams and salves are sought after
at The Big Bad Woof in Washington, D.C., said co-owner Julie Paez.
“We’ve seen an increase in demand for barrier wax, like Musher’s Secret by
Treadwell,” Paez said.
Icy weather also brings about rock salt treatment in some areas, creating consumer
demand for booties.
“Pawz boots do well because they are at a good price point,” Paez said. “Customers
wanting something more substantial will swing over to the Ultra Paws.”
The market for coats is brisk at The Big Bad Woof.
“Chilly Dog Sweaters just came out with a really great blanket coat that flies out the
door,” Paez said.
When she is considering an addition to the product mix, Paez said she prioritizes
locally manufactured items. Environmentally sensitive products also receive first nod.
At The Yuppy Puppy in Spokane, Wash., owner Aquila Brown said portable water
bottles and travel bowls are strong sellers.
“Spokane is an outdoor area, and our most popular handheld waterers are Water On-the-Go by Dog is Good, which has a ball bearing to control water flow, and Highwave’s
AutoDogMug, which, when squeezed, fills the water bowl,” Brown said.
Seasonally, tents, lifejackets, backpacks and booties also are on hand, Brown said.
With more pets venturing into public settings with their family members, training
has become a priority.
“A well-trained pet is part of being a responsible pet owner,” said Ann Greenberg,
founder of A Pet with Paws in New York.
For this reason, pet owners and trainers are seeking products and tools to make
training a more pleasurable experience, she said.
On-the-go pet lovers appreciate dog gear that performs seamlessly in the outdoor environment.
—Susan Strible of Ruffwear
People who take their dogs with them
on outdoor adventures want their
pets to be safe and comfortable.