BY SANDY CHEBAT
Pet owners, in general, are much more ducated about their furry family mem- bers, and increasingly concerned with
making sure the products they purchase are
safe and a good fit for their critters. Participants in the small animal category report
seeing a strong trend toward natural and recycled beddings.
“Consumers recognize that bedding is a
big part of their pet’s day, and many of them
want to ensure that the product their pet interacts with is safe and additive free,” said Lucas
Stock, communications manager for Oxbow
Animal Health in Murdock, Neb.
At Martin’s PawMart in Elkhart, Ind.,
manager Cindy Krizmanich said she has seen
an increase in recycled paper bedding.
“The trend is coming from the upcoming
generation practicing sustainability,” she said.
“They like the idea about it being used again. “
Phoebe Stanley, associate marketing man-
ager, specialty pet, for Vitakraft Sun Seed Inc.
in Bowling Green, Ohio, agreed that “there’s
a continually growing preference for envi-
ronmentally friendly products, like bedding
made with recyclable materials, as we all be-
come more conscious of our impact on the
planet and its ecosystems.”
In addition to small animal pet owners
“educating themselves on the potential dan-
gers of certain additives,” Stanley said they
also want recognizable ingredients and even
“Pet parents don’t want packages of bedding, treats, diets, etc., without a zipper because it helps protect freshness and prevent
mess,” she added.
Customers at Nature’s Pet Salem in Salem, Ore., look for comfort, odor absorption
and, of course, a good price, said manager
Angie Schmitt, senior brand manager for
Chilton, Wis.-based Kaytee Products Inc., a
part of Central Garden & Pet Co., has seen
similar consumer demand.
“We are seeing increases in paper bedding
driven by the need for a product that features
better attributes in terms of safety, absorbency and odor control,” she said. “Odor control
continues to be one of the primary barriers to
owning a pet for consumers.
“By reducing this barrier to owning a small
Odor Control and Safety
animal, we can bring more consumers in to
The bottom line, according to Stanley, is
that “today’s busy pet parents want a bedding
that can control odors well, has good absorp-
tion to keep pets clean, and lasts longer be-
tween changings so they can spend less time
cleaning out an unpleasant cage and more
time bonding with their companion.”
Are Top Concerns
Industry insiders report that small animal owners want safe, additive-free bedding that
effectively absorbs odors.
Making the right bedding
choice is becoming increasingly
important to pet owners.
NEW BEDDINGS CAPTURE TRENDS
Small animal owners are increasingly aware of their
pets’ comfort and safety, so demand for natural bedding
that protects pets and the environment is high. In
response, manufacturers have released bedding options
focused on absorbing odors using natural materials.
Oxbow Animal Health in Murdock, Neb., constructed its Pure Comfort line of natural paper bedding
products of 100 percent pure, never-printed paper.
“By using a never-printed paper source, we are
able to ensure the absence of any glues, inks or other
materials commonly used in the printing process,” said
Lucas Stock, communications manager. “Pure Comfort
is routinely purity tested for any foreign materials to
In addition to the company’s commitment to
natural materials and consistent functionality, Stock
said the odor- and moisture-absorbent bedding is 99.9
percent dust free.
Also addressing consumer desire for odor-absorb-
ing bedding made from natural materials, Vitakraft Sun
Seed Inc. in Bowling Green, Ohio, released Sun Seed
Fresh World Bedding made from 100 percent recycled
paper. Designed as a multipet formula, the USA-made
soft bedding contains no harsh chemicals or baking
soda, is virtually dust free and can control odors for up
to 14 days, said Phoebe Stanley, associate marketing
manager, specialty pet.
With a concentration on attracting the next
generation of small animal owners, Chilton, Wis.-based
Kaytee Products Inc., a part of Central Garden & Pet Co.,
is focusing on the color trend.
“Color variety is a fun and interactive way to
appeal to kids and their desire to customize,” said
Angie Schmitt, senior brand manager, adding that the
company added apple orchard, camo and frozen fun to
its Kaytee Clean & Cozy bedding line.
“These items feature our proprietary coloring
method, allowing us to deliver a product that is not only
fun and unique to the market but, more important, safe
for pets and their human companions,” she said.
The soft, absorbent bedding offers an odor-control
guarantee and is 99 percent dust free, according to