PPM March 2024

Page 1

Fo r i n d e p e n d e n t p e t r e t a i l e r s

March 2024

Pet Product Marketing w w w. p e t p r o d u c t m a r k e t i n g . c o. u k

Cat special! Be the go-to retailer for cat owners Creating enriching animal enclosures

Four pages of new products

Puppy Preparations Q&A with expert behaviourist Tony Cruse about bringing home a puppy

Talking Trade with... Will Durrant of Happy Pet


Feed them

HAPPINESS! supremepetfoods.com LET’S GET CONNECTED @supremepetfoods

FC.indd 1

Say hello to our new range of great value dog treats, blending super-tasty delights with wholesome nutrition and essential nutrients. We believe in pet parents feeding their fur babies happiness, because at Tiny Friends Farm, happy pets are our pride and joy. Find out more about our new dog treats range:

12/02/2024 14:40


Developed by Veterinary Surgeon John Burns MBE BVMS MRCVS


BURNS.indd 2

14/02/2024 09:47

WELCOME s a former editor of Your Cat Magazine, I can say that it is great to have a cat special in PPM. I think that the cat market can often be viewed as an extension of the dog market (more of that in the magazine). However, from personal experience, I know two things: 1) cat owners really care about doing the best for their pets and 2) understanding the basics of feline behaviour can really help to provide owners with the best products. Like every customer, cat owners want to feel valued and understood — inside, we try to help you do just that to take your cat products offering to the next level.


Elsewhere in the issue, it has been great to hear from so many forward thinking people in the industry: CASCO give a brilliant breakdown about why animal enclosures really matter, NOBULL bring a case study of finding a product niche, Schesir let us have a first look at their new recipe, and we have a wonderful interview with an independent retailer that is storming along thanks to family and community values. I really hope you find useful things to take away from this month!

Follow us on social media!

Follow us on Facebook!

Our address: Pet Product Marketing, Warners Group Publications, The Maltings, West Street, Bourne, Lincolnshire, PE10 9PH Michael Hallam, editor (for news and product releases, contact Michael on michael.hallam@warnersgroup.co.uk) For advertising queries please contact Stephen Tanner on 01778 392404 Ellis O’Connell, marketing exec

Nigel Fish, design and production manager

Mike Mike Hallam - Editor, PPM.

Stephen Tanner, key account manager (advertising Pet Product Marketing) Andrea Walters, key account manager (advertising Your Dog/Your Cat)

Contents 4 News The latest news from the pet industry. 10 New products What new products are hitting the market? 17 First Look We get a look at Schesir Born Carnivore. 18 Small companions We delve into hamster health insights. 22 On the shop floor We visit award-winning pet shop Pickles Pet Pantry. 24 8 steps to creating enriching animal enclosures Experts in animal enclosures for retail and veterinary businesses CASCO Pet explain how to create enriching living spaces for pets. 27 Cat special! 28 A hierarchy of needs Understanding what cats need helps us find the best products for them. 32 The cat market It’s not just an extension of the

Our email: editorial@petproductmarketing.co.uk

dog market — it can be brilliant for business. 34 A repeat purchase: cat litter The knowledge and service you can offer cat litter buyers so they keep coming back for more. 40 Find a niche and fill it Leading marketing experts NOBULL showcase how the right product is sure to be a hit. 42 Customer service predictions for 2024 and beyond What customer trends will be strong this year? 46 Puppy preparations A brilliant Q&A with canine expert Tony Cruse. 50 Running with your dog It’s a hobby that’s growing with dog owners. 54 PPM Puzzles! A selection of puzzles to give you a mental workout.

Follow us on Instagram!

Sign up to our free weekly newsletter!

Printed by Warners Midlands plc James Buzzel, publisher Subscriptions and back issues Pet Product Marketing is available free to people who qualify for our controlled terms of circulation. If you’d like to register for a free subscription, please visit www.petproductmarketing.co.uk


Pet Product Marketing is published 10 times a year by Warners Group Publications. No part of the magazine may be reproduced in any form in whole or in part, without the prior permission of Warners Group Publications. All material published remains the copyright of Warners and we reserve the right to copy or edit any material submitted to the magazine without further consent. The submission of material (manuscripts or images etc) to Warners Group Publications whether unsolicited or requested, is taken as permission to publish that material in the magazine, on the associated website, any apps or social media pages affiliated to the magazine, and any editions of the magazine published by our licensees elsewhere in the world. By submitting any material to us you are confirming that the material is your own original work or that you have permission from the copyright owner to use the material and to authorise Warners Group Publications to use it as described in this paragraph. You also promise that you have permission from anyone featured or referred to in the submitted material to it being used by Warners Group Publications. If Warners Group Publications receives a claim from a copyright owner or a person featured in any material you have sent us, we will inform that person that you have granted us permission to use the relevant material and you will be responsible for paying any amounts due to the copyright owner. We cannot accept responsibility for unsolicited manuscripts, images, or materials lost or damaged in the post. While every reasonable care is taken to ensure accuracy, the publisher is not responsible for any errors or omissions, nor do we accept any liability for any loss or damage, however caused, resulting from the use of the magazine.

See videos of the latest products and trade news


p03_PPM_Mar24.indd 3

14/02/2024 10:21


PPM News March 2024

Pets Choice win International Export Excellence Award 4

Pets Choice, a leading manufacturer of pet food and accessories, has been announced as the winner of the International Trade Award for the second year running. Pets Choice, located in Blackburn, Lancashire, were given the Export Achievement Award by the East Lancashire Chamber of Commerce. Judges congratulated the company on its success in moving into new and diverse markets such as Africa and the Middle East. Now exporting to over 45 countries, Pets Choice has had an outstanding year. The company entered their first African market, Morocco, then launched a range of bespoke products into South Africa, while also working to launch their products into Saudi, Kuwait and Oman. New product development and utilising free trade agreements is key for strengthening their position within international markets. Tony Raeburn, Pets Choice CEO, said: “Awards like this show just how passionate we are about bringing our innovative products to pet owners across the globe. To build on this, we are pleased to be doubling our export team to ensure we have resource to maximise our growth.”

Animology Announces New Non-Executive Director Group55 have announced the appointment of Kieran Prince as a Non-Exective Director of their leading pet care brand Animology. Kieran brings a breadth of expertise within the pet industry and will provide valuable contribution to the strategic direction and commercial growth of the Animology brand. Rob Banks, Managing Director at Group55, comments: “We’re excited to bring Kieran on board to accelerate the growth of Animology. Keiran’s level of strategic experience and knowledge of the pet care sector will be extremely valuable to Animology and our goals for 2024.” Kieran operates Koem Business Solutions, a consultancy firm, and has a background as the Sales Director at Bugalugs Pet Care.

Supreme triumphs in prestigious awards with Science Selective Supreme Petfoods has proudly announced its recognition as an honouree in the small animal food category of the Pet Age Editor’s Select awards, for its Science Selective Rabbit food range. Each category features product lines personally selected by Glenn Polyn, Pet Age’s editor-in-chief, and the accolade is testament to the long-standing reputation that the range has for supporting rabbit health and wellbeing. From its inception with Science Selective Adult Rabbit, the Science Selective Rabbit food range has grown to include a junior diet meeting the nutritional requirements of young growing rabbits, a senior diet for rabbits over four years of age, as well as Science Selective House Rabbit, and Selective Naturals Grain Free. With recipes formulated with premium natural ingredients, the single component extruded nuggets are high in fibre and highly palatable without the need for any added sugar. Claire Hamblion, Marketing Director at Supreme Petfoods, expresses the company’s delight in receiving additional recognition for this popular range, saying: “We are so pleased to receive the award. Our commitment to listening to our customers and providing high quality nutrition that meets the needs of small pets is at the heart of everything we do.” An innovative Food For Life marketing campaign has played an important role in raising brand awareness around the Science Selective range. Featuring a commercial strategically targeted across key digital platforms including YouTube, Instagram, Facebook and TikTok, the campaign has reached a global audience. On a local level, an extensive array of point-of-sale materials, including free samples, helps retailers drive sales and foster customer loyalty. Free samples, particularly effective with highly palatable brands like Science Selective, allow owners to try a product before they commit to purchasing, helping start rabbits on a lifelong journey of optimum nutrition. To find out more, contact Supreme Petfoods on experts@supremepetfoods. com or visit www.supremepetfoods.com/products Or for trade enquiries, visit www.supremepetfoods.com/become-a-stockist


p4_6_8_9_PPM_Mar.indd 4

12/02/2024 14:41

• Free entry & parking • Biggest ever PATS • Free show catalogue • 2024 – Three-day event • Major brands and exhibitors • Aquatics Zone • 100’s of new launches • New Starter Zone • Thousands of products • Networking events *

New Product Showcase

Major brands & exhibitors all under one roof

Where the industry meet to do business

Pet & Aquatics Trade Show

*For up to 1300 cars, on a first come, first served basis.

patshow.co.uk IMPACT.indd 2

14/02/2024 09:50


PATS adds new Aquatics Zone to the 2024 trade show PATS 2024, reverting to its original title of the Pet & Aquatics Trade Show, will introduce a focussed Aquatics Zone to its three-day exhibition, which takes place at Telford International Centre from Sunday, 29th September to Tuesday, 1st October 2024. The Aquatics Zone will be a dedicated area for aquatics and watergardening exhibitors and will showcase all of the latest launches from the leading manufacturers and suppliers. “The launch of the Aquatics Zone at PATS is really exciting and has been welcomed by the aquatics and watergardening sector,” said organiser Gordon Thomas. “We know from our previous attendance figures that 615 retailers who visited PATS Telford in 2023 had an interest in aquatic products, and that was without any of the major content we have now planned for 2024. We will be working hard in the coming months to ensure the leading suppliers and the right buyers make the Aquatics Zone a great success at PATS 2024. “To emphasise the importance of the Aquatics Zone, we have revived the original name for PATS — the Pet & Aquatics Trade Show.” The Pet & Aquatics Trade Show will be the biggest ever in the exhibition’s 15-year history and will take over the whole of the


Telford International Centre. It will be exclusively a trade only event. The Zone will be located in Hall 1A of Telford International Centre, located next to the show entrance, and can accommodate up to 40 exhibitors. It will also feature its own dedicated New Product Showcase and refreshment area. Aquadip, which has been supplying UK retailers for over 25 years, was one of the first companies to book stand space in the Aquatics Zone and commercial director Joey Abrahams expressed excitement at the prospect of attending. “As a Dutch-based supplier of live, frozen and dried fish food, aquarium plants and water treatments to UK retail outlets, public aquaria and zoos, I am thrilled to hear that PATS is introducing a dedicated aquatics section into its trade show,” said Joey. Other leading companies who have already reserved stand space in the Aquatics Zone include ALF, Aqua One, Cloverleaf, Fluval and Exo Terra, OASE, Pettex, and Zoomed. Retailers and buyers can register their interest in visiting PATS 2024 by visiting www.patshow.co.uk, which has all the up-to-date information about the show.

UK’s biggest show Growth for Burgess for parrot owners Pet Care with key is back! Northern Parrots are appointments thrilled to announce that Think Parrots is returning in 2024, bigger and better than ever before. After a five-year break, the UK’s biggest show for parrot owners comes back to Kempton Park Racecourse on June 9, 2024, with new organisers Northern Parrots. Hundreds of parrot enthusiasts are expected at the event, looking to take advantage of having access to top parrot experts, services, and parrot goods all under one roof. Providing you with the ideal opportunity to promote and sell your goods or service. Visitors can enjoy masterclasses from Franz Dahlheim, creator of Your Parrot food, with more displays and experts to be announced. The show aims to educate pet parrot owners about the best diet, lifestyle and behaviour for their parrot. Plus, they can meet like minded parrot owners. Buy tickets online at www.thinkparrots.uk. Tickets are only £15 for an adult (under 16’s free with a paying adult.) Refreshments will be available outside the venue. For more details, please email info@ thinkparrots.uk or call 0330 164 1904.

Yorkshire-based Burgess Pet Care is delighted to announce two key appointments to its team based in Pollington, as it continues to strengthen its brand and market presence. With several years’ experience in FMCG brand management and marketing for household brands including Aunt Bessie’s and Piper’s Crisps, Annabel Coleman has joined Burgess as Excel brand manager. Annabel is responsible for ensuring the Burgess Excel brand continues to be a leading choice for small animal lovers, while helping to educate and support the welfare of all small animals. Tom Mottram has also joined Burgess Pet Care as national account manager. Bringing several years’ experience of operational and commercial finance, along with account management experience gained with Marks & Spencer and Ocado, Tom will focus on growing and strengthening customer relationships and the distribution of products among a wide range of buyers. Peter Lancaster, head of marketing at Burgess Pet Care, said: “We warmly welcome Annabel and Tom to Burgess Pet Care. They have already proven their skills, ability, and commitment to their new roles, while sharing our passion not only for delivering best in class products but also for responsible pet ownership and pets’ health and wellbeing. “This is an exciting time for Burgess Pet Care, as we have recently celebrated the 25th anniversary of the Burgess Excel range. This was developed following concerns raised around the negative impact that selective feeding could have on rabbit health, which led to the launch of Burgess Excel rabbit nuggets, the UK’s first single component extruded rabbit food.”


p4_6_8_9_PPM_Mar.indd 6

12/02/2024 14:43

7 – 10 May 2024 | Nuremberg, Germany

38th International Trade Fair for Pet Supplies

SEE WHAT’S NEW AT INTERZOO! Find out about the latest trends and developments in your industry. Discover a wide range of innovative products and services for pets. Experience on-site what makes the world‘s leading event Interzoo so unique.


The world market is present here – for your success!

Follow us!



Honorary sponsor

Organization on behalf of the organizer

Admission granted to authorized trade visitors only.


14/02/2024 09:52


Happy Pet’s New MD, Will Durrant, Excited to Collaborate with Independent Pet Shops Will Durrant has stepped into the role of Managing Director at Happy Pet, a renowned supplier and manufacturer offering over 2,000 high-quality pet products. As part of the Multipet group, a leading international pet product supplier, Happy Pet, headquartered in Leicestershire, is dedicated to strengthening its relationships with independent pet retailers across the UK. Happy Pet offers a variety of products for pets, including dogs, cats, small animals, birds, and reptiles, featuring popular brands such as Grubber, Little Rascals, Go Walk, Healthy Paws, and Komodo. Will expressed his enthusiasm for the new role, stating, “Having been with Happy Pet for five years in various capacities, I’m thrilled to lead the company forward in the pet sector. We’re entering an exciting phase of growth, introducing a plethora of top-quality products to the UK market, exclusively available through our retailers.” He emphasised the importance of collaborating with independent pet retailers, aiming to make Happy Pet products best-

Will Durrant.

sellers. With a dedicated team focused on providing exceptional customer service and support, Happy Pet welcomes retailers to their showroom at their Head Office by appointment and hosts the annual “Happy Pet Expo” every September, showcasing a multitude of new products. Will highlighted their commitment to enhancing their operations with the independent market through initiatives such as the trade portal, offering the convenience of browsing the entire catalogue, accessing online special offers, and pre-ordering the Christmas 2024 range at: https://trade.happypet.co.uk/. With Happy Pet continually introducing dynamic new products, this year promises to be significant, including the launch of an international best-seller. Stay tuned for updates! To learn more about Happy Pet and to check out their product range, please visit: www.happypet.co.uk. Additionally, you can find your local representative on page 20 to arrange a no-obligation chat and discover more about Happy Pet’s offerings.

Kennelpak Announces YAKERS Charity 8 Partnership with Hearing Dogs for Deaf People Kennelpak has announced that their 100% natural dog treat brand YAKERS has partnered with Hearing Dogs for Deaf People, a renowned charity dedicated to providing life-changing assistance to deaf people and people with hearing loss. Over the two-year collaboration, every purchase of YAKERS will support Hearing Dogs for Deaf People, helping fund the training, enrichment, and placement of assistance dogs that empower deaf individuals to lead more independent lives. The specially trained dogs alert deaf individuals to important sounds and enhance their overall quality of life. The natural occupier treats are already used while the dogs are in training. “YAKERS Chews are a great treat for hearing dogs in training, we use them daily to help keep the dogs in training mentally stimulated during their down time,” said David Robson, spokesman for Hearing Dogs for Deaf People. “YAKERS is a brand with purpose, making it the ideal choice for Kennelpak when it came to partnering with Hearing Dogs for the Deaf,” explains Claire Clough, Customer Director at Kennelpak. “Our shared values of compassion and community engagement align seamlessly, and we look forward to making a real difference together.” For more information on YAKERS and the partnership with Hearing Dogs for Deaf People, visit YAKERS.co.uk

Benebone joins forces with We.pet We.pet, part of the Pet Family group in the UK, has announced the addition of Benebone, a USA-based manufacturer of chew toys for dogs, to the We.pet wholesale portfolio. “We’re thrilled to be adding the Benebone brand to the We.pet portfolio,” said We.pet Managing Director, Daniel Vander. “Many of our retailers are already familiar with the Benebone brand and we believe they will be happy to now have the option to purchase Benebone products from We.pet along with their regular orders of quality pet brands that We.pet offers.” Benebone is a best-selling chew toy for dogs. They are made

in the USA, with nothing but USA-sourced nylon and real flavours such as bacon, chicken, peanuts, salmon, beef tripe, or maple wood. There are six unique shapes led by Wishbone, their flagship product. Other shapes include the Dental Chew, Stick, Zaggler, Fishbone, Tripe Bone and The Ring. Benebone is available in five sizes from Tiny to Giant and offers a puppy range specially designed for teething pups. For trade enquiries, email trade@we.pet or call 01342 710420.


p4_6_8_9_PPM_Mar.indd 8

12/02/2024 14:44

Lintbells awarded prestigious B Corp status

PIF Reveals Programme of Webinars The Pet Industry Federation (PIF) has revealed the initial line-up of short, hourlong webinars taking place to support its members in their professional development. The webinars are free to attend for PIF members and some of them will also be open to non-members. More webinars are being planned and will be uploaded to the PIF website. Daniel Everett, PIF Operations Manager, who has designed the organisation’s webinar programme, said: ‘We know from talking to our members that keeping up to date with knowledge and training to help their business is a really key reason for them joining PIF. “We are developing a wide-ranging programme which covers bases for all of our members and allows for easy access during their busy working week. We are grateful to the experts who are willing to devote their time and share their knowledge on these insightful webinars.” For further information about the webinar schedule and to register to attend them, visit: https://petfederation.co.uk/ events/ To find out more about PIF membership, visit www.petfederation.co.uk

p4_6_8_9_PPM_Mar.indd 9

Leading pet supplement manufacturer Lintbells has been granted coveted B Corp status, the certification which verifies a company has met the highest standards of social and environmental performance, transparency, and accountability. Known for its leading pet supplement brand YuMOVE Joint Care, Lintbells is one of only 11 companies globally within the pet care sector to be awarded B Corp certification and one of around 2,300 businesses overall in the UK. B Corp certification is awarded by the nonprofit international organisation, B Lab, which advocates a different economic vision whereby businesses move from a traditional financially-focused shareholder model to one that delivers benefits for all stakeholders: employees, suppliers, customers and the community. By balancing profit with purpose, B Corp businesses can take collective action to address society’s most critical challenges. B Corp certification is hard to achieve, but is verification of a company’s commitment to do good. Each B Corp business will have met high standards across five key impact areas including governance, workers, community, the environment and customers — and is legally bound to maintain those standards if they are to retain their certification. “From its inception, Lintbells was established on principles that reflected its founders’ core social and environmental values. Since then, those values have informed our approach to the environmental, social, and governance factors that are at the forefront of our decision-making, driving sustainable growth and ethical business practices,” said Kerry Doble, Chief Sustainability Officer, Lintbells. “Our B Corp certification is testament to our commitment to continuously carry these values forward and deliver not only a profitable business, but ensure we meet the needs and expectations of all stakeholders.”


Want to share your news? Got a story or new product? Pet Product Marketing share your stories and new product launches for free! Simply email Michael.hallam@warnersgroup.co.uk For all the latest news and new products, head to www.petproductmarketing.co.uk

Paleo Ridge Unveil Exciting Rebrand Paleo Ridge, one of the UK’s leading providers of the finest raw dog food, has proudly announced the official rebranding of its premium product range, Paleo Plus. The rebrand comes with a captivating new packaging design that perfectly reflects ‘optimum raw nutrition for dogs.’ While maintaining the same exceptional recipes and quality of ingredients that consumers have come to trust, Paleo Plus introduces a fresh and modern packaging aesthetic, elevating the brand’s visual identity. The revamped design not only captures the essence of Paleo Ridge’s commitment to excellence but also enhances the overall customer experience. Will Green, Director of Sales and Marketing says: “We are delighted to unveil the next chapter in our journey with the rebranding of our premium raw dog food range Paleo Plus. Our new packaging not only reflects the premium quality of our dog food but also highlights the unique blend of antioxidant superfoods that sets Paleo Plus apart. We remain committed to providing optimum raw nutrition for dogs, ensuring they lead the healthiest and happiest life”. Visit paleoridge.co.uk to find out more or for trade enquiries, visit paleoridge. co.uk/trade/login

12/02/2024 14:45


Nylabone dog toys With canine enrichment at the heart of its ethos, Nylabone has expanded its product offering with three new playful products for Spring. Made from tough durable nylon, the first addition is the Sneaky Snacker Treat Toy. This clever toy has a flexible middle section that opens so that treats or spreads can be added, while its two textured ends satisfy a dog’s natural urge to chew. The Sneaky Snacker features Nylabone’s bacon flavour for life and is currently available in a medium size. Designed to create a more playful chewing experience, the fun new Rolley Chew is shaped so that it spins and rolls when played with. Available in a large size, it features a tasty bacon flavouring and two easy-grip bone shaped ends that ensure it’s comfortable for paws to hold. The final Spring addition is an Extreme Gator Tail Chew. With a shape that offers the texture of real animal parts but in a safer, longer lasting, and odour-free way, the Gator Tail is made from Nylabone’s classic durable nylon that is designed to withstand even the strongest of chewers. It is currently available in a large size and features the brand’s popular chicken flavouring. The new products are available to order now from Interpet’s trade website: https://trade.interpet.co.uk/


New Products YAKERS Superfoods Blueberry

To find out more about YAKERS 100% natural dog chew and occupiers, visit Yakers.co.uk or for trade enquiries, call 0115 939 9077.

Kennelpak brand YAKERS 100% natural dog chews and occupiers has unveiled its latest innovation in dog chews: the Superfoods Blueberry YAKERS. Following on from the success of the Cranberry Superfood YAKERS launch in November 2023, this blend promises not only mouthwatering flavour but also a rich combination of health benefits for dogs. The Superfoods Blueberry YAKERS retains all the excellent benefits of the original YAKERS flavours, keeping dogs occupied for hours on end, helping reduce plaque and tartar, packed full of protein and calcium and low in fat, plus the added blueberry helps bolster the immune system and promote healthy cognitive function. The Superfoods Blueberry YAKERS is also full of vitamins A, C & E to help support the immune system and contribute to overall health, keeping dogs feeling their best. The antioxidants in blueberries help support a normal inflammatory response in dogs and can help them recover from exercise, as well as being a great source of dietary fibre. “After the success of the Cranberry Superfoods, the natural decision was to extend the superfoods range and create a new flavour with some fantastic health benefits. Blueberry was the perfect choice as we know they benefit dogs in so many ways,” says Ellie Hall, YAKERS brand manager at Kennelpak.


p10_12_14_16_PPM_Mar.indd 10

12/02/2024 14:46

Buy Two Save 50% Contact us for full range information

WWW.SU-BRIDGE.CO.UK South West Emma Frake 07747 031878

West Midlands Sara Giles 07730 529250


North West Cheryll Flanagan 07443 072244

North & Scotland Ian Pullman 07387 023977

TEL: 01953 882485

National Sales Manager Lynne Hopwood 07500 905739

East Anglia Liz Matthews 07827 963931

East Midlands Jacky Rees 07889 167348

London & South East Tracey Clark 07894 586648

14/02/2024 10:00


Supreme Petfoods’ Tiny Friends Farm dog treats


Supreme Petfoods, a leading figure in small pet nutrition, is venturing into the canine category with the introduction of Dolly Dog Tasty Bones, Dolly Dog Crunchy Cookies, Danny Doggy Donuts, and Danny Dog Yummy Sticks to its award-winning Tiny Friends Farm range. This strategic move, driven by the company’s robust growth and three decades of small pet nutritional expertise, marks a significant milestone for Supreme. Recent market research underscores Tiny Friends Farm’s standing as one of the most recognised brands among small pet owners. 53 percent of these individuals also own a dog, and there is significant opportunity to gain the loyalty of these multispecies owners with a brand they already know and trust. Supreme has been successfully making two of the dog treat recipes featured in the new Tiny Friends Farm range for over two decades. Having previously been sold under private label, the enduring popularity of these recipes highlights existing marketplace demand for both the brand and the formulations. The new treats are packed with tasty natural ingredients and gently oven-baked for maximum flavour. Danny Dog Doggy Donuts and Dolly Dog Tasty Bones are formulated with chicken, and Danny Dog Yummy Sticks feature a blend of chicken and garden vegetables. Dolly Dog Crunchy Cookies offer a plant-based option with peanut butter. The treats also contain essential nutrients to support health, from vitamin D3 to promote bone health to vitamin E to support healthy skin and coat. All of Supreme’s new meaty dog treats are manufactured in a separate facility to Supreme’s small pet food, to ensure all their foods for pet rabbits and other small herbivores

Some Grub Gut-Health Boosting Insect Dog Treats

Some Grub proudly announces the nationwide debut of their revolutionary treats. Packed with gut-healthy insect protein, co-founder Ben Chapman declared: “2024 is the year that bugs go mainstream. The taste test results are in. It’s clear, Britain’s dogs love bugs. Not only is insect protein a planet-friendly choice, it’s also more delicious than a cow’s backside. Most of all, we don’t want any dogs to miss out on the amazing health benefits of insects.” Dog health benefits Some Grub’s treats contain a game-changing prebiotic called chitin which is naturally found in insects. Chitin feeds the good bacteria in the gut, supporting dogs’ overall energy, health, and wellbeing. A happy tum means more solid poops and fewer smelly farts. Bugs are a hypoallergenic protein source, suitable for the growing number of dogs in the UK with meat allergies and intolerances.

remain meat-free. The dog treat packaging showcases the new Tiny Friends Farm characters, Danny Dog and Dolly Dog, aligning with the rest of the range. The packaging has been designed with in-store displays in mind and retailers looking to stock the treats can benefit from a comprehensive range of point-of-sale material to support sales. Tiny Friends Farm Danny Dog Yummy Sticks and Dolly Dog Cruncy Cookies come in a 200-gram pack size with a recommended retail price of £1.39, Dolly Dog Tasty Bones come in a 160-gram pack with RRP £1.59, and Danny Dog Doggy Donuts come in a 200-gram pack size with RRP £1.59. To find out more, visit supremepetfoods.com or for trade enquiries, contact Supreme Petfoods on experts@supremepetfoods.com

Cut your carbon pawprint While two-thirds of people in the UK say they are actively cutting their own meat intake, as a nation we are feeding our dogs more meat than ever. Some Grub aims to give pet parents the health benefits of raw feeding with the convenience of dry, with a fraction of the environmental impact. Mealworms bring more protein per gram than steak and boast more iron than spinach, and are packed with Omega-3 health fats. While insect protein creates 96% less carbon emissions per gram than beef. There are three varieties of the treats, each with a functional goodness: Fresh Breath Bliss: Infused with parsley, peppermint, and spirulina, it’s a minty-fresh canine kiss. Gut Booster: A powerful blend of prebiotics and turmeric aids digestion, reduces bloating, and keeps your pup energised throughout the day. Calming Treat: Chamomile, passionflower, and chicory root bring calm to anxious dogs or those in need of a little relaxation. Some Grub is seeking retail stockists throughout the UK and are now available through wholesalers Cotswold Fayre and Mahalo Supplies. Retailers can be provided with display units tailored for you. The eye-catching packaging also helps the products to stand out with it reflecting a clear commitment to sustainability that fits snugly in your pocket.

For more information, visit somegrub.co.uk or for trade enquiries, contact wholesalers Cotswold Fayre (www.cotswold-fayre.co.uk) and Mahalo Supplies (mahalosupplies.com)


p10_12_14_16_PPM_Mar.indd 12

12/02/2024 15:04

GET Back to nature

Our Naturals range keeps things pure and simple by letting Mother Nature do all the work. :H JHQWO\ DLU GU\ WKH ÀQHVW VLQJOH VRXUFH SURWHLQV WR SUHVHUYH WKHLU QDWXUDO QXWULHQWV DQG ZLWK DEVROXWHO\ QRWKLQJ DGGHG LW·V ZKDW ZH GRQ·W SXW LQ WKDW FRXQWV DV PXFK DV ZKDW ZH GR Our Naturals range keeps things pure and simple by letting tting Moth Mother Nature do all the work. :H JHQWO\ DLU GU\ WKH ÀQHVW VLQJOH VRXUFH SURWHLQV WR SUHVHUYH WKHLU QDWXUDO QXWULHQWV DQG ZLWK DEVROXWHO\ QRWKLQJ DGGHG LW·V ZKDW ZH GRQ·W SXW LQ WKDW FRXQWV DV PXFK DV ZKDW ZH GR The UK’s largest range of natural dog treats. #ANCODOGTREATS INFO@ANCO.PET WWW.ANCO.PET The UK’s largest range of natural dog treats.

ANCO.indd 2


14/02/2024 09:53


Healthy Paws Natural Dog Treats

To find out more and for trade enquiries, visit https://trade.happypet.co.uk, https://trade happypet co uk or call 0116 260 2100 or email sales@happypet.co.uk

Introducing Healthy Paws’ brand-new range of dog treats, providing a natural and delicious indulgence for dogs. These natural dog treats are air-dried, ensuring 100% natural goodness in every bite. Free from gluten, these delectable treats are a tasty delight and a rich source of essential vitamins and minerals, promoting the overall well-being of your canine companion. Uniquely formulated for optimal digestibility, Healthy Paws Natural Treats are the epitome of deliciousness in the world of dog treats. Packaged in a convenient re-sealable paper bag, these treats are not only a treat for dogs but also a hassle-free addition to your store display. The user-friendly packaging ensures freshness and longevity, making it a practical choice for pet owners and retailers. Diversify your offers with Healthy Paws extensive range of eight popular natural treat choices including Beef Lung Cubes, Lamb Lung Cubes, Beef Lung Biscuits, Lamb Lung Biscuits, Mini Beef Burgers, Beef Training Treats, Mini Chicken Burgers, and Chicken Training Treats. Suitable for all ages and breeds of dogs, promising a flavour for every preference. Whether used as training incentives or as a reward for good behaviour, these treats add joy to every interaction, strengthening the bond between pet and owner. Choose Healthy Paws Natural Treats for premium, natural, and irresistible dog treats that will elevate the treat experience for your customers and their beloved pets.


Hyper Pet dog toy range Pedigree Wholesale has launched the Hyper Pet dog toy range, available exclusively to the specialist pet trade. Hyper Pet’s innovative, interactive, and entertaining line of pet speciality products focus on strengthening the unique bond pet owners share with their pets to keep them healthy, active, engaged and enriched for life. The range features innovative and original play solutions for modern pets and pet parents, while the intelligent designs influence and encourage pet participation to entertain pets all day. The range features 13 products with RRPs between £3.99 and £24.99 and features a variety of flying, plush, and rubber toys to help keep dogs active indoors and outdoors. Highlights of the range include: The K-9 Kannon — it boosts dogs’ playtime into an exciting game of fetch; it launches tennis balls so pet owners don’t have to strain their arms, allowing for extended playtime. The Kannon features multiple ball storage, an adjustable launching range, and a comfortable grip and comes with a tennis ball. To accompany the K-9 Kannon, Hyper Pet offers a range of tennis balls made of grade-A rubber that do not contain any harmful coatings or gasses. In addition, the Hyper Pet Squeaks Tennis Balls are just as safe but have a squeaker inside to keep dogs engaged and wanting to play even more. The Flying Duck — The Hyper Pet range also features flying toys. The Flying Duck is a thumb-releasing sling shot toy with a squeaker, made with durable ballistic material and a bungy neck that launches the toy up to 100ft, plus it floats! The Critter Skinz range — this looks to be another firm favourite amongst pets; these toys are stuffless animal toys with squeakers, and to accompany these toys are the Tough Plush toys, which have double layer construction, edge binding for durability, extra dense stuffing and include squeakers. The Hyper Pet range also features toys from the Durasqueaks,

Hyper Squawkers, Tennis Chewz and Hide-N-Squeaks ranges, meaning there is plenty of choice for all types of dogs at multiple life stages. Plus, there are plans to extend the range further during 2024. Offering above-average retailer margins, Hyper Pet dog toys are available exclusively through Pedigree Wholesale and are ready to no order now.

For trade enquiries, visit petproducts.co.uk or call 0115 982 3900.


p10_12_14_16_PPM_Mar.indd 14

12/02/2024 15:05






14/02/2024 09:54


EquiGlo Cooked Full Fat Linseed Henry Bell & Co has grown its stable of premium equine feeds with the launch of EquiGlo Cooked Full Fat Linseed. This nutritious and natural product can be included in all feeding regimes for condition, performance, and general wellbeing. It is made in the UK from pure, great-quality linseed that has been micronised and milled to improve the availability of ingredients and allow higher digestible energy levels. Low in sugar and starch, the feed is suitable for horses and ponies prone to laminitis, while its calorie-rich content helps equines to remain full and energised for longer. EquiGlo Cooked Full Fat Linseed is BETA NOPS-approved, extremely palatable and a good source of slow-release energy. It provides high-quality protein to support muscle development and recovery, and has an excellent fibre profile, with a range of soluble and insoluble fibres. Rich in natural antioxidants such as Vitamins C and E, and flavonoids to help support tissue structure, the feed also includes a wide range of minerals and trace elements, and essential fatty acids Omega 3, 6 and 9 to promote glossy coats and healthy skin. The feed is particularly beneficial for horses and ponies on forage or fibrebased diets and can be fed directly from the bag or used as a top dressing with hard feeds or EquiGlo Quick Soak 10 Minute Beet. Henry Bell has been a trusted name in the animal feed sector since 1825.


Tick Twister range Global and UK market leading product range Tick Twister® is now available to the UK Pet Trade exclusively through a new partnership with Sheffield based Donald Cooke Ltd. Ticks are small, blood-sucking parasites commonly found in grassy and wooded areas across the United Kingdom. These tiny creatures pose a significant threat to the health of dogs and humans, potentially causing various infections and diseases. In recent years, there has been a noticeable increase in the population of ticks in the UK. This surge is partly attributed to milder winters and changes in climate patterns, allowing ticks to thrive and multiply. Effectively removing ticks from the skin, whether for dogs, cat, horses or humans is essential to reduce the potential for Lyme Disease, which is transmitted through bites from infected ticks. Twisting the tick out of the skin with Tick Twister® is the safest and most effective way to remove the whole tick, as simply pulling the tick out can leave the ticks rostrum in the skin, meaning more likelihood of infection. Invented in 1995 by Dr. Denis Heitz, a French veterinarian, it has been the leading instrument to remove ticks on humans and animals for 25 years. THE ADVANTAGES ● Removes the tick without squeezing it, reducing the risk of infection ● Removes the tick by rotation and not by pulling. The tick is easily removed decreasing the risks of breaking the tick’s head ● Can be used on people or animals ● Available in 2 versions: 2 tick removers (for small and large ticks) or 3 tick removers (for micro, small and large ticks) ● Enables a quick and painless tick removal ● Can be disinfected with regular disinfectants ● Perfect for pet owners, hikers, campers, runners, hunters, … The range of products includes the different size tools that come in a variety of packaging which look great in display units. Tick Twister® is now also available with storage boxes: the ClipBox! It allows you to store your hooks safely, and not lose them. Its format is ideal for slipping the hooks into a pocket and having them always at hand. With its locking system, inspired by a karabiner, you can also hang it on a lead, key ring, a backpack or your belt. Donald Cooke Ltd offer delivery nationwide, alongside their other premium ranges K9 Chew Co and EMP, with a low MOQ and quick delivery.

For more information, visit https://equiglohorsefeeds. co.uk/ or for trade enquiries, call 01476 565761 or email info@equiglohorsefeeds.co.uk

For any trade enquiries about ordering or becoming a stockist, email info@donaldcooke.co.uk or call 0114 2693901.


p10_12_14_16_PPM_Mar.indd 16

12/02/2024 15:06


Colourful and eye-catching packaging


Oven baked kibble, prey inspired! Schesir BORN CARNIVORE s obligate carnivores, cats have a physiological need to eat meat or fish, because animal protein is their main source of energy. The new range of dry food Schesir BORN CARNIVORE mimics cat’s natural prey diet with a high level of animal-based protein (43%) and a low carbohydrates inclusion (12%).


Schesir’s recipe for optimal nutrition: ● Gently cooked in the oven, a technology that preserves nutrients, such as vitamins and minerals, to obtain a better kibble compared to extruded ● A higher inclusion of fresh meat that is more nutritionally complete and more digestible than highly processed animal meat flours

● Less than 12% carbohydrates — a level that is almost impossible to reach for extruded kibbles. In extruded products, a much higher level of starches is needed in the recipe to guarantee its production and keep the kibble together.

Products benefits: ● Fresh meat as first ingredient, more palatable! ● TOP 4 ingredients are animal sourced ● More than 43% protein to respect their nature, as obligate carnivore ● Less than 12% Carbohydrates ● With fibre for easy digestion ● With Omega 3&6 to maintain healthy skin and a shiny coat ● Grain free, for real carnivores ● Made in Canada

To satisfy every cat, the new BORN CARNIVORE line offers three recipes: chicken with eggs; chicken with herring and salmon; herring with salmon and a chicken version with eggs dedicated to kittens, all available in double format: 255 g for a weekly consumption, 1.25 kg for a monthly stock. Schesir recommends mixed feeding with wet food to achieve optimal levels of hydration!

To find out more, visit www.schesir.com/en/ or for trade enquiries, visit www.schesir.com/en/pages/contact-us www.petproductmarketing.co.uk

p17_PPM_Mar.indd 17

13/02/2024 09:32


Hamsters are growing in popularity.

he small pet category is thriving. In a sector where companionship comes in all shapes and sizes, hamsters are capturing the hearts of more households than ever before.



Hamster health insights According to Statista’s 2024 data, the ownership of these small rodents has risen to 2.1 percent of UK households, a rise from the previous 12 month’s 1.5 percent. With pet hamster numbers now totalling 900,000, their popularity continues to climb. And if any more evidence is needed, the social media presence of popular hamster accounts, regularly enjoying follows, likes and views in the tens of thousands, serves as a testament to their appeal. While hamsters may be considered a starter pet, it is just as important that the care and attention they receive is on a par with that provided to any other pet. Considering that hamster owners seek veterinary care less frequently than for other companion animals, such as dogs, cats and rabbits, retailers play a vital role in ensuring that the needs of these popular pets are met.

The latest insights Despite the popularity of these small pets, knowledge surrounding their requirements, especially in terms of veterinary care, has been limited until recently. A study carried out by the Royal Veterinary College (RVC) aimed to address this. The RVC collated data from 4,000 hamsters to reveal the 20 most widespread health issues affecting these small pets. Notably, the top five conditions (see box right) are all issues in which husbandry and diet play a crucial role in prevention. From inadequate living conditions predisposing to wet tail and poor diet adversely affecting dental health, to lack of enrichment resulting in boredom and behavioural issues, making sure owners have access to the best advice is key.

Hamster fast facts ● Average lifespan 1.75 years ● Sexually mature at 4 — 5 weeks of age ● Hamsters are nocturnal ● Hamster teeth grow continually ● Population stats: Syrian 73.5%, Djungarian (winter white dwarf) 13.8%, roborovski 6.4% ● Syrian hamsters should be housed singly ● Species such as the Russian dwarf are more social ● Fighting is more likely if the cage size is too small

Common hamster health issues ● Wet tail (diarrhoea or liquid discharge) 7.33% ● Bite injuries from other hamsters 5.88% ● Overgrown nails 4.13% ● Overgrown front teeth 3.98% ● Traumatic injury 3.8%

Wet tail ● Also known as proliferative ileitis ● Mainly affects hamsters 3 – 10 weeks of age ● Sometimes used as a general term for diarrhoea ● Signs include poor appetite, lethargy, unkempt coat ● Many causes including infections ● Poor diet, poor husbandry, and stress are contributory factors ● Prompt veterinary treatment improves prognosis


p18_20_PPM_Mar.indd 18

14/02/2024 09:15

Elevating standards of husbandry So, what does gold standard husbandry look like? Lack of space is one of the most common issues when it comes to hamster care. Hamsters love to explore, travelling large distances in the wild to forage for food. Unless this wanderlust is catered for, pets will easily become frustrated, leading to stress and a host of behavioural problems such as biting. The Blue Cross advise that a hamster cage should be at least 100 centimetres by 50 centimetres Minimum floorspace, and at least hamster cage 50 centimetres tall. size: 100cm x Of course, this should 50cm floorspace, be considered a 50cm tall minimum, and bigger is almost always better.

Creating a hamsterscape Cage size is not the only consideration. Hamsters love to burrow and adding sufficient bedding to their living quarters is essential. Bedding should be absorbent, dust free, and changed regularly. In terms of substrate, paper bedding is preferable as it may reduce bacterial contamination. In addition, paper does not predispose to respiratory disease unlike some wood pulp bedding. Tiny Friends Farm Eco Bedding is virtually dust-free and made from surplus paper that would otherwise have gone into landfill. It is highly absorbent and fully compostable after use. It is worth Minimum noting that fibre bedding bedding, such as depth: 20 cotton wool, should centimetres be avoided as this can cause cheek pouch and gut impactions. But why stop here? Hamsterscaping was first popular in mainland Europe but in the last few years, the concept has caught on in the UK. The hamsterscaping ethos centres around creating a living environment that allows hamsters to express their natural behaviour. Not only does that mean adequate space, deep bedding, and suitably sized wheels, but also hiding places, sand baths, and an emphasis on natural materials. Hamster wheels should be solid (not slatted or runged) and an adequate size. This means:

Ultimately, a happy hamster is easier to tame, less likely to bite, and more likely to bond with its owner.

are now seen as an essential for hamsters. s Offered several times a week, a sand bath can provide enrichment and improve well-being. Sand baths also support healthy skin and coat, removing excess oils and keeping fur clean and shiny. Hamsters may also benefit from toilet training. They tend to naturally use one area of their living quarters and with food rewards for positive reinforcement training is relatively straightforward. Bathing sand provides the ideal substrate but must be cleaned out or changed regularly to maintain good hygiene. Products such as Tiny Friends Farm Harry Charlie and Gerri Bathing Sand and Science Selective Bathing Sand can be recommended to hamster owners or incorporated into an in-store hamsterscaping display.

Optimum nutrition Mirroring the natural environment as closely as possible will help to reduce stress and decrease the incidence of behaviour problems. Ultimately, a happy hamster is easier to tame, less likely to bite, and more likely to bond with its owner. But of course, that is only half the story and speciesappropriate nutrition is also crucial to optimum health and well-being. In their natural environment, hamsters enjoy an omnivorous diet. This includes seeds, leaves, and cereals, but also protein. Offering a commercial dry diet formulated to meet the specific nutritional needs of hamsters is the best way to ensure dietary requirements are met. Navigating nutritional options can be a daunting task and owners will often turn to retailers for expert guidance and product Sand baths have become increasingly popular with hamsters owners.


● 27 to 32 centimetres diameter for Syrian hamsters ● 22 to 27 centimetres for dwarf breeds

Beyond the basics: sand baths In addition to standard enrichment, sand baths, which had been traditionally associated with chinchillas and degus, www.petproductmarketing.co.uk

p18_20_PPM_Mar.indd 19

14/02/2024 09:15


Hamster wheels should be solid and not slatted.


recommendations. Supreme’s Tiny Friends Farm Harry Hamster Food is a consistently strong performer in the small pet food aisle, with a majority share of the hamster food market and robust year on year growth. Nutritionally balanced and suitable for all hamsters, including dwarf breeds, Harry Hamster is made with ingredients including sunflower seeds, peanuts, and pumpkin seeds and contains no added sugar. Supreme has options to suit all small pets.

Offer choice Owners appreciate choice. In 2022, reflecting consumer demand, Supreme added Harry Hamster Fruity Nutty Mix to the Tiny Friends Farm range. Both flavour variants are highly palatable and promote natural foraging behaviour. Science Selective Hamster completes Supreme’s range of nutritionally complete hamster diets. The single component nuggets are highly palatable and fully extruded, which helps to make the nutrients easier to digest and can be useful to recommend if selective feeding occurs. Pets are family and stocking a selection of diets will ensure all tastes and budgets are catered for.

the incidence of serious conditions like wet tail and promoting a strong pet-owner bond.

Prevention is better than cure Ensuring optimum nutrition and husbandry is important in all species, but especially so in small pets. A large enough enclosure with plenty of thought given to enrichment, alongside a species-specific nutritionally complete diet, will go a long way to supporting health and wellbeing, reducing

Claire Hamblion Marketing Director at Supreme Pet Foods. Owners should seek veterinary care for their hamster.

Added extras In addition to the main diet, treats can be offered in moderation. These can be hidden round the enclosure to provide enrichment and encourage natural foraging behaviour. Treats can also be hand-fed to build up contact and trust between hamster and owner. Treats will often be an impulse purchase and having a selection on offer will ensure all tastes and budgets are catered for. From Tiny Friends Farm Harry Hamster Yippees to Selective Naturals Harvest Loops, www.petproductmarketing.co.uk

p18_20_PPM_Mar.indd 20

14/02/2024 09:15

Feed them


Say hello to our new range of great value dog treats, blending super-tasty delights with wholesome nutrition and essential vitamins. We believe in pet parents feeding their fur babies happiness, because at Tiny Friends Farm, happy pets are our pride and joy.

SUPPORTING OUR RETAILERS TO HELP KEEP PETS HAPPY PPY • 1,000s of giveaways at Your Dog Magazine stand at Crufts • Competition throughout Crufts to win a year’s supply of treats

Win a year’s ssupply of Tiny FFriends Farm TTreats!* SCAN HERE TO S

• Advertised to millions of pet parents on socials


supremepetfoods.com m LET’S GET CONNECTED premepetfoods @supremepetfoods

SUPREME.indd 2

*Te *Terms and conditions apply, scan the QR code ˧ˢ Ѓˡ˗ ˢ˨˧ ˠˢ˥˘ ˧ˢ

14/02/2024 09:56


Pam and Dave, co-owners of Pickles Pet Pantry.

ess than two years ago, Katie Parker was inspired to open Pickles Pet Pantry and last year the shop won New Business of the Year 2023 at the Pet Industry Federation Awards. This incredible achievement was reflective of the effort and vision that has gone into creating an independent pet shop at the heart of the community. From offering a nutrition support programme, dog wear fittings, and even launching their own food range to best serve pets, Pickles Pet Pantry is all about serving owners and pets. Here, we get the inside story of the incredible journey so far from Katie…


On the shop f loor 22

You opened your store in November 2022. What made you decide to open a pet shop? I was working for Pet Family at the time, which had allowed me to see the world and work with all different people. I was heavily involved in the launch of their insect brand Yora and this inspired me to go out on my own. Our home town of Olney is dog mad and The community has backed the store.

we had no pet stores within a seven mile radius and poor public transport links. I sat in bed one night and created a business plan, found a premise, and by morning I’d presented the idea to my fiancé, Jack, and my parents, Pam and Dave, who are now my business partners. I’m very much a person that when I decide to do something, I jump into it! What makes Pickles Pet Pantry stand out as a pet shop, particularly compared to corporate chains? We offer products that are trialled on our own pets. After all, if we aren’t willing to use things on our own animals, we really shouldn’t be stocking it. We want shopping to be easy for our customers, so we keep things simple. One of our most popular services is that we offer a free nutrition support programme in store. Our main difference to the larger corporate chains, however, is that we are well and truly part of the community — we live here, we’re members of the retail committee in town, and our customers are Pickles’ family! We can’t walk 50 yards without being spotted by a Pickles’ dog! We support local charities and communities; our rescue partner is local and not a large chain. Why did you decide to focus on selling natural products and raw food? Natural products were an essential choice

for us. We believe in finding the right diet for the animal. We don’t avidly focus on kibble, raw, or wet. We work with owners to find natural options that work for them and their dogs. Our food ranges are simple and we have one for every job. Every single brand on our shelves and in the freezers is there because we believe in it. Many stores focus on one singular way of feeding and for us that felt wrong; we wanted to focus on being able to find a unique solution for every human, dog, or cat that comes through our doors! What are your best-selling products? It’s hard to say as luckily for us, our products all seem to do really well. Our performance dog range Non Stop Dogwear is very popular with people travelling for over an hour at times just to come for a fitting. We recently launched our own food and we’ve been amazed at how well it’s been received with customers coming in and saying “If it’s yours it will be good, we want it!” Our most sought after product is our Pickles Pet Pantry heart biscuits. They’re made by Angela at The Happy Spaniel Bakery and customers love that they can take them home for an ‘Instagramable’ moment! I could list 100 products that do well for us, but honestly, we don’t have any under performing products.


p22_23_PPM_Mar.indd 22

14/02/2024 10:08

How do you source your products and decide what to sell? Firstly, we keep it simple. For example, we work with one brand for poo bags — we don’t need seven different brands, and we know and love Adios so we use them. We also trial all products with our own pets. Between us all, we have four dogs, a cat, and even a giant tortoise, so we have plenty of willing trialists. One of the most important factors, after a product’s quality or nutritional value, is that we can have a relationship with our suppliers or wholesalers. If a supplier doesn’t want to work together to build our brands, we aren’t likely to work with them. We know 99% of our brands’ owners and are friends with them — those friendships have formed over the time working together. What are your most successful marketing tools? Instagram is definitely our most successful — we get so much interaction from customers on that platform. Our town also has a Facebook group called the Olney Notice board, and we’re very lucky that lots of our customers chose to post reviews on here telling people what a great experience they’ve had. We also provide all the restaurants, cafes, and shops that are dog friendly with a Pickles Pet Pantry treat jar that we fill for free and that drives so much custom our way! You created your own line of Pickles Pet Pantry dog food — why did you create your own range and what was involved in the process? They launched their own dog food range.

The team collecting their honour at the PIF Awards.

My background is pet food and nutrition has always been one of the most important elements of pet ownership in my eyes. We were struggling with supply reliability with one of our brands and I hated letting customers down when it didn’t arrive. I recently had a baby and was on maternity leave when the idea came to me. I made contact with our supplier through the Pet Industry Federation and we got to work on creating our three ranges: Doggod, Cattac, and Running Dog. We also launched a range of treats. Our manufacturer worked with us on the design for packaging. It was a really fun experience. We launched the product and on launch day weekend, we sold over 15 bags (some of which were 15kg bags!) Less than a week after launch we had to do a restock. It was made incredibly simple to achieve by our manufacturer.

It still hasn’t really sunk in. I keep saying we’re such a small little family business how did we do that? It’s one of my proudest moments in life for sure. The award sits proudly on our counter for all our customers to see, as after all, it’s their award too — we wouldn’t be Pickles without them! What would be your best piece of advice for someone setting off on the journey as an independent pet retailer? Honestly... it’s simple — JUST DO IT! There’s never a right time. There’s never a perfect situation. I am so glad I made the jump. My confidence was at an all-time low when we set out on this journey. Never did I imagine 15 months into my journey I’d have a PIF award, my own food, and a thriving business!

You won the prestigious New Business of the Year award at the Pet Industry Federation (PIF) Awards. How did it feel to win such a huge honour? We attended the PIF awards two days after I’d given birth to our son Spencer so I arrived in a bit of a haze, I could barely walk. I wanted to attend as PIF had offered us so much support in our first year. When the category came up, we all sat chatting as we didn’t think we stood a chance as the competition was so strong. We felt being finalists was a big enough honour. However, hearing our name, we were all stunned. I wish someone had taken a photo of our reaction — I imagine it was quite an image!


The business has gone from strength to strength!

● FREE entry & parking ● FREE show catalogue ● 100’s of new launches ● Thousands of products To register for FREE entry visit www.patshow.co.uk


p22_23_PPM_Mar.indd 23

14/02/2024 11:49


The right enclosure will do wonders for animal wellbeing.

rom reptiles basking on logs, rabbits burrowing, and mice playing with toys — you’ve definitely witnessed animal enrichment in action. If you have animals in-store — or you’re planning to — enrichment is something you need to know, in fact, it’s a vital aspect of their care. The practice involves modifying an animal’s environment in a way that’s meaningful to their needs, creating choices so they feel more in control of their space. Doing so aims to improve the biological functioning of animals and foster natural behaviours.


8 Steps to Creating Enriching Animal Enclosures Experts in animal enclosures for retail and veterinary businesses CASCO Pet explain how to creating enriching living spaces for pets. 24

Why is enrichment important? Enrichment is a sign of positive animal wellbeing — improved animal wellness has been documented across various species, ranging from mammals and some birds, to turtles, tortoises and reptiles. Benefits include enhanced feeding, reduced metabolic rates, positive behavioural changes, and improved cognitive performance. Then there’s the fact it can influence consumer perception. Prospective pet owners seek — and deserve — animals that are healthy and content. Additionally, consumers who observe an animal’s environment and enrichments could take it as an example of long-term care, inspiring them to emulate it at home, and inspiring sales for your business. Whether you already have animals in your retail location — or are considering it — here’s what you need to do to create an enriching enclosure.

What are the types of enrichments? There are several types of enrichment, including: ● Physical habitat — the enclosure the animal is kept in ● Cognitive — where the animal is provided with mental stimulation ● Sensory — encompassing any of the five senses

● Food-based — the food the animal eats and how it receives it ● Social — where animals interact with one another (species dependent) ● Novel or play — objects that occupy an animal’s time in their enclosure

How do you create an enriching animal enclosure?


Thoughtful design

Begin by ensuring the animal’s enclosure is well-designed to meet its needs. Sufficient space needs to be provided to allow natural behaviours, including movement, hiding, and sleeping. Essential components including substrate, bedding, ventilation, and species-specific lighting must be in place to guarantee the animal’s well-being. The enclosure also needs to be designed to allow staff to safely conduct daily cleaning and maintenance, with the least amount of disruption to the animal. CASCO Pet offers a range of innovative animal habitats — spanning from aquatic to small animals, reptiles to birds, providing high-quality, easy to use enclosures that meet the needs of animals and engage consumers.


Add environmental complexity

Studies suggest that animals housed in diverse, complex environments exhibit a broader range of behaviours, indicative of good welfare. Fish also use their enclosures more evenly when a diverse, structured

enclosure is provided. Tailor features to each species, adding biologically relevant elements such as perches or branches for birds, plants for vertebrates, or sticks and logs for reptiles. Each furnishing should reflect the behavioural needs of animals, while naturalistic elements help replicate aspects of a species’ wild habitat. In support of this, CASCO Pet enclosures have integrated graphics that bring natural environments into the retail space. An experiment they conducted found fish preferred such background graphics for stimulation and security.


Divide the enclosure for varied activities

Recognise the diverse needs of animals by creating designated areas within the enclosure for activities such as sleeping, playing, eating, and bathroom needs. Divide the space by adding upper tiers, vertical partitions and platforms, and create designated areas using different materials including tubes, climbing holds, and litter


p24_25_PPM_Mar.indd 24

14/02/2024 10:09

trays in specific areas to allow animals to control their environment effectively. Providing opportunities for camouflage or hiding may help enhance a feeling of security for the animal.


Consider the external environment

Enriching an animal’s enclosure extends to the surrounding external area. Maintain a calm and quiet atmosphere with soft lighting. Pay attention to the sounds and odours coming from the external environment, these may be a source of stress for animals. Layout also needs to be considered. Are social animals placed together? Have potential predators and prey, such as birds and mice, been fully separated?


Take senses into account

Sight, smell, sound, and touch are important means of communication and information gathering for animals, and can influence their experience in an enclosure. Provide sensory enrichment by varying materials to introduce different textures, for example different hay types for guinea pigs to nibble on and smell, or different rocks and barks for reptiles. Consider the use of safe scents or perfumes for an animal to investigate; essential oils and other plantderived odours may improve the welfare of certain species, encouraging relaxation and alleviating stress. Consider colour preferences. Certain species dislike particular colours — many birds avoid or show aversion to red. While cooler hues may offer welfare benefits to animals. Additionally, sounds such as classical music seem to have a positive impact on the overall wellbeing of animals, contributing to their enrichment.


Social dynamics – grouping vs solitary

Tailor the enclosure to the social nature of the species. Social animals like rabbits, rats, and mice, may require companionship. Enclosures like CASCO Pet’s Rabbit Parks allows these animals to interact easily, while maintaining visual appeal for consumers. In other instances, it may be that animals should be housed with one or two others,

CASCO Pet provide animal enclosures for retailers.

or in close proximity to one another with visual contact. Then, of course, there are animals who will thrive in solitary enclosures, like a Reptile Rack or Reptile Enclosure.


Diversify food presentation

Break away from mundane feeding routines by offering a wider selection of food types and presenting choices in different ways. Greater food variety and an increased choice of items can stimulate food searching and handling behaviour, as well as improve nutritional balance. Enrichment can be achieved through smaller, more frequent meals, scattering or hiding food, using puzzle feeders, or having a dispenser used to randomly release food.



Incorporate play elements

Recognise animals’ natural inclination to play by providing safe ‘toy’ objects to occupy them. Something as simple as an empty cardboard box in a reptile enclosure proves incredibly popular with snakes that love to investigate. Small pets enjoy running wheels — preferably larger ones that prevent their back from arching. These items can be cycled or rearranged as needed to keep animals engaged.

Not one size fits all Enrichment won’t look the same for every animal, just like enclosures shouldn’t be the same for every animal. Each species has its own unique natural behaviours, and enrichment will differ between them. Importantly, multiple types of enrichment should be incorporated into an enclosure tailored to an animal’s specific needs. When enrichment is provided within an enclosure, the physiological and psychological welfare of an animal is improved. Additionally, such displays provide an opportunity to educate current and future pet-owners on best care practices, and how to continue a high standard of wellbeing for their pet at home.

About CASCO Pet To find out more about these enclosures and more – visit www.cascopet.com


p24_25_PPM_Mar.indd 25

14/02/2024 10:09

Enriching Spaces for Pets Engaging Spaces for Customers

Get inspired

Want to know more?

Visit our Case Studies


CASCO.indd 2

Download our Brochures.

Call us: 08450 60 99 60

09/02/2024 10:01


Cat Special!


● What cats need — and the products to help deliver it ● The cat market — the value to your store ● Cat litter — how to help consumers and make repeat sales www.petproductmarketing.co.uk

p27_28_30_V2_PPM_Mar.indd 27

12/02/2024 16:09


great way to provide your cat with a good level of well-being is to ensure that all of their basic needs are being met and to understand which might be of highest priority for your cat. A useful way to approach this is to see your cat’s needs as forming a pyramid or hierarchy with the most fundamental needs at the bottom. When the lowest need is sufficiently met, the need above then becomes the priority for the cat, and so on, moving up to the top. For domestic pet cats, their needs are likely to focus around four core areas; all of which are important in ensuring they stay happy and healthy. Where your cat currently ‘sits’ on the pyramid will depend on both their personality and current level of well-being and contentment.


A hierarchy of needs 28

Cats need certain things in their environment to be happy — and the products you sell can play a huge role in providing that feline well-being. Need 1 – Basic physical functions: The most basic needs are for your cat to have good nutrition, a comfortable environment, be able to pass faeces and urine comfortably, be in good physical health, and be free from pain, injury, and disease. If you’re concerned that any of these are missing for your cat, it’s a great idea to:

The products for basic physical functions ● Cat food ● Food and water bowls ● Litter ● Litter tray ● Over the counter medical treatments ● Cat beds ● Blankets and heated pet pads ● Water fountains

Need 2 – Personal safety and secure access to resources: Once you’ve ensured that your cat’s basic physical functions are sufficiently met, the next priority should be for them to feel safe and to have secure access to all of their important resources. If you are concerned that this may not be the case for your cat, it’s a great idea to: ● Ensure your cat is easily able to avoid the things they find scary or that make them feel uncomfortable. ● Ensure your cat doesn’t feel too exposed or under threat when they want to

access their resources. You can help by choosing carefully where you place these things; avoid busy parts of the house, where the cat might suddenly feel ambushed by humans or other animals. ● You can also try placing additional hiding and perching places near to your cat’s other resources, so they know there’s always a safety option nearby.

Products for safety and security ● Pheromone diffusers ● Scratching posts ● Feline furniture ● Cat carrier (which can be turned into a den to retreat to) ● Pet pens/fencing to create a cat-only areas, away from other pets

Need 3 – A predictable and stable environment: The next priority should be to ensure their daily routine is predictable and that their environment is calm and stable. Your cat needs to feel that they have a sense of control over their life. If you’re concerned that your cat may need more support in this area, it’s a great idea to:

● Take them to the vet’s for a check up. ● Check they have daily access to a good quality, complete cat food and fresh drinking water. Some cats might prefer wet or dry food or a combination, and most cats enjoy variety in their diet. ● Check they have warm places to rest and sleep. A cat’s body temperatures is a bit higher than ours (about 38–39 degrees Celsius compared to our 36–37). This means they can tolerate, and will generally prefer, slightly higher temperatures to us. Very young, old, small or ill cats, or those without fur, will especially appreciate being provided with a constant source of warmth. A special heated pet blanket can be a great idea, particularly in the winter and at times of the day when the temperature in the house falls. ● Cats will also sleep better when they are on a soft, comfortable surface, so provide

lots of warm, fleecy blankets and beds for them to snooze on.


p27_28_30_V2_PPM_Mar.indd 28

13/02/2024 09:58

NATURALLY TASTY Available in 10 varieties

Up to 25% more food in the box*, good for an extra serving (*) as compared to a can, containing 75g on average.


Available in 400g & 2kg bags

Irresistible, highly digestible, and packed with natural goodness (*) as percentage out of total protein content

For more information contact your Hagen Sales Manager or call 01977 556622

HAGEN.indd 2

14/02/2024 09:57


● Notice if your cat likes to sleep, go outside, be in specific rooms, eat, play or have attention at certain times of the day. This will help you to get a good sense of their preferred daily routines so that you can avoid disturbing these as much as possible ● If your cat goes outside and you don’t already have one, try installing a (microchipoperated) cat flap and let your cat come and go as they please at times they choose, rather than having to open the door to let them in or out. ● Try feeding your cat at the same times each day in the same location. ● If your cat craves attention and/or is very playful/predatory, try putting aside a bit of quality time for them at the same time(s) each day. ● Work out your cat’s preferred way of being stroked. ● If you’re planning to do lots of redecorating or construction work around the house, try limiting your cat’s exposure to this by temporarily separating off a quiet part of the house for them to be in. Ensure that, wherever you put your cat, you provide them with all of their usual resources.


Products for predictable environment ● Cat flaps ● Microchip feeders ● Toys for you to play with together ● Grooming tools (these can be a good way to bond)

Need 4 – Positive Stimulation: If all your other cat’s needs are sufficiently met, they are likely to prioritise having regular access to things around them that help keep them stimulated. These may include:

their discomfort might be a very slight cat parent will obviously want their cat to change to their usual routine or them be as contented and happy as possible. becoming a little quieter than usual. The overall well-being of your cat Retailers can play a huge role in will depend on a range of variables sharing advice with cat owners. including their personality, previous With a bit of thought about how experiences, environment, physical Social and products actually positively health, and mental state. environmental impact feline lives, it can help Early signs of stress in cats stimulation E.g. With other cats you market to customers. As can be easily missed. While (where well bonded) or you’re not just promoting some pet cats may tend to with people, feeding products, but a vision be extremely vocal about enrichment, access to outdoors. of how they improve how they’re feeling, A predictable and life with a feline for others, the most stable environment companion. obvious signs of E.g. A predictable routine and calm, stable environment. The cat can anticipate when and how things happen and they have a sense of control over their life.

The pyramid of important and fundamental needs.

Personal safety and secure access to resources E.g. The ability to withdraw from situations the cat finds unpleasant. The cat has safe access to all the primary resources (e.g. hiding places, beds, litter trays, food, water, access to the outdoors).

Basic physical functions E.g. Quality food and water provided daily, a comfortable temperature in the environment and daily elimination. Freedom from pain, injury, and disease.

Product spotlight The Nature First range of cat scratchers from Happy Pet is designed to cater to your furry friend’s need to scratch. These scratchers are easy to assemble and come with clear instructions. They feature super soft fabric in neutral tones that go well with every home decor. The scratchers also have sisal rope, which is perfect for your cat to get its claws into and keep them in topnotch condition.

The Navar scratcher, which is the topselling, comes in two sizes - 55cm and 80cm. It allows your cat to stretch and scratch and has the added benefit of a play ball that your cat will love batting. The Westwood Cat Scratcher has middle platforms that your cat can climb and rest on, making it even more interesting. To attract your cat to the scratcher, you can use Happy Pet Catnip Spray, made of 100% North American catnip, which will grab your cat’s attention. For trade enquiries, visit www.happypet.co.uk

● An enriching outdoor space. ● Toys, puzzle feeders, things to climb on, and explore inside. ● Play with and attention from humans. ● For cats well-bonded to other animals, play and interactions with them.

Products for stimulation ● Interactive toys for solo play ● Toy to play with together ● Puzzle feeders ● Treats ● Clicker for training ● Feline furniture Good cat well-being is one of the most crucial ingredients in your harmonious cat-human relationship. Every responsible


p27_28_30_V2_PPM_Mar.indd 30

13/02/2024 10:00


oven baked! new low carbs recipe

more protein


GRAIN FREE for real carnivores

+ FIBRE for easy digestion

OMEGA 3&6 for skin & coat



14/02/2024 09:58



The cat market: not just an extension of the dog market f you have ever visited PATS, the UK’s largest pet trade show, you will have seen that the dog market is larger and more prominent than the cat market. There are more dog-orientated brands exhibiting and the New Product Showcase Awards have, historically, had four canine awards to just one cat category. By some, the cat market has been referred to as an extension of the dog market. Sometimes brands will launch products for cats once they have established themselves in the canine arena. However, it is a mistake to underestimate the cat market. To relegate its importance to a spin-off places brands and retailers at risk of missing some real opportunities for sales and to connect with cat owners.


To underline the point, here are some key stats: ● The population of cats in the UK in 2023 was 11million, with 26% of all households having a cat. The dog population was estimated at 12million (stats from UK Pet Food). ● In 2023, the cat food market in the UK was worth £1.43bn, compared to £1.84bn for dogs (stats from Statista). ● According to Statista, the UK pet food market is the second largest in the world, behind only the United States (from Statista). ● The cat litter market in 2024 is estimated to be worth $262.11, which once converted is over £200m (stats from Mordor Intelligence).

To add some context, cats and dogs dwarf other pets in terms of population and market size. So, the numbers highlight how while the dog market is bigger, the cat market is lucrative in its own right. Anecdotally, the dog market has more variety of products as they are more of a lifestyle pet, in terms of owners will do more with their canine companion. Dogs need walking, more training, and owners will do more activities and heading out to places with them. While life may be different with cats, the market has potential and its own areas of opportunity.

Opportunities of the cat market The biggest driver of increased spend on pets in the UK has been the trend for pet humanisation — and that rings true


p32_33_PPM_Mar.indd 32

13/02/2024 10:21

for felines as much for any other type of companion. Owners see their cats as part of the family and want to provide an ever increasing level of care for them. In the breadth of products available for cats, retailers should consider:

Cat food — the biggest market, there is variety in ranges of food. With wet, dry and raw ranges, consumers have options. Product knowledge and education can really help to unlock cat food sales. Understanding the products and, most importantly, the benefits to cats can help you connect with owners. While the dog market is known for extensive food ranges and expert nutrition, the cat market is less known for this, but great products are out there!

Cat litter — another regular purchase, litter gives retailers another opportunity to share knowledge. It’s not just about picking a substrate — consumers will be interested in how well it locks in smells, how often they will have to clean the tray, how willing their cat will be to use it, and the impact on the environment. Opening up these conversations will mean you can help consumers navigate to which works best for them. It is often a bulky purchase which means convenience comes into play. Offering delivery or even carrying heavy

bags to the car can help seal a regular customer. If retailers can gain a customer who buys their cat food or litter in store, there is a great opportunity to convert them into a loyal customer. These are regular purchases that consumers will not change too often. Retailers can show their knowledge to entice owners in and then why not offer added services such as delivery, a loyalty card, or discounts on other items. If customers are coming in for their regular items, there are upsell opportunities on accessories and treats.

Cat treats and accessories — treats are always a big seller with owners and you can carefully pick your ranges. If someone is buying food, why not offer a free sample of treats? You could even ask brands if they ever provide samples so there is no cost to your business. Accessories are a more difficult one as they are actually very varied for cats, from cat carriers and litter trays, to toys and furniture. These can take up lots of space and retailers may be only able to display a few items. A selection of toys is a good idea as they can be compactly displayed. It may be possible to offer the larger items too, even if you haven’t room for lots of stock. Many wholesalers have low minimum order

Schesir’s feline nutrition Schesir highlight their belief in the right nutrition for cats: While cats’ lifestyles have changed with indoor living and being fed from humans, their biology and nutritional needs have remained the same as their wild ancestors, the African Wild Cats.

Cats in a nutshell: ● As obligate carnivores, cats require meat as an absolute physiologically necessity. Their metabolism uses protein to provide daily energy. ● Cats also require essential nutrients that they can’t synthesize like Taurine, that only animal protein can provide. ● Their digestive system has difficulty metabolising and digesting carbohydrates. It lacks salivary enzyme, amylase, which

value options or you could tag a larger item on a usual delivery. If this is possible, you could produce a catalogue of items you could order in.

Making cat owners welcome A selection of cat products doesn’t have to take up too much room. Well-thought out displays that highlight products you believe in will connect with customers. Even one small area of shelf space can send a clear message that you want to provide for feline friends. Cat owners won’t ever feel their cats are an extension of the dog population! While dogs may continue to be the biggest percentage of trade, highlighting your credentials as somewhere owners can go because they will be understood as a cat owner can be a real winner. According to Cats Protection, a third of cat owners have two or more cats — that brings extra significance to their spending power. Owners are much more likely to have multiple cats than dogs. It’s not just multiple cats either. Cat owners can also be a key pathway to sales for other pets. Many cat owners have dogs (and vice versa depending on how you want to look at it!) and even small companions. Catering for cat owners brings so many opportunities!


can predigest carbohydrates and their shorter digestive tract has reduced enzyme capacity. The ideal diet for cats should have the same composition as prey, which they fed on for millennia. Schesir wet foods is close to a natural prey-based diet. Schesir are committed to providing a natural nutrition: ● High animal protein, moderate fat and low carbohydrates ● High level of hydration. ● Taste and variety Schesir believe that natural ingredients are the most nutritious and minimal processing is the best way to protect the integrity and the nutritional value of these ingredients to satisfy what cats want and need. To find out more, visit www.schesir.com/en/


p32_33_PPM_Mar.indd 33

13/02/2024 10:22

CAT CARE hen it comes to pets, toileting is always a top priority. We don’t want any mess in our homes and being able to do their business in comfort is one of the most basic requirements of our pets’ well-being. Having the right set up is a big deal to our cats. The environment has to be just right, otherwise cats can get stressed and even stop doing their business where they usually do it. Cats see going to the toilet as a moment when they are vulnerable. They can feel susceptible to threats (even though as humans we know there is no real threat) and want to go in comfort. So, when it comes to providing somewhere to toilet indoors, there’s much more to it than plonking down a litter tray. Even if your cat does most of their business outside, it is still a good idea to provide a litter tray for times when they can’t, or don’t want to go outside. They can be put off by the weather, neighbouring cats, or if they’re locked in during the night. Here, we take you through all the key aspects of litter tray training and recognise the repeat purchase potential cat litter offers to retailers.



A repeat purchase: Cat Litter Knowledge and service you can offer cat litter buyers so they keep coming back for more.

Top 10 tips on how to litter train a kitten


Provide one tray per cat, plus one extra. Cats don’t want to compete for resources, and without you even realising a cat may prevent another cat in the household from using a tray.

2 3 4 5

Remove waste frequently and do a complete change at least once a week. Position trays in quiet, private places away from other pets and noise. Use a tray with lower sides for kittens and older cats.

Fill the litter tray with enough litter for your cat to dig and bury his faeces.

Avoid cleaning trays with strongsmelling disinfectants and those containing phenol, which is toxic to cats.


Place your kitten in his tray every time he has eaten or woken up as this is when he’s most likely to need to use it.


If you see your kitten sniffing at the floor, place him in the tray as it’s likely he needs to ‘go’.


If your kitten has an ‘accident’, mop up or pick it up with a piece of tissue and then place it in the litter tray. Clean the soiled area thoroughly.

Whether a genuine accident or not, once the cat has urinated or defecated at a particular location its sensitive nose will encourage it to use that place as a regular toilet. The best way to break the habit is to keep the cat away from the area as long as possible, remove any smell that the cat can detect and change the geography of the location by using pieces of furniture to block access. Wash the area with a 10 per cent solution of biological or enzymatic washing powder and then rinse with cold water and allow to dry. Spray the area (using a plant mister) with surgical spirit, scrub and leave to dry. Carpet is extremely absorbent and the urine often penetrates the full thickness of the carpet to the flooring underneath. If the area is badly soiled over a long period, it may be necessary to cut out the section of carpet and underlay and treat the concrete or floorboards underneath before replacing.

Use the litter type that your kitten is used to (used in his breeder’s or rescue home) and then gradually adjust to the litter of your choice.

6 7

Cleaning soiled areas


p34_36_38_PPM_Mar.indd 34

13/02/2024 10:40

Ge Bu t1 y FR 5 EE


le on th nt e

pa w


pl an et ,g e

Now Available

gentle on t h e

100% Recycled Paper Cat Litter Excellent Odour Control Home Compostable Soft on Paws Low Dust

Exclusive to

Buy Today

WWW.SU-BRIDGE.CO.UK South West Emma Frake 07747 031878

SU BRIDGE.indd 2

West Midlands Sara Giles 07730 529250

North West Cheryll Flanagan 07443 072244

North & Scotland Ian Pullman 07387 023977

TEL: 01953 882485

National Sales Manager Lynne Hopwood 07500 905739

East Anglia Liz Matthews 07827 963931

East Midlands Jacky Rees 07889 167348

London & South East Tracey Clark 07894 586648

14/02/2024 09:59


My cat has stopped using the litter tray If your cat normally uses a litter tray but has recently started to go elsewhere in the house, there may be an obvious reason. Here are the most common causes why cats stop using litter trays: ● Dirty litter trays: Cats don’t like using a tray if it is heavily soiled. Litter trays should be cleaned out completely every couple of days and topped up with fresh litter daily once the solids and clumps are removed. If the litter is a non-clumping variety, it should be changed every couple of days (solids removed daily) since the build-up of odour from the urine passed can become extremely unpleasant for the cat.

● Position of the litter tray: If the tray is positioned in the open where the dog, children or other cats disturb it, the cat may feel too vulnerable to use it. Instead, a cat may seek a more secure spot behind the television. Cats may not like to use a tray if it is next to a noisy washing machine or tumble dryer. Place the tray in a quiet corner where the cat only has to watch in one or two directions at once rather than in the open or in a thoroughfare. Placing food near the tray will put the cat off using it, so place feeding bowls elsewhere. ● Type of litter tray: Some cats prefer the security of a covered tray while others prefer

an open tray as it offers more options for escape. If you normally use an open tray, it may be worth purchasing one with a lid or vice versa. An inverted box with one side cut out or careful positioning of house plants may provide the necessary privacy. Some covered trays have flaps over the entrance and these can be one obstacle too many for the more insecure cat. ● Bad associations: Occasionally a cat decides not to use a tray because it has had a bad experience there. Giving medication or touching a cat while it is using the tray may be sufficient to create a bad association. Repositioning the tray to a quiet spot may help.


● Scented and clean smells: Using scented litter, deodorants or disinfectants with strong smells may put off the scent-sensitive cat from using the tray. Use a mild detergent and hot water or disinfectant specifically recommended for tray cleaning, and rinse the tray thoroughly before use. Cats learning to use the tray initially may need to establish it as an appropriate toilet site and too-frequent cleaning may weaken the association.

● Wrong type of litter: Cats want a litter that is comfortable on their paws and they feel happy digging into. Sometimes, a particular type of litter can be snubbed by your cat. If you want to change the type you use (and your cat is happy with the current one), mix the new one in gradually over a week to gauge the cat’s reaction.


p34_36_38_PPM_Mar.indd 36

13/02/2024 10:41

Save 20%

Nau mai hoki mai! (welcome back)


WWW.SU-BRIDGE.CO.UK South West Emma Frake 07747 031878

West Midlands Sara Giles 07730 529250


North West Cheryll Flanagan 07443 072244

North & Scotland Ian Pullman 07387 023977

TEL: 01953 882485 National Sales Manager Lynne Hopwood 07500 905739

East Anglia Liz Matthews 07827 963931

East Midlands Jacky Rees 07889 167348

London & South East Tracey Clark 07894 586648

14/02/2024 10:02


Cat litter: a repeat purchase


● Early training: Kittens will often soil in the house when they are young if they are given immediate access to large areas. When kittens first arrive in their new home, they are only weeks away from their original litter training by their mother. Their bladder and bowel control are not as developed as an adult’s so it is important that the young kitten has easy access to the litter tray at all times. It is advisable to confine the kitten to one room initially, with increasing periods of time to explore other areas after a few weeks. Every time

the kitten uses the tray it is establishing an entrenched behaviour that will be maintained throughout its life.

Medical problems If your cat has started to toilet inappropriately in the house, the first port of call should always be your vet. The toileting issue may be the sign of an underlying health problem. Once you have the OK from the vet, they you can analyse the environment to try to work out what is putting your cat off using the tray.

As a retailer, cat litter offers the opportunity to generate repeat custom. Here, are some key things to consider about the litter you sell. Litter matters to cats — what goes in the tray will make a huge difference to whether the cat uses it. It has got to be comfortable for a cat to stand on and dig in. It also can put cats off by being too scented. Research the products you offer and find out how they are designed to appeal to cats. Litter matters to owners — of course, owners want their cats to use the litter they buy, but it also needs to be convenient for the owner to manage. There will always be the discussion around clumping and non-clumping litters. Clumping, as the name suggests, sees the litter clump around faeces or urine so just the clumps can be removed daily meaning a tray of litter might last longer before it all needs replacing. Understand how the products you offer will be used by owners. Eco-friendly is important — as we’re all becoming more conscious of our impact on the environment, cat litter has really come into focus for owners. Consumers are demanding eco-friendly litters. Biodegradable or recycled litters are very popular. Get to know the eco credentials of the litter and use them as key marketing message — they are sure to catch consumers attention. How people purchase litter — cat litter is a bulky item that people want to avoid having to heave around. Could you offer delivery? Or even offer to carry it to the car? Making it as convenient as possible gives people even more reason to buy from you.


p34_36_38_PPM_Mar.indd 38

13/02/2024 10:43

Want to connect with thousands of independent pet retailers? tailers?

Get your brand in Pet Product Marketing —

! s a m a j y p s it’s the cat’


Contact Stephen Tanner on 01778 392404 or email stephen.tanner@warnersgroup.co.uk www.petproductmarketing.co.uk

p34_36_38_PPM_Mar.indd 39

12/02/2024 16:10


hile big budgets have the power to propel a distinctly average product, clever ideas developed with indomitable passion and authenticity can still guarantee success in the pet space. An innovative product created and developed by a dog-loving mother and daughter team,


Dogmatic offers an effective solution to a very common issue. And it continues to clock up awards, with a loyal customer base across the globe. Nobull asked Dogmatic MD Zoe Lewsley how they’re harnessing the power of word of mouth to build their family brand.

Find the niche and fill it Picking brilliant and reliable products to sell is key to retail success. Marketing agency NOBULL talk to a pet brand that has become well known for making a difference to owners’ lives. How did Dogmatic come about?


They say that ‘Necessity is the Mother of Invention’ and in truth, the Dogmatic brand evolved by chance rather than some grand scheme. The offering was always a simple one: a kind, comfortable solution to dogs pulling on the lead. Originally designed for our own use, demand has turned it into a brand bolstered by a lot of success stories and a very loyal customer base.

How has Dogmatic evolved over time? What started as a solution for our own dogs back in the late 90s has grown into a full-time job for us. It all started with the leather headcollars we made for our own three Dobermanns. Once people saw us out and about with them, the requests started coming in and we began commissioning more for all sorts of different breeds. And we’ve never stopped. Word of mouth has been our most powerful marketing tool.

What do you think sets you apart? Dogmatic does exactly what it says on the tin. Top quality, luxurious, and functioning products to help people walk their dogs. Our products were made with meticulous attention to detail from the start, using only the highest quality craftsmanship, materials, and fittings. We offered something game changing; complete yet gentle control, with a headcollar that didn’t ride up or go near the eyes. As dog owners, we understood that people wanted more control but also needed their pet’s comfort to be top priority.

Dogmatic offers both and now we’ve added collars and specialised leads to complement the original headcollar range.

What’s your hardest challenge? What’s your brand mission? Alongside providing a kind, comfortable solution to dogs pulling on the lead, we want to enhance the dog walking experience for customers. We especially hate the idea of people having to give up their pets due to their inability to control them on the lead, especially older dog owners or anyone with a disability.

What are the core values that have helped you grow? Aside from designing and supplying a quality, premium solution, sales support and great customer service have always been top of our values list. They’re the qualities important to us as consumers, so we always strive to offer the best service we can. Our customers have voted Dogmatic ‘Product I can’t live without’ in the Your Dog Magazine Product Awards 11 times, so we must be doing something right!

p40_PPM_Mar.indd 40

While creating product has never been a problem, we’ve never been particularly good at blowing our own trumpet. But thankfully our customers do it for us….plus we’re getting better at it!

What would you say to dog owners about the importance of training their pet? Having control of our dogs when out in public is more vital now than ever before. Some owners have disabilities and struggle to hold onto their dog, while others weigh less than their dog and cannot hold onto them. Some owners struggle with handling multiple dogs, dogs and a pushchair, wheelchair, scooter etc. We understand every single one of these problems and we’ve created the answer. Dogmatic keeps dogs under better control, kindly.

Your website is full of reviews, is that something that’s important to you? Customer satisfaction is so important. Much of the success of our brand has been down to word of mouth, after all. People contact us all the time to share the successes they have had with Dogmatic and we are very proud of every single review, photo and video we’re sent. We even get approached in

Who could imagine exercising their horse without a halter? I cannot now imagine a dog being walked without a Dogmatic headcollar. Dog behaviourist, Dr David Sands BSc PhD CFBA

the street and at shows by owners thanking us. It’s such a great feeling.

Dogmatic has won a host of awards.

To find out more, visit www.dogmatic.org.uk


12/02/2024 11:35

NOBULL.indd 2

14/02/2024 10:10



Customer Service Predictions For 2024 and Beyond What customer trends will be strong this year? Janine Hunt of Kura shares her view. ustomer service is essential to any business, as it determines customer behaviour and loyalty. In fact, data shows that 94% of customers stated that a positive experience would make them more likely to purchase from a business again. As such, keeping on top of trends and customer demands is necessary for providing the best experience possible. Janine Hunt, Client Partnership Director at Kura, says: “Great customer service isn’t simply about providing the same experience continuously. It means adapting your approach to benefit each customer and ensuring that you’re keeping on top of trends, so your competitors aren’t getting an added edge. As technology and customer demands shift, it is vital that your business is adapting its approach to provide modern, updated, and friendly customer solutions that work for both your business and your customer base.”


AI This year has seen a boom in the AI world, with the likes of ChatGPT taking over. As more people become aware of AI and its uses, it is likely customers will expect businesses to implement this technology as part of the customer experience. In fact, 80% of customers are expecting AI and chatbots to improve customer services. Some of the benefits that customers are expecting and hoping to receive include faster resolution times, better intent understanding, and tailored promotions and offers. Janine says: “As AI makes its way into everyone’s customer service experience, it is important to understand where such technologies can be beneficial and where it is essential to use your own expertise and knowledge to provide the best experience. Quicker responses and one-call resolutions can save your customers time and frustration, but technology can only be part of the solution. For more complex customer

support, a human advisor will be needed to resolve the issue and provide additional care and support.”

The human touch According to data, one of the top reasons that people contacted customer service throughout 2023 was to report an issue with their product or services. During these moments, having human customer service advisors on hand to handle problems, sensitive topics, and de-escalate customer complaints is essential for a business’s success. Janine predicts: “We can expect to see the human touch remain just as important if not more so, in 2024. As more companies explore the benefits of AI as a quicker solution, offering your customers human interaction will remain part of offering the best customer experience. “Empathy has always, and will remain, a vital part of customer service. While technology is useful for the running of


p42/44_PPM_Mar.indd 42

12/02/2024 16:28

complete pelleted food for parrots HIGH PALATABILITY – pellets are cold-pressed, not extruded, which makes them more appetising and more readily accepted. ACCORDING TO NATURE – pellets based on fructose and are a mixture of elements that would compose the daily diet of these beautiful birds in their natural environment. NUTRITIONALLY BALANCED – a guaranteed intake of proteins and fats. NO WASTE – consistency and dimensions of pellets have been studied and tested so whole product is consumed without wasting or losing it on the bottom of the cage. EXCLUSIVELY DISTRIBUTED IN THE UK BY Johnston & Jeff. Baltic Buildings, Gateway Business Park, Gilberdyke, Yorkshire, HU15 2TD

mail@johnstonandjeff.co.uk www.johnstonandjeff.co.uk 01430 449444

43 Global


2020 WINNER Best Dog Collar Manufacturer 2020 – UK

Winners 2013-2024

For Dog People by Dog People Because your dog deserves the BEST

Start stocking Dogmatic’s award winning products TODAY! Excellent Profit Margins with Low Minimum Orders

Your Customers deserve the BEST so call today


Call to join the ever growing number of Retailers changing to Dogmatic on 01952 245330 or visit us at www.dogmatic.org.uk Endorsed by Dr David Sands BSc PhD CFBA Fellow of the Canine & Feline Behaviour Association

AWARDED ‘Best Dog Collar Manufacturer 2020-21 - UK’ and Most Innovative Dog Collar Manufacturers 2019 www.petproductmarketing.co.uk

p43_PPM_Mar24.indd 43

14/02/2024 09:40


your customer service experience, it is the human touch which makes a difference for your customers. Connecting and finding unique resolutions that work for your customers can make the difference between loyalty and loss.” If your business doesn’t have the resources to meet demands during ramp periods, then customer service outsourcing could be the right option for you. Instead of overloading your workforce with additional tasks and communications, outsourcing customer service can provide your customers with clear, consistent messaging and quick response times to ensure the best experience is delivered – no matter the time of year. This is also a great option for businesses that don’t have the right resources in-house, including expertise in people, equipment, or workspace.

Data-driven insights


As technology continues to develop, datadriven insights are expected to improve in 2024. In fact, 74% of customers worldwide expect better personalisation from the data they provide. As such, using your data effectively is crucial for not only understanding your audience better but also providing a better-quality service. Janine recommends: “Having the right software in place will be a must in 2024. As your customers expect more tailored communications, you will need to analyse the data you have been provided to offer increasingly bespoke responses. Whether you’re promoting to the right audiences at the right time or avoiding debt and repayment problems through risk assessment, big data is going to become

more crucial in the coming year. “Data-driven insights aren’t only useful for personalising and targeting your audience, but they can also help your business better create informed decisions moving forward. Whether you’re planning a new service line or looking to better a product, the data and insight that your customer service team, alongside the developments and analysis technology, can provide might be making a way into your business in 2024.”

Social media As more brands transition to being online, ensuring you have the right customer service in your DMs is essential for the great overall experience your customers deserve. In fact, brands are using social media platforms to effectively target and communicate with their audiences better, with Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp, and LinkedIn being the top three platforms. “There is no denying that social media is a quick and convenient way for both businesses and customers to connect. Whether it is marketing a new product, getting customer feedback, or simply responding to messages, making sure your company has a trusted customer service team online is vital. “Your customers are online, so being able to offer an omnichannel strategy is essential for the ease of communication for your customers. They should be able to reach your brand in a way that is easiest and most convenient for them to provide the best experience possible. This means ensuring that your customers get a smooth transition from social media platforms to

email communication and SMS, and across all other forms of brand and company communication,” says Janine.

Agility Janine advises: “As with the past few years, customer service is constantly evolving, and your business needs to be changing with it. Whether it is a change in customer demands or a new technology which could provide your company with new insight, being able to adapt and change is crucial for the best customer experience. “So, we can expect to see businesses that are flexible in their strategies to thrive in 2024. Being able to grow and adapt to new needs and demands is something we’ve experienced in 2023, and it isn’t going to slow in 2024.” One way to ensure that you’re in a position to adapt is by outsourcing your customer service activities. By choosing a trusted provider who understands the market and your industry in-depth, you’ll be able to scale as needed when the demand comes. Technology is a driving force for customer service in 2024, with customers becoming more aware of what is and could be available to them. To help maintain a competitive edge, you need to get the balance between technology-assisted and the human touch right.

Janine Hunt is the Client Partnership Director at Kura, the UK’s largest independent outsourcer of customer service solutions.


p42/44_PPM_Mar.indd 44

12/02/2024 16:28


? r e t t e l s new

WHAT YOU GET... ● Weekly update ● New products

straight to your inbox ● Latest pet industry news ● Useful resources you can use on social media

Visit https://bit.ly/ppm-newsletter

! e d o c R Q e h t n a c s r O

p43_PPM_Sep.indd 1

15/08/2023 09:00


Your Dog is a sister brand of PPM


Puppy preparations Your Dog’s recent webinar with Tony Cruse (TC) discussed the first stages of puppy ownership...here is a selection of some of the questions tackled. Presented by James Buzzel (JB). JB: Should a puppy start in a confined space or have access to the entire house immediately? TC: Starting a puppy in one room initially can be a wise approach. It allows them to get comfortable in a smaller, more controlled

environment. However, you shouldn’t keep them confined for an extended period. One owner told me they kept their puppy out of the living room for two months, and when they finally gave access, the pup treated it like a brand-new playground.

Ideally, the goal is to gradually expand their territory. Ensure each space in your home is puppy-proofed and safe. As they grow and develop, let them explore more rooms at their own pace. If you hide certain areas from them for too long, it might


p46_49_PPM_Mar.indd 46

14/02/2024 09:36

A new puppy can be a wonderful addition to the family – just make sure you’re prepared and understand the long-term commitment.

reduce potential stress. Here are a few steps to consider: No food before travel: Inform the breeder to refrain from feeding the puppy 1-2 hours before your pickup. The unfamiliarity of the car can induce stress in the pup, potentially leading to unwanted accidents. Two people are better: Having two individuals is ideal. One can focus on driving, while the other can comfort and manage the puppy. Familiar scent: Using a blanket with a familiar scent, possibly from the pup’s mother or siblings, can be a gamechanger. Ask the breeder in advance for such a blanket. Not only does it provide comfort during the journey, but it can also be used in the puppy’s new bed to ease the transition to their new environment. Preparation is key: Understandably, some families travel quite a distance to get their chosen breed. In such cases, having two people is even more crucial to ensure the journey is as smooth and comforting as possible for the young pup. The puppy is experiencing a world of firsts, and that first ride home sets the tone for many adventures to come. Proper preparation can make all the difference.

1 2 3


overwhelm them when they finally get access. On the other hand, if you introduce them to different spaces earlier in a controlled manner, they can adapt more effectively. Remember, close supervision is key during this exploration phase to ensure their safety and establish good behaviour habits. JB: When it comes to that initial car ride home with a new puppy, how should it be approached? Is it beneficial to have a pair of hands on deck? TC: The journey home is a pivotal moment. It’s essential to ensure the pup’s comfort and

JB: The moment has arrived, and we’re finally home with our new puppy. What’s the best way to navigate those first moments after walking through the door? TC: It’s an exciting time for the family, but remember, giving your puppy some space is crucial. It’s natural for everyone to want to shower the pup with attention, but this can be overwhelming for them. To create a positive atmosphere, I suggest everyone takes a step back and allows the puppy to explore at their own pace. If the puppy approaches you, offer a small treat to establish a positive association with their new environment. During these initial days, don’t worry about formal training like ‘sit’ or ‘paw.’ Let your puppy become familiar with their surroundings and the people within it. In the beginning, the focus should be on letting the puppy explore, make choices, and adapt to their new home. Giving them time and space is key to a smooth transition. JB: What’s the ideal sleeping arrangement for a puppy, both initially and for the long term? TC: It’s a matter of personal choice for the owner. In the long term, you might decide whether you want the puppy to sleep downstairs while you’re upstairs, or if you’re comfortable with them in your bedroom

If an accident happens indoors, do not scold the puppy or show frustration.

every night. But the first night is especially stressful for a puppy as they’re separated from their mother, making sound sleep unlikely. I’d recommend being with the puppy on the first night, and even the first week. Some owners have opted to spend the night on the sofa near the puppy, allowing them to gently acknowledge any crying and offer reassurance. This also provides opportunities to take the puppy outside for bathroom breaks, as they may need to go several times during the night. Another option is to bring the puppy into your bedroom for the first few nights, allowing you to respond to their needs and provide comfort. As time goes on, gradually introduce some separation. After a few nights, move them out of the bedroom, but still close enough for reassurance, and then continue to extend the distance between you and the puppy, step by step. The key is not to rush these changes, as gradual adjustments build confidence and help them become comfortable with being on their own.


JB: When it comes to naming the puppy, how soon can you train them to recognise and respond to their name? TC: Once you’ve settled on a name, the key is to create a positive connection with it. Suppose you name the puppy Fido. Use an upbeat, cheerful tone and say “Fido!” then immediately reward with a treat. This helps in pairing the name with a positive reinforcement. It’s common for owners to use the puppy’s name when reprimanding, but this can make the name sound negative to the dog. We want to avoid this. Instead, always make sure to say the name with a joyful tone, following it with a reward, whether it’s a treat, a gentle pat, or a favourite toy. With consistent positive reinforcement, you’ll soon be able to call out “Fido” from another room and watch him eagerly come to you, expecting a treat or some love. JB: Toilet training can be a challenging aspect of puppy ownership. When and how do you begin this process? TC: Be prepared to become well-acquainted with your garden, especially during the early days of puppy ownership. If possible, bringing a puppy home in the summertime can be advantageous. Here are the steps to get toilet training under control: Puppy-proof your garden: Ensure your garden is secure by patching up any



p46_49_PPM_Mar.indd 47

14/02/2024 09:36

DOG ADVICE holes in the fence. Also, be ready for some of your cherished plants to be fenced off, as puppies can be quite the garden explorers. Frequent garden visits: The key is to take your puppy outside every hour, especially right after meals, playtime, or waking up from a nap. Immediate rewards: As soon as the puppy does their business outdoors, offer immediate praise and a treat. This teaches them that going outside is rewarding. Be present outdoors: It’s crucial to be with the puppy in the garden, so you can reward them promptly. If you reward them inside after coming back from the garden, the puppy might associate the treat with being indoors, leading to more accidents inside. No scolding: If an accident happens indoors, do not scold the puppy or show frustration. They can’t control it at this stage. Simply take them to a different spot, clean up without displaying irritation, and use ammonia-free cleaning products to prevent repeat accidents. With patience and consistency, your puppy will learn that going outside is the way to earn treats and praise, and the frequency of accidents indoors will decrease.

2 3 4 5


JB: Are there any signs the puppy might show if they do need to wee? TC: The good thing about letting them out every hour, is they are less likely to get it wrong. My advice is don’t wait until your puppy is telling you he wants to go. Get in that garden before he wants to go. Give him that opportunity. Doing this every hour on

the hour is best as it’s the easiest way to keep track. Sometimes, a puppy will spin in a gentle circle and make their way to the door leading to the garden, but that’s too late for me. You want to have already let your puppy out into the garden before this point. JB: When it comes to training, owners often wonder about starting with commands. When is the right time to dive into the basics? TC: It’s essential to understand that while commands like ‘sit’, ‘stay’, and ‘come’ are foundational, they shouldn’t be the immediate focus. When your puppy first arrives home, they are absorbing everything - from daily routines to understanding that shoes on means you might be leaving. Let them acclimatise and process their new environment. A helpful initial step can be enrolling your puppy in a good training class, but this can wait until they’ve had their second set of vaccinations. These classes are beneficial for socialisation and learning in a structured environment. In the early days, prioritise bonding exercises like teaching the puppy their name and reinforcing positive behaviours, such as coming to you when called. The traditional commands can be introduced later on, once they’re more settled in their new home. Focus on building a trusting relationship first, and the rest will come more naturally. JB: Socialisation is key for a puppy’s development. When and how should this process be initiated to ensure they grow into confident adults? TC: A great starting point is taking your puppy to semi-busy places, carrying them in your arms rather than on a leash. Offer your puppy treats each time they encounter a new experience, whether it’s people passing by, someone approaching, or a car driving by. Allow your puppy to look around and learn from a safe distance. While out and about, people may express

Tony’s top tip Playpens, especially those made for children, are an excellent tool for anyone introducing a new puppy into their home. These pens are designed with safety in mind. It provides a familiar environment, reducing anxiety when you’re not around. Puppies are notorious for getting into mischief, and a playpen ensures they have a space where they can’t chew on furniture, electrical cords, or other potential hazards. Whether you’re stepping away briefly to brew a cup of tea or need a moment in another room, the playpen offers a quick solution. You can rest assured that your puppy is safe, secure, and entertained. interest in saying hello or petting your puppy, which can be overwhelming if there’s a crowd. In this case, provide a treat to the other person to give to your puppy as a reward. The key is to let the world go by without pushing or forcing your puppy into unfamiliar situations and environments. They need gentle exposure to things they may have never encountered before, like cars, bicycles, or large trucks, as well as exposure to various types of people and places, in a calm and positive manner. Sitting on a park bench or standing outside a quiet shop can serve as excellent starting points for this gradual socialisation process. Remember, it’s all about helping your puppy become familiar with the world in a comfortable and stress-free way. JB: Socialising your puppy with other dogs is crucial. How do you recommend such interactions? TC: Again, an excellent way to start is by sitting on a park bench. Once your puppy spots another dog, offer them a treat,

A simple socialisation technique is to sit on a park bench and let your puppy watch the world go by.


p46_49_PPM_Mar.indd 48

14/02/2024 09:36

creating a positive association. When your puppy is ready to be walked (typically after the second set of vaccinations), the old approach was to let your puppy go up to every dog or allow every dog to approach your puppy. However, this method has its downsides, as older puppies who were previously allowed to approach every dog may become frustrated when suddenly denied access. Frustration can lead to aggressive behaviour, with the dog appearing hostile when, in reality, it’s pent-up frustration. Instead, I recommend allowing your puppy to greet only three out of five dogs during your walk, ensuring not every dog they encounter gets a chance to say hello. Always communicate with the other dog’s owner first, ask if their dog is comfortable around puppies, and then allow a supervised introduction where both dogs can have a sniff. Reward this calm meeting with a treat to create a positive association and reinforce friendly interactions. JB: Given the dual benefits of training classes — both for training and socialisation — do you advocate taking puppies to such sessions? TC: Absolutely. Being around other dogs is pivotal for a puppy’s social development. But it’s crucial to emphasise that the nature of these interactions matters. In the past, puppy classes were more laissez-faire, with dogs interacting freely. You might have seen what some call ‘puppy parties’ where puppies jostle and wrestle, sometimes piling on top of one another. However, this free-for-all style can have unintended consequences. Some puppies might start displaying rough behaviour, while others, especially those overwhelmed or “trapped” under the pile, might learn that other dogs are threats. These puppies might grow to respond aggressively, barking, growling, or lunging, whenever another dog approaches.

Recommended reading It’s essential to ensure controlled, measured interactions. If you plan to let puppies interact without leashes, they should be of similar sizes and have comparable play styles. If one is too rough, it can instil undesirable behaviours in the other. In modern classes, the approach has shifted to more structured interactions. In my own classes, for example, dogs remain on leashes to keep interactions controlled. The goal is for puppies to be aware of other dogs but remain focused primarily on their owner. This way, they learn to operate in a space with other dogs while also strengthening their bond with their human companion. It’s all about striking the right balance: fostering comfort with other dogs while cementing their relationship with the owner.


PUZZLE ANSWERS CROSSWORD Across: 3 Green, 6 Arsenal, 7 Lisbon, 8 Bristol, 10 Horizon, 12 Ellie Leach Down: 1 Delaware, 2 Spandau Ballet, 4 Zoe Ball, 5 Margot Robbie, 9 Krone 11 Knee

There are a lot of books out for puppies, the one I like, is Easy Peasy Puppy Squeezy by Steve Mann.


Tony Cruse is a member of the Association of Pet Dog Trainers and the Institute of Modern Dog Trainers.



p46_49_PPM_Mar.indd 49

14/02/2024 09:37


Keep on

Running Running with your dog can be a fun, healthy activity for both of you, as Jacqueline Boyd reveals. am not a natural runner but I do run with my dogs. In fact, I love running with them and will happily cover several kilometres with my little spaniel team. It keeps me sane and reasonably fit, and the opportunity to run is something my dogs benefit from too — they also love it and get super excited when all the kit comes out. Are we fast? No, and you don’t need to be. My dogs definitely could be much faster but they are slightly hampered by their handler and her less than perfect knees. But we run as a team, and it is a great addition to our activity portfolio.




p50_53_PPM_Mar.indd 50

14/02/2024 11:42

Do we run for fun? Yes — we have even taken part in races — not to compete seriously, but to get the chance to run in new places and spend time with likeminded people and their dogs. We have seen beautiful woodland, parks, and countryside and have chalked up many miles in each other’s company. So, might running with your dog be an activity worth looking into?

Running together There are different ways in which you and your dog can exercise by running together, each with pros and cons. Some people run with their dog free-running, either off-lead beside them or just out in front of them. This works well if your dog is happy running freely and regularly checks in with you, but it is best done in safe environments where traffic, wildlife, and even other dogs or people cannot cause potential hazards or distractions.

Sometimes, a dog will happily trot along with their handler holding the lead attached to either the dog’s collar or harness. This can work well in busy locations where close control is preferred but is not ideal for long distances because holding the lead can interfere with your running style. If your dog pulls, it can cause physical problems for you and him, especially if your dog is pulling into his collar. This is why running in a harness would always be preferred.

Canicross Canicross is where dog and handler run together as a connected team, with the dog pulling out in front of their handler in the same way that sled dogs pull their sleds. Indeed, canicross is described as a dry land, sled dog sport, meaning that even my spaniels become sled dogs when they are canicrossing! It originated from the need to keep working and competitive sled dogs fit and active even when there was no snow

Do we run for fun? Yes — we have even taken part in races — not to compete seriously, but to get the chance to run in new places and spend time with like-minded people and their dogs.

on the ground, so people started running, with their dogs pulling them along.

What equipment will I need? At the most basic level, a good pair of running shoes and clothing suitable for some physical activity is a must. Trail shoes are a good option and provide extra grip and traction for running on uneven or potentially slippery surfaces. For canicross, the dog wears a harness, usually specifically designed to permit and enhance their pulling power. Their handler wears a specialised running belt that sits around the hips and buttocks, and this is connected to the dog via an elasticated


Many gundog breeds enjoy canicross. Image: Michelle Mortimer.


p50_53_PPM_Mar.indd 51

14/02/2024 11:42

DOG ACTIVITIES hiking might be worth considering where you use similar equipment to canicross, but you hike and explore rather than run. For young dogs, older dogs, dogs with short noses, or those with health concerns, then running needs to be carefully considered and their welfare must come first. This might mean getting the all-clear from your vet first and starting very slowly, building up distance and running time gradually. This is also important for your own fitness and enjoyment. Don’t start trying to run a marathon in the first few months!

Jackie and her dogs take a breather.

Jackie’s team of spaniels.


bungee line. The equipment is specialised and intended to make running with your dog as effective, safe, and easy as possible for you both. This equipment means that canicross also has the advantage of allowing your dog to give you extra little speed boosts sometimes, and it is a great way of adding a level of resistance training to their exercise regime too.

Can all dogs go running? Some dogs are built to run and seem to have a need to run. These dogs tend to thrive when taking part in activities such as canicross and often their handlers are

already physically active and happy to incorporate a four-legged personal trainer into their fitness programme. In competitive canicross, you will see a wide range of breeds and types, including Huskies, hounds, many gundog breeds, and even some specialised, purpose-bred sled dogs such as the Eurohound and Greyster. For many physically fit and able dogs of different breeds and types, running is certainly possible but just be aware that not every dog enjoys running or moving at speed. If your dog prefers to sniff and take their time when outdoors, they are unlikely to enjoy prolonged activity, although cani-

Running alongside their handler is a bonding process for some dogs. www.petproductmarketing.co.uk

p50_53_PPM_Mar.indd 52

14/02/2024 11:42

Start slowly, and build up gradually. Image: Becky Harding.

...the opportunity to run is something my dogs benefit from too — they also love it and get super excited when all the kit comes out.

Top tips for new starters

● Advice typically suggests not starting to run seriously until your dog is fully physically grown and matured. For most dogs, this is around a year to 18 months of age, although you can start doing short, straight runs, teaching essential cues and all about wearing the equipment earlier. ● Start slowly and gradually build up your distance and speed. This is important for the health and welfare of you and your dog. Don’t be afraid to intersperse walking and hiking with little runs. ● If you or your dog have had any health issues, check with your doctor and vet first before starting a new running routine.


● Running with your dog on roads and pavements isn’t ideal and certainly not for prolonged periods as it can be bad for their joints (and yours). Try to mix up running on different surfaces such as tracks, footpaths, and byways. ● You do need to train your dog to be responsive to specific cues for turning, slowing, stopping, or even going faster — useful for sprint finishes in races. ● It’s also useful to train your dog to be able to run past distractions confidently on cue so that you can keep going without having to stop or get tripped up because of a nice smell, another dog, or even people! ● Make sure you do a warm-up and warm down before and after running — this is also important to allow your dog to go to the toilet before starting out! ● There are a number of specialist retailers of canicross equipment who offer great advice and support, especially in choosing the correct harness for your dog, so definitely seek their guidance when you are starting out to avoid potentially costly equipment mistakes! www.petproductmarketing.co.uk

p50_53_PPM_Mar.indd 53

14/02/2024 11:42



PPM Puzzles! Take 10 minutes out your day to have a fun, mental workout! We’ve got a series of puzzles to get those little grey cells working!


Can you spot the five differences between these two pics?



Across 3 What is the colour of an Emerald? (5) 6 Which football team plays at the Emirates? (7) 7 What is the capital of Portugal? (6) 8 Street artist Banksy is originally associated with which British city? (7) 10 What was the name of the accounting system at the centre of the Post Office scandal? (7) 12 Which celebrity won the 2023 version of Strictly Come Dancing? (5,5)

Down 1 Which is only US state to begin with the letter D?(8) 2 Gary and Martin Kemp which in which band (7,6) 4 Who is the current host of the Radio 2 morning show? (3,4) 5 Which actress played Barbie in the 2023 movie?(6,6) 9 What is the currency of Denmark? (5) 11 In which part of the body would you find the cruciate ligament? (4)

See page 49 for solutions. www.petproductmarketing.co.uk

p54_PPM_Mar24.indd 54

14/02/2024 11:03

Pet Product Marketing Fo r i n d e p e n d e n t p e t r e t a i l e r s

Visit: www.petproductmarketing.co.uk ● New products — shared as soon as we have them ● Trade news — the very latest industry news ● Read each issue for free online ● New product videos ● Pet shop interviews ● Sign up to the newsletter to receive a weekly update

Check out the website! WebFiller.indd 1

10/01/2024 10:50







14/02/2024 10:04

Issuu converts static files into: digital portfolios, online yearbooks, online catalogs, digital photo albums and more. Sign up and create your flipbook.