Pampered Pets

May 28, 2006

Yeah, I can just see Beauty ‘frolicking’ the cat spa, ‘relieving her stress’ by shredding other felines to teensy bits before enjoying cuppa catnip herbal tea. 🙂

This story ran on nwitimes.com on Saturday, May 27, 2006 12:59 AM CDT

BY JEAN STARR
Times Correspondent

Who doesn’t like to be pampered with creature comforts like stylish clothing, massage and gourmet cuisine? According to American Pet Products Manufacturers Association, products for our companion animals are stretching well beyond the essentials and into the realm of indulgences.

The latest pet product trend report indicates that expensive treats have become must-haves for pet owners who like to spoil their furry, feathered and finned best friends. APPMA has found that purchases of faux mink coats, feathered day beds, designer bird cages and botanical fragrances are becoming more common. Reasons include the increase of empty nester baby boomers, the decrease in family size – freeing up resources for pets – and increased awareness of the benefits to humans of owning a pet.

Allison Allen opened up her online business, The Ritzy Rover Pet Boutique, in 2004. “I started the business because I have bulldogs and they’re hard to fit,” said the Charlotte, N.C. resident. “There were also few resources for things that can be custom made.”

The Ritzy Rover offers ready-made attire for smaller dogs, as well as rhinestone collars, beds, toys and even footwear. Since people with large dogs also like to pamper their pets, Allen has wider collars custom made with rhinestones. The most popular sellers, she said, include shirts, dresses and collars. The top selling color is pink, followed by blue. Items also come ready-made.

“The reason people are doing it (buying specialty items for pets) is because it’s a way to show their love for their dogs,” Allen said. “The dogs like it; they know when they’re pretty.”

Allen’s clients want items that are unique and reflect their pet’s personality. “People will call and explain the personalities of their dog,” she said. “They’re buying things to show that their dog is unique.”

No matter where you shop, there seems to be something pet-related. Garden centers often carry engraved headstones for pets that have passed away. Supermarkets and pet supply stores carry not only food but treats and toys as well. More and more tourist locations, from small town shopping areas to airports, offer something for the pet left at home or brought along on vacation.

Additional trends that reflect the market for pet products based on the APPMA’s report include:

* Big name companies like Paul Mitchell, Omaha Steaks, Origins, Harley Davidson and Old Navy offer lines of pet products ranging from dog shampoo, pet attire and name-brand toys to gourmet treats and food.

* Several hotel chains have announced new pet-friendly policies that include everything from oversized pet pillows, plush doggie robes, to check-in gift packages. Some even have a licensed dog masseuse on staff.

* Today’s pet foods include complete and balanced diets that tantalize our pets’ taste buds and satisfy their tummies. Formulas for puppies and kittens, specialized meals for reptiles, birds and fish and diets for senior pets ensure a long and healthy life for our beloved companions.

* High-tech products including computerized identification tags, digital aquarium kits, automatic doors and feeders, enhanced reptile terrarium lighting systems and touch-activated toys help pet owners take care of companion animals with ease and precision.

* As pet owners meditate in yoga class, cats relieve stress by frolicking in a toy gym or relaxing in a feline spa before enjoying herbal catnip packaged in a tea bag. Dogs sip fresh water from flowing fountains after a soothing rub with a doggie massager.

* From monogrammed sweaters and personalized food and water bowls to digitized collar tags and hand-made treats, owners embrace their pets as true members of the American family celebrating their fluffy, finned and feathered companions with their very own belongings.

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2 Responses to “Pampered Pets”

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  2. Time Freedom Fighter said

    pet shop supplyYou love your pet; then the pet supermarket is definitely the place to go to shop for all of your pet supplies. If you want your pet to be able to use their basic pet supplies such as food dishes for a long time, buy quality items up front. If you have a pet that you absolutely love, it doesn’t mean you have to go overboard with buyiing pet supplies and treats for them.

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