Have you wanted to have a healthy pet yet have lower expenses for everyday pet products? According to a recent survey of pet owners by Pet Business magazine, 37% of pet consumers prefer to shop at mass merchandisers, primarily for price and convenience. This preference is due, in part, to the sagging economy and fluctuating gas prices.
Convenience and selection determine where 60% of pet consumers shop for pet food, rather than just shopping for less expensive pet food. Most people prefer to buy their pet food at supermarkets (39%) or mass merchandizers (32%).
However, 58% of pet consumers have not switched where they buy their pet supplies. They stayed with their supplier of healthy pet products based on the supplier’s expertise and education. Those that did switch based their decision to switch on price first, then convenience and selection. Overall, mass merchandizers offer the best prices.
Independent pet stores continue to be competitive in pet products and foods to keep pets healthy. The knowledgeable staff at an independent pet store can build customer loyalty with you by serving the needs of your pets. They ensure that you only buy pet food products that are completely intact, meaning that the containers should not be ripped, torn or have broken seals that expose the food to outside contamination.
When you buy pet food, you should also have a way of knowing the actual laboratory results for about nine known contaminants before the food reaches the store shelves. The way a food is stored and how long it is stored also plays a role in its safety and value of the food for your pet. Buying a holistically formulated fresh food that is shipped directly to your home from the supplier actually provides a better value not only for the health your pet, but also to your wallet. Carefully check the “Best By” date codes on any product that you purchase.
Freeze-dried training treats provide a better value for the pet consumer. You can reward your pets for good behavior without adding unnecessary calories to their diet. Gourmet treats should be functional to add value to the pampering of your pet. Holistic treats do not have to be expensive. In fact, healthy pet treats remain very affordable.
This Pet Business survey pertains more to the price-conscious pet consumer, rather than the value-conscious pet consumer. The value of a pet product ultimately is based on its performance and safety.
In the cat world, Oil-Dri Corporation of America has worked for over 70 years to develop clay cat litter products that perform well in areas of odor control, low dust and tracking, strong clumping in scoopable litters and safety for the cats. Clay litter remains popular because of its natural absorbency properties. Competing organic litter products made from corn or wheat must be maintained well to avoid the growth of bacteria and the formation of unpleasant odors.
When you exercise and entertain your pet with appropriate pet toys, the positive mental health of the pet results in less expense for you. Otherwise, you may find yourself paying for destruction of your home or items of personal value. By purchasing a behavior modification product that encourages good behavior rather than one that inhibits inappropriate behavior, you will build a benevolent bond with your pet. Puzzle toys can challenge a dog to fulfill mental needs that physical exercise alone may not provide. Cats exercise in cat “trees” that have ledges and tunnels.
In the past, pet consumers would purchase chews from an open bin with no concern for the source of the product, thus risking the safety of the product for their pet. Now, you can expect dental chews to contain breath-freshening ingredients, such as chlorophyll, parsley seed oil and/or mint extracts. Chemical substances such as sodium hexametaphosphate may be added to chews but the mechanical action of chewing has been shown to be more important for dogs’ dental health than chemical activity. You can promote continuous health for your pet by providing daily chews, brushing your pets’ teeth twice a week and having yearly vet exams to make sure your pet has not cracked or broken any teeth.
When you base your selection of collars and leashes on trendy bright colors, you may give up the value of functionality. As a pet owner, you are better off buying superior quality products first that can take the extensive wear and tear exerted on them.
If you engage in sports with your dogs, you will find value in fitness products that keep your dogs’ cores strong. These can be used indoors when the weather is too hot or cold to exercise outdoors. Fitness products, such as those made by FitPAWS, offer muscle strengthening, cardiovascular endurance and flexibility. Preventative exercise with fitness products can help reduce the likelihood of injury and chronic health problems, thereby lessening the expense of keeping the pet active.
The fact is…healthy pets are living longer, happier lives. The good news is…you can find premium products with overall less expense to improve your pets’ lives.
Amelia Johnson has been a Petpreneur since 1971. She can answer your questions about grooming, dog training or holistic nutrition. She has also trained World Champion show horses. Amelia can help you earn money with your pets. If you do not know the answers, she can point you in the right direction. Visit her dog’s blog at http://YourPetsView.com.