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Survey Reveals Pet Sitters’ Product, Shopping Preferences

Posted: Nov. 7, 2011, 7:30 p.m. PST

More than six of 10 professional pet sitters (61.5 percent) reported shop pet retail stores most often for their pet products, compared with 12.9 percent reporting online and 8.1 percent reporting big box store, according to Pet Sitters International’s 2011 State of the Industry Survey. Together, members of the King, N.C.-based trade group performed an estimated 18.5 million pet-sitting visits in 2010: visits that often include product recommendations and usage, the group reported.

As part of its triennial survey, the trade group sought to measure its members’ collective influence when it came to product preferences.

“Pet sitters are dedicated professionals who spend a lot of time with pets and pet owners, likely more than any pet industry professional,” said Patti Moran, president of Pet Sitters International. “Clients depend on these service provides to come into their homes, care for their pet children and provide opinions on a range of products from leashes to litter.”

When it came to food, respondents were most likely to recommend Wellness for dog food or cat food. For dog food, Purina/Proplan received the second most recommendations, followed by Hill’s Science Diet. For cat food, Hill’s placed second and Purina, third. The food recommendations were far from unanimous, however: with dog food, for example, 12.2 percent recommended Wellness and the top seven brands accounted for less than 50 percent of the recommendations.

PSI Survey

By comparison, the top most recommended brands of cat litter accounted for more than 70 percent of recommendations. The top brands were Fresh Step (16.2 percent), Tidy Cat (14 percent), World’s Best (10.3 percent), Arm & Hammer (9.3 percent), Scoop Away (9.1 percent), Swheat Scoop (6.4 percent), Feline Pine (5.1 percent) and Yesterday’s News (1.5 percent).

Favorite dog chews were Nylabone, followed by Greenies, followed by rawhide chews in general.
Favorite dog toys were Kong, followed by throw and fetch toys, followed by squeaky and plush toys.
Top cat toys were feather dancers, followed by catnip toys, followed by mouse toys.

Traditional dog leashes were the most popular for professional pet sitters to use and recommend, the trade group reported.

The top flea and tick remedies were Frontline Plus, followed by Advantix and Revolution.

Nearly 2,000 Pet Sitters International members, 27 percent of its membership, responded to the survey.

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