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2:31 AM   April 21, 2015
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Industry News

Don’t know if you caught it a few weeks ago but the woman behind Puppy Cake, Kelly Chaney, was on ABC’s "Shark Tank.” Puppy Cake is a packaged cake mix for dogs made with all-natural, human-grade ingredients. Kelly was on "Shark Tank” trying to raise capital so she could attend more industry trade shows and get more exposure for her product. As Kelly indicated during the TV show segment, 43 percent of dog owners celebrate their dog’s birthday. Since birthday cakes are the centerpiece of any birthday celebration, Kelly’s product has a very large market potential.

pet spending

I was surprised that none of the investors (aka sharks) chose to invest in Puppy Cake. In the past, the investors on "Shark Tank” have been pet-friendly, so to speak, jumping on the chance to invest in CitiKitty, the world-famous cat toilet training kit. As I’ve previously blogged, the birthday segment of my business continues to be one of the best performing. Good luck to Kelly as she grows her business.

Speaking of growth, the American Pet Products Association recently announced that Americans spent $50.96 billion on their pets in 2011, up 5.3 percent from 2010 when pet spending totaled $48.35 billion. The service category—one that includes grooming, boarding, pet-sitting and day care—experienced the highest growth rate (7.9 percent) of any industry category. Do you have any future plans for your boutique to capitalize on this growing sector? I’m thinking more seriously about bringing in a groomer to complement my product mix. I just need to find the right one.

Now that I have a dog in the house again, I do look at products on the market in a different light. When they first came out, I was skeptical of the GPS-based dog locators. Part of that skepticism may have stemmed from the fact that we had invisible fencing for our lab, Marley. Marley never tested the boundaries of the system. We could leave Marley out for hours and have the utmost confidence that she would remain in the yard and not go exploring. With the new pup, Daisy, things are certainly different. We haven’t yet trained her on the invisible fence system. But, based on her quickness and prey drive, I’m not sure how confident I will ever be with invisible fencing for her. Having a GPS-based locating system for Daisy may very much be worth the peace of mind. I do get daily requests from local dog owners to post "Lost Dog” information on my Facebook page with pictures and last-sighting information. It just breaks my heart thinking what these people are going through not knowing where their furry friend is. For about $100 and a monthly service fee, you’ll always know where to find your dog. That is PRICELESS!

Don’t forget that Easter is early this year; make sure your treat case is filled with eggs, bunnies and carrot-shaped biscuits. Here’s to a warm and profitable spring.

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