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Consumer Watch (Archived)
Editorial Director Melissa Kauffman reports on pet owner concerns and passions to deliver retailers the latest in customer trends. She uses information from magazine readers and website users of Pet Product News International’s sister products, leaders in their breed-specific fields: Dog Fancy, Cat Fancy, Bird Talk, Reptiles, FAMA, Aquarium Fish International, Critters USA and the websites DogChannel, CatChannel, BirdChannel, ReptileChannel, FishChannel and SmallAnimalChannel. Kauffman has covered the pet industry for more than 18 years as an editor for BowTie Inc.

March 15, 2010
Consumers Get New Pets in 2010
We wanted to know how people viewed 2010, especially in regard to adding another animal companion to their family. Because we are all still waiting for the economy to improve, we expected pet owners to respond with a resounding, “No!” to getting a new pet. But, when we polled visitors to our sister websites, the results were certainly interesting ... More»

January 18, 2010
Reptile Enthusiasts Attend Pomona Reptile Show
“It was awesome,” said Reptiles magazine and site Sales Manager Sandy Quinn when I asked her about last weekend’s Reptile Super Show. According to Quinn, 10,000 sample bags from show sponsor Zoo Med Laboratories Inc. were all gone by 1 p.m. on Sunday.The two-day Reptile Super Show was held at the Pomona ... More»

December 31, 2009
For the Love of Dogs
Now that consumers have shown their love for their dogs this Christmas season by dressing them in holiday outfits and taking humiliating pictures for their Christmas cards (see attached photo of my dog), it is time to move on to Valentine's Day. While other loves come and go, a dog's love remains constant. Therefore, it is time to break out ... More»

December 18, 2009
How Much Is The Fish In the Tank?
To haggle or not to haggle, is that a question for a fish store retailer? The definition of haggle is “to bargain, as over the price of something.”  Now I love to haggle as much as the next person, but typically I only haggle at the swap meet or a yard sale, not at my local pet retail store. However, that’s just me. But what about fish retail store ... More»

november 25, 2009
National Cage Bird Show
Best in Show is one of my favorite movies. I find it hilarious. It helped put national dog shows on the map, or at least on our televisions. However, did you know there was a National Cage Bird Show? Held annually in November every year, this year Tulsa, Oklahoma hosted the event on November 19 through 21st. Hundreds of birds compete for the ... More»

november 9, 2009
Pet Rabbits, Kids & ARBA 
Who doesn’t love a pet rabbit? I know I do. I had three of them as a kid: Hippity, Hoppity and Snowy. As an adult, I have friends who keep pet rabbits too. In fact, according to the American Pet Product Association’s 2009-2010 Pet Owner’s Survey, pet rabbits are the most commonly kept small animal pet in the United States. Out of the 15.9 million ... More»

October 20, 2009
To Try or Not To Try a New Pet Product 
There are a lot of pet products out there and, at times, I feel I’ve tried most of them. I typically stick with what works, but I do try a new pet product when it intrigues me. Some pet owners don’t like to change from their favorite pet brands, perhaps because their pets are picky and don’t like change or because they don’t want to waste money if the product ... More»

October 2, 2009
Pet Owners Will Love Camping with a Pet Dog 
It’s finally fall, which means it is not too hot and not too cold. In other words, it is the perfect time for your pet dog owning customers to go camping with their pet dogs.Now this is something that I have never tried to do before this year. Honestly, I never even thought about it. I camped a lot as a kid but we never brought our dogs along. However, I read ... More»

September 10, 2009
Reptiles Are a Family Affair 
You might be surprised at how many families keep pet reptiles. One member of the family may start out as a reptile fan and then it catches on with the rest of the family and, before you know it, the entire family gets involved in reptile keeping. According to the 2009-2010 APPA National Pet Owners Survey, “Reptile owners are more often defined as ‘traditional ... More»

August 26, 2009
Backyard Birders Buy Lots of Wild Bird Products 
I suppose that because I love pet birds, I would naturally love wild birds. Not only do I love them, but my pet birds find them interesting, too. Well, not the hawks and the crows; my pet birds don’t like them. However, just as I buy my pet birds plenty of bird food and bird-food accessories, I also buy plenty of products for the wild birds. Moreover ... More»

August 10, 2009
What’s A Critter to Do?
If you have a ever shared your home with a small animal (guinea pig, ferret, chinchilla, hamster, rat, etc.) as an adult, which I have, then you would know that small animals need more to thrive than a cage and a food bowl. This is good news to pet store retailers. Why? Because there are lots of small animal toys and activity products to sell to these ... More»

July 23, 2009
Will the Fish Industry Have a Next Generation?
Star Trek has it – in fact, it has had several. Wrestling has it – from the ancient Greeks to today’s UFC fighters. Even leg warmers have it, albeit I hope they don’t have it for much longer. What all of these have is a next generation, picking up the mantle so the product or the hobby enjoys longevity. When it comes to the pet industry, manufacturers and ... More»

June 30, 2009
Are Customers Switching to Cheaper Pet Products?
I have two dogs at home: one a senior and one at 1 year 7 months. The senior dog has food allergies, so both dogs are fed high-quality dog food. Our senior dog is also addicted to dog treats. She was trained on a reward system and at her age – 14 years – all she cares about is pet food and treats and her daily dog walks ... More»

June 22, 2009
Harnesses and Leashes for Cats
A perennial hot topic among cat owners is “should you or should you not keep your cat indoors?” Cat Fancy magazine has always stressed that cats should not be allowed outdoors due to the many dangers (cars, other animals, treated lawns and gardens) plus the concern over cats killing native species, such as wild birds ... More» 

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