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Pet Product News Editorial Blog:

August 22, 2012

Cater to Customers Traveling with Their Pets This Summer

By Julie Jacobs

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Summer is upon us so it is time to hit the road to our favorite vacation spots. Today, many families are traveling as a family and that means taking our family pets along for the ride.

There are so many ways to travel—car, RV, train, plane, boats—but in all cases what should be foremost in the traveler’s mind is the safety and comfort of their pet on these ventures. There are so many categories in your store that can cater to our world travelers.  Be the first to set up a travel outpost in your store featuring the array of items one may want to have when hitting the road.

Traveling with pets
Travel bags—fashionable, purse-like or functional—get pets safely to their destination. Offer bags with lots of ventilation/mesh for maximum cooling, soft insides, secure closings and lots of pockets. Crates may also be in order, especially for larger dogs. For those traveling by car, safety harnesses, doggy car seats, seat covers, gates for backs of SUV are among some of the things to consider. Perhaps some easy mobile gates, the spring type, might be just the thing for those staying in a hotel or a friend’s home and need to secure a dog in a small area.  Strollers are ideal for those who want to explore and not leave their fur-buddies behind.

Beds or blankets are definitely important. Today there are some great multi-functional beds on the market. Some fold in half and zip close with a handle on top, creating a travel bag for pets toys and other goodies. I personally have had one of these for many years, and they are great traveling items. They can be used as a tote, a bed at the destination and as bed in the car, thus cutting down on the number of items pet owners need to take with them on the trip.

This is also a great time for our consumers to buy a new, clean collar, lead and harness for their dogs. Sell some "bling" charms for those special occasions during the trip. What dog would not want to travel in style? This is also a great opportunity to suggest a new or updated dog tag. Red Dingo has such a great assortment, it may be an easy sell and a great way not only to earn a little profit, but to make sure your customer's pet(s) is properly tagged. Maybe even suggest some cute little travel tees, bandanas and, of course, rain gear as chances are your customers will run into some inclement weather along the way. Other items to recommend are cooling bandanas and harnesses that, when moistened, lower pets' body temperature to keep them cool on hot, balmy days. 

And, of course, your customers will need the staples such as food, perhaps in smaller easier-to-take-along packets, and lightweight portable food/water bowls. Water Rovers are particularly great items for traveling as they are a water container and bowl all in one. This is a hugely favorite item at Dog & Friends.

Speaking fo water, you may want to offer some water safety items, like life jackets, for customers traveling to water locations. 

To make the trip all the more fun, don’t forget to offer plenty of toys and treats.

Suggest your customers introduce these travel items in their day-to-day activities and environment. This way when pets are out of the familiar, they will be more at ease with an old friend from home. It might even be a good idea to offer a travel seminar or check list of the dos and don’ts of traveling with pets.

Happy trails to all!  As always, feel free to email me for additional information.


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