Pets have morphed into people; pet parents think of their animals like children, and no more so than ‘man’s best friend’.
We’ve begun indulging our dogs like children; expensive foods, gimmicks, treats, toys and accessories.
‘More than half (56%) of pet owners say that pets appreciate being given new accessories, rising to 62% of owners aged 16-44.’Trend-Monitor
There’s a feel-good factor involved with making your dogs feel loved, and companies are capitalising on that feeling with messages that dogs deserve the best, and that’s what they’re getting.
Dogs can now indulge themselves with a doggy beer after a long day of going for walks and scratching their ears. And if they don’t get out much, they can use ‘new pet tech’ in the form of a doggy treadmill. Sound absurd?
While it may seem barking to humanise dogs, it’s happening, and specialist and non-specialist retailers can use the opportunity to stock products that will contribute to more sales.
While pet ownership decreased by 7% from 2014 to 2019, with 56% of UK households owning a pet, the desire to want the best for our pets is seeing the market grow.
‘The total UK pet market was valued at £6.5billion in 2017. Analysts have predicted ‘modest but continued steady growth’ in the pet market – with a value of £7billion forecast for 2020-21.’AMA Research
The pet accessories market alone is expected to hit over £900 million before 2021 and accounts for about 12-14% of the pet supplies market, showing owners are willing to pay for the extras they want for their pets.
‘Pet influencers’ are popular among millennials which will continue to fuel more sales as pet owners look to keep up with current trends.
Doug the Pug has 3.7 million followers to date. He’s always sporting the latest accessories, and even managed to land himself a role in a Super Bowl commercial.
Dog products are all the range in 2020, but which ones should you be selling?
Like humans, dogs love to play games. Interacting with a dog is a past time humans have enjoyed for more than 6,000 years.
Unlike humans, dogs can’t watch YouTube videos or play board games, so they tend to adopt more destructive methods (like stealing food) if they’re bored. Thus, most pet owners will attempt to keep their dog entertained with a toy.
The pet toy market is worth over £100 million and is made up of people who want simple, cheap options and those who are looking for more elaborate, topical or ‘trendy’ toys that are a little more expensive.
Also, it’s estimated that 40% of dogs and cats are overweight or obese in the UK, so toys and exercise are an excellent way to lose weight.
One thing dog owners love to do is treat their pets, which can be with anything from standard dog chews to doggy beer or chocolate. Most dogs would probably eat anything, so getting the right treats is also important to dog owners.
Much like food, the big brands are in the treats market, but you can look out for the smaller independent brands if you want something a little more inventive or unusual.
‘The dog treat market grew from £268 million to £482 million from 2012 to 2018.’Statista
There are various types of treats you can stock:
Most people have access to a car these days and travel to some extent; so they often take their pets with them. Travelling with pets is common around the holiday season, school holidays and summer when people are going on holiday.
Dog owners are always wondering how to keep their pooches safe when they’re travelling, whether it’s to prevent them running away or getting lost, the logistics of travelling, general health and wellbeing and insurance.
Dog owners take the wellbeing of their dog seriously, so you should make options available to them that allow them to do that.
An obvious choice, but the most obvious choices are often the best. Every dog needs to eat regularly to survive. The difference is that much like human diets – think keto, vegetarian and vegan – dogs have specialist diets and plenty of choices these days.
It’s no secret brands like Pedigree and Purina dominate the market. Still, plenty of challenger brands and smaller, independent retailers have emerged in the last 5-10 years, creating more choice for curious dog owners.
Here are some dog foods you should think of stocking so owners can get the dog food that’s right for their pooch:
There are hundreds of different dog food brands to stock in your store, so explore the different types listed above and get a mixture of all if you can. Also, consider different diet types like high protein or grain-free as dog owners will often ask if you stock them.
The moment every dog owner dreads… Picking up dog poo! There’s nothing that’s ever going to make picking dog poop up a fun or enjoyable experience, but there are ways we could make it easier on the environment.
‘It’s estimated that the dog population of the UK produces 900 tonnes of faeces every day.’GSPCA
The problem comes with how to do it. Leaving dog poop on the ground can be dangerous and spread disease. However, picking it up in plastic bags send it to landfill where it doesn’t degrade. Luckily, people are open to reducing their plastic use.
If British consumers are looking to reduce their plastic use, then retailers should listen to them and source environmentally friendly alternatives. Whether you want to continue to stock standard plastic bags is up to you, but it pays to give people an alternative, especially one that solves a problem.
‘Eight in 10 consumers are trying to reduce their plastic waste and half would be willing to pay higher prices for eco-friendly packaging.’The Guardian
To add to that, 50% of UK consumers also said they’d pay a higher price for biodegradable packaging, so you’d still be able to make a profit on your goods.
Shop our range of dog products and ensure your store is equipped for dog owners.