January 24, 2022
Pet Products SmartBrief
News for the Pet IndustrySIGN UP ⋅   SHARE
 
Top Story
pet pic
(Michael Loccisano/Getty Images)
Pet parents are increasingly treating their companion animals like family members, according to online marketplace Rover.com, in an ongoing shift that's driving trends in the pet products category this year. Consumers are seeking out solutions for their pets' anxiety, as well as more sustainable and eco-friendly products and high-tech gadgets like smart feeders and video calls.
Full Story: Supermarket News (free registration) (1/21) 
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Industry Watch
A special purpose acquisition company backed by private equity firm KKR is reportedly working on a plan to take PetSmart public in an initial stock offering, after which its shares would trade alongside those of rivals Petco and Chewy. Former Gap CEO and current Lululemon Board Chairman Glenn Murphy is CEO of the SPAC, which is called KKR Acquisition Holdings I Corp.
Full Story: Bloomberg (1/20),  Forbes (tiered subscription model) (1/21) 
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Veterinarians guide clients through vaccine concerns
(Pixabay)
Concerns about vaccines existed long before COVID-19 vaccines came along and extend to some pet owners, says Lori Kogan, a professor at Colorado State University and an author of a study published last year in The Canadian Veterinary Journal that found a link between organized movements against mandatory childhood vaccinations and vaccine hesitancy among pet owners. A set of core vaccines, including rabies shots, are needed -- and in some cases mandated -- for pets, and AVMA President Dr. José Arce and others say veterinarians are happy to guide their clients through decisions about which optional vaccines are needed based on risk.
Full Story: The New York Times (1/21) 
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Dog lovers and inventors Mark Spitz and Blake Dube came up with the idea for a portable pet oxygen canister while renting a house from a veterinarian after graduating from the University of Pittsburgh. They had been developing an oxygen canister for people, but veterinarian Joni Sarakon said there was an unfulfilled need for such a device for pets, and the Pawprint Oxygen system was born with the help of Dr. Sarakon and emergency veterinarian Sean Smarick.
Full Story: Pittsburgh Magazine (1/19) 
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Top Trends and Product News
Vegan dog food startup OMNI has raised $1.5 million in a new funding round which will go toward expanding the UK-based company's product lineup with the addition of new plant-based treats. OMNI's sales have grown an average of 55% per month since its launch last May, and sales in the worldwide vegan pet food market are on track to grow to $15 billion by 2029, according to Insight Partners.
Full Story: Pet Food Processing (free registration) (1/24) 
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Sorry about your dogs, says Uber CEO
(Uber Eats/YouTube)
Dog owners have been vocal on Twitter about doorbell sounds in Uber Eats' "Tonight I'll Be Eating" ads getting their dogs too excited, so the brand tweeted a video of Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi apologizing and offering $10 to customers to spend at Uber Pet Supplies for a limited time. The brand also announced its participation in the "Betty White Challenge" with a $50,000 donation to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals to support pet shelters.
Full Story: MediaPost Communications (free registration) (1/17),  Ad Age (tiered subscription model) (1/14) 
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Regulatory & Government Issues
The Houston City Council approved an ordinance requiring that all pets be microchipped within a year and limiting pet store sales of dogs and cats to animals sourced from a humane organization or a municipal or county animal shelter. A license will still be required to own a pet in Houston, and both license and rabies vaccination data will be matched to the microchip, eliminating use of metal tags.
Full Story: KHOU-TV (Houston) (1/19) 
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Pet Break
Training for the six dogs on Jackson Hole Mountain Resorts' ski patrol team involves plenty of playtime and rewards to teach them not only to find people buried beneath an avalanche but also to ride on snowmobiles, toboggans, chairlifts and the shoulders of patrollers while skiing. The dogs' breeds vary, and certified search-dog handler Chris Brindisi, a Jackson Hole Ski Patrol member since 2000, says working dogs that are enthusiastic and like having a job are best suited for the task.
Full Story: The Washington Post (tiered subscription model) (1/19) 
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Meet The Editor
Janet Forgrieve
Janet Forgrieve
I've made journalism my career for more than two decades, and have been a full-time writer and editor at SmartBrief since 2013, covering the retail and food-and-beverage beats.

I was happy to take over the Pet Products SmartBrief when the opportunity arose, as animals are a passion of mine. I spend my summer Saturdays feeding baby animals at a wildlife rehabilitation center and I also volunteer at a cat shelter.

I'm always eager to hear from readers about pet-related stories we should be covering, so please feel free to email me
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