The Wet Nose Press Pet Blog

November 28, 2019
by Lynn Merton
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Pet Food Trends to Look Out for In 2020

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According to the American Pet Products Association, the pet industry is undergoing a rapid growth trajectory. Nearly 85 million homes have pets, and in the last three decades, pet ownership has increased from 56% to nearly 70%. This growth in pet ownership can be attributed to the availability of online shopping and technology. However, much of this growth has occurred because of our culture. As Generation Z and millennials have entered into adulthood, they’ve increasingly embraced pet-loving and pet-owning lifestyles to a greater extent than their parents. Currently, up to 32% of baby boomers own pets, whereas 62% of pets are owned by younger cohorts.

With this increased focus on pet care, it’s no wonder that pet food has experienced many changes. You can expect the following pet food trends in the approaching New Year:

Focus on Health

Consumers no longer want to purchase traditional foods for their pets. They want products with healthy ingredients. This means the ingredients list must be clear and listed. Consumers want frozen, made-to-order, and fresh food for their pets’ diets. Although these products will cost more, consumers are still making the switch.

Growth of Small Online Brands

Even though Chewy.com and Amazon are dominating the online pet food industry, smaller pet food brands are finding their own niche in the pet food market and establishing their own identity. Many shoppers are gravitating towards such companies with the assumption that a niche company would have a better focus on pet health, pet care, and pet food quality than bigger companies.

Treats

Pet owners like to give up to 10 treats a day to their pets. The expectation of quality, fresh ingredients, and nutrition that we see in pet food will carry over to pet treats as well.

Pet Food Education

Consumers today care greatly about what they’re pets are consuming. They want to know how their pets will benefit from a particular food. According to education manager Kathryn Buffington from Nulo Pet Foods, shoppers will spend an extra few minutes perusing through the ingredients lists before making a purchase decision. They’re trying to ascertain the quality of food products. Consumers are looking for whole food ingredients, with natural, human-grade, non-GMO components. With the presence of these indicators, it points to less adulteration with the best nutritional components for their pets. From a nutritional perspective, if the pet food is able to meet an animal’s nutritive requirements, then it will increase its longevity and quality of life.

Pet Food Availability

Consumers used to shop at only brick-and-mortar shops for their pet’s needs. Now e-commerce has been added to the mix, which is increasing on a daily basis. In addition, pet owners are now able to place orders through apps on their smartphones. When improved shipping is added to the process, the delivery of fresh and healthy pet food is expedited.

These trends in pet food in the New Year will enable pet owners to improve the care and quality of life of their pets.

November 28, 2019
by Lynn Merton
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The Most Unusual and Exotic Breed of Cats

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The world is filled with exotic animals of a different color, different size, and shape. Out of all the exotic animals is the cat, majestic and fearless. Almost every breed of cat is unique in its own way, but only a few breeds are unique, as well as exotic. They are not just the cat you will find next door, but the classy kitten that you don’t see everywhere.

  • Birman, popularly known as the ‘Sacred Cat of Burma’, is distinguished by its deep blue eye, silky coat, and contrasting white ‘gloves’ on each paw.
  • Japanese Bobtail has an unusual bobbed tail resembling the tail of a rabbit. It is native to Japan and Southeast Asia but now found throughout the world. They appear in Japanese traditional folklore and art for centuries.
  • Lykoi is a word that comes from a Greek word, which means ‘wolf’. It is a fitting name as Lykoi kittens lack hair on their underbellies, around their eyes, nose, and muzzles and look just like baby werewolves.
  • Maine Coon, the largest domesticated breed of cats, is one of the oldest natural breeds in North America. It is the official state cat of Maine where its origins lie. The cat possesses valuable hunting skills and distinguishing physical appearance, making it one of the most popular breeds in the world.
  • Manx is a breed of domestic cat that originated on the Isle of Man. It has a naturally occurring mutation that shortens its tail, making it a unique, entirely tailless cat, its most distinguishing character.
  • Russian Blue is believed to have originated from the Archangel Isles of northern Russia. Russian Blue is a short-haired cat with blue-gray plush coat. These cats typically have green eyes. They are relatively very quiet and warm up to people very quickly.
  • Scottish Fold is a breed that owes its heritage to a barn cat named Susie who had ears that were folded downwards due to genetic mutation. Though they have a unique owl-like feature, they are notoriously affectionate.
  • Siamese is one of the most exotic breeds of cats originating from Thailand. It is characterized by almond-shaped eyes, large ears, a triangular head shape, and a slender, muscular body. These are intelligent and playful breeds that enjoy a game of fetch.
  • Sphynx is arguably the most bizarre-looking cat that is also extremely strong and surprisingly very rare to find. The lack of hair makes the Sphynx one of the most exotic and unique cats in the world.
  • Turkish Van is a breed of cat unique for its Van pattern wherein the cat is white, and the color is restricted to the head and the tail. These eyes have blue or amber eyes, or even with heterochromia iridis.

Some of the other exotic and unique cat breeds include Siberian, Singapura, Somali, German Rex, Abyssinian, among few others.

November 27, 2019
by Lynn Merton
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4 Tech Trends Adding to The Growth of the Pet Industry

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According to a report published by Packaged Facts in the publication U.S. Pet Market Outlook, 2018 to 2019, in 2017 the American pet industry touched a whopping $86 billion. This growth trajectory is going to head upwards. Sales in pet services and products rose by 5% in 2018. As this industry continues to expand by leaps and bounds, its key players are struggling to keep up the changing demands of the marketplace.

From pet technology to pet e-commerce, here are four tech trends that are fueling the future growth of the pet industry:

1. E-Commerce Continues to Dominate

As internet sales keep growing, many brick-and-mortar pet shops are becoming defensive. More and more consumers are migrating towards online shopping and at a staggering pace too. Pet supply and pet food companies cannot afford to miss out on this rapidly expanding channel.

The results of a 2018 survey published by Packaged Facts showed that nearly 37% of U.S. pet owners purchased pet online more often than they used to. In addition, 14% of consumers made an online purchase for pet products within the last week. With the availability of a wide selection of products, low shipping costs, and auto-replenishment options, it’s no wonder that pet consumers are increasingly turning towards online shopping.

2. Amazon Will Lead In Online Sales

Currently, Amazon dominates the online sales of pet products- for a good reason too! Currently, Amazon has 65 million Prime members on its very popular shopping app. And this figure is increasing every day. The app has one-of-a-kind voice-shopping capabilities with Amazon Echo. This e-commerce giant continues to stay a step ahead of its competition within the pet industry.

Packaged Facts states that Amazon draws more than half of the consumers who shop for pet products online, outshining PetSmart.com, Chewy.com, and Walmart.com by a wide margin. In addition, Amazon is also installing robotic innovations within its warehouses to gain competitive advantages in shipping.

3. Big-Box Pet Stores Plan to Expand

In the last few years, Walmart, Petco, and PetSmart have been trying to keep with online pet retailers, especially via acquisitions. For example, in 2018, PetSmart purchased Chewy.com in one of the largest e-commerce acquisitions to date. It even surpassed Walmart’s purchase of Jet.com at $3.3 billion. This trend will continue to dominate with legacy retailers.

To grab some e-commerce market space, big-box pet specialty shops and big merchandisers are providing in-store pickup paired with online ordering. To further differentiate their strategies, PetSmart and Petco are increasing their revenue sources by offering pet care services that currently remain an untapped resource.

4. The Use of Smart Devices to Meet Pet-Care Needs

The use of smart devices and the Internet of Things is shaping how we care for our pets. Pet tech products are enabling pet owners to track their pets’ key health metrics, physical activity, location, etc. Internet-connected treat dispensers and video cameras are enabling pet owners to interact with their pets through Skype and similar programs. It also facilitates dispensing food while the owner is away from home. Pet tech devices are being introduced to minimize stress levels of pet owners and to improve the care of cats and dogs. These four tech trends will shape where and how pet owners shop for their pets.

November 26, 2019
by Lynn Merton
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Top 3 Books About Cats

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Cats are incredible creatures and wonderful pets. So it’s natural that you’d want to learn more about them. Cats are inquisitive creatures. They’re always on the lookout for new information, and once they find it, they get fixated. They have many lovable quirks. While they may seem odd at times, they can be understood, and the journey to that understanding isn’t a long one. The best way to understand your cat is to spend more time with them. As the bond between parent and pet grows, you’ll find it easier to sing to her tune.

Understanding your kitty is especially crucial if you’re a first-time parent. While this can be overwhelming, there are a few books you could read that can help you along the way. When it comes down to picking a specific book, you may find yourself in a tight spot because of the number of books about pet behavior and pet care that you’ll find on the market. So we narrowed it down for you. Here are a few helpful books that will help you navigate your life as a new cat parent.

1. The Domestic Cat: The Biology of Its Behavior

Although this book may seem a little scientific, it talks about all the latest research about cats while also disproving age-old misconceptions about these lovely creatures. You’ll find collections of articles about veterinary science, the biology of cats, their innate predatory nature, their social life, and their general behavior. If you’re curious about what science has to say about the behavior of your cat, then this book should be at the very top of your list.

2. The ASPCA Complete Guide to Cats

Learning the very basics about cat behavior and care is something you’ll need to do if you’re planning to be a cat parent. You’ll need to know what it is that keeps them happy as well as feeling safe and cared for. James R. Richards gives you everything you’ll need to know while going into taking care of a cat, and then some. This book covers topics such as feline behavior, grooming, vet care, litter box training, health, nutrition, and many more. It even has a section on popular feline breeds and their behavioral patterns. It’s a good place to start when it comes to an understanding your kitty.

3. Think Like a Cat: How to Raise a Well-Adjusted Cat – Not a Sour Puss

Written by Pam Johnson-Bennett, this book offers you important insights into your cat’s behavior. This book covers a variety of topics that will enable you to make sure that at the end of the day, you’ll have a content, well-behaved, and sweet cat. It also talks about how you can ensure that your cat grows up in the right environment, cat training, behavior modification, care for an elder cat, and more. Other books you could refer to include Catify to Satisfy: Simple Solutions for Creating a Cat-Friendly Home, and The Cat Owner’s Home Veterinary Handbook.

November 25, 2019
by Lynn Merton
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Movies That Deal With the Grief of Losing a Pet

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Losing a pet can be devastating. It’s no secret that our furry friends have a shorter life span than we do. Which, in turn, means that loss is inevitable. Our pets are like family to us. Losing a part of your family is undoubtedly one of the most tragic losses you can experience in life. Having to deal with the loss of a beloved pet is never easy. There are many ways that a pet can die. It’s not just old age that tears us away from our pets. Just like all living things, they also fall sick. And sometimes, it’s up to us to pull the plug instead of seeing them suffer and battle with an illness they can’t win. This takes a considerable toll on the average human. A pet can also die from infections, allergies, and old age. Here are a few movies that not only deal with the grief of losing a beloved pet but also helps with easing that grief.

1. All Dogs Go to Heaven

All dogs go to heaven is a heartwarming movie about the mischievous Charlie. He’s already dead and living his best life in heaven at the beginning of the movie. This gives the audience a sense that maybe the afterlife is a pleasant place for our departed friends. We later see Charlie come back to life to avenge his death. He learns a few lessons along the way and happily goes back to heaven at the end of the film.

2. Marley & Me

It’s no surprise that this particular movie ended up on this list. We all know what happens at the end of this all-time favorite. The movie beautifully portrays the bond between a dog and their human, built over the years. Marley gets older and older, and one day, she falls sick. Much like in life, we see what’s coming in the movie but can’t help but shed a tear as Marley is ripped away from us.

3. I Am Legend

This movie reminds us why dogs are the best companions. Even during a zombie apocalypse, Will Smith’s character clings on to sanity with the help of his beloved dog, Sam. While they were out searching for a possible cure, they get stuck in a sticky spot, and Sam gets infected. The movie is heart-wrenching in every way. The movie explores a type of Euthanasia and what mercy killing is about. When you’re stuck in a difficult situation, sometimes, the most difficult answer is the most humane one.

4. My Dog Skip

This movie showcases the love between dog and man and how both species have a symbiotic relationship. Skip helps the main protagonist Willie, grow as a person, molding and changing him for the better. They go through thick and thin together. This movie shows the difference a pet can make to someone’s character as they grow. Some other movies portraying the death of pets are ‘Where the Red Fern Grows,’ ‘Old Yeller,’ ‘Hachi: A Dog’s Tale,’ ‘Eight Below,’ and ‘A Dog’s Purpose.’