Wednesday, November 26, 2008

The Animal Industry Overall.

Throughout my semester at NKU I have blogged about the reasons why the pet or animal industry is thriving right now. At the beginning of 2008 it was projected that over $10.5 billion dollars would be spent on pet products and over the counter medications for pets. I'm guessing that the prediction was not far off.

I mentioned many ideas and products that have made the animal industry grow: animals as fads, spotlights on homeless animals, new innovations is technology for veterinarians and groomers, insurance for pets, and the media focusing on animals (e.x. Michael Vic and the pit bull fighting rings). Each and every reason I mentioned so far has contributed to the growth of the animal industry.

I hope the animal industry continues to thrive in this dying economy that we have right now. And hopefully as the economy betters, the animal industry will stay just as strong. For as much as Americans love their pets and treat them like members of the family and with all the new innovations that are coming out for pets, I am confident that the pet or animal industry will hold steady for a long period of time.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Fancy Pet Hotels

As I was talking about in my last blog, more and more people are taking their pets with them when they travel which leads to growth like pet insurance and more businesess carrying pet products. However, when you can't take your pet on the road with you, what do you do with him or her? There are many people who simply put their dog in a kennel and don't worry about them. But if you love your pets as much as I do, there is always some guilt behind leaving your dog at a kennel. You think of the cold, hard floors, the very few trips outside, and you worry they won't get the attention you need. I won't mention business names, but last time I boarded my dog, I had a very bad experience. My dog was not given her special diet food, she was not given her blanket (I know because they gave it back to me with long blonde hairs on it and she is a boston terrier), and she was sick for a week from whatever they did feed her (she has a weak stomach.) So, as I was saying, if you're anything like me than you will be reluctant to put your money into any kennel.

So what are pet owner's options? In one blog I read, it talks about Petsmart's newer Petshotels. In these hotels, the owner has the option to buy a room at a basic price where a bed and attention is provided or they can purchase the "higher class" room where there is a nicer bed and a t.v. for your pets to watch. And at the price you pay, which isn't overly expensive, you are promised to have the proper care and attention for your pet because they specialize in boarding. The blog also said that the Pethotel's give you an oppourtunity to call your pets and talk to them over the phone. This is really a cool option because, whether some want to believe it or not, dogs are responsive to your voice.

In this particular blog, it wonders if the Pethotel is over the top in pet care. "It all seems a little excessive however that more and more people find the increasing need to provide their dogs or other pets with material things created for humans." Some people might find this statement true but I'm going to guess most pet owners would completely disagree. Pets are now members of our families more than anything, and owners like to do all they can for them.

These Pethotels allow onwers to go on vacation or travel where ever they need to, guilt free. Hotels like the one mentioned from PetsMart and others give people the comfort they need to board their pets. And now that these options are available to owners, more people are giving their money to places like these which helps the animal industry to grow even more. And I know that when people leave their pets in pet hotels, they feel like they are giving their money up for a good cause.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Insurance for Pets?

Yes, it is true, more and more companies are now providing insurance for pets. In an article titled, "Pet Industry trends for 2008," by Laura Bennett, it reports, "We estimate the 2007 market size for pet insurance in the U.S. to be approximately $195 million in premium, up from $161 million in 2006, a 21% increase, and we expect 2008 growth to increase. We know of at least 2 more companies launching in 2008, adding to the current 9 pet insurance providers in the U.S. One of these companies is a mainstream pet food brand that has had an interest in pet insurance for many years. New entrants with money is good news for the industry as bigger marketing budgets means increasing awareness for pet insurance in general. Look for some of the largest big box retailers to jump on the pet insurance bandwagon later in 2008, which will start to push the mass awareness required to take pet insurance mainstream."

Pet insurance is obviously taking on a big part in 2008 more than it ever did before. As Bennett reports, growth for insurance on pets is just beginning and will only get larger. And the idea of insurance for pets is spreading past health.

More and more people are taking their pets with them on trips, as Bennett reports. This doesn't just lead more hotels to accept pets and more small businesses to carry pet products, but also pet insurance options to be added on to your car insurance. For example, Progressive Insurance now offers Pet Injury Coverage which can be added to your plan at no extra cost. This means if they are injured in an accident, their bills at the vet will be covered! This is a wonderful idea for a lot of pet owners because they now feel safer taking their pet on trip with them.

Insurance for pets is just one more idea for pets that is causing a boost in the animal industry.

Groomers Are Growing

The pet industry is not only growing with veterinarians and pet stores, but also with grooming. Grooming is a staple for a pet because it promotes a healthy coat as well as good health all around. Grooming usually consists of nail trimming, ear cleaning, teeth brushing, bath, haircut, and if you know what it is, expressing anal glands. All of these things are important to a pet because if they are not done, they can lead to bigger health problems. For example, nails can grow into pads, ear infections can develop, teeth can build tarter which leads to cavities, and skin problems can develop (like hot spots and dry skin).

Now more than ever, groomers are coming up with innovative ideas that make it more convenient for owners to get their pets groomed. One huge innovative idea that more and more groomers are participating in is mobile grooming. A groomer will come to your house in a mobile unit and take care of all your pet's grooming needs. At Aussie Pet Mobile of Cincinnati, they provide your pet with all the basics in their mobile unit but also offer extras like special shampoos and nail filing. The shampoos they have are either basic, organic, itch-relief, or one called Furminator.

Furminator is a special shampoo and solution that is used on the pet's coat that treats the undercoat. It greatly reduces shedding for about six weeks on the first treatment. Shampoos such as these are making it easier for owners to control the problems with their pet. And although such things such as Furminator and mobile pet grooming may be a tad more expensive than your regular groomer, they are well worth it if you have a busy schedule and not a lot of time to take your pet to a groomer.

Another innovation in grooming is the Clipper Vac. Although the Clipper Vac has been around for a while, many groomers still don't use it. The Clipper Vac saves the groomer time on grooming and reduces time for the pet being at the groomer. I know this is true because I use one myself at my grooming business. They are a great time saver for those pets who stress out at the groomer. I have many clients that come to me because they don't like to leave their pet at the groomer that long because of fear of stress for their pet. On average I only take an hour to two hours on a pet where other groomers might take four hours.

Also, for those owners who don't want to pay extra for mobile grooming and have a tight schedule where they can't pick their pet up right away. visit groomers that let you drop of your pet in the morning before work, and pick up after work. For example, on place called Paws is a dog day care that provides full service grooming. They provide every service that a regular groomer provides but at the same time they entertain your pet until you are able to come pick them up after work. This idea is convenient for many people who have a tight schedule.

Innovations in pet grooming such as mobile grooming, all day grooming, special shampoos, and the Clipper Vac by M.D.C. Romani, Inc. make it easier and more convenient for owners to get their pet groomed. With all of these innovative ideas, more owners are willing to get their pet groomed. These ideas all contribute to the growth of the animal industry.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Economy and the Animal Industry

A couple of blogs back I talked about how the current state of the economy was affecting many different things like interest rates, the housing market, gas prices, etc. But how exactly is it affecting the animal industry?

Since people are tight with money right now, one major idea that they are succeeding in is preparing and sticking to a budget. People are watching what they spend and this means cutting back on some of the luxuries like new toys, collars, grooming, and even vet visits for their pet. True, vet visits shouldn't be a luxury but when it comes to either paying the electric bill or getting fluffy his shots, people are choosing electric. One suggestion on to cope with the high cost economy right now says to cut out what you don't need in the budget. It talks about getting too many hair cuts and losing the gym membership. But for people that don't have any extra payments beside their pet, they are cutting their pet out of the budget.

The APPA (American Pet Products Association) is even commenting on the impact on the pet industry due to the recent economy. It says because of gas prices, people are not running out every time they need an item or two. They are taking trips in one load at one store. So for people to stop by a pet store, they will have to have a whole list of items that they need. However, the website goes on to say, that because shopping at pet stores has gone down, different stores like convenience and grocery stores are now carrying more pet products which forces the pet stores to compete with their prices. According to Bob Vetere at the APPA blog website, he is confident that even though the pet industry will change, it will continue to strive in today's economy because Americans do feel that pets are a part of the family.

Only time will be able to tell which way the economy is going to take the pet industry. Some people might choose to space out groomings and skip a year of vaccinations because it is needed to pay the bills or some people might be able to fit their pet into their budget and cut out something else. Either way, the current state of the economy is changing the animal industry in a way that could be permanent.


Sunday, October 26, 2008

New Innovations in Technology

The animal industry is not just growing because of advertisements, television shows, and adoption fairs, as mentioned before, but it is also growing because of the new technologies that are being made for veterinarians. Many owners of pets, big and small, were sometimes reluctant in taking their pet to the vet because of fear of pain and stress on their animal. True, a trip to the doctor can be stressful for animals of any kind but if procedures are needed besides simple exams and vaccinations, the stress has greatly been reduced as well as recovery time after surgery. Owners are now set more at ease on the safety of their pet during medical procedures.

At Park Hills Animal Hospital in Kentucky, new technology is used everyday. For example they use the Med-Rx Scope. This is used to ear problems and perform biopsies of internal organs. Also, they use a radio wave unit for specialized surgeries. This technology results in less pain and discomfort before and after the surgery. Along with the radio wave unit, a digital radiography unit is used for clear, crisper radiographs. All of these new innovations allow the doctors to diagnose and treat pets fast and accurately.

Besides the new technologies that Park Hills Animal Hospital, and many other hospitals use, other technology is used that aids in reducing pain and stress on animals when going to the vet. For example, Middendorf Animal Hospital in Kentucky uses laser technology which is relatively new and requires special training from the doctor. Laser surgery has improved the treatment of many disease states previously treated with a scalpel or electrosurgical unit. The laser provides the surgeon with improved homeostasis while reducing pain and swelling.

On top of Laser surgery, a new type of Laser therapy has been created called MLS therapy which is therapy used for treating pain and inflammation. It has overcome the restrictions of laser therapy used for over 25 years because it has shorter treatment times and long lasting effects. Also, HILT therapy was created on top of MLS therapy to treat more deep seated conditions. It's non toxic and be performed without damaging surrounding tissue. After some sessions, pain from inflammatory conditions can completely be cured.

These new innovations in technology used by many vets has made the experience for animals less painful and less stressful. Now more owners are willing to take their pet to the vet for these reasons which helps the vet and animal industry to grow.


Monday, October 20, 2008

Health and Wellness for Our Pets

In an article entitled, "Economy Booming nationally for animal-related businesses," it focuses on a few of the reasons that the industry for animals is growing so much right now. In 2007 it was estimated that Americans spent over $40.8 billion on pets, which is more than double what they spent less than a decade ago. So why is so much of America's money going into pets?

One reason is that national brands such as Old Navy, Origins, and Harley Davidson have become pet friendly businesses. They have come out with clothes, accessories, and wellness products for pets. These businesses know that the pet industry is a growing one so they are coming out with new products everyday, not just for the two legged mammals, but the four legged as well. When Americans go shopping in stores like these they might pick a little something up for their furry friends.

Another reason the animal industry is growing is the number of animal spas, boutiques, bakeries, and even pooper scoopers that are opening all over America. These kind of stores are predominant in California and Florida, but as this article states, these stores are even opening in Oklahoma and Oregon, and pretty much in every other state in America. The public seems to cling to these types of fancy pet stores because they sell the best of everything from crates, to leashes, and most importantly, food.

Pet owners still love the frilly and fancy clothes made for their pets, but more owners are becoming focused on their pet's health. Many people are eating organic foods today to protect their own health, so they want nothing less for their pet. The boutiques and bakeries mentioned usually carry these types of healthy foods which leads to more purchases that Americans are making for their pets.

Health and wellness for pets is just one more reason that the animal industry is growing. What is great about this reason, is that it doesn't just boost the animal economy, it boosts the health of pets in America.

Check out the article by Sara Ganus: