Sunday, May 27, 2018
Pets

Pet owners seeking safe, organic, eco-friendly products

DES MOINES, Iowa — Like many pet owners, customers at April Lawrence's pet bakery and boutique in central Iowa want the best for their four-legged family members. That means high-quality, safe and eco-friendly products, from organic food and treats to BPA-free toys and water dishes. And they don't mind paying extra.

"The customers are looking at their pets as part of their extended family," says Lawrence, adding that the organic, baked-from-scratch, healthy treats she sells at Bone-A-Patreat Pet Bakery and Boutique are especially popular. "They're better than what I eat!"

Many pet owners began looking for safer products after huge pet food recalls in 2007 that followed the renal failure and death of hundreds of animals, says Leslie May, who operates Pawsible Marketing, a Georgia firm that helps pet-related businesses.

"It really prompted people to wake up and look at what's in their pet's food and what's around their pet's life, in their environment," she says, adding that there's also a growing awareness of lead in dog toys made in China, and of the dangers posed by some plastics used in many pet products.

Social media sites have provided a forum for people to learn more about pet health, she says, and that also leads to a demand for safe, well-made items.

Brad Weston, chief merchandising officer for Petco, a leading pet-products retailer with more than 1,100 stores, says there's definitely a trend toward healthy, eco-friendly products as pet owners project their own lifestyle choices onto their pets. "(Pets) are increasingly thought of as family members, so not only are we willing to dig deeper into our pockets for our pets, the choices we make for them are a direct reflection of our personal preferences, values and ideals," he says.

Petco stores include a Natural Shop, featuring natural and organic foods and treats. And the company has introduced a line called Planet Petco, with earth-conscious products that are non-toxic, chemical-free and made from sustainable materials.

No matter if the economy is slumping, Weston expects the trend in premium pet products to keep growing.

"For the most part, as parents, we don't skimp on our kids until or unless we really have to. And same goes for our pets today," he says.

May says her research shows that many baby boomers who have become empty-nesters have turned to nurturing pets. Also, more couples and individuals are remaining childless and looking for a bond with a pet, and they have the resources to spend on their beloved animals.

Comments

Find A Friend: Pouncer the Kitten

In the market for a younger man, are you? This charming hottie has no credit score, but he’s undeniably alluring in premature gray. Pouncer is a 9-week old baby bachelor seeking love, companionship, conversation, and cuddles. A bad-boy to his toys, P...
Published: 05/24/18
Find A Friend: Patty the combo terrier

Find A Friend: Patty the combo terrier

Okay, so it’s not Gasparilla. But Patty’s got purpose, she’s dressed like a pirate to steal your heart. Originally named "Frozen," she held out for a cheerful name and a caring foster family. Patty’s a year and a half old, appropriately energetic, an...
Published: 05/22/18
Hernando Pet of the Week for May 25

Hernando Pet of the Week for May 25

Humane Society of the Nature CoastBear is a 4-month-old St. Bernard/golden retriever mix. He’s soft, cuddly and growing fast. Bear is looking for a family that wants an amazing big dog. Inquiries about adopting Bear or other dogs and cats can be made...
Published: 05/15/18
Updated: 05/23/18
Hernando Pet of the Week for May 18

Hernando Pet of the Week for May 18

Hernando County Animal ServicesEllis is a handsome 3-year-old male, orange and white domestic short hair. After being found injured, he was brought to the shelter for care. Since his owners have not claimed him, he is available for adoption. Ellis is...
Published: 05/09/18
Updated: 05/13/18
Hernando Pet of the Week for May 11

Hernando Pet of the Week for May 11

Humane Society of the Nature CoastBoone is an active 2-year-old border collie who exemplifies his breed. He is ready to learn agility, which would enable him to be a very good Frisbee or disc dog, or help herd your livestock. Inquiries about adopting...
Updated one month ago
Find A Friend: Luke, the Mastiff Mix

Find A Friend: Luke, the Mastiff Mix

Supersize that burrito, please, Luke is one beefy baby. This robust pup isn’t quite a year old and weighs a solid 90 lbs. Larger than life and always entertaining, Luke’s a lover with a smooth coat. He lives for long walks, toys, and other pooches. L...
Updated one month ago
Find A Friend: Oh Boy, the Cinco De Mayo cat

Find A Friend: Oh Boy, the Cinco De Mayo cat

Fa la la la bamba! Celebrate Cinco de MEOW with a grande adoption special: all cats 5-months and older will be offered to good homes for just $5 on Saturday (May 5). So, snuggle and play with this young chico, a 6-month sweetie called Oh Boy. The mil...
Updated one month ago