Young mother Claire Owens has swapped a successful career as a veterinary nurse to set up her own pet retailing business called Imperial Pets.
She started the company in the summer of 2015 as a mobile pet boutique and has since opened a pet shop.
Pet Trade Xtra met Claire at PATS Sandown where she was looking for products to sell in her new shop.
What made you swap to the retail side of the pet industry?
In 2015 I decided to pursue my own business because I felt that I would have been restricted with veterinary nursing with not just the level of income I could achieve but I wanted to be in control of my own time and future. I also wanted to continue to help people and their pets, which is my main passion. I want to make a difference.
Where did you inspiration come from?
Inspiration for starting my business came from one of my own cats whom I had rescued during my time as a vet nurse. Brutus was brought in as a stray, only around 8-10 months old, to a vet practice I worked at in Cheshire. He ended up being diagnosed with polycystic kidney disease when he was around 6 years old. I found there wasn’t an awful lot of choice when it came to good quality suitable food, as he had to have a very specific diet for his kidneys. Although there was no cure, I wondered what difference it would have made if I had been more aware at the time of the difference a good quality diet could have made to his length and quality of life. When I looked into this further I discovered that there was a gap in the market within Chester where I live, for a pet shop selling high quality food and other pet products that could also provide advice for pet owners regarding good nutrition and the impact this could have on the quality of life of their pets.
Was it always your intention to have a bricks-and-mortar store?
Yes. Right from the beginning, I wanted to have a store and spent a lot of time researching and creating my business plan. However, time after time I was turned down by landlords of potential properties as I was told by the letting agents that they weren’t wanting to take a risk with a new business, so they would always choose an already established business over mine. This led me to give up looking for the time being, and I concentrated on ways to get my business started as a mobile pet shop. I started by going to street markets weekly and signing up to do a few village fairs, festivals and dogs shows.
Where is the store located?
Geographically, it’s on Oakwood Farm on Parkgate Road just outside Chester. It’s an excellent location due to the nearby main road networks. I’m on a junction that is very accessible to North Wales, Chester, the Wirral and right at the start of the M56 heading towards Manchester. Lots of people pass every day on their commute. I’m next door to the very popular Foxes Tea rooms cafe. There is also a dog groomers on site – Rachel’s dog grooming – who has been here for four years and is also very popular, so there is already footfall from Rachel’s own customers and the cafe. Next to the grooming salon there is Jason Howard’s photography studio where he does some pet portraits. The farm also has a caravan site so my shop is handy for those campers who have dogs. It’s an ideal place, and the owner of the farm also has two spaniels Henry and Gus, whom he loves to spoil with treats from my shop!
When did you open the store?
I opened on 15th January 2018, and I’m continuing to make improvements to it over the next few months.
Does the location help in attracting customers?
Yes, it’s very accessible, and there is good free parking. I have a few customers coming in saying that they’re glad I’ve opened because previously they were having to drive a long way to buy their food, or order it online and pay delivery costs and now they don’t need to do that.
Will you still offer a delivery service?
Yes I am still continuing my free local delivery service, within a certain radius. I have found that this has been particularly helpful to people who just haven’t had time to come and get their food due to busy lifestyles, or customers who can’t drive or easily get out of the house.
What will you and your store offer that you can’t get at a pet superstore?
Mainly the level of personal service, knowledge and experience that we can offer and to go that extra mile to help our customers feel that they matter. My aim is to give the opportunity of product training to colleagues, and employ a small friendly team to cover a range of expertise regarding animal health and behaviour. I also aim to provide a unique innovative range of high quality products and to help support other small business, particularly local ones.
It’s important to really get to know about the products that I’m selling in order to advise customers who are unsure which are the most suitable products for them. This is very important to me because I’m not just there to sell products for the sake of selling, I wouldn’t want my customers to buy something that isn’t suitable for them, so I try to advise as best I can so that they feel happy with the products and service and then go away and recommend me to their family and friends. Word of mouth is definitely the best form of advertising.
How do you manage your work/life balance especially with being a young parent?
Firstly, I’m very flattered that you’ve referred to me as young! Thank you! It has been challenging, more so recently as my son Jamie is now nearly 19 months old and a very active cheeky chappy wanting our attention constantly! About 6 months into my new business my husband Adam and I were delighted to find out that we were going to be expecting our first child. This immediately put a stop to me doing street markets on my own, lugging my heavy gazebo, tables and stock around in the bitterly cold wind and rain, which seemed to only occur on the market days! I had to shift my focus again on other ways to sell my products that didn’t require so much physical effort. I only did shows and village fairs at weekends when my husband was around to help. My last village fair before Jamie was born was the day before my due date! I don’t think anyone expected me to say ’tomorrow’ when they asked me when I was due! Jamie arrived 7 days later.
Having a young child hasn’t stopped me from moving forward with my business. At the beginning, I just used to bring Jamie with me on deliveries, but now he’s a bit older he goes to nursery a couple of days a week as it’s challenging bringing him into the shop while I’m working because he’s always wanting my attention. A friend of mine who used to work for a local kennels and cattery also had a little boy who is 2 days older than Jamie. She was looking for extra work but had no childcare so she’s not been able to find other work since having Reuben. It’s been ideal for her to work in my shop because she can bring Reuben with her, as I’m in the same position and understand how difficult it can be for new parents to find a job or go back to their previous jobs.
It’s important to work out a balance so that I’m spending quality time with my family too, but it is hard and can sometimes cause some tension, but I know that it’s short term pain for long term gain. Ultimately, I’m doing this for my family so that I can create a successful business that will benefit us all in the future. I actually have a second business too which I can easily work along side my pet business that will give us a helpful additional ongoing income. As much as I believe that my pet business will grow and be a success, I think it’s wise not to have all your eggs in one basket.
PetBloon, the innovative new dog toy which set tales wagging at PATS Telford last September, has finally hit the pet market in the UK and is set to be a massive success.
After a year of product development and testing, PetBloon is finally available to dog owners everywhere in Briatin.
The company behind PetBloon, BloonCo Ltd, started life as a developer of children’s toys. The first product it launched was the BubaBloon, a cotton fabric cover for balloons, which transformed an ordinary balloon into a light and floaty, durable ball making balloons safer for the under-5s to play with. That was in 2015!
BloonCo Ltd CEO Lorna Edwards said: “In 2016 I was at Pet Asia Fair in Shanghai and was amazed at the size of the show but was astonished at the lack of innovation in the toy market.
“Indeed that year it was clear that the route suppliers were taking was in the diversity of pet foods and grooming products.
“I returned from that trip thinking that we were definitely onto something with PetBloon.
“2017 saw us introduce the concept at PATS Telford, ideally for customer feedback on product and packaging, it exceeded our expectations and attracted over 200 stand visitors.
“Wind forward to 2018 and we have orders from two UK distributors, a major UK retailer and several small independents who will all be stocking from April. Switzerland and The Netherlands are in the process of ordering.
“Our product testers have all returned with positive feedback, albeit the smaller breeds (under 10kg) being the target market but larger dogs are not excluded.
“The toy is all about interactive fun play with your pet and quite simply is a light fabric cover for balloons, it’s the only full size ball you can put in your pocket, wash and use again indoors. If the balloon pops the balloon is easy to replace.
“With an RRP of £9.99 you will receive a PetBloon cover and 3 balloons to get started with. Replacing balloons is easy and can be purchased online or from any good balloon stockist on the High Street.”
PetBloon will be exhibiting at InterZoo Nuremberg in May (Hall 3, stand 308).
A record sales year and renewed brand contracts worth an estimated £60 million over the next five years have put premium dog equipment distributor Accapi Group on the front paws when it comes to the pet market.
The company represents American brands Ruffwear (adventure), Kurgo (travel) and Planet Dog (play) in Europe. Huge demand and key new product launches saw sales almost double during 2017.
The renewed contracts, which took effect from January 2018, will drive ambitious expansion plans for the group which operates across 24 countries in Europe with more than 1700 customers in the pet, outdoor and travel sectors.
Accapi invested heavily in late 2017 in an expanded team with key appointments across sales, customer services and finance to support the organisation’s growth as well as moving into a new larger premises in its base in Stanley, County Durham.
Rob Hughes, who joined as Sales Director in 2017, took on the role of Managing Director in February and will lead the team with a focus on broadening the market penetration of the brands.
He said: “We are in the middle of a rapid period of growth for the company which is fuelled by strong market conditions.
"New product launches this year are expected to create refreshed energy for the brands.
"Our customers value the fact that we offer readily available all-year-round products, same day dispatch and full marketing sell-through support packages as well as outstanding customer service. Our investment in new people and infrastructure reflects our commitment to driving the business forward. I am excited for the future at Accapi.”
Andrew Geere, one of the original founders, will concentrate on new customer acquisition and development of wholesale partners.
George Heydon, Chairman of Accapi, said: “The new contracts are a reflection of our hard work, investment and commitment to the brands over the years.
"We’ve achieved fantastic results to-date and are in the best possible position to develop that success further. I am delighted that Rob has joined the team and look forward to the business thriving under his leadership.”
Ceva Animal Welfare Awards 2018 – winners announced!
The winners of the prestigious Ceva Animal Welfare Awards 2018 have been announced in a glittering ceremony in The Mercian Suite at the Birmingham Conference & Events Centre in Birmingham, following a record-breaking number of nominations of the highest calibre...
The winners of the prestigious Ceva Animal Welfare Awards 2018 have been announced in a glittering ceremony in The Mercian Suite at the Birmingham Conference & Events Centre in Birmingham, following a record-breaking number of nominations of the highest calibre.
The awards were hosted by TV presenter and animal lover, Matt Baker, and renowned retired veterinary surgeon, Chris Laurence MBE FRCVS, who puts his name to the Vet of the Year Award.
They recognise the achievements of remarkable people from the farming, veterinary and charity industries, who go beyond the call of duty to better the lives of animals around the world including veterinary and charity professionals, researchers and volunteers.
The awards’ ceremony on 4 April in the run up to BSAVA (British Small Animal Veterinary Association) Congress saw praise bestowed on all the shortlisted nominees and winners were announced across six categories.
Once again, an esteemed panel of industry professionals chaired by Chris Laurence were challenged with selecting the worthy shortlisted individuals and groups and the ultimate winners.
Speaking at the ceremony, chair of the judging panel, Chris Laurence, said: ““The quality of nominations for this year’s awards surpassed any we’ve had before, and the people and organisations nominated are well deserved winners. It is especially pleasing to see people from different organisations coming together in the name of animal welfare to work together and to provide leadership. Not only do the winners deserve our thanks and praise but all those nominated should be really proud of what they do for the welfare of animals that can’t speak for themselves.”
Winners of the Ceva Animal Welfare Awards 2018 by category, are:
Chris Laurence Vet of the Year Award supported by Your Dog and Your Cat magazines
Richard Saunders, Veterinary Advisor to the Rabbit Welfare Association and Fund (RWAF)
Welfare Nurse of the Year Award in association with Agria Pet Insurance
Adina Valentine, Blue Cross Animal Hospital in Grimsby
Charity Team of the Year supported by PDSA
The Dog Breeding Reform Group
Charitable Contribution of the Year supported by Blue Cross
Helen Whiteside, Canine Research Associate at Guide Dogs
Farm Animal Welfare Award supported by R.A.B.I. and NADIS
The University of Nottingham Dairy Herd Health Group
International Cat Care Welfare of the Year Award
Maria Pinto Teixeira from Animals de Rua (AdR) in Portugal
Two individuals and organisations were given special recognition during the evening.
A Lifetime Achievement Award was presented to Jenny Bunting, a retired veterinary surgeon from the Brighton Greyhound Owners Association (BGOA) and a Retired Greyhound Trust trustee. Jenny has volunteered for these organisations for approximately 40 years and, at 87 years old, keeps up her membership of the RCVS so that she can support the charity she helped found back in 1978. She often funds any medication needed by greyhounds in the care of the charity at her own expense. Jenny was one of the first women to train as a vet in this country and has dedicated her life to the health and welfare of greyhounds.
International Cat Care was awarded a Special Recognition Award in appreciation of the charity’s 60 years of dedication to engage, educate and empower people throughout the world to improve the health and welfare of cats by sharing advice, training and passion.
The winners were presented with their coveted awards on stage by Matt Baker and Chris Laurence, alongside a representative from each of the category sponsors, which this year included: Blue Cross, PDSA, International Cat Care, Agria Pet Insurance, NADIS and R.A.B.I. and Your Dog and Your Cat magazines.
“I am truly humbled by the hard work and dedication of individuals and organisations who are passionate about improving animal welfare and would like to congratulate both the finalists and the award winners who are making a real difference to the lives of animals both in the UK and abroad,” commented, co-host of the awards, Matt Baker.
Cuneyt Seckin, managing director of Ceva Animal Health, added: “The Ceva Animal Welfare Awards go from strength to strength, both in terms of the number and quality of entries that we receive during the nomination process and the dedication, commitment and enthusiasm of the finalists and winners who often go above and beyond the call of duty in the name of animal welfare.”
For further information on the Ceva Animal Welfare Awards visit www.cevawelfareawards.com.
Everyday drugs used in millions of homes across the UK could be a death sentence to pets if swallowed, PDSA has warned.
The vet charity issued the warning after continuing to see poisoning cases involving pets that have ingested common household drugs such as ibuprofen and paracetamol.
It comes as figures* from the Veterinary Poisons Information Service (VPIS) show that ‘non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)’ – those common in over-the-counter painkillers and cold and flu products - are among the top five enquiries they receive.
VPIS also reported that these drugs accounted for several pet deaths last year - with three fatal cases involving dogs, two of which were related to naproxen and one involving exposure to ibuprofen. One cat also had to be euthanized after eating paracetamol. But PDSA believes this could be the tip of the iceberg with many cases going unreported.
PDSA vet Olivia Anderson-Nathan said it was vital for pet owners to realise the dangers common household drugs can pose to their animals.
She said: “Drugs like ibuprofen and paracetamol are a staple of the household medicine cabinet, but you should store them in the same way you would if you had young children in the family, as they can be just as dangerous to our pets.”
“With funding assistance from players of People’s Postcode Lottery we’re warning pet owners about the dangers and what they can do to keep their pets safe.”
It can be surprisingly easy for a pet to get their paws on these drugs and if they do the consequences can be devastating. There are also instances where pet owners attempt to medicate their pets using human drugs, but this is extremely dangerous – paracetamol, for example, is particularly toxic to cats – and any medications used on pets should always be prescribed by a vet.
According to the latest data from VPIS – a 24 hour telephone emergency service used by vets for animal poisoning cases – enquiries about NSAIDs were the most common across all pet species, with 861 total enquiries over 12 months. Paracetamol was the fourth most common, accounting for 401 enquiries.
Olivia added: “These drugs are among the most common in the UK and can be bought over-the-counter for pain management and in cold and flu products.”
“People often carry blister packs in pockets or bags, which can be very tempting for a pet to explore or it’s not uncommon to hear of people giving their pet some paracetamol or other common human painkillers when their pet seems unwell. It’s really important to remember to store medicines away in a locked cabinet or box and never to attempt medication using drugs intended for people, unless advised by your vet.”
Olivia said it was vital for owners to seek emergency veterinary treatment straight away if they suspect their pet has come into contact with anything toxic.
She said: “It’s important to contact your vet for advice urgently. In an emergency situation it’s useful to let the vet know as much as possible about the offending substance, so they can give the appropriate treatment. So always keep the packaging and take it with you if you need to go to the surgery.”
Jack Russell crossbreed puppy Duke was saved by PDSA vets after he got his paws on a cold and flu sachet containing paracetamol.
Nathan Chapman (27) and his partner Nikki Mortimore (43) from Hartcliffe, Bristol, awoke in the morning to find a chewed up packet of the human medication in their 12-week-old pup’s bed.
“I went to let him outside and noticed the packet amongst his bedding, I immediately panicked and realised something wasn’t right,” said Nathan.
“Nikki suggested calling PDSA and the vets told us to bring him straight in. Duke seemed ok but it was difficult to tell how much he had eaten so we were really worried.”
Vets at Bristol PDSA Pet Hospital assessed Duke and immediately began treatment. However, an antidote used to counteract the effect of paracetamol was not in stock at the hospital, so a desperate rush to locate some ensued.
Penny Morgan, PDSA vet, said: “The sachet contained 1,000mg of paracetamol which for a large adult dog may not cause too many problems, but for a young puppy like Duke could be fatal.
“We treated him for a ‘worst case scenario’ but didn’t have any N-acetylcysteine – a drug which acts as an antidote to paracetamol-induced toxicity. We contacted local vet practices and one of our vet nurses travelled across the city in order to get hold of the drug we needed to save Duke.”
Duke was given the medication and was monitored closely before being deemed well enough to return home.
Nathan said the couple were extremely grateful to PDSA for saving Duke.
He said: “I’m so happy that he made such a good recovery without any lasting effects. He’s such a lively puppy and it’s definitely made us more vigilant when it comes to storing medicines in a place where he can’t get his paws on them!
“PDSA were fantastic and they really went out of their way to help Duke.”
German Shepherd, Milly, was rushed to Oldbury PDSA Pet Hospital in the West Midlands after she ate some ibuprofen tablets that had fallen out of her owner’s pocket.
Thanks to her owners’ quick-thinking actions she was admitted to the hospital within an hour of ingesting the tablets, which meant emergency treatment could begin before her body had begun digesting them.
Owner Sharon, said her husband Mark had been suffering with a headache and had placed a pack of tablets in his pocket.
She said: “He had been sitting in the garden to get some fresh air and they must have fallen out.
"When he came back inside and checked his pocket we quickly realised what had happened.”
Sharon said they rushed out to the garden and found the now empty packet, along with some loose tablets, on the ground. It was unclear how many tablets Milly had eaten but they knew she required urgent veterinary treatment.
PDSA vets gave Milly medication to induce vomiting and to absorb any remaining toxins. Milly was kept in overnight on a drip before being allowed home the following day.
Senior vet Ian Fleming, from Oldbury PDSA, said: “Milly is definitely one of the lucky ones as it could have been so much worse.”
“Thankfully she was brought in very quickly after exposure which meant the ibuprofen hadn’t had chance to take effect. However, we have seen a number of cases over the years where pets haven’t been so fortunate. If Milly hadn’t received such prompt medical treatment she could have been left with severe kidney damage or even kidney failure.”
“These drugs are so common and it’s so easy to forget you have them on your person, so it’s really important to raise awareness of how dangerous they can be.”
Sharon said the family were always careful to store drugs safely but they were now even more aware of the dangers.
Household pain killers such as ibuprofen and paracetamol can cause severe organ damage in pets, symptoms of exposure include:
- Reduced appetite
- Abdominal pain
- Black faeces
- Breathing faster or slower than usual
- Blue, brown or yellow tinged gums
- Swelling around the face or paws
- Excessive dribbling
- Drinking and urinating more than usual
If you think your pet has ingested any household painkillers seek veterinary advice immediately – waiting could be fatal.
For more information about how to keep your pet happy and healthy, please visit www.pdsa.org.uk/poisons
Devon-based dog food producers Forthglade recently introduced a new Sea Bass recipe to their range of natural wet meals for dogs.
The grain free complete meal contains 75% sea bass, sweet potato and delicious vegetables.
Sea Bass is a great source of protein that’s easy to digest and highly palatable; it’s high in Omega 3 oils helping to support a dog’s immunity, plus encourage healthy skin and a glossy coat.
With sweet potato and vegetables providing a valuable source of essential vitamins, fibre and natural antioxidants, prebiotics included in the recipes help support an increase in 'good' gut bacteria.
The sea bass meal is free from all junk and fillers and suitable for dogs aged 1 year+.
Available in 395g trays, RRP £1.35.
For more details contact email@example.com.
Nearly half of us believe that our four-legged friends make us feel ‘pawsitively’ happy and have serious mood-lifting powers according to research released ttheir week to mark National Pet Month.
A study of UK pet owners*commissioned by raw and natural food experts, Natures Menu, has revealed that more than four fifths (83%) think that having a pet really does improve our general wellbeing.
Dogs come out on top as the best creature to make us feel the happiest (47%), followed by our feline friends (24%). Pets also topped the board for making men feel consistently happy (43%), followed by family (42%), friends (12%) and other (3%).
If we’ve had a bad day at work, spending time with your dog or cat can instantly soothe us and reduce anxiety levels with nearly 60% of us believing that they can make us feel more relaxed, and less stressed. Other ways they positively impact our health and happiness include their unconditional love and the fact that they are always happy to see us (54%), their cuddliness and enjoyment they provide outside of work (43%), and the sense of purpose and self-worth they give us (34%).
A pooch can also be good for our health as one in three of us (33%) admit that our furry-friends encourage us to go out for a walk and enjoy the great outdoors.
With 12 million UK households owning a pet, here are the top five reasons why we decide to get a pet in the first place:
- I’ve just always had a pet and can’t imagine not having one – 45%
- The companionship and love that they give – 42%
- My children or family wanted one – I gave in! – 31%
- I wanted to rescue one from a local centre – 19%
- The security and support they provide – 19%
Claire Miller, Head Vet at Natures Menu, said: “It’s widely known that animals do wonders for our emotional and physical health, so it’s great to see that as a nation we really do believe that they are great for our overall happiness.
"Whilst pets can help to boost our mood, of course, we also need to ensure that they are happy too.
"A diet that’s high in nutritional value and is balanced, combined with plenty of exercise will ensure that they thrive.
“Look out for a wagging tail in response to human contact from your pooch or a kitty settling on your lap. These are clear indications that you make your pet as happy as they make you!”
A wholesale approach gives Butcher's the edge
Leading dog and cat food manufacturer Butcher’s Pet Care Ltd is transforming its operations, putting it on track to grow its market position, after implementing a new manufacturing strategy supported by Integrated Food Projects (IFP)...
Leading dog and cat food manufacturer Butcher’s Pet Care Ltd is transforming its operations, putting it on track to grow its market position, after implementing a new manufacturing strategy supported by Integrated Food Projects (IFP).
Over the past 18 months, IFP has worked with Butcher’s Pet Care Ltd to develop a raft of new processes, all designed to improve visibility and provide greater control over investment at its site in Crick, Northamptonshire.
Nigel Devine, associate project director at IFP, said:“When we began working with Butcher’s Pet Care Ltd, the company clearly had strong growth ambitions. Internal teams were working on a number of capital projects, however each one was being undertaken in isolation, rather than as a cohesive and structured programme.
"With so much co-dependency between the projects, it meant that some could not be started until anot her was completed, and resources were being stretched.
“Our role was to develop a masterplan that focussed on long-term success, rather than the completion of individual projects. We worked with the teams to develop the future state vision and introduce more effective ways of working, before handing over the reins to the management team. It was about creating a sustainable legacy, which puts them on the path to further growth.”
The work IFP undertook for Butcher’s Pet Care Ltd focussed on governance, compliance and commercial growth opportunities. IFP introduced a new way of working that allowed the Butcher’s Pet Care team to see what funds had been committed, and what the remaining forecast was. This is then tracked against the approved budget and risk management processes to identify possible issues and what their severity was.
“We guided the client through their responsibilities, including compliance with the latest Construction Design and Management (CDM) Regulations,” explained Nigel.
“Evaluation studies, to identify new commercial opportunities, were also in our remit, as was making better use of its resources. Not only do managers now have full control and visibility over every project, they can also see whether their actions are likely to bring success at both a project and aggregated level.”
Derek Evans, managing director Butcher’s Pet Care Ltd says: “The IFP team quickly understood where we were and helped us build a clear and deliverable project management and governance system. It is a credit to both IFP and the Butcher’s team that this approach was very quickly adopted.
“We now have visibility of progress across a multitude of complex projects and we are seeing the benefit of this in the success of our implementation programmes.”
IFP, which is based in Kegworth in Leicestershire, delivers and manages investment strategies, helping manufacturers with everything from evaluation and design to implementation and transition. Established in 2001, it works with major supplies and retailers such as Produce World, food and flowers supplier MMUK, Tesco and Samworth Brothers.
For details, visit www.integratedfoodprojects.com.
Were you fooled by these April Fool's Day stories?
Two pet companies certainly got people talking with their innovative April Fool's Day stories...we have printed them again in full below...
HayPigs! launches dog treat called Guinea Poop
HayPigs!, home of the award-winning HayPigs! Guinea Pig Circus and designer of toys, feeders and accessories for guinea pigs and other small animals, has announced the launch of its new healthy dog treat, Guinea Poop...
HayPigs!, home of the award-winning HayPigs! Guinea Pig Circus and designer of toys, feeders and accessories for guinea pigs and other small animals, has announced the launch of its new healthy dog treat, Guinea Poop.
Having received rave reviews for their range of small animal products, this quirky and exciting family run business has decided to branch out into the dog market.
MD Rik Cridland explains:"With innovation at the core of our business, we believe we have spotted a real commercial opportunity that has been completely overlooked by the rest of the trade. We believe our new vitimin B rich doggy treats will be a massive hit!"
The secret behind Guinea Poop is the production technique which involves a secret recipe developed by their resident small furries.
Co-founder Helen explains: "Having spent a lot of time with our guinea pigs and indeed our border collie, Sansa, we noticed she had a real interest in the piggies backsides. On closer inspection, it wasn't the pigs themselves that she was after, but the poops they produced."
While this may sound a little disgusting for some, research conducted by HayPigs! revealed that this was happening up and down the country.
HayPigs! new dog treat recycles and reuses fresh guinea pig poops and packages them in a resealable, foil lined pouch. 100% organic and packed with vegetable nutrients, each poop is carefully inspected for size and weight before being added to the pack.
While the initial production run began in the UK, demand has meant that HayPigs! has now approached LA Guinea Pig Rescue for help. They were recently involved in the dramatic rescue of a hoard of over 700 guinea pigs, a record for the US. It is hoped that a joint Anglo American venture will allow harvesting of an abundance of poops from their Californian base.
Guinea Poop retails at £3.99 for a 60g pouch. For more details, email firstname.lastname@example.org
If you have enjoyed reading this story and can spare some change to help out the incredible team of volunteers at LA Guinea Pig Rescue, HayPigs! would be very grateful. With all the medical attention, feeding and neutering required, their average weekly bill is currently running at around $1300. A Just Giving page has been set up (below). Any donation, no matter how small, would be greatly received.
Pooch & Mutt launched a ground-breaking pet food called 'Back 2 Pup' on April 1 with owners being told "for every one day you feed a dog this food it will grow one day younger".
The journey to discovery began back in 2015, when the Pooch & Mutt team trekked deep into the Amazon jungle with the Chudawg tribe, as part of a team building activity.
"The tribe included wolves, which were used for hunting and gathering. Over the 4 weeks we were there - we actually saw the wolves getting younger with each day and we couldn't believe it." Says Pooch & Mutt founder Guy Blaskey. "Living and working with the tribe led them to trust the team, and so they offered to share the secret of canine youth with us."
Blaskey reveals that the secret ingredient fed to the wolves is the Macameyung berry, found deep within the Amazon.
"We're working on getting the berry cultivated in the UK, and this is a very exciting time".
The breakthrough for the perfect Back 2 Pup formula has taken years of research. Pooch & Mutt have worked closely with Dr. Rinkel; the number one expert in anti-ageing canine nutrition. "The food has undergone extensive testing and it's very satisfying to have been a part of this discovery and witness its results." Says Rinkel.
Pooch & Mutt have denied rumours that Cher's classic hit "If I Could Turn Back Time" inspired the development of Back 2 Pup.
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A controversial pet store, located in a Berkshire garden centre, has had its licence re-issued by the local council, and will again be able to sell puppies.
Linton Pet Store has been the subject of protests from animal welfare groups campaigning against the use of puppy farms.
Complaints led to Wokingham Borough Council revoking Linton Pet Store’s licence last October, but following a council inspection, the store, based in Ladds Garden Village in Bath Road Hare Hatch, has had its licence to sell animals reinstated, including the sale of puppies.
A spokesman for the council said: “During a recent inspection licensing officers could find no lawful reason to refuse the licence.”
PFMA releases its Top Ten Pets Chart and New Pet Population Data 2018
The Pet Food Manufacturers’ Association (PFMA) has released its 2018 pet population data, based on interviews with 8000 households, confirming a 400,000 rise in the dog population, which now stands at 9 million. 26% of households now own a dog, representing an increase of around 300,000 households...
The Pet Food Manufacturers’ Association (PFMA) has released its 2018 pet population data, based on interviews with 8000 households, confirming a 400,000 rise in the dog population, which now stands at 9 million. 26% of households now own a dog, representing an increase of around 300,000 households.
From the research, it is clear that a rise in dog ownership among families is the key driver. The number of households with children owning a dog has grown by 11% to 2.3 million, 230,000 more than last year. However, dogs are not the only pets to have moved up the charts. The cat population is at its highest for five years at 8 million. 18% of households own a cat, which equates to 140,000 more cats and 75,000 more households.
- 13 million households (45% of UK households) have a pet
- 600,000 more households have a pet this year
- 5 million households own a cat (75,000 more than last year)
- 6.6 million households own a dog (300,000 more than last year)
- 4.4 million (53%) households with children own a pet
- 28% of UK households with children now own a dog, compared to 24% last year
- 2.3 million families have a child and a dog compared to 2 million last year
Michael Bellingham PFMA Chief Executive adds: “I was not surprised to read about the growth of the dog population among households with children as personally I have recently joined this movement. Tessa, a Schnoodle, is very much part of our family and I am delighted that 11% more families in the UK are benefitting from dog ownership. Pets in varied shapes and sizes – from lizards and snakes to hamsters and cats – can bring so much joy to children.
With the demands of modern life and the pull of digital companions, we are so pleased that more children will benefits from the social, emotional and physical benefits of pet interaction.”
“Dogs Trust Veterinary Director, Paula Boyden, said: “We have long known that dogs are man’s best friend and it is positive to see an increase in the number of households with children also sharing their lives with dogs. Owning a dog can have so many benefits for families and our hugely successful Be Dog Smart campaign is packed full of advice and information to ensure this harmonious relationship continues.”
PFMA’s top ten pets for 2018 are:
9 million dogs
8 million cats
500,000 indoor birds
500,000 domestic fowl
400,000 Guinea pigs
300,000 tortoises and turtles
There are 3 million indoor fish tanks, proving that fish are a very popular pet.
This year our Top Ten Pets is published as part of a detailed ‘Pet Data Report’, which includes regional data, pets per household, first pets, pet nutrition research, UK market data and much more. The report can be viewed online: www.pfma.org.uk/statistics.
Pet wholesaler Bestpets has launched the essential guide Professional Trade Dog Grooming Products Brochure which is available now on the Bestpets website best-pets.co.uk
The guide contains over 500 products from the leading brands and the successful Bestpets own-label range for petcare specialists and professional groomers.
With 15 depots nationwide and a dedicated team of Regional Sales Development Managers, Bestpets offers unrivalled and award-winning support to Professional Dog Groomers to help them to grow their pet business.
Mike Bailey, Head of Bestpets, says: "Bestpets prides itself on being a partner to the Professional Dog Grooming community - not simply just a supplier. Our commitment and the resources we put behind our trade partners is second to none. Bestpets stocks the most up to date range of products available to support either someone just starting out in the industry or the seasoned professional.
“The Professional Trade Dog Grooming Products brochure has been reviewed and extended for 2018 after being exceptionally well-received by customers in 2017. There are even more products available online to view, including drop shipment items such as baths, electronic goods and adjustable tables.
"This publication, in conjunction with our industry leading promotions, regional trade events and depot trade days - which will offer customers the opportunity to view grooming demonstrations and the chance to network with suppliers – underlines our commitment to the specialist petcare sector to ensure that we are the Best Way to grow our customers petcare business.”
The website Grooming Focus pages will be expanded regularly to update professional Dog Groomers and can be found at best-pets.co.uk/trade/grooming/
OATA has joined forces with key public health officials to produce guidance to help marine aquarium hobbyists, who keep corals, to protect themselves against palytoxin poisoning.
Health Protection Scotland approached OATA with a request to help produce the advice after a small number of incidents involving palytoxin were reported across the UK.
Palytoxin is produced by species of Palythoa and Zoanthus soft corals with Palythoa species generally considered to be more toxic than Zoanthus species. However, as many hobbyists may not be able to distinguish between them, the collective term of ‘zoantharians’ is used.
The greatest risk of palytoxin poisoning comes from exposing the slime coating produced by zoantharians to air. Wherever possible, marine animals should be handled underwater and fully submerged. They should not be lifted out of the aquarium unnecessarily. If hobbyists do need to transfer them, the advice is to do so using submerged plastic bags, containers or buckets.
“Thankfully instances of palytoxin poisoning are rare occurrences and if people follow some simple steps it can be easily avoided,” said OATA’s Assistant Chief Executive Dr Tracey King who has worked on producing the advice for hobbyists.
“We were very happy to work with Health Protection Scotland on producing this information for marine aquarists. Our main advice is to ensure that corals and live rock, which may have been colonised by these species of soft corals, should remain submerged at all times. If aquarists follow the simple steps outlined in our new leaflet then the risk of palytoxin poisoning will be greatly reduced.”
Greatest care needs to be taken when breaking down an aquarium, fragging, cleaning live rock or removing unwanted corals. The aim should be to ensure the coral/live rock is submerged at all times.
Activities that could release the toxin into the air and should be avoided include:
- pouring boiling/hot water over live rock/zoantharian colonies
- microwaving live rock/coral frag plugs
- pressure (steam) cleaning aquarium ornaments or rock which may have been colonised by zoantharians
- washing live rock under running water /using a water sprayer (especially if using a brush as well)
Dr Carole McRae from Health Protection Scotland’s Environmental Public Health Team said: “We are grateful to OATA and our public health colleagues for developing this advice leaflet, which we hope will minimise the potential for such incidents to occur in the future. The guidance provides invaluable advice on the steps that those keeping corals can take to protect themselves and others in their households.”
The advice leaflet can be found on the OATA website: https://ornamentalfish.org/fish-keeper/useful-information/
Which? survey on pet insurance reveals significant premium rises and wide variations according to breed and location...
For the full story click on the link
Dog gone fishin’ are a nutritious range of fish treats for dogs.
These delicious treats are manufactured in Cornwall, using fish that’s been expertly sourced. They are simply air-dried or baked to perfection.
Fish is a healthy, nutritious food that contains naturally occurring OMEGA 3 which helps promote healthy skin, shiny coat and aids joint mobility.
Dog gone fishin’ treats are GRAIN FREE, gentle on the stomach, easier to digest, a great source of protein and high in energy.
The Dog gone fishin’ fish treat range contains no added colourants or artificial ingredients just 100% natural goodness.
Dog gone fishin’ range:
- Bakes – Delicious baked fish treats, made from premium quality human grade fish.
- Crunchies – are crisp, crunchy, white & red fish skin treats blended with a range of flavoursome healthy herbs.
- Crunchies Plus - as tasty and delicious as our Crunchies range, PLUS with supplements to support your dog’s health.
- Bites & Niblets - 100% white fish air-dried treats.
- Sprinkles – red fish skin sprinkles for dogs are a tasty main food sprinkle to tempt fussy eaters.
- Dried Whitebait – whole fish goodness, nutritious and wholesome.
Available from leading wholesalers from April 23rd April 2018
For more information visit our website www.doggonefishin.co.uk
To find out about our NEW STOCKIST DEALS call 01476 577 670 OR e mail email@example.com
The Hokamix crew were delighted to meet so many satisfied customers at Crufts.
Christine Lowe said, “It was really heart-warming to hear so many stories of how the Hokamix herbal products had solved even long-standing issues for their dogs.
Having given guidance by phone or having met owners at previous shows it’s great that people took the trouble to come in person to tell us that our advice had helped. One lady told us she now refers to Hokamix as ‘the problem solver’.
As well as solving problems we’re pleased to know that the original Hokamix 30 powder containing thirty health improving herbs is now a regular little topping on numerous healthy dogs’ regular meals.
By nature herbs are rich in vitamins, minerals and trace elements and the special proportion of the herbs in Hokamix 30 provides optimum cleansing, digestion/metabolism and replenishment of nutrients in the body … the result being a well-nourished body that is in balance.”
For more information visit www.ctpets.co.uk or call 015439 624541
Boehringer Ingelheim has launched eye-catching new packaging for Equitop Myoplast, its leading supplement that supports lean muscle growth in horses.
The new packaging has been designed to support trade retailers and ensure that Equitop Myoplast stands out on-shelf, while clearly communicating the benefits of the product to horse owners.
It features a ‘Vet Endorsed’ badge to emphasise its veterinary heritage, together with an easy-to-read product description to highlight that the product supports muscle development in horses.
This includes ‘What is Equitop Myoplast?’, ‘When to use Equitop Myoplast?’ and ‘How does Equitop Myoplast support my horse?’ and it also has details on feeding recommendations, feeding periods and storage.
“We have launched new packaging for Equitop Myoplast to support our retail customers, while more clearly communicating the benefits of the product to horse owners,” comments, Liz Barrett, equine business head at Boehringer Ingelheim.
Equitop Myoplast contains a unique blend of 18 key amino acids derived from spirulina. These amino acids are the building blocks of healthy muscle tissue, so it makes sense to ensure that they are present in an easily digestible form in a horse’s diet.
Equitop Myoplast provides support for horses in training and competition, as well as young, developing horses and older horses that lose condition easily. In particular, many veterinary surgeons recommend feeding Equitop Myoplast during the rehabilitation period to support recovery.
Leading riders use Equitop Myoplast including international showjumpers Scott Brash, William Whitaker, Trevor Breen and Joe Davison. It is also a favourite among dressage riders and trainers including Richard Davison.
Equitop Myoplast is available as tasty pearl granules and is free of prohibited substances. It comes in a 1.5kg tub and can be fed separately or mixed with feed. Horses weighing less than 500kg should be fed one scoop (25g) per day, while larger horses should receive two scoops (50g). Boehringer Ingelheim recommends that Equitop Myoplast is fed for at least two months.
For more information on Equitop Myoplast contact your wholesaler or visit www.equitop-myoplast.co.uk or www.facebook.com/equitopmyoplast.
The best of the previous Pet Trade Xtra
The top-read stories from last week's Pet Trade Xtra can be seen below, if you missed them...
AVA, a pet nutrition brand exclusive to Pets at Home, has launched a range of 14 breed specific dog foods which boast veterinary approved credentials.
The range landed exclusively in all of Pets at Homes 440 plus stores and online at petsathome.com this week and is tailored specifically for the needs of each breed.
Each AVA breed health recipe contains +Imuvita®, which supports health and immunity with ingredients like beta-glucans, cranberry, pomegranate and green tea extract.
The 14 tailored kibbles, for breeds from French Bulldog, to Cockapoo and German Shepherd, have all been designed to maintain excellent skin and coat condition and good digestive function, which are important for all breeds of dog. Alongside +Imuvita®, the key components in this new range include sources of quality protein for sensitive stomachs (chicken, fish or salmon depending on the breed), tailored kibble shapes and sizes for easy feeding and prebiotics for digestive health.
All 14 of the kibbles are also hypo-allergenic, made with the exclusion of wheat, wheat gluten, beef, pork and soya.
The AVA breed health range has been formulated for the below breeds:
- Yorkshire Terrier (from 10 months)
- Shih Tzu (from 10 months)
- Chihuahua (from 8 months)
- French Bulldog (from 12 months)
- Pug (from 10 months)
- Cavalier King Charles Spaniel (from 10 months)
- Border Terrier (from 10 months)
- Cockapoo (from 12 months)
- Cocker Spaniel (from 12 months)
- Bulldog (from 12 months)
- Golden Retriever (from 15 months)
- Boxer (from 15 months)
- Labrador Retriever (from 15 months)
- German Shepherd (from 15 months)
To find out more about AVA breed health and the best diet for your pet visit www.AVAnutrition.co.uk or book a free pet food consultation with a local Pets at Home store by visiting: www.petsathome.com/nutritionconsultation
Well-known pet retailer Ken Burgess is retiring and has put his profitable store – Burgess Boys Pet Care Centre in New Addington, Croydon – up for sale with a £95,000 price tag.
Ken, a former board member of the Pet Care Trust, has instructed Blacks Business Brokers to handle the sale.
He has owned the business in Central Parade since 1979, and according the agents’ details it has an annual turnover of £286,000 and a gross profit of £122,980.
The agents state: “During this impressive trading history, the business has gained a large base of repeat customers and a superb reputation. The shop offers a range of live animals and supplies along with a wealth of knowledge in this field.
“This is a superb opportunity to acquire a well-established, professionally managed and profitable pet shop with no immediate competition on a busy parade of shops in New Addington, near Croydon in Surrey.
“The business offers much scope for expansion by expanding the current website and online ordering service. Also, staff costs could be reduced with the introduction of a new hands-on owner operator with a good knowledge of animal care and pet supply.
“Early viewings are strongly advised. Summary The business offers much scope by expanding the current website and online ordering service.”
More than 1,800 visitors attend PATS Sandown
A total of 1,801 visitors attended this year’s PATS Sandown as the pet trade experienced two highly successful days of business activity. Retailers and buyers turned out in force to discover hundreds of new products being launched at the show...
A total of 1,801 visitors attended this year’s PATS Sandown as the pet trade experienced two highly successful days of business activity. Retailers and buyers turned out in force to discover hundreds of new products being launched at the show.
“We were pleased with the high quality of visitors, which included independent pet retailers, the major pet chains, garden centres and international buyers,” said organiser Gordon Thomas.
Among those attending were representatives from Bents Garden & Home, Chessington Garden Centre, Dunelm, Dobbies, Fetch, Groupon, Jollyes, Knights Garden Centre, Mole Valley Farmers, National Trust, Orvis, Pets at Home, Pets Corner, Ruxley Manor Garden Centre, Scotsdales Garden Centre, TJX Europe, Webbs Garden Centre, and Wilko.
The New Product Showcase, sponsored by pbwnews, was a busy area throughout the event, and retailers admitted they were spoiled for choice as they decided on which items to stock in their stores for the year ahead.
“I’m always impressed with the PATS shows. I don’t want to miss any opportunities for finding new products,” said Claire Owens, of Imperial Pets, Chester. “The variety of stands is excellent, and I love the seminars that take place, as well as the New Product Showcase. It’s great to find out which products have won the PATS awards because I can then use this information to promote a product in store.”
Jenny Wiscombe, of Pug & Puffin, which has two shops in Lyme Regis and Bath, said: “PATS is a must-visit event. Where else can you come and find a high standard and great mix of pet products under one roof? It’s the perfect size, not overwhelming and yet so much to see.”
And Karen McCarthy, from It’s the Dogs, an independent store in West Molesey, Surrey, commented: “I enjoy going to PATS as it gives me a chance to look at all things dog related, and to make contact with potential suppliers - all under one roof at the same time. The Sandown show also provides an opportunity to meet and connect with suppliers.”
Julie Sandercock, director of Bodle Bros Ltd, West Sussex, said: “I visit a lot of trade shows during the year and I always find PATS to be the best. It’s a very engaging and friendly show with a great layout, and there’s always lots to see and do.”
The positive mood was echoed by exhibitors with Beco Pets co-founder Toby Massey admitting: “It was the10th anniversary show for PATS Sandown and it just keeps getting better. The number and quality of visitors to the Beco Lounge exceeded our expectations.”
PATS Sandown was the official trade launch for Slurps nutritional drinks for dogs, and Susan Gregory said: “We were very pleased with the trade reaction, and noted that many people visited us after seeing the information in the PATS Red Book and our products in the New Product Showcase.”
Another Sandown newcomer was Canaan Country, whose managing director Andy West said: “It was our first trade show for 20 years. We were pleasantly surprised by the interest we received and contacts made.”
A new addition to PATS Sandown this year was the Vital Grandstand, which proved very popular as director Sunny Sharma said: “We couldn’t be more pleased with the response. Turnout at the Vital Grandstand and our enlarged stand in the Surrey Hall was beyond expectations and we were delighted with the response from existing and prospective customers.”
Dogs for Good, who train assistance dogs for adults and children with physical disabilities, have been recognised as the chosen charity of PATS, and they were given a great reception at the show. As well as collecting donations from visitors and exhibitors, the charity were given items from the New Product Showcase to use as competition prizes at their many events.
Volunteers Stuart and Annie Rourke said: “Everyone has been marvellous. Lots of interest was shown in the work we do, and people were generous in giving money to the charity.”
PATS is now looking forward to its September showpiece at Telford International Centre, Shropshire, and already many companies have booked their stands. All the latest news and the exhibitor list can be found on a new-look website www.patshow.co.uk
Date for the diary
PATS Telford takes place on September 23-24, 201