Dragons' Den firm takes pet food market by storm
Since turning down four investment offers in the BBC2 hit show Dragons' Den, pet food company Poppy’s Picnic has smashed it own crowdfunding target – raising nearly £600,000 – and continued to take the UK market by storm with its range of raw food recipes...
Since appearing on BBC 2’s Dragons’ Den in January 2018, Poppy’s Picnic has continued to explode on to the UK pet food market with its range of raw food recipes for dogs.
Having turned down investment opportunities from four of the Dragons on the popular hit TV show, including a £60K investment from Dragon, Deborah Meaden, founders of Poppy’s Picnic, Dylan Watkins and Louise Mackintosh have gone on to smash their own crowdfunding target of £350,000 by raising nearly £600,000 in investment.
This will be used to develop more recipes (including a new range for cats) and will help to fund their ambitious expansion plans for the business.
Both Dylan and Louise have given up successful careers in advertising and marketing where they worked on some of the world’s leading global brands to concentrate fully on running Poppy’s Picnic.
Dylan, who is convinced that something big is about to happen in the raw pet food market, actually came across the diet by chance when he wanted to lose weight and improve his own fitness and wellbeing. This led him to think about the food that he was feeding his pet miniature schnauzers, Poppy and her two offspring, Katie and Slipper.
Horrified by some of the ingredients that he found in processed commercial dry foods, he set about making his own recipes from his kitchen using meat from his local Wilshire butcher combined with fresh vegetables. When a neighbour started to notice the improvement in the condition of Dylan’s dogs, this sparked an idea for a business and Poppy’s Picnic was born.
Dylan and Louise have been able to bring their own creative flair to the raw food market. Having spent a considerable amount of time and investment on market research they have managed to develop a brand which is both innovative and distinctive and sets it apart from the competition. With its distinctive pink packaging, quality ingredients and recipes handmade in Wiltshire by a fourth generation butcher, Poppy’s Picnic is a brand which is fun, vibrant and full of personality with a cartoon style.
Commenting on the aims of the business, Dylan said: “We have created food to cover all ages and types of dog. Our core COMPLETE range, which comes as mince and meatballs, is perfect for active dogs while our ENHANCED mince is ideal for the modern pet. We also have an EXPERT range of foods with a special purpose, like our Puppy Follow On Paste. Our BITES range includes air dried raw treats and bones.
“We want every cat and dog in the UK, and beyond, to have access to the best quality raw meals - the closest to what they would eat in the wild. It is our ultimate aim to make the raw food diet fun, easier and more convenient for pet owners to follow in order to encourage more people to start feeding their pets in this way”
Poppy’s Picnic has built an impressive team of experts around their brand including leading holistic vet Nick Thompson and nutritionist Moddie Lambert who have both been influential in promoting the raw diet in the UK. Poppy’s Picnic has also recruited the help of other leading marketers who have worked on some of the leading global pet food brands on the market.
Plans for the future include further investment in digital marketing and PR campaigns for the brand, a major retail and trade launch campaign, investment in larger premises and further expansion overseas having successfully launched Poppy’s Picnic in Hong Kong where it is already in pet shops and supermarkets.
For further information contact Poppy’s Picnic. Tel: 01380 716 599 email: email@example.com or visit the website: www.poppyspicnic.co.uk
Popular pet and garden supplies store faces the axe
The owners of a popular pet and garden supplies shop in Stourport-on-Severn, Worcestershire, are facing an uncertain future after being told they must leave their current premises by the end of the month, according to local newspaper reports.
The owners of a popular pet shop in Stourport-on-Severn, Worcestershire, are facing an uncertain future after being told they must leave their current premises by the end of the month, according to local newspaper reports.
The Kidderminster Shuffle has said on its website that Pet & Garden Supplies in Tan Lane has been given a few weeks’ notice to leave after property developer Bromford Housing purchased the land.
The developer completed work on its £10.5million School Gardens retirement village complex – situated opposite the shop - last month and said it needs the land for additional on-site parking.
But Jackie Carter, who runs Pet & Garden Supplies with husband Richard, told the Kidderminster Shuffle: “Our rolling 12 month lease ran out in February and we were told it wouldn’t be renewed as Bromford were looking to buy the land.
“We thought we would be given suitable notice but, at the end of March, we were told we had to get out in just a few weeks and it was a huge shock.
“The whole situation is emotionally draining as we have such little time to digest the news, clear this shop and find new premises suitable for us to carry on.
"As well as the animals in the shop, we also have two stray cats that have set up home here and will now have to be rehomed.
“And the response from all our customers has been incredible and overwhelming as we didn't realise how highly people thought of us. I can’t thank them enough.
“Some are angry and wanted to protest while others have been in tears. Their reaction is encouraging us to try to carry on with the business."
Pet & Garden Supplies has operated from the Tan Lane site for 12 years.
The full report can be read by clicking here
Canine trackers solve biggest missing dog case to date
A dog owner has been reunited with her canine companion who was missing for over seven weeks following the rescue efforts of a pair of talented beagles who traced the missing pet and solved their biggest missing dog case to date...
A dog owner has been reunited with her canine companion who was missing for over seven weeks following the rescue efforts of a pair of talented beagles who traced the missing pet and solved their biggest missing dog case to date.
Two-year-old X Yorkie, Coco, escaped from her owner Zoe’s back garden whilst a dog sitter was looking after him. After five weeks of continuous searching but with no luck, Zoe was losing all hope of finding the missing pooch until she came across K9Tracker made up of Jenny Brown and her two beagles, Tiga and Yogi.
Using their exceptional noses and fantastic sense of smell, Tiga and Yogi, who are sponsored by Natures Menu, have helped to trace over 150 missing dogs and were called in to find Coco.
Zoe explains how she came across the two beagles: “Coco had been missing for over five weeks and I thought that I would never see him again. I was devastated and was telling my story to dogs in need charity, Paw, who recommended K9Tracker. I was willing to try anything so contacted Jenny straight away who was more than happy along with her talented pooches, Tiga and Yogi, to join the search.”
The rescue effort was by no means easy as every time that Zoe got close to being reunited with Coco, the dog would change path and the search would have to start all over again.
“Whenever Tiga and Yogi came close to locating Coco, he would bolt off and unfortunately, we would have to try and locate him all over again. It was really upsetting being in such close proximity to Coco and then him running off again.”
After a series of close encounters, Zoe received a call saying that Coco had been spotted in an allotment in Dover, eight miles away from home.
Jenny instructed Zoe to walk slowly towards the corner where Coco was hiding, sit down facing away from him and let her other dog Princess off her lead. Within minutes Coco was back safely in Zoe’s arms and they were reunited for good.
Zoe adds: “When I finally had Coco back in my arms, I was overwhelmed and burst into tears. I honestly didn’t think that I would see him ever again and feel so lucky to have been reunited with my beloved dog.”
Fuelled by Natures Menu, Tiga and Yogi’s amazing stamina proved to be imperative in helping to track down Coco as within the two weeks they were helping on the case, they covered over 20 miles of land across Kent. Coco’s case is just one of over 150 that Jenny and her beagle duo have helped solve, despite people previously saying it would be impossible for beagles to pick another other dog’s scent up.
Zoe concludes: “During the five weeks we were looking for him it seemed like an absolute lifetime, so I was relieved when the charity recommended K9Tracker as we desperately needed some help finding Coco. Jenny and her dogs were so helpful and professional, straight away it felt like we were making real progress with tracking down Coco. The two dog’s skills were amazing, they managed to pick up Coco's scent numerous times and could cover miles of ground every day.
“When we finally tracked him down to the allotment in Dover I was so relieved - it finally felt like the end was in sight! Coco wasn't coming out from his corner, so Jenny suggested the best way to get him to come back to you is to act like nothing’s wrong. I sat there waiting with our Chihuahua ‘Princess’, and just minutes later Coco appeared on my lap.
“I can't thank Jenny and her K9 tracking services enough, it's absolutely incredible that they could track Coco down after all that time. Being reunited with my little Coco has the best feeling ever, I won't let him out of my sight again!"
The UK Pet Food Manufacturers’ Association (PFMA) has announced its three-year Pet Food Vision, which focuses on animal welfare, nutrition, safety and standards.
The aim of the PFMA vision is to cement the UK pet food sector’s position as a world leader on these key areas, as we collectively prepare for healthy trade and maintained high standards, in a post-Brexit environment.
It was revealed that the spotlight will be thrown on a different pillar each year. In 2018, PFMA will focus on animal welfare.
Michael Bellingham, Chief Executive PFMA, explained: “PFMA believes that the five welfare needs are essential to the well-being of any animal. With Brexit negotiations ongoing and the Draft Animal Welfare Bill 2017 working its way through Parliament, the time is right to put animal welfare at the heart of our agenda.
“As experts in pet nutrition, we are keen to engage in the many conversations which recognise the intersection of pet food and feeding with animal welfare. By working with other thought leaders in this area, we will be able to advise and shape policy.”
PFMA is proud to co-sponsor the All Party Parliamentary Group for Animal Welfare (APGAW), alongside RSPCA.
The association also works to promote positive welfare messages as a joint trustee of National Pet Month (NPM) and through its support of the Animal Welfare Education Alliance (AWEA).
Co-Chair of APGAW Lord Trees (left) comments: “I was delighted to lead the discussion on animal welfare at PFMA’s Annual Convention and even more delighted to see the industry coming together to focus on animal welfare.
"I hope that a united voice succeeds in ensuring the UK continues to establish itself as a world leader in animal welfare post-Brexit.”
For more detail on the PFMA’s Three Pillars please visit: www.pfma.org.uk/pfmas-pet-food-vision
PATS Telford set to be another ‘sell out’ event
“This show always delivers…it’s a brilliant event…a great place for networking…there is so much to see.” These are just some of the many fantastic comments received from visitors to last month’s PATS Sandown. Now the attention has turned to PATS Telford, which is set to be another ‘sell out’ event in September...
“This show always delivers…it’s a brilliant event…a great place for networking…there is so much to see.” These are just some of the many fantastic comments received from visitors to last month’s PATS Sandown.
The two-day pet trade exhibition at Sandown Park in Surrey was hailed as a great success after hundreds of new products were launched during the show.
Now the attention has turned to PATS Telford, which takes place on Sunday and Monday, September 23rd-24th 2018. It’s the ideal event for pet retailers and garden centres to decide what products to stock over the next year.
According to Claire Owens, of Imperial Pets, Chester, if you have an interest in the pet trade, then you have to visit PATS. “I’m always impressed with the PATS shows. I don’t want to miss any opportunities for finding new products. 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 use this information to promote a product in store.”
Claire’s thoughts are echoed by Jenna Tomlins, of award-winning Unique Pets Ltd in Buckinghamshire, who said: “We haven't missed a PATS Sandown since we opened six years ago and we also visit Telford. It’s definitely worth the trip because there is always something new to see. The exhibitions have got a good feel to them, they’re well organised and managed, and there's plenty of parking.”
With still over five months to go before opening its doors to visitors, PATS Telford is set to be another ‘sell out’ event. It will be the fourth time the show has taken place at Telford International Centre, and an impressive number of companies have already confirmed they will be exhibiting.
Regular exhibitors like Beco Pets, Danish Design Pet Products, flexi, Inspired Pet Nutrition, James Wellbeloved, Johnson’s Veterinary Products, Marriages, Natures Menu, PJ Pet Products, Pedigree Wholesale, Royal Canin and Trixie will be joined by a growing number of companies making their first appearance at Telford.
Botanica International successfully exhibited at PATS Sandown for the first time and are now looking forward to Telford. “We got a lot of new business at last month’s show and will potentially achieve a lot more,” said managing director Sean Cooney. “We are looking forward to continuing and developing our relationship with PATS into the future.”
PATS is the UK’s No 1 pet trade show and the only exhibition where the entire industry comes together under one roof.
One of the major successes at PATS shows over the years has been the New Product Showcase, sponsored by pbwnews. Last year at Telford a record number new products – over 300 in total – were on show in the designated area.
As well as seeing an unrivalled array of new pet products and speaking to top suppliers and manufacturers, visitors will also be able to witness demonstrations from the country’s leading dog groomers and listen to talks from prominent industry figures.
Leading trade association PetQuip will again be working with PATS to tempt international pet retail chains and distributors to the Autumn showpiece, and will be hosting the Buyers’ Centre where visitors can sit down and meet prospective new suppliers at the event. PetQuip team members will also be available to provide business services, sourcing advice and arrange introductions to UK pet companies.
The association’s involvement doesn’t end there because it will be staging its prestigious PetQuip Awards after the first day of the exhibition. During an evening when outstanding success in the industry is celebrated, the PATS Telford New Product Awards will also be presented.
Pat Flynn, Trade Association Manager of PetQuip, said: “The PATS events are always well run with lots of excellent exhibitors displaying new and innovative products. It is a pleasure to publicise the shows to our wide database of both international and UK buyers, and this is beneficial for our members who exhibit too. The PetQuip Awards are also an ideal fit alongside an innovations show such as PATS Telford.”
Parking is free at the Telford International Centre, and everyone will receive free tea and coffee, and a free show catalogue.
A full and up-to-date list of exhibitors is available on the website www.patshow.co.uk together with information on how to reach the venue and regularly updated show news.
The fines issued to pet owners by councils to those who have failed to microchip their dog as legally required vary nationwide, with some councils fining individuals five times as much as in other areas.
Ahead of the second anniversary of the compulsory microchipping law, Pets at Home submitted Freedom of Information requests to every city, county, district and borough council in the UK to see which areas were fining the most dog owners. While it found the number of dog owners being fined varied, what was most interesting was the disparity in fines around the country.
For instance, the 34 dog owners fined by the Isle of Wight Council were fined an average of £25 each. However, this cost is small when compared with the six Hull dog owners who were fined an average of £447 apiece and the £1,932.50 fine for a single dog owner in London’s Hounslow.
Pets at Home’s research found that 103 dog owners have been fined by 16 councils for failing to microchip their four-legged friend since it became compulsory in April 2016. Collectively, these individuals have been fined £18,802 which makes the national average fine £182.54 per dog owner.
The government introduced compulsory microchipping to make tracking down missing dogs easier and to make it simpler for local authorities to identify owners of dangerous dogs. Estimates suggest one in eight dog owners* hasn’t yet microchipped their four-legged friend, meaning hundreds of thousands of animal lovers are breaking the law, possibly accidentally, and as such face possible high legal costs.
Dr Maeve Moorcroft, head of pets at Pets at Home, said: “The results of our Freedom of Information requests are somewhat surprising; and what we found most of note was how much the fines charged by councils varied across the country.
“Microchipping is a simple and cheap procedure that doesn’t hurt a dog in any way and it’s vital that responsible pet owners obey this law. We’d urge dog owners to take steps to get their canine microchipped, firstly for the health and safety of their four-legged friend, and secondly to comply with the law and avoid potentially hefty fines.”
Of the 16 councils that had fined pet owners, the Isle of Wight Council had been most proactive, fining 34 dog owners. This was followed by Coventry City Council with 19 and Sheffield City Council with 12.
Coventry City Council has prosecuted all of those who have been fined, as has Sheffield, while the East Riding of Yorkshire has prosecuted seven individuals. In total, 75 dog owners in the UK have been prosecuted by their local council.
A full list of the councils which have issued fines and prosecutions, and the sum of the fines, can be found below:
At Pets at Home, when a chip is implanted, every pet is given a unique code number, which is then stored along with the owner’s contact details on registration database, Animal Tracker.
Each chip is roughly the size of a grain of rice, fits under the pet’s skin and contains information about its owner, making it easier for both to be reunited should they become separated for whatever reason.
Pets at Home offers microchipping at low costs. For more information on microchipping and to find your nearest store that offers this service, please visit: www.petsathome.com.
Independent pet store celebrates National Pet Month
Independent pet shop Not Just Pets in Frome is holding an Open Day on Saturday 28th April to mark National Pet Month. This will be a fun family day with fundraising for two local charities, South West GSD Rescue and Speringcourt Animal Rescue. Cats Protection will also be there with their fabulous stall of goodies for sale...
Independent pet shop Not Just Pets in Frome is holding an Open Day on Saturday 28th April to mark National Pet Month. This will be a fun family day with fundraising for two local charities, South West GSD Rescue and Speringcourt Animal Rescue. Cats Protection will also be there with their fabulous stall of goodies for sale.
Speringcourt Animal Rescue will be attending with various birds of prey and there will also be reptile handling, small animal handling and a "Creepy Corner" (a chance for customers to conquer their fear of bugs).
Pet photographer James Bartholomew is offering a pet photo shoot for just £5 on the day. James has experience of photographing all kinds of animals.
Donna from the Puppy Academy in Frome will be on hand with some of the local dogs she has been training to give a display and answer any questions.
There will also be a raffle and various guessing competitions and all the staff will be in fancy dress. This will be a fun-filled family day and Not Just Pets encourages the people of Frome to come along and join the fun, whether they own a pet or not.
In past years, the event at Frome has always been very well attended and lots of money has been raised for local charities. The day will also be an educational one: National Pet Month aims to promote responsible pet ownership and as this is also part of the Not Just Pets ethos, staff will be on hand to answer questions and allow customers to get up close and personal with many of the animals in the store.
During National Pet Month, which runs from 1st April to 7th May, the Not Just Pets Bath store is also taking part, with a promotion of 20% off all Beco Pet products from 3rd April until their open day on Saturday 7th April. Beco Pet products are an eco friendly and ethical company. Kelly from Beco Pets will be a special guest in the Bath store and will be offering nutritional advice as well as information about Beco Pet products.
The open day in Bath will also be raising funds for local animal charities, Bath Bunny and Guinea Pig Rescue and Bath Cats and Dogs Home. Not Just Pets is collecting items for these two local Bath based animal charities and customers can also donate money that will go direct to the charities.
The Not Just Pets Animal Charity Food Bank will accept food, bedding, toys and treats for cats, dogs, rabbits and guinea pigs. Bella and Bob from Bath Cats and Dogs will be collecting on the day and Michelle and her helpers from Bath Bunny Rescue will be on hand with some animals looking for their furever home. There will also be animal handling, a raffle, product samples and special offers.
National Pet Month (NPM) seeks to promote responsible pet ownership and raise valuable funds for animal charities across the UK by encouraging people to hold events just like Not Just Pets. The celebrations run from 1st April to 7th May 2018 and Not Just Pets will be promoting the National Pet Month Top Ten Tips for looking after pets.
Michael Bellingham, chairman of NPM, said: “We’re delighted that Not Just Pets is holding such great events to celebrate our relationship with our pets. They give so much to us – in return we need to look after them responsibly to keep them healthy and happy – follow our Top Ten Tips! The event is also raising funds for Bath Cats and Dogs Home and Bath Bunny and Guinea pig Rescue. We hope everybody involved has a great time in the process.”
Others looking to get involved with National Pet Month or register an event of their own should visit www.nationalpetmonth.org.uk.
For further information about the Not Just Pets Frome Open Day, contact:
Not Just Pets, Frome
Irongates, 9 King Street
Frome BA11 1BH
Tel: 01373 462068
For further information on the Bath Not Just Pets Animal Charity Drive or Open Day contact:
Not Just Pets
10 St James Parade
Tel: 01225 461461
Pet food brand Webbox Natural launched its first national TV advertising campaign on Monday.
Tony Raeburn, CEO of Pets Choice, owner of the brand, said: “We know that customers are becoming even more discerning about what they feed their pets, and we feel Webbox Natural is leading the way when it comes to premium yet affordable pet food.
“2017 was a fantastic year for Webbox Natural and with our exciting campaign plans we hope 2018 will be even bigger and better.”
The commercial will see a flurry of furry animals delighting viewers with their escapades.
From book-climbing kittens, a laundry-wrecking dog and Great Danes cuddled up next to Shitzus, it’s hoped the advert will resonate with animal lovers across the country.
It will also star toy poodles Mojo and Freddie, playing characters Hetty and Hank, who first found fame on last year’s Britain’s Got Talent by playing a piano and driving a car.
This time the pair will show off a new talent – skateboarding.
Mr Raeburn added: “It has been great fun working with such impressive animals and we’re really excited to showcase them.”
Webbox Natural – launched in May 2016 and made from 100 per cent natural ingredients – is manufactured in their factories in the UK and Europe and includes something for every taste.
There are dry and wet options along with treats such as chicken with duck and cranberry bars for dogs.
The range was also expanded this year to include the new duo-dinner for dogs and cat mousse.
The advertising campaign builds on an impressive 12 months for Webbox Natural, with sales of the quality pet food doubling.
Group55, the UK manufacturer of pet grooming products, has added to its growing list of accolades by winning the ‘Scale-Up Business of the Year Award’ at the North West FSB Awards 2018.
The award was received as a result of Group55’s exponential growth over the past 12 months, which is largely due to investment in people, R&D and a new £2m head office that includes two state of the art development and testing laboratories.
The global success of Animology has allowed the company to transform itself from being entirely brand led to becoming a leading private label pet grooming product supplier, providing products to an increasing number of leading retailers and brand owners around the world.
Group55’s Managing Director, Stephen Turner, commented: “I am immensely proud of the recent achievements made by everyone at Group55. The company would be nothing without the amazing people who work with me and I cannot thank them enough for their dedication and hard work.”
For more information visit www.group55.co.uk or contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Pet supplies wholesaler Bestpets will be the headline sponsor at this year’s British Dog Grooming Championship, taking place on Sunday 28 October at Warwickshire Event Centre, near Leamington Spa.
The event attracts hundreds of pet groomers every year, and has the largest number of trade stands of any pet grooming event, offering a wide range of products and services to the pet sector.
In addition, three seminar rooms will be active throughout the day with individually ticketed grooming demonstrations scheduled; as well as ‘free to access’ business-related seminars and workshops on a range of topics and subjects of relevance to pet professionals.
Mike Bailey (right), Head of Bestpets, said: "As the UK’s leading pet food and accessories wholesaler, Bestpets is delighted to be partnering with the Pet Industry Federation to become the headline sponsor of the British Dog Grooming Championship in 2018.
"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.
"The pet grooming sector is a growing part of the Bestpets business and we have recently extended our grooming range to meet the needs of our customers, whether they are seasoned professionals with many years of experience or simply someone just starting out in the industry.
"We are extremely excited about this partnership and are looking forward to seeing the best groomers in the UK compete for the sector’s ultimate accolade."
Nigel Baker, PIF CEO added: "Bestpets’ increasing involvement within the professional dog grooming market reflects the growing importance of this sector and its role as a fundamental health and welfare consideration for dogs.
"The British Dog Grooming Championship has been established for over 30 years and has continually pushed the boundaries of pet grooming events, to become the largest pet grooming event in the UK.
"Bestpets are therefore perfectly placed to partner the British Dog Grooming Championship this year and we look forward to working with them over the next six months to create a successful and exciting show for the nation’s pet groomers."
Tickets will be on sale shortly through the PIF website, along with further details about judges, demonstrations, seminars and trade stands.
To find out more,call the Pet Industry Federation customer service team on 01234 273933 or email email@example.com.
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Burns Pet Nutrition has made it onto The Sunday Times Fast Track Profit 100 League table.
The league table ranks the private UK businesses achieving the fastest-growing profits. We are ranked as Number 60 and are the 3rd Welsh company to feature on the list, along with Llanmoor Homes and Carpenter & Paterson.
Owner John Burns said: “Since pioneering the healthy pet food movement in 1993, we have achieved our goal of creating natural pet food that really works to promote excellent all-round health and even manage pre-existing health problems.
"Today, we have an ever-growing clientele of happy and healthy pets and I couldn’t be prouder. It is my dream that one day every cat and dog will consume a natural, healthy diet based on home-cooked food, that allows the body to get on with what it does best. That is what we set out to do back in 1993 and will continue to campaign for long into the future. We are currently celebrating our 25th year of business which is a fantastic milestone. Our goal for the future is simply, more of the same.”
In its commitment to safe and healthy pet food, FEDIAF, the European pet food industry federation, has published a new expert paper with key information about the nutritional needs of older dogs.
The proportion of senior dogs in the total dog population is increasing.
“There is a great need to take their specific dietary requirements into account," declares Dr Thomas Brenten, Chairman of FEDIAF’s Nutrition & Analytical Science Group..
“Proper nutrition ensuring adequate intake of energy, protein, minerals and vitamins is essential to ensure good health and longevity for our pets.”
Therefore, a FEDIAF expert group has formulated a new paper on the nutritional needs of senior dogs in order to inform both the industry and the public.
Nutrient requirements change due to age-related developments
This new paper includes a comprehensive collection of recent scientific data. It explains the different life expectancies of dogs related to their size, and defines when “old age” sets in.
“Age-related changes in cognitive functions, behaviour, skin, digestive tract, cardiovascular system, respiratory tract, degenerative joint and skeletal function, as well as urinary disorders are the most common issues concerning older dogs," explains Dr Brenten. “Many of these can be addressed via nutrition.” For example, degenerative joint problems may reduce the physical activity of the dog resulting in reduced energy requirements."
The paper gives practical guidance to pet owners for feeding an older dog. It explains how changes in the digestive tract can affect food intake, or how food texture may become a crucial factor. Furthermore, aging can lead to changes in energy metabolism and alter the nutrient requirements of senior dogs – e.g. ensuring they receive an adequate supply of proteins, fibre, minerals, fat, energy, trace elements and vitamins.
Recommendations supported by leading veterinary experts
The development of the expert paper has been led by FEDIAF’s Scientific Advisory Board, consisting of independent academics from leading European universities. Since 2010, advisory board members have assisted FEDIAF in updating the FEDIAF Nutritional Guidelines
The expert paper “Nutrition of senior dogs” can be downloaded in the new section on science on FEDIAF’s website:
New Ruffwear gear for running with dogs
Ruffwear, the performance dog gear brand, has launched its latest range including all-new gear designed for running with dogs plus a new, lightweight harness perfect for even the smallest of canine companions...
Ruffwear, the performance dog gear brand, has launched its latest range including all-new gear designed for running with dogs plus a new, lightweight harness perfect for even the smallest of canine companions.
Be in the Mile
Ruffwear’s running range is inspired by a dog’s love of living in the moment. It is designed to encourage exploration of new trails by canines and their human companions and encourages adventurers to enjoy the mile, or moment, they are in.
The Trail Runner System is a comfortable running belt which offers a stable, load-dispersing design with intuitive leash attachment for a quick disconnect. It features a zipped, water-resistant pocket, stretch mesh pocket for quick access to essentials and comes with a shock-absorbing Ridgeline Leash and a BPA-free Ruffwear water bottle.
The Trail Runner Bowl is a perfect partner to the belt system. It’s super lightweight and can hold up to one litre but packs down into its own pouch which is small enough to fit easily into a pocket.
Ruffwear’s Lightest Harness Yet
The new Hi & Light Harness is a lightweight, low-profile adventure harness. This minimalist harness has four points of adjustment for a sleek, customisable fit down to size XXXS making it perfect for dogs of any shape or size. It features an aluminium V-ring leash attachment point on the back, an ID pocked for storing dog tags and pick-up bags, a debris-resistant liner, low-light visibility with reflective trim plus a light loop for attaching the Beacon safety light. It comes in three great colours: Blue Atoll, Twilight Grey and Sockeye Red.
Packing for Adventure
The updated Singletrak Pack is a low profile hydration pack with five points of adjustment for a full range of motion making it ideal for faster-paced activities. Side pockets that conform to a dog’s body allow for increased agility and an oversized handle offers easy lift and assistance. It has two leash attachment points: an aluminium V-ring and webbing loop, foam-padded chest and belly straps for comfort and reflective trim for low light visibility. It comes with two 0.6 litre BPA-free hydration bladders.
The full range can be viewed at www.ruffwear.co.uk.
The Pet Industry Federation has launched a new online education portal with a range of courses specifically designed for pet professionals.
The courses include canine first aid, canine health & behaviour; business skills for dog groomers and legislation for dog groomers. The City & Guilds Pet Store Management course will also run through this new education portal.
The competitively-priced courses have been developed by PIF to provide an easy way for people working in the pet industry to undertake a variety of courses in their own time. Other online courses will be added to the portal shortly.
Nigel Baker, PIF’s Chief Executive said: "These courses offer people pet working in the pet industry and with companion animals a quick and convenient way to refresh their knowledge and taken on new information.
'Although some of the courses are not a substitute for undertaking a practical course, these online courses are one way of showing your customers that you have a basic understanding of a range of topics; and fit with PIF’s objectives of raising standards within the pet industry."
The courses are available through ‘PIF Education’ at www.petfederation.co.uk and start at £25 per course. As ever, PIF members get a discount on these courses and members will receive a separate email about the courses with the membership code included.
Alternatively, they can contact PIF customer services on 01234 273933; or email firstname.lastname@example.org for the code.
Anna Thomas, brand manager at Agria Pet Insurance, has been named Young Marketer of the Year by the Veterinary Marketing Association.
Anna’s win was announced at the prestigious VMA Annual Awards event, held at the Royal Lancaster Hotel in London on Friday 16 March 2018. The award is sponsored by British Dairying magazine and supported by the VMA to recognise young marketers who have shown a particular flair within the animal health industry.
Making the shortlist of three following a rigorous screening process based on skills and achievements, Anna was invited to attend an interview and presentation day to demonstrate her skills and creative flair directly to the judges, Dr Mo Gannon and Mr Stephen Dann.
They commented: “Anna demonstrated a great mix of energy, enthusiasm, team work and results."
Presenting Anna’s award was Nicola Jardine from British Dairying, Jane Manning, VMA Chair/ InnoVet, along with previous winner of the award, Helen Hunter, from Easipetcare, plus event host, Alexis Conran – best known for co-hosting the BBC Three show The Real Hustle.
In addition to receiving a certificate of achievement and being invited to join the VMA committee, Anna also wins a CPD bursary worth £2,000 to put towards marketing training, plus a personal award of £500.
Anna said: “I am absolutely thrilled to have won! I’m so grateful to the VMA for choosing me as their winner and to my Agria colleagues for supporting me throughout the process. It really was a fantastic experience and I am looking forward to what the future will bring."
Simon Wheeler, Managing Director of Agria, said: “We are delighted, although knowing the calibre of her work, not really surprised that Anna was chosen as the VMA Young Marketer of the Year! It’s a fantastic and very well-deserved achievement, and we’re all incredibly proud of her for being identified and recognised amongst her peers by such a respected organisation.”
Anna’s award comes hot on the heels Agria’s other successes so far in just the first three months of 2018.
As well as winning Best Pet Insurance Provider at the Moneynet Awards 2018, Agria was also awarded both Pet Insurance Provider of the Year and Best Claims Service at the Moneyfacts Consumer Awards 2018.
The RSPCA is appealing for information after a hamster was abandoned by a man in a park in Sutton Coldfield.
A member of the public was walking through Newhall Park on Tuesday (April 3) when they saw a bald man in his mid-30s wearing jeans and a black jacket walking with the empty hamster cage after letting the hamster out.
The member of the public contacted the RSPCA and Animal Collection Officer (ACO) Cara Gibbon collected the poor hamster, now nicknamed Hammy.
She said: “The kind member of the public who contacted us was quite shocked to see a man dumping the hamster with an H&M carrier bag with some toys, food and sawdust inside and then walking off with the cage. He asked if she likes animals and offered to give the hamster to her. Worried she wouldn’t be able to catch the hamster, she asked him to leave the cage and took the hamster home before contacting us.
“Hammy the hamster, is physically okay and in a good condition. I have no idea why the man decided to abandon him in such a callous way. There is never an excuse to abandon an animal like this and to dump a hamster in a park and leave him open to the elements as well as predators is almost condemning him to death.
“We rely on members of the public to be our eyes and ears and we are very grateful to the member of the public who stepped in and rescued this hamster.”
Hammy is now at the RSPCA Walsall Branch and will be available for rehoming soon.
If you have any information about how this hamster came to be abandoned contact the inspectorate appeal line on 0300 123 8018.
Gravy Works! has joined the rest of the CSJ Herbs in a shiny re-sealable foil pouch...
Gravy Works! has joined the rest of the CSJ Herbs in a shiny re-sealable foil pouch.
With its combination of powdered fruit (including tomato), herbs (including mint) and meat, Gravy Works! is simply mixed with warm water to make a thick gravy and makes even the fussiest dogs eager for mealtimes.
This move to a fresh and distinctive re-sealable foil pouch brings Gravy Works! in line with the rest of CSJ’s herb range packaging.
Award winning CSJ says: "Foil pouch packaging has a significantly better environment impact score over commonly used tubs. That's because the development process uses significantly less energy in manufacture, assembly, and distribution stages. Plus the pouches are made with a proportion of recycled material.
"In line with our ethos of natural ingredients in our food, herbs and treats for cats and dogs we aim to ensure that our packaging is also as environmentally friendly as possible whilst keeping our products pristine, fresh and tasty.”
For more on CSJ products visit www.csjk9.com or call 01745710470
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...
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.”