My interest in pet products goes back as long as I can remember: I wanted to run a pet shop when I was just four years old. It was only when I reached the grand old age of five that I changed my mind, and decided that I wanted to be a vet instead. However, I still have that fascination with the design, buying and selling of products for pets. And so it was that I found myself at the PATS Sandown trade show, an exhibition full of the latest and best ideas and products that are marketed to be sold through pet shops across the UK and Europe.
There were over 200 exhibitors at the show, so a day was barely enough time to do them all justice. Here are just some of the interesting ideas that I encountered during my visit.
Old- and new – ways of feeding pets
From the standard – now arguably old-fashioned – kibble, to new kibbles from new sources (e.g. insects or wild boar, or vegan kibble for cats) to moist food (in sachets these days rather than tins) to raw food, there were plenty of interesting types of pet food to look at.
New types of pet treats
There were countless versions of pet treats, from raw hide to compressed starch to yak to milk-based: I didn’t take photos of these, as the variety was baffling. But I did also see yoghurt desserts for dogs, and a special pot of dedicated cat grass to be changed every month. Who knew that cats grazed? Well, they do, and it’s good for indoor cats.
New fashionable clothing for dogs
I am not one for dressing up dogs to look cute, but when you see clothing that’s functional as well as attractive, it’s hard to look away.
New toys for dogs and cats
From new lickable mats for dogs, to slow-eating contraptions to allow them to enjoy their meals over a longer period, to electric whizzy toys for cats, some of which can be controlled by your phone, there are plenty of ways for pets to enjoy spending their leisure time (or should that read: “their time”, since all of their time is leisure time).
Watch this space for more products
I thoroughly enjoyed visiting the PATS show: I’m rapidly learning more about what pets enjoy the most, and what’s best for them and for our environment. I’ll be revisiting this topic in the future, so if you’re interested in pet retail stuff, watch this space.