Warm Up Sales with Cold Weather Gear
Keeping pets happy and healthy during winter brings the opportunity for retailers to stock and sell cold weather gear. Winter pet products, such as beds, coats, sweater and boots, are expected to increase in popularity as pet parents spend for the holidays and beyond to keep their pets warm and safe.
Healthy middle-aged dogs sleep an average of 12 to 16 (overnight and naps) hours a day and larger dogs may sleep up to 18 hours a day. Cats sleep an average of 16 to 20 hours per day.
Dog and cats like a warm, soft and comfortable place to sleep, just as we do. Beds can help pets feel safe and block out noise. They can be waterproof for pets of all ages and provide extra support for older pets with arthritic joints.
When selecting a new bed for a dog, consumers say that comfort, quality and value/price are the top three factors that influence their purchasing decision. Not all beds are the same.
Pet Bed Options
• Bolster and Cuddle Beds: These are perfectly shaped to hug pets who like to curl up.
• Cuddle Caves: These are great for cats and small dogs who like to burrow under covers for extra warmth and security.
• Pillow Beds and Crate Mats: These have no boundaries for pets who sprawl out and like to stretch their legs in bed.
• Loungers: With bolstered walls, these are for pets who sleep on their sides and need proper support for their heads.
• Orthopedic Beds and Memory Sleepers: These have an orthopedic foam base that provides extra comfort and support for older dogs, larger dogs or dogs recovering from surgeries. Memory foam beds can give dogs extra joint support and can prevent pain from common diseases, such as hip dysplasia.
• Warming Beds: Made with soft materials, these may have side walls that keep cold air away from pets and/or electric heaters.
Coats, scarves, hats, boots and sweaters aren’t just for humans anymore. Whether dogs have an outdoor lifestyle or just take a few walks each day, a growing number of pet parents are fitting them with apparel that is practical and stylish.
Outdoor wear for dogs can help keep them dry and warm and protect them from hypothermia. Many styles of outdoor wear are available for different size dogs.
Dog boots help reduce the risk from hazardous ice-melting chemicals and the risk to paws from walking on ice and snow. (Booties also can help prevent paw burns in extreme heat.) Another option to keep paws healthy is wax that creates a barrier from cold precipitation and chemicals.
Not all dogs will take immediately to outdoor gear, especially boots. Before venturing outdoors, pet parents may want to do an indoor test run to see if their dogs are agreeable with wearing coats, sweaters, boots and other gear. For consumers whose dogs refuse so step out in sleet, high snow or torrential downpours, suggest a supply of pee pads for when the weather is extreme.
Now is the time to stock these products and display them with creative seasonal merchandising techniques. Put clothing on a stuffed dog, put a plush cat in a cuddle bed and create a fun in-store display. On your social media channels, post photos of dogs wearing outdoor gear or lounging in a new bed. Talk up the cold weather gear with customers so they purchase it before their pets need it this winter. Turn the winter blahs into winter sales.