Why Pet Retailers Should Carry Life-Stage Specific Products

by Lisa Fimberg on March 5, 2021

All pet parents know that there are fundamental differences between owning a puppy and a senior dog.  As puppies age into their middle and adult stages of life, they require different food and toys.  And similarly, senior dogs need specialized food and treats for their age. Life stage-specific products, food, toys and even treats are designed for these different life phases.

There are some pet products that can cater to all ages, but there are many foods, toys and treats that are better suited for a specific stage of a pet’s life.  Therefore, pet retailers can benefit by having these specific food choices and products available.  It can be both beneficial for your customers as well as a boon for the store.

The Benefits of Aged-Based Products

There are essentially four stages of life in both dogs and cats: puppy and kittenhood, adolescence, adulthood and then the senior years.  Experts agree that the most important phase for specific nutrition and care is the first phase or when pets are first born.  Puppies and kittens need the most nutrients and vitamins to help them grow as well as strengthen their bones.

On the other hand, once kittens and puppies become adults, their metabolisms slow down so they need fewer calories.  To help combat obesity, the pet food that is geared toward adult dogs and cats has fewer calories and carbohydrates.

As pets reach their senior years, their diets need to be more focused on food that can help strengthen their joints, immune systems as well as their cognitive functioning.  Older pets tend to need more protein and fewer calories.

The toys and treats that accompany these different phases of life can be equally important.  For example, senior pets could benefit from cognitive puzzles where puppies might need more toys designed for chewing.

How Stores Can Benefit from the Stages of Life Options

Your store can capitalize on this trend by having the different phases of life products available for your customers.  You might have a new puppy owner who also has a senior dog at home and purchases food and toys for both.  Get all the furry family members in one shop!

Many pet parents are loyal to their neighborhood stores and want to forge a long-term relationship with these stores.  By carrying all the life phases, both food and products, it can create customer loyalty.  A customer who purchased a puppy from you can stay with your store as their pup grows up and gets older.

Look for brands that carry all stages of life

If your store carries the different life stage products, it can be a good way to establish relationships with the brands that offer treats, toys and food for all ages and types of pets.  It can further be a way to tap into that market and keep those suppliers busy.

The trend is not going away anytime soon as pet parents are much more in tune and educated on the different needs of their pets as they age.  The brands have been doing so for years to cater to the increased demand of life-stage products.   

Shelf space might need to be modified

Depending on the size of your store, the disadvantage is that your store might not have the shelf space to carry all the different life-stage products.  Of course, just as you roll out any new food or product, keep note of how your customers respond to your selections.

Maybe your store only needs to carry puppy and adult phases of life food and products with just a few senior products.  The spending patterns of your consumers will be the ultimate judge of which food and products are the most important to keep.

Once your store decides on the best products and approach, you can market these life-phase products accordingly.   In store signage, flyers, email marketing and social media can help your consumers know about the different phase of life products that you carry.   

If your store needs help with in-store collateral, social media posts or window signage, our marketing team is ready to help.   Contact our Success Team to learn more about our marketing services: successteam@thirdpartypet.com. 

Lisa FimbergWhy Pet Retailers Should Carry Life-Stage Specific Products