According to the American Pet Products Association, 46 percent of U.S. households own a dog and 38 percent own a cat. Their 2011-2012 Pet Owners Survey shows that pet ownership in America is up almost 3 percent from last year to 72.9 million households owning at least one pet. For those of us who own pets, we know too well that it’s not just food and water we’re providing for our beloved furry friends. Americans are set to spend more then $52 billion on their pets this year alone. However, like any consumer, we want the best products our money can buy and for many that means choosing products made in the U.S.A.
According to Mike Palmer, co-owner of Premier Pet Supply, “In the past few years there has definitely been a big push for U.S. and local products from our customers. We carry a lot, and I try to make a concerted effort to find new products all the time.”
With the Olympics starting this week, patriotism seems to be running strong. If you are thinking of purchasing a product for your pet and would like to buy something made in the U.S.A., here’s a short of list of suggestions:
• Nylabone makes all kinds of treats and chew toys for dogs, puppies, cats, and kittens. Their toys are excellent in that they’re interactive for your pet. You insert a treat, and your pet goes nuts! For more information, visit www.nylabone.com
• Harry Barker sells beautiful pet beds as well as bowls, leashes, and storage containers, among other things. They are definitely on the pricey side, but what I found impressive was that Harry Barker has a strong commitment to creating environmentally friendly products. The company uses 100 percent post-consumer recycled plastics, earth-friendly fabrics and dyes, all natural pet treats, and biodegradable shampoos. Its hemp beds and toys are made with recycled fill inserts. Its pet waste bags are biodegradable with recycled dispensers, and its collars and leashes are made from 100-percent recycled PET (polyethylene terephthalate). For more information, visit www.harrybarker.com
• Wagatha’s dog biscuits are not only made in the U.S.A., but with the exception of the company’s olive oil, all the ingredients come from the U.S.A.! With ingredients like brown flax seed, whole-wheat flour, easily digestible grains, honey, garlic, and extra virgin olive oil, these treats sound fit for humans! For more information, visit: www.wagathas.com
• Planet Dog’s Orbee-Tuff Orbee Ball, made from a patented thermoplastic elastomer material, has won many awards and is manufactured in the company’s Massachusetts and New York factories. Further, all leftover materials from the manufacturing process are used to create new toys, namely the company’s Orbee-Tuff RecycleBALLs. The company’s Orbee-Tuff products, treats, all natural groom line, and Shammy are made in the U.S.A. Only their hemp products are sourced and produced in China, under strict supervision. The company also donates 2 percent of every purchase to its nonprofit organization, the Planet Dog Foundation, to lend a paw to canine service programs across the country and help fund the training, placement, and support of dogs helping people in need. For more information, visit www.planetdog.com
• West Paw Design makes dog and cat beds, toys, and apparel. Not only are the company’s products made in the U.S.A, but many are eco-friendly! West Paw Design incorporates recycled and recyclable materials in its products and packaging, too. You’ll find eco-friendly dog mats, organic dog beds, recycled filling, and reclaimed cotton in its small dog sweaters. For more information, check out www.westpawdesign.com
• Don’t forget the little critters. For toys for rabbits, guinea pigs, rats, hamsters, gerbils, and mice, find some great enrichment toys at http://www.creativebirdtoys.com/smallcritterandrabbitenrichmenttoys/
So when shopping for your pet, make sure you read the label and try to buy U.S.-made products. Better still, support local businesses when possible. GO TEAM U.S.A.!
CARE4Paws Wags n’ Whiskers Festival
Sunday, August 26, 11 a.m.-4 p.m., at Girsh Park in Goleta (behind Costco)
CARE4Paws is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to reduce pet overpopulation and keep animals out of the shelter. Wags n’ Whiskers is Santa Barbara County’s largest animal festival and serves to promote pet adoption and unite our animal-loving community.
This year’s event features:
• Dogs, cats, bunnies for adoption
• Low-cost vaccine and microchip clinic
• Pet-related exhibitors, including veterinarians
• Pawsitive Thinking educational exhibit
• Professional-quality photos of pets and their owners
• Fun contests with wonderful prizes
• Animal demonstrations
• Food and beverage vendors
• YOUR target audience … PET OWNERS and PET LOVERS!
We need your support again this year. Mark your calendar and say “YES” to participate as an exhibitor or to donate prizes or goods to the silent auction. Contact us at (805) 968.2273 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Adoptable Pets of the Week
Sisters Harriett and Penelope may look alike, but the similarity ends there. Harriett is the boss and is not shy about making her wishes known. Penelope just wants to get along and be petted and cuddled. This pair of lovely lops would like to meet you! Every rabbit sheltered at BUNS is spayed or neutered prior to adoption.
Bunnies Urgently Needing Shelter (BUNS) is a volunteer organization which cares for abandoned rabbits. BUNS is located at the Santa Barbara County Animal Shelter, 5473 Overpass Road. BUNS works to find bunnies permanent homes, and educates the public on caring for a companion rabbit. You can call the County Shelter at (805) 681-5285 or call BUNS at (805) 683-0521 and leave a message for someone to call you back. For more information, visit www.bunssb.org