If truth be told, dogs don’t actually need bought toys. Entire generations of canines have found happiness in the form of a piece of coarse rope, an old football or even their owner’s old shoe. In reality, however, garish toys of all shapes and sizes, both ugly and attractive, made mostly of rubber-like plastic and making squeaking or whistling noises, are authentic sales drivers in the pet product trade. They are off-the-shelf products that end up in virtual or actual shopping baskets mostly as impulse buys and these are sales that no pet supplies retailer wants to miss out on.The price range is at least as wide as the assortment. Everything is obtainable, from oft-cited “penny items” to premium products. Dog trainers use selected toys for training purposes, and it isn’t only at Christmas that one’s four-legged friend gets excited about a gift-wrapped article.
Games of skill and puzzle games especially are reliable sellers all year round. The latter are mostly manufactured from natural materials like wood. Along with healthy reward treats, they help to build long-lasting relationships between people and their dogs.
The trend towards sustainability has naturally not bypassed activity toys. Production using recycled materials such as shredded plastic bottles is not new to the pet supplies sector, but a growing number of product ranges made from natural materials such as ropes and leather strips are being offered by pet product retailers. Soft toys such as those appropriated by canines from children’s bedrooms and made their own are manufactured by pet product manufacturers, but are designed especially for pets and above all contain no plastic components that could splinter or be swallowed.
Another aspect of sustainability that is becoming increasingly important is production in Europe. The fragility of logistics paths that was caused by the pandemic has prompted many companies to distance themselves from manufacturers in Asia.
The supply chain issue
“Yes, we also want to lessen our dependence on Asian imports,” is the news coming out of Trixie, for example. The company’s range already features some items produced in Europe. These include retractable leashes, harnesses, beds, transport…