Go Global for Pets!

by Mary Haight on March 25, 2011

Guest Post by Ashlee Gonigam

Ashlee asked me if I was going to the annual Global Pet Expo, and while I was not, I thought it would be fun to get the inside scoop from a true “insider” in the industry. Ashlee is a publicist at Matrix Partners in Chicago, a marketing, advertising, and PR agency for the pet industry.  

Commonly known as just “Global”, the Global Pet Expo is the largest annual pet industry trade show and is where the top-dogs gather to rub elbows and see your pet’s favorite (and wackiest) toys, chews, treats, bowls, leashes, beds, brushes, doggie waste bags, costumes – I’m not kidding, you name it and they’ve got it.

And thank dog, shows like this exist – they’re responsible for introducing the products that change our life and our dog’s for the better. Case in point, the Neater Feeder. Two years after it’s debut, people were buzzing about the Neater Feeder being the latest RV and boat accessory. It seems the spill-proof, kick-proof feeder is now joyride-proof too!

This year’s most exciting unveiling, however, was at the Performance Pet Products’ booth. Their line of dinners and treats, Spring Naturals, are so new they aren’t even in stores yet! But trust me the way these bags and cans were flying off the shelf, you’ll be seeing them at your favorite store soon. The high-end cuisine includes whole meat, whole fruit, whole vegetables and whole grains – without any of the nasty extras like meat meals, artificial colors, flavors or preservatives. Wheat, gluten, soy and corn even get the ax. It’s like they consulted with your dog and your vet to create a food and treat that Fido not only wants, but needs.

But the show isn’t all about dogs. Global caters to all pets, including ferrets, skunks, birds, and even chickens! I have to say (even to loyal dog lovers like Dancing Dog Blog readers), that this show definitely went to the cats. Catty Stacks’ stackable cardboard alcoves were the talk of the show, but they also built their entire booth out of the cardboard cat havens. Even raw dog food favorite, Stella & Chewy’s, introduced a new line of Cat Dinners. I guess dogs can’t have all the fun. 

Other big news at the show was the TropiClean Best Smile Contest, aimed to promote proper pet oral healthcare and the fresh breath made easy! products (check out Dancing Dog Blog’s previous reviews of the product line “Fresh Doggie Breath is a Treat” and “Dental Health for Pets: New Product Review”). During the contest, pet parents can upload pictures of their smiling  dog or cat and can even vote for other contestants. Each month (January through June), the three most popular pets will win a TropiClean gift basket. And at the end of the contest, the grand prize winner will receive a $1,500 donation [ed. my emphasis] to the animal shelter of their choice and other fun prizes. Check out the TropiClean Best Smile Contest site for full details. 

Besides seeing awesome (and sometimes awesomely zany) pet products at Global, you’re in good company with the biggest names in the industry. Dr. Marty Becker, “America’s Veterinarian” often appearing on Good Morning America; Victoria Stilwell, star of the Animal Planet TV show, “It’s Me or the Dog.”; Dr. Roger Mugford, leading Pet Psychologist in the U.K. and trainer to the Queens dogs; and Nina Ottosson, creator of interactive toys and games for dogs; were all attending and touring the Global Pet Expo. If you can’t tell, I was pretty star struck.

Overall, the show was a success. People love their pets more than ever and are willing to buy them every creature comfort their furry mate may want, need or fits their diva personality. Even if it is a Katy Perry look-alike costume.

“Global” had 800 vendors this year and around 3000 products for pets – definitely something for everyone! Full disclosure, the Katy Perry clothing and Catty Stacks are not clients of Matrix Partners; other products mentioned are. 






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