Creating Modern Pet Containment Spaces
Whether keeping pets in—or threats out—pet gates, pens and crates help consumers keep their homes peaceful and secure.
Caring for animals requires more than buying the healthiest food or providing nutritious supplements. Making safe spaces for pets is one of the most important jobs of pet parents. To properly protect pets, consumers are investing in quality containment options afforded by new gate, pen and crate designs.
While pets continue to occupy prominent spaces in families, communication gaps can still occur between humans and their animals. When designing their products, manufacturers of pet containment solutions consider the important role that animals play in the modern family.
“Pet parents want their pet to be part of the family and join in on family activities,” explains Sue Martin, marketing manager at Plymouth, Minn.-based North States Industries. “They don’t want them locked away in a room with the door closed, but safely confined to a space in the home where all members of the family can come and go with ease.”
Remembering the difference between human and pet behaviors is important, especially when introducing new people or animals into the home. Though socialization is extremely important for pets, there are times when they might not immediately acclimate to other animals, guests or children who are introduced into a home.
“With this [humanization of pets] trend, many pet owners want to spend more time with pets and do activities together,” says Noriko H. Scott, marketing assistant manager at Richell USA Inc., based in Grand Prairie, Texas. “However, sometimes we forget to monitor pets’ behaviors that are different from humans. We need to be responsible pet owners and research what product is best for our lifestyle and environment.”
While many pet parents love their animals as family, many recognize the need to invest in quality containment products to maintain harmony in a home.
Great Gate Styles Sells
Designs for pet containment products have evolved over the years. No longer are pet parents forced to choose from a limited selection of products that don’t complement living spaces.
“Pet gates with style, as well as function, continue to be the trend,” reveals Martin. “Pet parents are drawn to gates that look great in their homes and have the functionality that they’re looking for. The trends are taller and wider gates for homes with open floorplans.”
When pet parents shop for more aesthetically appealing containment products, they will need guidance from knowledgeable retailers to choose the best option that offers an effective solution to their specific challenges. To benefit from this trend toward more design-conscientious containment, retailers must remain engaged with customers and ask the simple, yet important, questions.
“Retailers can help consumers by asking several questions such as What size is your pet? Do you have more than one pet? Does your dog have chewing problems?” explains Scott. “The answers from a pet parent could help retailers find out what they want and need.”
After customers answer these questions, retailers are afforded the opportunity to help choose the best product that will complement a home and provide a suitable solution. Simply pointing out a few products and leaving pet parents to figure out how a gate, pen or crate functions isn’t enough.
“Solution selling is key,” says Marcus Wolf, containment program manager at PetSafe based in Knoxville, Tenn. “Let the customer identify the issue or problem they have, and show them what products can help solve those issues. Demonstrating how the product works, or the benefits of the product, are the best sales techniques.”
Effective containment options that are built using quality materials to complement the home are extremely popular, but to protect some animals, the best solutions are those that can’t be seen. Technological advances in containment allow pet parents to establish barriers with digital tools, allowing them to observe pets and reinforce boundaries remotely through humane, yet effective, electronic cues.
“We have found that there are a lot of smart collars on the market that offer tracking for when your pet is lost, but you still need expensive virtual fences to keep them safe in the first place,” says Terry Anderton, chief executive officer of Wagz based in Portsmouth, N.H. “Partner with companies that are offering a line of products that all connect to one another, so busy pet parents can have one brand that they use for all of their smart tech needs.”
Talking About Containment Trends
The containment market that includes pet gates, pens and crates will continue to experience a surge in consumer-driven product designs. Pet parents not only want to choose from a selection of quality products that promote safety, they also want to easily access these options to save precious time.
“There will be a continued push by the customer to have products and solutions available where they shop, with information and content available in store, online, and mobile,” explains Wolf. “Reviews and peer content will continue to grow in importance.”
Pet parents want their animals to remain accessible, taking part in family life, but options are also needed to ensure safety for everyone in and around the home. As homes become smarter, the digital pet containment segment will continue to grow through compatible devices that work together for a comprehensive solution.
“We see pet tech emerging in many forms and owners looking for complete solutions instead of one-off products and applications,” says Anderton. “Busy pet parents are our No. 1 priority—they want to keep their pets safe, healthy, and happy and stay connected at all times.” PB