I’ve noticed a trend over the past few years. People are tired of the same old toys, tired treats and boring beds. I’m seeing more humorous dog products every year and they’re getting popular. Check out the “Dog Savers” toy shown here. There are lots of toys that can be filled or stuffed with treats. But this one looks like a Life Savers candy. How great is that? Makes a great interactive toy to keep your dog busy for hours.
Funny dog stuff abounds. Take for instance:
- the squeaky bra toy
- the floppy referee chew toy
- the fake moustache fetch toy
- the “homework” cookie
- the plush iPhone with Facebook messages on it
- the bed that looks like a Ferrari
Why do consumers flock to purchase funny products for their pets? I think Americans have a great sense of humor, of course, and that we don’t take our obsession with our pets too TOO seriously. But also I think it’s because our pets give us such joy and happiness, that a giving them a treat or toy or bed or Halloween costume that brings a chuckle is only natural. American pet owners look beyond the basic stuff. We’ve elevated shopping to a full-contact sport, and accessorizing to a sacred rite. Why shouldn’t we get the edgiest, trendiest, kitschiest stuff for our dogs?
Over the past few decades, products for dogs have gone from basic bagged food, rope bones and femur bone chews to imaginative, innovative and utterly cool stuff that appeals to the owner as well as the dog. In my business, we know that it’s the owner who’s the customer, not the dog. And what the owner purchases is a reflection of the owner. So if the dog walks around in a pink polka-dot harness, that says something about the owner. Many people go for funny and cute as an expression of personal style. For many of us, the actual dog is, too. They become dear friends, but that’s not why we select them in the first place. There’s a reason I chose an Irish Setter rather than a small, fluffy dog.
So when American dog owners choose the toys and accessories that they do for their dogs, they’re saying something about themselves. When the dog has truly funny stuff, they’re saying, “I’m easy-going, I love to laugh, I’m friendly and I don’t take myself too seriously.” What’s not to love?
What do you think?
Reporters: you may quote this article and attribute it to Lisa Woody, President, DogToysAndTreats.com.