Our pets are increasingly being seen as members of our family. With this shift in relationships, it’s becoming more popular to celebrate these animals’ birthdays. How do owners celebrate these events? What kinds of questions should you be prepared for when they ask for advice on throwing a party? How can you make changes to increase retail sales and encourage health care visits?
The Newfound Popularity of Pet Parties
Pet birthdays are a recent phenomenon being driven by the continued humanization of pets. Millennials are delaying marriage and parenthood and raising pets until they can afford to start a family. Now in their 20s and 30s, these “pet parents” go all out to care for and pamper their animals.
Today, 90% of pet owners include their pets in major holiday celebrations like Christmas, Hanukkah, Easter and Halloween. This inclusion can be anything from giving gifts to dressing up their animals for the occasion. About 60% of owners do something to celebrate their pets’ birthdays, even if it’s just buying a treat or toy. 32% of dog owners and 25% of cat owners take this a step further and throw a party. While Fido may not know his age, it gives pet owners an excuse to get their animals together.
What about adopted animals? Owners who don’t know their pets’ birthdays will often choose to celebrate the adoption day instead.
Client Concerns About Parties
If you’re lucky, clients will ask for advice before they plan their next party instead of coming in afterward with a sick pet. There are a few trends and tips you should be aware of.
Treats need to be pet friendly. There’s a growing trend to make homemade pet cakes, which may include ingredients that are unhealthy or dangerous to animals. Many dog-focused cakes include some form of sugar. If a client brings this up, ask to see the recipe or steer them towards healthier treats. It’s also a good time to remind them that their dog or cat shouldn’t be eating human food, whether given intentionally or stolen off of a party goer’s plate.
Space is important, both to let pets run around and help separate animals that want to fight. If your client doesn’t have a large open space at home, suggest renting a local dog park or scheduling time at a pet hotel.
While they may want to invite all of their friends, for the sake of their pets, only animals that are already friendly with each other should be at the party. Likewise, even the most patient animal is going to have trouble dealing with a lot of wound-up kids. Make sure they’re considering their pet’s wellbeing first.
How Can My Clinic Get Involved?
Birthdays are a great opportunity to promote your practice and help boost retail sales at your clinic.
Send a pet themed birthday card. It doesn’t just show you care; it also helps re-establish your clinic’s connection to your clients. Birthdays are a great time to make changes to care practices as pets get older. If you’re looking to drive business to your retail section, consider including a coupon with your birthday cards.
Consider offering party supplies. Birthday treats, decorative bandanas and other pet-friendly products are sure sellers. Your clinic can even provide some free “pet-friendly” recipes for the clients. Pet owners are more likely to splurge on their pet’s special day, and they’re more likely to spend their money on goods that have their vet’s stamp of approval. Now is a good time to think about stocked treats and toys to go alongside care-specific goods. While they’re shopping for treats, they’re also more likely to shop for more practical items like leashes, collars, and beds.
If you have the space or you’re planning a new clinic building, consider adding an area to host parties. This is useful for birthday celebrations as well as adoption drives and other events.
We Can Help You Help Your Clients Celebrate
Positive Impressions, LLC offers more than just memorial kits and reminder cards. We offer the same custom printing services for our birthday cards, giving you a way to keep in touch with clients on their pets’ special day. You can also remind clients about your practice every time they take their dog on a walk with our personalized leashes, or pair ID tags with our collars. Both items can be custom printed with your clinic’s name and contact information. If you’re looking for ideas, make sure to check out our latest specials.