Pet Owners Use Professional Pet Sitters as a Go-To Resource for All Things Pets

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Traditional leashes, Kong® toys and feather dancers top list of most recommended products among professional pet sitters.

Pet Sitters International’s recent State of the Industry Survey sheds light on several of the professional pet-care industry’s product preferences, ranging from dog leashes to kitty litter.

Pet Sitters International (PSI) surveys its more than 7,000 member businesses every three years on topics including pet-sitter demographics, service types, service prices, revenue, business size and brand preferences. Twenty-seven percent, nearly 2,000 PSI members, responded to the survey.

PSI member businesses performed an estimated 18.5 million pet-sitting visits last year, providing ample opportunity to use pet products.

Dog Products
The top-ranking brand of dog food among PSI’s professional pet-sitter members was Wellness®. Purina® ProPlan® placed second and Science Diet® ranked a close third.

The overwhelming response for favorite dog chew was Nylabone® followed by Greenies®. Rawhide chews, of no particular brand, were referenced as most preferred behind Greenies.

PSI’s State of the Industry survey also indicated traditional leashes were the most popular choice of professional pet sitters to use and recommend.

When asked which dog toys they use and recommend, PSI professional pet sitters overwhelmingly indicated Kong® as their preferred choice. Throw and fetch toys outranked squeaky and plush toys in terms of preference.

Cat Products
When asked about cat-food aisle preferences, survey respondents indicated Wellness brand cat food again as most preferred. It was followed by Science Diet® and then Purina®.

The feather dancer was the top-ranked cat toy, followed by catnip toys and mouse toys.
In the kitty-litter section, Fresh Step® is most often used and recommended. Tidy Cats® and World’s Best Cat Litter™ round out second and third place.

FRONTLINE® Plus took the top spot by a significant margin as the type of flea and tick remedy most often used. Advantix® and Revolution® rounded out the top three most recommended products in this category.

Retail Stores Remain Popular
The majority of professional pet sitters shop for their pet products at a retail store; however online shopping continues to gain ground.

“Pet sitters are dedicated professionals who spend a lot of time with pets and pet owners, likely more than any pet-industry professional,” said Patti Moran, PSI’s president. “Clients depend on these service providers to come into their homes, care for their pet children and provide opinions on a range of products from leashes to litter.”

Requests for professional recommendations and advice continue to increase according to Scott Black, PSI’s 2010 Pet Sitter of the Year and owner of Personal Touch Pet Sitting in Kingwood, Texas.

“There is definitely an increase in the number of clients seeking my professional advice,” Black said. “Questions range from behavior issues and kitty litter to dog biscuit and pet food recommendations. Another popular topic is leashes, harnesses and collars.”

Black shares his opinions and is careful to put them into context.

“I feel comfortable sharing information because of my experience as a pet owner and as a professional caregiver,” Black said. “I always preface my statements by saying that I am not a vet, a dietician or a nutritionist. I tell my clients what has worked well for my own pets, foster dogs and other clients’ pets.”

To learn more about the survey or to learn more about professional pet sitting as a career, visit


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Courtney Klein
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