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The pet industry is flourishing right now. Recent figures also show that pet parents are not afraid to spend on their fur babies, with U.S. pet industry expenditures totaling 95.7 billion dollars in 2019. These numbers are only expected to rise in the years to come, which means that there’s never been a better time to get into the pet industry than the present.
Home décor companies, in particular, stand to gain a lot from capitalizing on these trends. Nowadays, pets are perceived as members of the family, and those who own them are happy to spend money on home and living items that can make them feel more comfortable and welcome. To that end, here are a few ideas on how home décor companies can start catering to more pet owners:
Look into Manufacturing Pet Furniture
To become a more pet-conscious home décor business, start by expanding your product line to include pet-specific home and living accessories such as customizable dog blankets, food bowls, and toy baskets. You can easily go a step further and distinguish yourself from your competitors by manufacturing your own pet furniture in-house, too.
In addition to pet crates and dog beds, there are several types of furniture that you can offer. For example, you can try fabricating elevated food bowl holders that can help dogs eat more slowly. This can prevent them from swallowing air and experiencing bloat and stomach upset as a result.
You can also create dog ramps and stairs that can help elderly furry friends get up to their favorite spots on the couch or bed. Finally, pet gates and fences can allow your customers to designate Fido-only zones in their homes, keeping their rambunctious companions from being underfoot or escaping during parties or events. A lot of these ideas can be brought to life using materials that you probably already stock or have suppliers for. All you need to do is come up with the designs.
Offer Products in Pet-Friendly Fabrics
Another way to become a more pet-inclusive business is to make your existing products more pet-friendly. For example, as a home décor company, you probably already produce furniture slipcovers. To cater to more pet parents, you can start offering your designs in fabrics and materials that can withstand the rigors of living with a fur baby. Examples of these include treated fabrics or ones made with polyester and solution-dyed acrylic, all of which can repel odors, moisture, and dirt. Look into textiles that are durable and easy to clean, features that pet parents usually prioritize.
You can also apply the same principle if you design and manufacture your furniture offerings. There are several fabrics and textiles that you can incorporate into your pieces which you can then recommend to your pet-owning customers. For instance, woven fabrics such as certain types of felt, chenille, or herringbone disguise stains better and make pet hair less noticeable. Another great option is leather, which looks better as it ages and can be easily wiped down. Low-pile fabrics such as synthetic velvet or microfiber are similarly easy to clean, odor-resistant, and practically impervious to clawing, scratching, or tearing.
Add More Faux Foliage Offerings to Your Catalog
Most home décor companies typically have houseplants and indoor foliage as part of their catalog. However, many indoor plants and flowers can be toxic to animals, such as azaleas, daisies, and lilies. Baby’s breath, bamboo, and roses may not be fatal when ingested by animals, but they can still cause stomach upset and illness. That’s why it’s a good idea to be mindful of what houseplants to recommend to customers who have pets at home or are thinking about adopting some in the future.
To make your business more accommodating towards pet parents, you might want to consider adding more faux offerings to your lineup. Whenever possible, it’s best to steer them towards your faux alternatives and remind them that any plants they choose to bring into their homes should be kept out of reach of their pets.
Recommend Outdoor Furniture as Indoor Furniture to Pet Owners
Pet parents love their fur babies, but most of them don’t love all of the work that goes into maintaining a home with pets. Your home décor company can therefore make life easier for the overwhelmed pet owner simply by directing their attention to pieces that are considered pet-friendly. After all, there’s no reason why outdoor performance fabrics used in accessories and furniture can’t be used indoors with pets. You can also recommend rugs made with natural fibers such as seagrass and sisal.
Making changes to your business to cater to any new audience will doubtlessly be difficult at first. That said, capturing the attention of animal lovers and pet owners is an endeavor that’s well worth the effort. By giving them the means to make their homes as warm and inviting for their fur babies as it is for them, you’ll be sure to secure the loyalty of enthusiastic pet parents.