Dog eating a pet-friendly cake at his birthday party.
Animal lovers are spoiling their pets with treats like animal-friendly beverages, customizable gift baskets, and therapeutic massagers. — Getty Images/ urbazon

Pet pampering has been on the rise since the early 2000s. What started out as a celebrity trend, with Paris Hilton pampering her teacup chihuahuas, has turned into a national phenomenon. In 2021, U.S. pet owners spent a collective $126 billion on their animals. Spending in this sector has increased over 500% from 1994, with a sharp uptick in 2018 in conjunction with increased pet ownership.

Psychology Today explains that there are three main reasons pets are more pampered now than ever, citing their therapeutic qualities, perceived status as equal family members, and ability to fulfill our need to nurture. From pawdicures and blueberry facials to gourmet food and drink, pets are often experiencing the same level of luxury as their owners. Here are five small businesses leveraging the pampered pet trend to grow their businesses.

Pet Winery

Pet Winery was founded in 2016 by Taryn Nahm and Kai Pfretzschner in Fort Myers, Florida. Ex–Ad Saleswoman Nahm and Chemist Pfretzschner combined their specialties and love for animals to create healthy, organic, vitamin-enriched wines, champagne, beers, and ice cream for cats and dogs, so they can indulge in the same vices as us.

Nahm told Offers.com, “If you or your cat has a special occasion like a birthday, adoptaversary or holiday, or you just want to celebrate with a fun pawty… we recommend [our pet beverages].”

Pet Winery also has a sister brand called Creating Better Days that offers calming CBD treats for your furbaby.

PupJoy

Dustin McAdams loved the convenience and novelty of ordering a gift basket for his two mutts and having it delivered straight to his door, but he found that the one-size-fits-all model wasn’t practical for his dogs that differed in size, diet, and play needs. So in 2015, McAdams and Bill Wilkins teamed up to address the missing element of customization in the pet subscription market.

PupJoy delivers the highest quality personalized boxes for every pooch’s particular needs. Committed to providing honest and healthy options, PupJoy only sources responsibly and sustainably made toys and treats, banning a slew of potentially harmful preservatives and ingredients.

Located in Los Angeles, California, HeartPup has been serving plush comfort to pets and their owners since 2013.

Saint Rocco’s Treats

Brothers Kaleb and Kolby Rush joined forces to establish Saint Rocco’s Treats in 2020. Inspired by their dad and grandpa, they set out to concoct fresh, healthy dog treats. They only use five human-grade ingredients and bake them weekly out of a kitchen in Pipersville, Pennsylvania. Their kitchen is open to the public, allowing for the highest level of transparency.

Named after the patron saint of dogs, Saint Rocco’s Treats uses love and loyalty to guide its mission. They don’t use any harmful ingredients, preservatives, or manufacturing practices, and for every pound of treats sold, they donate $1 to local dog rescues.

HeartPup

HeartPup lets dog lovers keep their puppies extra close with handmade Italian cashmere Scarf Slings. Owner Anastasia Heart wanted a hands-free carrier for her dog that would also be fashion-forward. Aside from the luxe materials used in her designs, Heart also considered ergonomics. She differentiated her product from others and attained a patent by distributing the weight across both shoulders. She’s also incorporated a large outside pocket to hold a phone or wallet and leash.

Located in Los Angeles, California, HeartPup has been serving plush comfort to pets and their owners since 2013.

Paw Wave

Based in Valencia, California, the Paw Wave pet massager was invented in 2020 by PADO, the same company that created the people-friendly Pure Wave dual-mode massager. Designed in tandem with veterinarians and engineers, this tool mimics human touch and provides the same benefits that we enjoy to our domesticated animals.

Paw Wave offers two different models — the Buzz and the Perk. The Buzz Vibration Brush Massager is built to introduce animals to massage therapy while the Perk Percussion Therapy Massager offers various speed settings and attachments to customize your pet’s experience.

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