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Amazon Has An Enormous Dog Supply Selection
Let's face it: Amazon offers the largest selection of dog products imaginable, and their free 2 day Prime Delivery is hard to beat. With their enormous Dog Supplies selection (not to mention their Electronics, Household Products and of course Amazon Prime Video), most Americans shop on Amazon regularly.
According to Retail TouchPoints, "Amazon sells more than 12 million products, not including books, media, wine, and services. When Amazon Marketplace sellers are factored in, the total product count balloons to more than 353 million." Simply put, they've got everything. So it is no wonder that dog owners will also buy items for the family pet while shopping at America's largest online store.
But what are dog owners buying and why? The current top 10 selling dog products on Amazon (as of April 9th, 2020) are:
- Seresto Flea and Tick Collar for Dogs
- Earth Rated Dog Poop Bags
- BOSHEL Dog Nail Clippers and Trimmer
- Milk-Bone Marosnacks Dog Snacks
- Dog Training Collar - Rechargeable Dog Shock Collar
- Hertzko Self Cleaning Slicker Brush
- Petmate 71034 Arm & Hammer Swivel Bin & Rake Pooper Scooper
- oneisall Dog Shaver Clippers
- Petmate Arm & Hammer Disposable Pet Waste Bags
- Milk-Bone Original Dog Treats
The first thing that pops to mind when looking at this top ten list: where's the dog food?
Why Dog Food Is Not In Amazon's Top Ten
The best-selling Dog Food on Amazon is Pedigree Adult Dry Dog Food - Grilled Steak & Vegetable Flavor, which clocks in at #23. The reviews for the product on Amazon are mixed. We need to point out that at PupLife, we prefer higher quality, organic dog food choices, such as The Honest Kitchen and Sojos Dog Food but we understand that what works for our dog may not work for every dog.
Check with your vet regarding your dog's specific dietary needs. For our pets, we opt for dehydrated raw dog food both for the nutritional benefits and for the storage advantages (a 10-pound box fits nicely into our cupboard, yet it rehydrates into 40 pounds of food).
So why isn't dog food a bigger seller on Amazon? Even with the convenience of online ordering, we suspect many dog owners may still prefer to buy their dog food at the supermarket or brick and mortar pet supply stores. Chewy.com has also become a viable rival to Amazon in the online space. Chewy offers discounts for recurring delivery (a plus for pet owners) and many dog owners may be purchasing their dog food from Chewy.
Another reason dog food may not be cracking the top ten? Dog food is heavy and bulky, making it expensive to ship. Additionally, the margins on dog food are absurdly low. So sellers on Amazon cannot afford to lower prices as low as brick and mortar stores. The large pet supply chains (or the local independent retailer) simply stock the shelves and smile as dog owners fill their carts, drag the items to checkout and then toss them into their car.
Smart Buying Decisions Impact Your Dog's Health
The other obvious trend we see from this list - people love using flea and tick collars on their dogs. The top-selling dog supply product on Amazon as of this writing is a flea collar. This is a cause for alarm.
The science on this is clear. As stated by the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), many over-the-counter insect control products for pets, even when used as instructed, can cause "serious health consequences to pets and humans." High levels of pesticide can be spread from the dog onto your furniture and clothing, so this is a potential hazard for both dog and dog owner.
Natural flea and tick control is a better route to take and it can be done by examining your dog for ticks and using a flea comb. Other tips are to wash your pet's Dog Bed frequently and vacuum regularly. Sure, it takes more effort than simply wrapping a chemical infused collar on your dog, but it is a wiser health choice for your pet and your family.
Above: A high quality, washable dog bed, like this one from Bowsers Dog Beds is great choice.
The other prominent trend is one that is a bit disheartening: the popularity of electric shock collars for dogs. In this era of positive reinforcement dog training, the use of electric shock collars on dogs is unfortunate. We believe that dogs should be treated as a part of the family. Would you ever shock your family members with such devices? Of course not. Dog training existed well before the use of such devices, and it can be achieved without them.
The fact that dog treats pop up twice in the top ten is both a positive and a negative sign. The good news is that pet owners are rewarding their dogs with treats. Taking care of our dogs with yummy treats is a way to show that we care. However, on the negative side, we would prefer that the best-selling treats be of a higher nutritional value than the two that appear in this list. Our current dog treats faves are Polka Dog Bakery, Charlee Bears and Full Moon Organic Dog Treats. Stella and Chewy makes fantastic freeze dried treats as well as dog food.
When it comes to dog food and treats, quality matters. This is important for your pet's health and well-being but also because of the costs down the road. Feeding our pets poor quality treats and food may be cheaper right now, but it can bring on significant health issues as our furry friends get older. Vet Bills in the Future can be a much higher cost to pay than the extra money spent on proper nutrition. As guardians of our dogs, we control the food that they eat, and with that comes the responsibility to take good care.
Above: Full Moon Organic Training Treats are the perfect choice for training, or just for rewards. They are human grade and Certified Organic by The USDA.
So are all of the trends here negative? No! The fact that dog owners are doing their dog grooming is an encouraging trend. Clipping your pet's nails, trimming their coats and brushing their fur is an excellent way to keep your dog looking and feeling her best. Grooming your dog yourself is a great way to save on grooming costs, and it is an opportunity to bond with your dog. It's truly a win-win!
Above: The Hertzko Self Cleaning Dog Slicker Brush has over 13,000 positive reviews on Amazon. This handy product is regularly in Amazon's top ten.
Americans Love Their Dogs, And Shopping Online
Analyzing the top ten best-selling dog products on Amazon is by no means a definitive window into dog ownership. Our retail landscape is shifting dramatically due to a wide array of trends, both economic and social; not to mention the technological innovations that are transforming our world including voice assistant AIs such as Alexa, Siri, and Google Voice.
However, it does provide a tiny glimpse into what dog owners are choosing to purchase right now. In 2019, $95.7 billion was spent on our pets in the U.S, according to the American Pet Products Association. In 2020, it is estimated this number will increase to $99 billion. It is clear that Americans love their dogs more than ever, and they will certainly continue to buy on Amazon. Hopefully, dog owners will choose their products wisely, not just for the low-cost and convenience factors, but more importantly, for the health and wellness of their family pet.
For more on what products are best for your pet, check out Dog Supply Essentials: Preparing For Your New Dog by professional dog trainer Judit Arroyo. If you are in the market for a new dog bed, we highly recommend How To Choose The Right Dog Bed, as well as the Top 3 Mistakes Dog Owners Make When Buying A Bed. Smart buying decisions up front (whether on Amazon or not) will always benefit your pet, and your wallet.