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We’re looking back at some of our favorite discoveries of the year 2019 in a series of posts covering each of the sectors we serve. In this, the third of the series, we look at the pet and animal market. As Americans have developed higher expectations for pet product brands and services, innovation in this sector has exploded. From premium pet foods to customizable pet products, we saw a lot we like in pet and animal last year. Here are five of our favorites.


Embark offers DNA testing for dogs to reveal breed heritage and even support improved health. The company, associated with the Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine, offers one test for ancestry and another that reveals health markers. The ancestry test can reveal breed heritage from over 250 breeds, identify ancestors, and even locate siblings. The health test adds analysis of possible health risks in the dog’s genetic makeup, screening for more than 170 health conditions. All tests use a simple cheek swab, and the company offers a followup conversation to discuss your dog’s results.

Poochie Butter

Peanut butter is a popular treat for dogs, but not all peanut butters made for human consumption are best suited for a pup’s consumption. Many include added sugars, salts, and oils that undermines a dog’s health. In contrast, startup brand Poochie Butter offers an all-natural peanut butter, containing only dry-roasted peanuts plus five whole-food dietary supplements: turmeric, ginger, cinnamon, coconut oil, and parsley. Consumer reviews online have been highly positive, with pet parents reporting they feel good about the product’s health value, while their dogs respond well to its taste.


Puppy Mama

Puppy Mama is a social app for and by dog mamas, and its mission is to create a more dog-friendly world. The platform allows its users to chat, post pictures, find dog-friendly business and workplaces, participate in local doggie meetups, and more. The U.S. market is consistently introduced to new and innovative business models formed around the value of community. We’re particularly excited about this platform because, through our many years of marketing to pet mamas, we know them to be a remarkably engaged, positive, aspirationally driven group. To further confirm this, Puppy Mama recently published a book, Raising A Doodle, 5% of the net proceeds going to service dog organizations that support military veterans.

Clearly Loved Pets

Clearly Loved Pets makes transparent pet enclosures with a clean, modern look. The company’s line of enclosures offers expanded space for pets over traditional kennels and cages, as well as a less cluttered, more attractive look. The Clearly Loved Pets enclosures are made to be placed in the center of the home, allowing pets to be more involved with family life. Though some consumers may seek their products out purely for aesthetics, the transparency has functional benefits as well, as it may help soothe anxiety for pets while the family is away from home. The enclosures come in several sizes for different sizes of pets.


Fresh pet food has become a growing trend, with consumers mirroring their own dietary choices by selecting whole-food, minimally processed meals for their furry friends. Pet meal delivery service NomNomNow takes this concept to the next level of convenience and nutrition with fresh pet food customized to a particular pet’s needs and delivered in pre-portioned quantities. NomNomNow’s foods thus provide tailored nutrition and convenience for the pet parent at the same time. With meals for both dogs and cats, a variety of customizable recipes, as well as treats and supplements, NomNomNow covers any dietary need a pet may have while ensuring peace of mind for the pet parent.

As the industry continues to expand with new, premium pet product brands like these, MarketPlace has our eye on each new development. Check out our recently published analysis of the “human-grade” claim in pet food for just one example of the attention we pay to this segment.

With our deep experience in consumer brand development and keen attention to modern lifestyles—and our love of pets—for us, helping pet and animal brands grow their business is a passion. If you are seeking new insights into this rapidly changing market or need to grow your brand, let’s talk.

Matt Miller staff photo
Matt Miller writes, teaches, and practices biodynamic gardening near Reeds Spring, Missouri. A MarketPlace alum with a background in academic research, he’s fascinated with how culture, media, and business interact—and equally with the best methods of cultivating healthy fruit trees.