Dutch Pet Trends and Fashions
Over the past few days I have had the pleasure to be at the Debivo Industry Pet show in Holland. Here I was showing my newest line of pet products. I also had the opportunity to visit the other booths and see what was new and exciting in this market.
Rabbits are still very popular as pets in Holland. People that live in the country and even many city folks have rabbits. I have had a few in my lifetime but the popularity of rabbits in the U.S. does not seem to compare to what it is over here. In many booths I saw different types of rabbit hutches and cages, rabbit leashes with their special harnesses and even special types of rabbit litter to make them go potty in litter boxes. Yes—you can teach a rabbit to go potty in a litter box!
Head halters and correction collars seem out of vogue here but dog harnesses are extremely popular. These harnesses seemed to be designed more to encourage the dogs to pull rather than prevent it. Harnesses were originally invented to help dogs use their maximum body strength and velocity to move a sled through the snow or pull a cart. They encourage pulling rather than prevent it. Yes, we now have no-pull harnesses that help to stop pulling but this is not the type of harness the dog owners of Holland seem to be primarily using. The Dutch dog owners are very conscious of not restricting the movement of the dog’s shoulders and not putting pressure on their necks (which is a good thing). I saw a really neat new harness made by Tre Ponti (www.eye4pets.com) that is actually made in Italy that did just that. It was really nicely designed and fit very well on the dogs I saw using it. However, many people were entering the show being pulled around by their dogs and having a tough time of it.
Pet fashion is also a bit different here than in the USA. Bright colors are out and grey, browns and blacks are in. Embroidering or silk screening pet beds with logos or phrases like “I Love My Dog” or “My Favorite Spot” are the craze. In America we are moving away from this type of design. Many people don’t want to see other people’s brand names in their living rooms.
So this has been a very educational experience for me. Next time I introduce a new line of dog beds in the Dutch market perhaps I need to write across the middle of the cushion “Canine Master”!. I think not….
[Dog beds based on Repelz It™ Technology available at http://MasterPetStore.com/ and other fine pet sources]