Global Pet Expo 2018

One has to have attended the Global Pet Expo in Orlando, Florida, March 21-23 to realize "this" planet belongs to our canines. With over 6,500 buyers, 1100 exhibitors and 16,646 pet enthusiasts in attendance, while it wasn’t just about dogs, the majority of this exposition was focused on man’s best friend.

As our furry-four-legged friends live longer and longer and occupy 60 million households in the U.S., it's a well-known fact that we no longer think of our dogs as dogs. Instead, they count as bona fide members of our human families.


Created in 1958, the mission of the American Pet Products Association (APPA) is “to promote responsible pet care and advance the pet products industry.”

To realize that goal, 14 years ago, APPA joined forces with PIDA (Pet Industry Distributors Association) to merge their individual trades-shows into a global event. The result was and continues to be a much larger, more encompassing representation of the pet products industry in the world.

Growing Trend . . . Smaller Dogs

While the show obviously features products for dogs of all sizes, this year's New Products Showcase was definitely skew in offerings for smaller pups.

In particular, there were several pet food formulas catering to small or toy breed dogs, speaking to the demographic of Millennials who are choosing to live small. These dog owners are those who live in dwellings, with less square footage. So, it makes sense they'd prefer smaller pups who would feel more comfortable in tighter quarters.

Small Morsels . . .

Rachael Ray’s Nutrish line, by Ainsworth Pet Nutrition debuted its super-premium food for small dogs called Little Bites. Solid Gold’s Mighty Mini line has expanded, adding lamb formulas to its dry and wet food offerings for small dogs. WellPet now has a line of “petite entrees” specifically for small breed dogs, as well as three formulas in its CORE dry food offerings (including one for small breed weight control).

Planet Dog

Planet Dog introduced four dog toys at the show: the Guru, a treat-dispensing interactive toy; the Strobe, a light-up interactive toy; the Lil’ Dipper, a chew toy for small dogs; and the Single-Color Orbee Ball.

“In talking with retailers, it is clear the interactive category continues to present significant opportunities to engage pets both physically and mentally,” McCracken said. “Additionally, the made in the USA trend is not going away anytime soon.”

Celebs’ Pups

Global Pet Expo always attracts celebrities in the pet space to increase attendance. This year’s celebrities included Brandon McMillan, host of the CBS TV show Lucky Dog, M*A*S*H actress Loretta Swit and My Cat From Hell host Jackson Galaxy. Even animal advocate Jill Rappaport has been a guest at past Global Pet Expo shows. There are usually also clusters of puppies and kittens to snuggle—all up for adoption.

Brandon McMillan, host of the CBS TV show Lucky Dog
                                                Brad McMilian & Lucky

If you missed the Expo in 2018, there’s always next year [March 20-22, 2019] . . . and Orlando in March is a great time of year to come a little early and leave a little late to take in Disney World. After all, while you can’t bring your dogs into the any of the four Disney parks, each amusement has kennels where you can board your pet, while you're taking in the attractions.

Primary Source: Global Pet Expo