The National Pet Show took place at the NEC in Birmingham on the 7th and 8th November and a member of our team was there to soak up the atmosphere and speak to one person in particular.
Victoria Barnard has been attending pet shows around the world for over 20 years and still thinks that the best way to educate and look after a pet is through toys and playing.
Here’s what she had to say…
What is it about shows like this that interests you so much?
Where else can you see a dog weighing 11 stone eating a selection of sausages? Or, rabbits on an assault course?
It’s great and as you’ve mentioned I have been doing it for years. It all comes back to that playful element and educating and training your animals through activities. Be nice, love and play with your pet and as you’ve seen they’re capable of amazing things.
What impact do toys have on animals and their development?
Who doesn’t like to play? That’s why PetSafe are great because they help animals come out of their shell. Don’t forget, the products are not only good for the animals they’re great for the owners. Many owners I speak with buy play products if they are feeling stressed or recovering from illness. The toys allow the pet to spend more time outdoors and that’s great for the owners too. I guess you could say that it’s a win, win situation.
Why should more people use PetSafe products?
Pets are social creatures so they become excited when we do. Engaging your pet with a toy is far easier than playing alone. Studies show that even though animals do lose interest in certain toys eventually, they almost all become intensely interested in toys during the first couple of months. Each pet has its own unique personality and energy level. PetSafe’s variety means that there’s generally a toy for your indoor or outdoor pet.
Which PetSafe product is your favourite on the market at the moment?
We have three puppies so we are huge fans of the Busy Buddy puppy toys. The whole range is great to be honest and I’m sure that many owners here at the NEC would agree. You only get out of your pet what you put in and the Busy Buddy range really helps people and their pets express themselves.
How do you expect pet toys to develop over the next 20 years or so?
I’m not sure really. They’re pretty advanced now. People tend to underestimate the value of toys and play for their companion animals. I’d like the people who make toys for animals to keep it simple and continue to make them so that the pet owner gets the maximum out of the experience as well. Pet toys shouldn’t be seen as indulgencies but as necessities. They’re really essential for managing, socialising and bringing the best out of your dog. And that, ultimately, is what’s important.