Billy the Cat

By Burt Alper

July 17, 2008

Yesterday I met a kitten named Billy who is on a strict raw food diet at the advice of his animal communicator/chiropractor. Animal communicator?!

A growing demographic of people include their pets as full-fledged members of the family and have the means to treat their pets like human children. (As Americans we name them like children too – top dog names in 2007 included Bella, Sophie and Jake.) The $43 billion dollar pet industry has taken note, and is making sure that its product names and company names justify a human–sized investment.

Brand name creation is catching up with the idea that your pet’s well-being is as important as your own. Take “Karma”, a company that makes organic dog food. Perhaps the implication that you might be reincarnated as a dog is enough for some pet owners to treat their animals like royalty. EcoPure Naturals could be any brand name in the natural food store but actually manufactures herbal remedies for dogs. Is “Eye Envy” a new kind of high-end women’s mascara? Nope. It’s a natural eye stain remover to let your cat look his best.

The spectacular growth in the pet product industry has crowded the field with different options for taking care of your cats and dogs. When pets have names like human babies and product naming is equally ambivalent, “Simply Fido” (a brand of organic pet toys), it’s not.

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