A roundup of pet news for your weekend ...
Popular online pet product stores: This week, Sophie Cannon, writing for the New York Post, listed the top nine online pet product stores. In order, they were Chewy, PetCareRX, Fable Pets, Alpha Paw, Wild One, Cat Person, Roverlund, Bark Box and Pretty Litter. How many had you heard of before? I only knew of three: Chewy, PetCarRx and Bark Box. The first and third were familiar from TV advertising and PetaCareRx was familiar because some veterinarians dislike other private enterprises cutting into their pharmacy sales.
MPPNOAT: The acronym stands for most popular pet name of all time. Ezra Marcus, writing for the New York Times, details a study of Hartsdale Pet Cemetery in Hartsdale, N.Y. Founded in 1896, there are more than 80,000 pet remains buried there. A study of the names of the pets buried there by veterinary company FirstVet showed that the highest percentage of dogs interred are named “Princess.” The most popular cat name to date is “Tiger.”
Most popular dog names in the 30s and 40s were “Queenie” and “Tippy.” In the 1960s, “Lady” was number one. When the psychedelic 60s stumbled along, it was “Brandy.” The 1980s and 1990s also had their favorite, “Max.” Most popular cat name in the 1990s and 2000s was “Smokey.” Marcus also notes there were plenty of very individualized names, too.
Celebrity harangue: Kaley Cuoco, star of the former hit television series, “The Big Bang Theory,” is giving pet owners who just surrender pets a what for. As reported on Fox News by Jessica Napoli, Cuoco posted the following to her Instagram account: “This might sound random, but I’m sick of opening social media and seeing 100s or 1000s of animal rescue posts where people are discarding their animals like trash … They act like dogs are trash. They act like dogs are a water bottle that you just throw away.” Her take away message is, if you can’t afford it, don’t get a pet. Amen, sister.
Which states lead? Which states lead in which categories measured annually by the American Pet Products Association? The top three states for pets overall are Texas, Florida and South Carolina. They average the most spent on pets and are where the most pet owners live. Owners there post the most social media activity about their pets and they have the most pet shelters per 100,000 residents. If you want to dine with your pet, they have the most pet-friendly eateries per 100,000 residents, too.
Three states spend the least on their pets, Idaho, Iowa and South Dakota. Coincidentally, Wyoming, West Virginia, Idaho, and Vermont also own the most pets — with at least two-thirds of the population owning at least one pet.
Best places to vacation with pets? Boise is No. 15 overall because it’s home to approximately 345 miles of hiking trails and nearly 5.7 dog parks per 100,000 people. Portland, is No. 14. Salt Lake is No. 12 and coming in at No. 1 is Asheville, N.C.
Rover is worth what? Seattle’s decade-old company “A Place for Rover,” features “the world’s largest network of five-star pet sitters and dog walkers.” The Rover.com platform connects pet owners with doggie day care, dog walkers, boarding and other services in 10 countries and claims it has had “millions of services booked.” On Thursday they announced an agreement to a Special Purpose Acquisition Company deal that gives the firm a $1.63 billion market capitalization.
Nebula Caravel Acquisition Corp. will acquire the company under a merger and $50 million private investment in public equity. That leaves Rover with $300 million in unrestricted cash on the books.
Charlie Powell is the public information officer for the Washington State University College of Veterinary Medicine, which provides this column as a community service.