This year marks the 6th year of the Nose of Tralee competition and we are delighted to have the lovely Pet Connection guys sponsoring prizes for the winner and runner up.
Pet Connection have an amazing range of products that you can purchase online so take a read and find out a little bit more about them, including their top cat and dog products.
Meet Pet Connection Pet Store: 2019 Nose of Tralee Sponsors
Tell Us About Yourselves
Pet Connection was founded back in 2002 by brother and sister Frank Clarke and Roisin Morgan. Originally we were set up as just a small pet shop in Newry – now we have the biggest independent pet shop in the area and help customers and their pets all over Ireland (and beyond!) through our website www.petconnection.ie.
In our shop, Frank and our managers Joanne and Gerry will be happy to help you, while Roisin and her online team, managed by Paul and Anthony, will take care of every stage of your order to make sure that your pet gets the products that they need, as quickly as possible.
Pet Connection is a family run business, and to us, our customers’ pets are all a part of the Pet Connection family.
What Pets Do You Have Yourself?
We are a family of animal lovers, and it really shows in the collection of pets that we have managed to gather!
Frank has his beautiful Golden Retriever, Holly, who he adopted as an adult after she was given up by her previous family because she doesn’t get along well with other female dogs.
Roisin has Eva the German Shepherd, Mork and Mindy the Lurchers and Willow the cat. Eva joined our family at the age of 2, as one of the dog trainers that we work closely with had heard that she was about to be put down as she had not been properly socialised and therefore struggled to cope with other dogs. With a lot of hard work teaching her that other dogs don’t have to be a threat, she now enjoys her time with other dogs who are well known to her.
Mork and Mindy were dumped in our yard as puppies and have been together ever since. They are typical Lurchers – gentle, loving and a little bit dopey! They are absolutely inseparable and we often find them both squeezed into one bed or moving completely in sync.
Willow is one of the tiniest cats imaginable – she was found abandoned in the middle of Newry as a 2 week old kitten and hand reared by us. She is such a chatty cat and always makes sure she lets you know about her day when you arrive home!
Of course, there are many more pets in our family – including Ragnar, who was left in a cardboard box outside our store with the rest of his litter last summer and went home with Roisin’s son Paul and we couldn’t forget the amazing Goose, a Newfoundland who is in training to be a mobility assistance dog.
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What Type Of Products You Sell And For What Animals?
We like to think that we sell pretty much everything that you could need for your pets! We have dedicated ranges for dogs, cats, small furries (rabbits, guinea pigs, hamsters etc), birds, reptiles, fish and wild hedgehogs and birds.
We do our best to make sure that we keep a wide range of products available for pet owners and support other small businesses like ourselves where we can – some of our most successful new ranges over the last few years have been from small business brands like Phytopet and Hotterdog by Equafleece.
What Is Your Top Selling Dog Toy?
Our top selling dog toy is definitely the hugely popular Lickimat range – and they are a fantastic toy. They are so simple, but so effective and offer a huge range of benefits to your dog.
All you need to do is spread your chosen wet food, paste or other spreadable treat across the mat and give it to your dog to lick the treat off.
It can function as a slow feeder, reduces boredom and associated destructive behaviours, improves dental hygiene and has a fantastic non-medical calming effect, as the repetitive licking releases Cortisol, helping your pet to feel soothed and relaxed.
Our own pets love their Lickimats and the feedback that we’ve had both from owners and rescues has been fantastic.
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What Is Your top Selling Cat Toy?
Although Lickimats are great for cats too, I would have to say the Happy Pet Cardboard Scratchers. There’s a mat and a ramp design and they are one of those “simple but brilliant” type of items.
Ragnar actually prefers his to traditional scratching posts. They’re really easy to encourage the cat to use because you can sprinkle catnip over the cardboard which encourages the cat to engage and they last really well, much better than you’d expect cardboard to last.
hey are also a really environmentally friendly toy, as when they are worn out, they are recyclable. It’s always great to choose toys that help to reduce your pets’ carbon paw print!
Tell Us About The Work You Do With Rescues
We are lucky to be in a position where we get to work with a lot of different rescues across Ireland and the UK and they all do such fantastic work.
We are currently running Wishlists for 16 different rescues, including MADRA Dog Rescue, ASH Animal Rescue and Dogs on the Streets, where we offer a list of items needed by the rescues with extra discounts and free direct delivery.
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We also run our annual Christmas Shoebox Appeal where we team up with even more rescues to offer a special box of Christmas presents, including a Christmas dinner, toys and treats for the animals in their care.
Through the year we have 4 big dog or cat rescue competitions where we have hundreds of pounds of food, essentials, toys and treats to give away to the rescues with most votes. Our latest scheme, running until July 7th, is a Dog Rescue Support Pack – a selection of food, treats and toys discounted to £15 with free delivery to any rescue in Ireland or the UK.
We have so much respect for the rescues that are out there, day in, day out improving the lives of so many abandoned and unwanted animals and we would rather support the work that they are doing rather than invest in a huge marketing budget.
It has meant that we’ve been able to sponsor fundraising events like the MADRA Dogathon and Moosefest by Moose’s Sighthound Trust and that we’ve been able to help out other rescues by donating items for auctions and that type of event.
We’re always trying to find new ways to support the rescues out there and it will always be a priority for us as a business, as so many of our own pets were saved by kind rescues and volunteers before they came to us.