Guinea Pig Today to Host New Product Review Series
To accomplish this, Guinea Pig Today has teamed up with Wag.com a new pet products site launched in July of 2011. Wag is owned by Amazon but independently run by Quidsi. Pet lovers who have been online for some time may be familiar with Quidsi as they were behind Pets.com back in 2000. Quidsi is also behind the success of Diapers.com, which helps busy Moms with diaper subscriptions, and four other online specialty retailers. Wag stocks a variety of pet products you would find in the big box stores with the fast and reliable shipping you have come to know of Amazon. By purchasing supplies through online retailers, cavy welfare supporters can avoid supporting stores that sell guinea pigs as inventory.
Mitchell felt cavies were too often overlooked in the pet supply market. “We attended BlogPaws last year and spoke with a lot of companies on behalf of guinea pig welfare but too often cavies were in this ‘not a dog or cat’ category and treated like a complete afterthought. Wag has great brands like Oxbow and CareFresh that our local rescues use and they’re open to feedback on the product we don’t think are in the best interest of guinea pigs,” Mitchell explains. Wag has proven its commitment to small animals through actions and not words. “They’ve already begun to make changes to the site per our request by looking into stocking cubes and coroplast for custom built guinea pig cages. That’s absolutely huge. I don’t know of any other major pet supply outlet that has made the leap to selling C&C cages and we’re so happy to see things moving in a positive direction.” These cage building supplies are expected to be available from Wag.com beginning in February.The product reviews will be done in the same manner as the rest of Guinea Pig Today, through the support of volunteers with a variety of experiences in guinea pig ownership. The writers are hoping shared situations with real life examples on a variety of cavies will lead to more accurate decisions on the part of the consumer. “Too often I see sites that say ‘use this, don’t use this’ and they don’t explain why and the reason is the most important part of learning to make educated decisions when shopping for your pet. Our reviewers aren’t trying to be cavy experts, but friends with shared experiences who are there beside you while you’re shopping.” Mitchell has experience volunteering for product reviews and surveys with major pet product manufacturers and feels a wide range of consumer feedback is key to developing and encouraging quality pet care products.
Guinea Pig Today plans to donate items used in product reviews and continue in their support of rescues and shelters. “We’ve been working with Wag to integrate a system that would help rescues maintain a ‘Wish List’ similar to a baby or wedding registry. Anyone wishing to donate can purchase and ship products directly to a rescue from Wag.” Mitchell is hoping this will benefit both the rescue and the donor. “An active list that shows what has been sent and what is still needed will allow rescue volunteers to spend more time caring for the pets in need instead of managing their website. Order history will also help donors keep track of their donations over time.”
With so much talk about guinea pig welfare, you may be surprised that a site like Guinea Pig Today would want to align with a commercial brand. Mitchell considers it part of outreach. “We do so much to communicate good guinea pig care but too often our audience already knows generally what to do. We need to get out of our circle of comfort with welfare groups and cavy enthusiasts and reach the casual pet owner. Those people are most in need of our information and support.” Mitchell is optimistic that pet owners will choose to make the right choices if they read the reviews at the point of sale. Papua Piig will be part of that outreach by making otherwise boring product reviews more entertaining.
Expect Papua Piig & Friends on Guinea Pig Today to introduce new characters to the mix. Mitchell says, “Everyone has always loved Decoy, Papua’s imaginary friend and plush toy. Certainly there will be a plush toy angle in this new series and we’re hoping to include animals available for adoptions as well but we’re not going to say exactly what that will include just yet. Our viewers will have to wait and see.”
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