Pet Pawties: Petlane Advisers Teach Old (and New) Dogs, Cats, and Birds New Tricks

Your idea of a party might involve chips, dip, and high spirits, but sometimes, you never know what you’ll end up bringing home.

A pet party, or “pet pawty”—as it is called by Petlane pet advisers, who teach old and young dogs, cats, and birds new tricks—is thrown with a guarantee that the treats and toys available are safe and healthy for guests of honor, and their owners.

Much like hosts of Tupperware parties, Petlane pet advisers invite friends and interested pet owners into their homes, and present the full range of products offered by the company.

Catherine Trapskin, senior pet adviser for Petlane, says, “We are advocates for companion animals, and have had the chance to share new knowledge about pets.”

Trapskin became a pet adviser in 2006, shortly after she brought home her rescued border collie, Dottie. As a new pet owner, she wanted the best she could give to Dottie, but found the market overwhelming and difficult to trust.

“With all the news in the media about unsafe and recalled food and toys, how could we know that what I was bringing home was safe, healthy, and truly the best?” Trapskin recalls. “As I attempted to educate myself on pet nutrition, safety, and the numerous aspects of the pet world, it was clear there was too much information for the average pet owner to absorb.”

This curiosity, along with concern for Dottie, is what attracted Trapskin to Petlane, a company launched in 2004 that dedicates itself to providing the most researched products on the market—from environmentally friendly cleaning products to human-grade pet food not containing by-products. All items in stock are formulated to go above and beyond current consumer expectations.

“Everything is hormone- and antibiotic-free; the grains are pesticide-free; and the garden ingredients—apples, carrots, peas, blueberries, and flaxseed—are also human grade,” Trapskin points out.

Trapskin shares, “Dottie has become my toy tester, and my number-one testimonial to how much Petlane can improve the life of the four-legged members of our family.”

Pets of hosts get the first chance to perform their own sniff test on new products, and pick out their favorites.

While sales are important, the educational aspect of a pet adviser’s job is essential. Pet Pawties help to bring awareness to pet owners about the ingredients in food, as well as the quality of a dog’s or a cat’s life.

Among Trapskin’s favorite items are the Snuggly heartbeat beds and the Bear Hug.

“Both the Snuggly Bed and Bear Hug have warming pouches and a pressure-sensitive heartbeat inside, which is great for any young or rescued pet or those with separation anxiety,” Trapskin enthuses.

For cats, Trapskin recommends the Kitty Calisthenics, which literally comes with its bells on, as well as feathers, rattling balls, and catnip.

Trapskin has used her passion for animals to build a successful at-home business. She can work around her own schedule, while giving back to her community through donations for local animal rescue.

“My network now includes business associates and friends within the pet community, including vets, groomers, breeders, and other animal advocates who have helped to further my education, and offer help and advice,” Trapskin relates.

Each pet adviser chooses to throw parties that accommodate a personal schedule, whether that includes a job away from home, a family vacation, or any other commitments. Flexibility is one of the main benefits of working as a pet adviser. Trapskin typically throws three to six parties a month.

According to Trapskin, “My task is to spend time individually with each guest to find the best product for their pet.”

Each pet owner consults with Trapskin, so she can understand the unique needs of each attendee’s companion.

As Trapskin puts it, “My job is to educate. Sales is just one of the services I provide.”

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