USA-flag-draped-dog

In a new online survey of 400 Americans conducted by Honest Paws, 88% of respondents say pet products should include labeling indicating whether or not the product was made in the USA.

While the push to buy American is by no means a new movement, it certainly has been gaining ground in recent years, and with 33% of survey respondents saying they would not purchase a pet product made outside of the USA, it’s important to understand why more and more consumers are leaning toward products made on home soil, especially when it comes to their pets.

The American Difference

For the first time in history, the national pet industry exceeded over $100 billion in sales in 2020. Despite the impact of COVID-19 on the average American’s daily life, consumers are still buying, though many have made the shift to online purchasing in the name of social distancing and convenience.

For many Americans, certain factors contribute a significant role in making a purchasing decision, factors such as brand trust and the number of reviews a product has on an ecommerce site.

Another important factor? Whether or not the product was made in the USA. In fact, in a 2016 survey of pet owners conducted by the American Pet Products Association, 61% of respondents reported that buying pet products made in the USA was important to them.

So why does ‘American-Made’ matter, and why is it so important when it comes to the products we buy for our four-legged friends?

Safety Standards

We are used to seeing a “Made in China” label on many items. This doesn’t necessarily mean they are bad, but China has different standards than the USA when it comes to safety and testing. The last thing we want is to give our pets a toy or treat that didn’t undergo vigorous testing and could possibly harm them, all to save a few bucks. When you buy something manufactured here on domestic soil, you can feel safe in the knowledge that it is composed of material that will not harm you. Routine testing by the Consumer Product Safety Commission is conducted to detect the presence of toxic elements in items found in your home, even for your pets.

Other countries may not do this. Product safety standards tend to be lower across other countries that companies tend to outsource to. Some countries even use raw materials the United States have deemed unsafe or unhealthy. With American products, you know all standards are met and the product is safe.

This is because the USA has safety standards, including required lab diagnostics, FDA approval, testing, Safety Data Sheet compliance, and more to ensure the pet products you buy are safe for your beloved companion. We can’t control other company’s regulations unfortunately, so buying USA is your best bet.

Fair Labor

Not only should products be safe, but the conditions they are made in should be too. In the United States, there are set labor laws to ensure each worker is paid fairly, given adequate breaks, enjoy safe working conditions, have reasonable hour limitations, and enjoy time off. In other countries, this is not the case. Many overseas factories exploit workers with ridiculously long hours, or extremely unsafe working conditions. These companies hire children as young as six to work these long hours in grueling conditions for very little pay.

You have probably heard the word “sweat shop” used to describe working conditions in other countries. Another great reason to buy American is you know you are not supporting the use of these sweat shops or contributing to treating another human inhumanely. Thanks to the Fair Labor Standards Act, minimum wage, overtime pay, recordkeeping and youth employment standards are closely monitored and regulated in the USA, making sure basic human rights are met in the workplace where your pet product was created.

Environmental Impact

When a product is Made in America, it means more than just employing American workers to create the product. It also means the carbon footprint to create the product is considerably smaller, thanks to strict regulations set forth by the Environmental Protection Agency. With those standards in place, we know manufacturers are required to do all they can to prevent pollution and eliminate any environmental hazards.

Unfortunately, the EPA is only for America, and the rest of the world does not have these same standards, especially countries we often outsource to. Other countries can produce pollution freely and harm the planet. Also, when we outsource goods, we have to ship them back to U.S. soil, just causing more pollution and emission. This burning of fossil fuel and greenhouse gases pollutes our oceans and wildlife and ruins our air quality.

When you buy U.S.-made goods, you can know that you’re helping our planet stay cleaner and stay around longer.

American Employment

We talked a bit about fair pay and working conditions, but another big part of buying American made products is employing American citizens. For years, many companies outsourced work to other countries to save money, but the recent call for Made in America products has diminished that a bit. Keeping jobs here supports workers, but also supports job growth throughout the economy.

Buying American gives Americans jobs, which helps boost the economy. Other countries may have low minimum wage standards, so contributing to that is only helping big companies, not small people. By growing the American job market, especially in manufacturing, we keep more money coming back into America and funding other jobs for people. Creating demand for American-made products means more people need to create these products, meaning more jobs, meaning more money in the U.S.

When American citizens are employed by companies, it helps our unemployment rate fall, boosts our economy, contributes to better healthcare, helps the housing market, and so much more. Buying pet products that are made in the USA helps create jobs for Americans that need that wage to make a living for their families.

Strong Economy

A healthy economy is one that thrives without any outside assistance and which can provide for its own people. This is a stark contrast to an unhealthy economy, which may see a country seeking aid from foreign sources and ending up in debt.

By buying American-made products, consumers are supporting a stronger domestic economy, one that doesn't have to rely on unsustainable loans from other countries. Buying American-made products doesn't just support the companies themselves, though -- it also supports the American employees of those companies and the American vendors those companies work with. In other words, it nurtures a cycle that keeps the economy strong and ensures American businesses and American people are prospering.

Quality

Consumers today are becoming more aware of where their products come from. The calls for organic, natural, and American-made are rising. We want quality things if we’re spending our money on them. And America is known for quality products. We’ve had a long history in manufacturing to prove it! The price tag may be higher, but the product is far superior.

According to a 2015 Nielsen survey, nearly 75% of respondents indicated that a brand’s country of origin was “as important as or more important than nine other purchasing drivers, including selection/choice, price, function and quality.”

Much like with safety standards, quality standards are much higher for domestically made products.

We want only the best for our pets, so buying American-made is a way to ensure they get that.

Patriotic Pet Products

Cropped image of handsome young man with labrador outdoors. Man on a green grass with dog. Cynologist

For the first time in history, the national pet industry exceeded over $100 billion in sales in 2020. Despite the impact of COVID-19 on the average American’s daily life, consumers are still buying, though many have made the shift to online purchasing in the name of social distancing and convenience.

Honest Paws

Honest Paws is a pet wellness brand that prides themselves on their products not only being made in America, but also being made of natural, organic ingredients. They specialize in CBD products specifically for a number of issues including mobility, anxiety, pain relief and general wellness. They make products for dogs, cats, and horses, so if your pet is struggling with any of the listed issues, check them out!

PAW5 Rock N’ Bowl

PAW5 is an American brand that specializes in dog puzzle toys and bowls that stimulate their mind. This is great for dogs who eat quickly, have a high energy level, or require mental stimulation. The Rock N’ Bowl is their most popular product and for good reason. It looks like a regular bowl, but is actually an enrichment item that makes your dog think and work for their food, calling on their natural instincts to make mealtime fun.

Vet Preferred

Vets Preferred offers veterinarian approved supplements for a wide range of dog health issues and even general wellness. They offer products for everything from bowel issues to dental health, as well as anxiety and joint issues. They have great prices and are made entirely in America. Be sure to check them out to see how you could improve your pooch’s life!

Planet Dog Pet Toys

Planet Dog Pet Toys is a company that focuses on eco-friendly, durable dog toys all made in the USA. Their Orbee toys are made of a very durable material for the extreme chewers and are built to last even the strongest of mouths. They have puzzle toys, balls, rope toys, chew bones, and so much more. If you’re looking for great toy additions at great prices, check out Planet Dog Pet Toys!

West Paw Design Beds

What dog doesn’t love a good bed? West Paw Design Beds is a luxury dog bed company who make some of the softest beds in the market. Not only are they comfortable for any age or size of dog, but they are also made of recycled materials, so they make much less of an environmental impact than a traditional dog bed! These beds are durable and made to last, so are a worthy investment.

2 Hound Designs Leashes

Are you tired of buying leash after leash that wears down after a few uses? 2 Hound Designs Leashes is here to help! These leashes are made in the USA and built with quality, durable materials sure to last even a strong puller. They have nearly 100 leashes alone, and also offer collars and harnesses so you can find the perfect fit for your pets’ needs and personalities’.

SleekEZ

We’re pretty confident this dog brush will change your life. SleekEZ brushes were originally made for horses, but quickly grew into the dog market because of the amazing results. This deshedding brush brushes out undercoats and loose hairs like a dream. And it’s made in the USA, so what could be better? If you have a dog with a lot of undercoat, give this gem a try!

Sili Dog

Dog tags are loud, there, we said it. But they’re necessary, so what can be done? Sili Dog can be done! This USA company makes beautiful, quiet dog tags your pup can wear in silent style. The tags are made of a tough silicone material that will last without chips and fades, and even glows in the dark! They offer plenty of customization so you can find the best one for your pet’s personality.

Merrick Dog Food

A lot of dog food is made outside the US, but not Merrick! Merrick is proudly produced in America. This brand uses quality ingredients, focuses on species-specific health, and does not use any artificial ingredients. They use ingredients from local farmers and create delicious food pets love, offering many different formulas for pets with allergies.

Poop Bags

Nothing beats the original right? We love the brand Poop Bags for your dog waste disposal needs! They were the original and are made in the USA from quality materials. They are entirely compostable and made from plants. When you purchase, this company makes a donation to plant more trees in America too! Looking for quality poop bags? Look no further!

The online survey mentioned in this article ran via Pollfish and contained 400 respondents, with a margin of error of 5%.