Amazon Pets landing page.

How to Sell Pet Products on Amazon

Ryan Faist

Ryan Faist, Channel Key

June 5, 2024

Every brand looking to be a serious contender in the pet supply industry should sell on Amazon. With over 2 billion monthly visitors, it should be no surprise that Amazon is one of the top marketplaces for pet products, capturing 34% of all online pet product sales in the U.S.

Of course, with this volume comes competition. Some of the most popular pet brands in the world sell on Amazon – and they have the resources to compete aggressively.

That said, the Amazon marketplace is designed so that even smaller brands can come out on top. Winning on Amazon is not necessarily a matter of ad budget. It’s more about strategy.

This blog breaks down Amazon’s current pet supplies market and discusses specific marketing and advertising strategies that can help your pet brand scale and grow.

Top online pet retailers in the U.S.

Understanding the Amazon Pet Product Market

To sell pet products on Amazon, it’s important to have an accurate understanding of the general market. According to Similarweb data, pet product sales on Amazon reached $18.2 billion in 2023, a massive 24.6% increase from the previous year. Analysts forecast the Category to climb another 25.3% in 2024.

The best-selling pet brand on Amazon in 2023 was Blue Buffalo, with $391 million in sales. By comparison, Amazon’s own dog food brand (Amazon Basics) generated $204.7 million.

Below are some of the top search terms on Amazon for the Pet Supplies Category, along with the most-clicked brands. Note: Amazon Search Frequency Rank is a numeric value that measures how often a search term is used on Amazon during a given time compared to other search terms. A higher rank indicates a more popular search term.

Chart showing most-searched pet terms on Amazon.

What is the Amazon Seller Category for Pet Products?

On Amazon, pet products fall under the Category of Pet Supplies. This Category includes a wide range of products for various types of pets, including dogs, cats, birds, fish, reptiles, and small animals.

When listing products in the Pet Supplies Category on Amazon, brands should ensure they categorize their products correctly to improve searchability and visibility to potential customers.

Each Sub-Category has specific guidelines and requirements that sellers need to follow, so it’s important to review Amazon’s Category-specific rules to ensure compliance. Below are some of the main subcategories within the Pet Supplies Category:

Dogs

  • Food
  • Toys
  • Apparel & Accessories
  • Beds & Furniture
  • Grooming
  • Training & Behavior Aids
  • Leashes, Collars & Harnesses

Cats

  • Food
  • Toys
  • Beds & Furniture
  • Litter & Housebreaking
  • Grooming
  • Collars, Harnesses & Leashes

Fish & Aquatic Pets

  • Food
  • Aquariums & Fish Bowls
  • Aquarium Décor
  • Aquarium Cleaners
  • Heaters & Chillers

Birds

  • Food
  • Cages & Accessories
  • Toys
  • Health Supplies
  • Perches

Top-Selling Pet Products on Amazon

Becoming a top-selling pet product on Amazon requires significant sales volume. Amazon curates a page for its best-sellers in the Pet Supplies Category, which is updated frequently.

Knowing the pet products that generate the most sales is helpful for getting a general understanding the market’s potential on Amazon.

However, brands should calibrate their expectations and keep in mind that it takes time and resources to become a top-selling pet product on Amazon.

The following are the top five pet products on Amazon as of May 2024:

#1: Earth Rated Dog Poop Bags
Total Monthly Revenue: $1,218,679
Unit Sales: 91,699
View on Amazon

Amazon Screenshot of Top-Selling Pet Product.

#2: Amazon Basics Dog and Puppy Pee Pads
Total Monthly Revenue: $1,797,061
Unit Sales: 91,407
View on Amazon

Amazon Screenshot of Top-Selling Pet Product.

#3: Dr. Elsey’s Premium Clumping Cat Litter
Total Monthly Revenue: $1,772,620.92
Unit Sales: 90,764
View on Amazon

Amazon Screenshot of Top-Selling Pet Product.

#4: Fancy Feast Poultry and Beef Feast Classic Pate Collection
Total Monthly Revenue: $2,128,120.08
Unit Sales: 89,832
View on Amazon

Amazon Screenshot of Top-Selling Pet Product.

#5: Purina Fancy Feast Graver Lovers Grilled Collection
Total Monthly Revenue: $1,549,041.48
Unit Sales: 88,164
View on Amazon

Amazon Screenshot of Top-Selling Pet Product.

Do You Need Certificates to Sell Pet Products on Amazon?

The short answer is: it depends. If your brand sells pet food and/or treats, you will need to comply with FDA regulations. This involves adhering to proper labeling, ingredient standards, and facility inspections. Some states have additional regulations and may require product registration.

Many pet supplements and medicinal products also need to be FDA-approved or compliant. Products like flea treatments might also need to follow Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulations. Some products may even require CoAs to verify their ingredients and safety.

Most pet toys and accessories will not need to meet specific certifications, but they must meet general safety standards to avoid being considered hazardous.

The following are Amazon’s specific compliance certification requirements for pet products. Please note that Amazon may update these requirements at any time.

Pet Food:

Pet food needs to follow the laws and regulations of the respective countries/territories. US Sellers need to refer to the requirements on pet food of FFCDA under the FDA and the respective states’ AAFCO when manufacturing and selling pet food and snacks. Learn more about the FDA’s requirements for marketing a pet food product.

Pet Food Labels:

There are strict requirements for pet food labels. Sellers should provide, without limitation, the following information:

  • Product name, e.g. “XXX for Dogs or Cats”
  • The breed for such product, e.g. “husky”
  • Quantity/weight of pet food in packaging or container
  • List of ingredients, with ingredients ranked according to percentage
  • Guaranteed Analysis
  • In the case of “Treats,” their nutritional compositions need to be clearly labeled. There is no such requirement for “snacks” or “supplements”.
  • Instructions on feeding, e.g. “This product is for puppies.”
  • Name and address of manufacturer or distributor

Pet Handicrafts:

If the products you sell are handicrafts, you will need to comply with Amazon’s rules for pet handicrafts. For example, your handmade Pet Supply products must adhere to the following guidelines:

  • All products must adhere to Amazon’s general policies and agreements.
  • All products must adhere to the Category, product, and listing restrictions.
  • All products must meet the Amazon Handmade: Category Listing Policies & Requirements.
  • Handmade prohibits listings of pet food or treats.
  • All products must adhere to the Animals and Animal-Related Products policies.
  • All products must comply with all applicable laws and regulations.
  • All products must be new and authentic. We do not allow any used, counterfeit, replica, trademark-infringing or knock-off products in Handmade.
  • Any pet toys containing lasers must comply with the Laser Pointers and Related Products policy.

Non-Pet Food:

The Non-Pet Food sub-Category includes home products for pets, pet-related travel equipment, pet grooming, and accessories. Regardless of the jurisdiction, no specific laws and regulations govern such products, but they must still comply with those for consumer goods. Examples include the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) regulations and GPSD and REACH regulations in Europe.

Does Amazon Allow CBD Pet Products to Be Sold on Their Site?

Amazon prohibits the sale of CBD (cannabidiol) products, including CBD pet products, on its platform. This includes any product that contains CBD or other cannabinoids, such as oils, treats, or supplements for pets. While products made from hemp that do not contain CBD, such as hemp seed oil, may be allowed, they must not make any claims about CBD content.

Types of Pet Products That Don’t Perform Well on Amazon

Most pet owners have deep affection for their pets and consider them family members. They want the very best for their pets and take extra consideration when purchasing pet products – especially anything that is ingested, like food or supplements.

For this reason, only high-quality pet products will do well on Amazon. In other categories, you can get away with low-quality products. For example, cheap shirts can sell well with the right strategy. With pet products, the standard is much higher.

When it comes to selling pet products on Amazon, quality is king. Anything less will quickly accumulate negative reviews and 1-star ratings before inevitably failing.

How to Advertise Pet Products on Amazon

There are several unique Amazon marketing levers that pet brands can leverage to drive sales and scale on Amazon. However, it’s important to cover the basics first.

Customers shopping for pet products encounter many touchpoints on their path to purchase. Channel Key recommends pet brands develop a full-funnel marketing strategy to target customers at every stage of the purchase journey. This includes the following steps:

  • Make Sure Your Products are Retail Ready: Always start with the bottom of the funnel and work your way upward. Before you launch your first PPC ad, make sure your product detail pages include fully optimized Titles and Descriptions, high-resolution images and videos, A+ content, and customer reviews.
  • Target Shoppers Who are Ready to Buy: Next, use PPC ads to drive purchases. Start with Sponsored Products ads by reaching shoppers using branded search terms indicating high intent. Then, use Sponsored Display ads to remarket to shoppers who have viewed your products.
  • Stand Out in Your Category: Once your Amazon Ads are up and running, it’s time to own your aisle. Sponsored Display product targeting is a powerful way to reach shoppers browsing relevant categories, similar products, or complimentary items. Advertise on your own product detail pages to help make shoppers aware of additional products.
  • Promote Your Brand Story: Build momentum and attract new customers by increasing consideration. Sponsored Brands is a great way to drive traffic to your Store, where customers can learn more about your brand’s story and products. Consider bidding on broader shopping queries and reaching in-market audiences to find customers that may be interested in your product.
  • Expand Your Reach: The final step to a full-funnel marketing campaign isbuilding awareness. Consider combining audio and Streaming TV ads to reach audiences beyond the screen and at home. Amazon DSP is a powerful way to reach customers at scale (more on this later).

Drive Repeat Sales for Certain Pet Products with Subscribe and Save

Amazon’s Subscribe and Save program can be a powerful tool that pet brands can use to reward customer loyalty. Pet food is a great product type for enrolling in Subscribe and Save because many customers buy the same brand of food for their pet.

As a quick reminder, Subscribe & Save allows customers to subscribe to periodic deliveries of eligible products. Customers get discounted pricing on their subscriptions.

To participate, you need to meet certain eligibility requirements related to performance, order defect rate, and product return rate. Products also need to meet certain criteria to be eligible.

You agree to fund any additional Subscribe & Save discount beyond what Amazon provides. Currently, Amazon provides a 5% discount, and sellers fund an additional 5% discount. Note that Amazon may choose to enroll your eligible products in Subscribe & Save, but is not obligated to. You or Amazon can cancel product enrollment at any time.

Case Study: New-to-Brand Advertising Increases Amazon Subscribers by 168% for Pet Brand

Channel Key works with a leading supplier of all-natural dog treats and chews. Over time, our client built a profitable subscription service on Amazon that offered savings to members.

They partnered with Channel Key to develop a marketplace strategy to grow and scale its Subscribe and Save business on Amazon.

To increase new Subscribe and Save conversions, Channel Key focused on increasing visibility for new-to-brand customers.

After optimizing the Pet ‘n Shape Brand Store, Channel Key utilized Sponsored Brands, Sponsored Display, and DSP campaigns to drive and convert more traffic from new-to-brand customers.

This improved Detail Page Views by 26% from Q1 2020 to 2021 and achieved an average conversion rate of 70%. New-to-brand orders from Sponsored Ads grew by 23% each quarter. Overall, Channel Key’s strategy increased YoY Subscribe and Save members by 168%.

View the full Subscribe and Save Case Study.

Case Study: Amazon DSP Drives New-to-Brand Customers for Pet Brand

Amazon DSP is a robust advertising tool that can help pet brands reach new and existing audiences at scale on and off Amazon.

Our client in the pet Category was enjoying strong results with Amazon Ads, but wanted to take their sales to the next level with Amazon DSP. After testing campaigns with Amazon’s managed service for several months, they asked Channel Key to take over Amazon DSP for more vertical control.

The challenge was to develop and implement a more effective strategy that would position the company for long-term, profitable growth and justify the investment of Amazon DSP.

According to Amazon data, 22% of our client’s repeat customers make 10+ purchases a year. Based on this insight, Channel Key recommended allocating ad spend to growing its loyalty base, which would provide a higher ROI since these customers purchase more often.

Channel Key implemented a two-pronged marketplace strategy: 1) leverage DSP to significantly increase brand awareness off Amazon with the goal of increasing the pool of new-to-brand customers, and 2) retarget these customers with the goal of converting them into Subscribe & Save members.

Overall, Channel Key’s Amazon DSP strategy grew Subscribe & Save customers by 67% YoY, increasing order rates by over 40% on top ASINs.

View the full Amazon DSP Case Study.

Channel Key Takeaway

Channel Key is a full-service marketplace consulting agency with a proven track record of helping brands in the pet supplies industry gain market share on Amazon.

Through a combination of strategy, transparency, and expertise, our brand partners consistently enjoy YoY sales growth and increased profitability.

Our team of Amazon experts provides turnkey services, including marketplace strategy, brand awareness, revenue growth, profitability analysis, new product launches, 1P/3P transitions, operational health, marketing, advertising, Amazon DSP, content creation, optimization, reporting and analytics, and more.

Contact us today to learn more about how Channel Key can help your pet brand become a bestseller on Amazon.

In the meantime, download our Amazon Marketplace Overview to gain insight on the current state of the Pet Supplies Industry.

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