Pet Toy Designers?

is there anyone on this forum that designs pet toys? i would love to learn about the materials that are used for pet toys such as dogs and cats, any suggestions?


I’ve done a bunch of dog toy designs for Aspen Pet (Booda brand). These were kind of interesting because they use 2 different materials, a hard plastic and an elastomer. Not sure exactly what types of material they are, though:

Also, this guy is one of a line that I worked on - all roto-molded latex:

I know a little about the pet industry.
Any particular questions?
There are tons of material options for toys just walk in to a pet store and you’ll see, traditional plastics, elastomers, wood, papers and textiles, even metal parts.

sorry i havent been able to reply to my post.

my Q is ( this might sound stupid) but how can i advance my skills and learn about pet toys ? my background is in Industrial and Graphic design. and i am new to this industry. any feed back would be great. also, what are the main brands on the market.

any feed back and info would be great.

thank n adv

also if any one knows of industry magazines that i can subscribe to…

The pet industry is peculiar.

There are huge players like the Mars corporation, Colgate-Palmolive, Rayovac
they dominate the commodities end of the business.

Then you have the second tier companies that exist in both pet specialty stores as well as independent pet stores. Many of these companies also maintain secondary brands for sales to walmart, grocery, and smaller mass stores like Walgreen, rite-aid, Kroger, etc. These companies typically carve out a particular Niche in what is already seen as a niche industry.

And below that are the smaller companies and boutique manufacturers that are typically only sold in independent pet stores. These are usually the high design/high quality/ low volume Companies that couldn’t survive the pricing structure of the distribution chains of the rest of the industry.

Finally you have the direct from Asia sourcing which is a huge part of the industry.

The best way to find out about any of them is to get out to petsmart, petco, target and independent pet stores.
You can learn about the needs of the industry simply by keeping pets.

I think the most exiting thing about designing in the pet industry is that the products and categories are so varied that there is no limit to the types of materials and processes that you get to explore.


pet age
pet business
modern dog

Great info Ryan,

is it common practice in the pet toy industry to provide creative ideas where the company they work for applies for patent on an idea he/she came up with, with out the designer getting anything in return (royalties) ?

i am not sure i understand your question.

I think it is common in most industries that if you are a company employee and compensated with a salary, benefits, etc. that there is not usually going to also be a royalty agreement.

If you are a contractor then you need to negotiate your own terms. It is worth noting that volumes in pet toys are fairly low when compared to other industries so it’s possible that a royalty agreement isn’t necessarily your best financial option.

That being said, i know of quite a few royalty/licensing agreements within the industry.

Companies apply for patents all the time. I think I’m up to 14 now. If you work full time for the company you won’t be getting anything, and it makes sense. The cost of developing, manufacturing, and shipping the product that uses the patent as well as the expensive task of enforcing the patent is on the company.

great info guys. thank you.

Often pet toy stores feel like buying a cat in a bag.
I’ll let one cat out of the bag and say that there is a great opportunity in the market for premium, high-end feeling pet products that people actually want to have in the home. Think the Pro Plan Purina and Eukanuba buying market. At a studio I worked for we developed several products for that market in Eastern Europe with great success.