Anaheim, California (August 15, 2019) — Online retailer and pet media outlet iHeartDogs.com has announced the full launch of their “Pet Product Accelerator” program, seeking to partner with up and coming innovative pet brands by introducing them to their 1 million+ customers. This announcement comes at the perfect time right before the industry tradeshow – SuperZoo.
“Our goal is to find more amazing products that improve the lives of pets and people. We’re looking for inventors pursuing the “American Dream”, cause-driven brands, and purpose-driven products that make a difference in pet health and wellbeing to launch to our passionate customers.” says Justin Palmer, CEO of iHeartDogs. Think of it as a “Shark Tank” for pet products.
iHeartDogs.com, an Inc 500 company, has charted its own course since it launched 5 years ago. Focused more on educating customers about quality products and brands, the goal was to become a trusted, safe, reliable resource for pet parents everywhere. Is it working? With 30 million followers, 1.5 million email subscribers and 5 million readers, the company believes it definitely is.
“We see ourselves as an alternative to brandless, faceless online channels like Amazon or Chewy where products from around the world compete on price, not quality or uniqueness. A place where customers can get trusted, quality brands at a great value,” says iHeartDogs.com President, Marshall Morris. In addition, every product sold gives back to shelters and rescues in big ways creating loyalty not typically seen in an online company.
Last year, iHeartDogs piloted their Pet Product Accelerator program with several product partnerships. One product, a popular toy that allows dogs to brush their own teeth, sold over 75,000 units. “The smashing success of this and other product launches and told us we need to formalize this program,” says Palmer.
Between now and the end of the year, iHeartDogs is looking to partner with 10 new brands for their Pet Product Accelerator program.
For brands that meet certain requirements, the program also includes $20,000 worth of advertising provided by the iHeartDogs blog and email newsletter, currently reaching over 5 million dog owners per month.
Hemangiosarcoma is a highly invasive type of cancer that grows rapidly. It primarily forms in dogs, but can also develop in humans and other animals.
Jaime Modiano with the University of Minnesota College of Veterinary Medicine and Masonic Cancer Center answers questions about what hemangiosarcoma is, the current standard of care, and the implications his cancer research has for veterinary and human medicine.
Q: What is hemangiosarcoma? Dr. Modiano: Few canine cancers are deadlier than hemangiosarcoma, a cancer of blood vessel-forming cells. This cancer is unpredictable, develops painlessly and is often advanced by the time it is discovered. Severe internal bleeding and sudden death occur frequently and unexpectedly with this disease. A dog’s breed, age, gender, diet and environment do not impact the progression of this cancer.
Q: What is the survival rate for dogs with hemangiosarcoma? Dr. Modiano: Hemangiosarcoma is most common in older dogs; more than half of the dogs that develop hemangiosarcoma are over 10 years old. Without treatment, the probability of survival can range from days to a few weeks. With treatment, the expected survival is four to six months, though this depends on the tumor’s location. Despite the aggressive nature of the disease, about five to 15 percent of dogs with hemangiosarcoma may survive a year or longer.
Q: What is the current standard of care for dogs with hemangiosarcoma? Dr. Modiano: The standard of care is surgical removal of accessible tumors — depending on the location — followed by chemotherapy. Treatment is meant to prevent fatal blood loss and to extend life, but is seldom curative. Chemotherapy delays the recurrence of metastasis, which occurs in virtually every dog diagnosed with this cancer. The combination of surgery and chemotherapy is the only approach that has repeatedly shown to be effective. I strongly recommend owners pursue treatment options based on objective data and not on anecdotal information that creates false hope and unrealistic expectations by the pet owners and their veterinarians.
Q: How might research about hemangiosarcoma impact human medicine? Dr. Modiano: There are many similarities between human and dog cancers — they arise spontaneously in both species, and, in some form, cancer will affect between 25 to 35 percent of both populations. Cancer is the major cause of disease-related mortality in dogs, as it is in humans in an increasing number of countries. Dogs can help us understand the lifelong impact of new strategies to diagnose, prevent and treat cancer because their lives are measured in the span of about a decade. As we develop tests for early detection that can be paired with new drugs for active, targeted prevention, success in dogs would provide an impetus for, and confidence in, further developing these approaches to assign cancer risk, and to use preventative strategies in humans.
Q: What are you and your team doing to reduce the impact of hemangiosarcoma? Dr. Modiano:The Shine On Project at the University of Minnesota College of Veterinary Medicine is following over 200 healthy dogs at risk for developing hemangiosarcoma. The goal is to evaluate the use of a novel blood test to assign a level of risk to each of these dogs. Dogs that are at a high risk are eligible to receive eBAT — a promising drug developed at the University of Minnesota — as a preventative tool. eBAT is unique because it can kill the emerging cancer cells and irreparably damage the environment they need before they have a chance to form a tumor. An added advantage to eBAT is that it is exceptionally safe.
Our approach of detecting hemangiosarcoma early on through The Shine On Project and then combating it with eBAT is something our team now looks to apply to other types of cancer — most notably, osteosarcoma. Rather than curing dogs that already have cancer, we set ourselves apart by detecting it early and fighting it with specific, customized treatments, as we have done with the Shine On Project and our use of eBAT.