The close connection between convenience stores and pets manifests in a surprising number of ways.

Around the world, human beings—as different as they may be in other ways—share a love for their pets.

[1]  During the past few years, which were marked by long stretches of relative isolation for a lot of us, the bond between people and pets probably only intensified.

Since the global c-store industry is nothing if not a reflection of the public it serves, it makes sense that it has a soft spot for our friends from the Animal Kingdom. This fondness plays out in a variety of ways.

Let’s start with perhaps the best example of the marriage between the two. It’s a Twitter account that’s been around for a decade with almost a million followers. It’s called @Bodegacats_ and it proves that there is absolutely no shortage of cute cats in the Northeast laying on shelves, popping out of register drawers, and snuggling up to c-store proprietors. It’s the unbeatable combination of the Internet and cats taken to a whole other level. [2]

Elsewhere, in Texas, a couple’s love of pets and their side gig as dachshund breeders inspired the branding of their 16-store enterprise, thus Wag-a-Bag was born.

In Brazil, one convenience store’s faith in an abandoned dog led them not just to adopting the canine, but to putting them to work in the store. Being a pet and holding down a job is impressive multi-tasking, right?

Of course, sometimes the relationship between dog-as-employee and the c-store operator can go sideways, so prospective employers should probably keep that in mind.

While pets can be a warm and fuzzy addition for a convenience store owner, operators also find themselves mining the potential in the relationship between consumers and their pets.

In the U.K., post-COVID trends indicated that more people were beginning to seek out pet-related products in their c-stores, convincing retailers to carry these products, perhaps in a display like this. The strategy is a global one; here’s another example from Korea.

These trends are reinforced by the fact that that 78 percent of customers travel with their pets (according to Convenience Store News).

As a result, clever operators are doing things like installing pet wash facilities in their stores, providing a new way to serve pet loving customers, while at the same time creating a new revenue stream. Sensing similar potential, Love’s Travel Stops made an investment in constructing dog parks throughout their enterprise.

It’s doesn’t always have to be about the money, though. This Mexican gas station set up a service area with food and drink for homeless dogs. C-stores in Thailand are pretty great for homeless dogs, too, as they dispense rabies shots to them.

Dogs, cats, and c-stores. Does it get any better than that? We don’t think so. And please don’t forget that next week is National Pet ID week. It’s a great opportunity to protect your pets!

[1] There are probably exceptions, maybe even some at SSCS, but enough about them!

[2] It doesn’t stop there. Type “Bodega Cats” in your browser and be prepared for a deluge of results!