There are a lot of incredible ‘Female Forces‘ across the dynamic consumer brand universe. One of the more notable consumer sectors, particularly in the past year, has been pet care. Not only has the job market for the category expanded in opportunities during the pandemic, but it’s also grown exponentially in terms of product sales with an estimated $99 billion spent on pets in 2020. With the pandemic came a rise in pet ownership and market demands for everything from food and wellness products to toys and luxury items.

In the spirit of Women’s History Month (March), read on to discover five women leading companies that are meeting pets and their owners’ needs with a range of products that aim to please.

1. Pet Wants
After noticing the development of some skin and coat issues with their pets, and making no progress on how to improve the situation with their vets, Michele Hobbs and Amanda Broughton took matters into their own hands. Upon discovering that the culprit of their pets’ discomfort came from mass-produced pet food of low nutritional value and quality, they founded Pet Wants. The company makes fresh, nutritional pet food free of animal byproducts and non-nutritious fillers but chockful of high-quality ingredients that are slow-cooked in small batches and delivered right to pet parents’ doors. With 90 locations in 27 states, Pet Wants is one of the fastest-growing pet franchises in the country and shows no sign of slowing down.

2. A Cat Cave
Cats crave comfort, and with so many pet owners home right now, Cat Cave Co seems like the perfect product for the pandemic. Founded by cat lover Holly Hudson, the eco-friendly, luxury-felted cat beds are handmade from ethically-sourced wool and 100 percent natural and organic materials with vegan organic dyes. While the brand is conscientious and considerate of the Earth, it also takes care of its employees. Cat Cave Co gives back by paying its workers 200 percent the average wage to assist them in transforming their local communities. Plus, they donate to local rescues and shelters as well. Cat Cave Co features 30 designs, including 3D caves, and is a favorite of both felines as well as small dogs.

3. PetCakes
Designed with pampering in mind, PetCakes was created by Melinda Kirk Stenger for Ciao Bella, her deaf Jack Russell and Italian Greyhound who serves as the company’s official taste tester and mascot. As the only microwavable specialty pet treats for both cats and dogs, these fresh and healthy homemade snacks feature organic, human-grade ingredients and can be made at home in just a few minutes. Soft, warm, and easy to chew, PetCakes are also ideal for pets with any dental issues. In addition to writing her first culinary canine cookbook, Brunch & Bitches, founder Kirk Stenger also promotes animal welfare by partnering with pet non-profits and giving 10 percent of all sales to a national or local pet charity.

4. Kona Benellie
At home or on the go, blankets go a long way to proving pets the ideal comfort and care. Coziness is a key component, and Kona Pet Blanket is a super-soft option that provides plenty of warmth. Created by founder and chief comfort officer Jessica Mashkevich, the brand believes in giving back while sharing comfort and kindness. As a result of customer purchases, the company donates blankets to shelter cats and dogs in need. To date, more than 20,000 blankets have been donated nationwide. The business even offers children the opportunity to learn by doing with a chance to join in “blanket giving trips” with their parents.

5. Trill Paws
It’s important to have pet tags, but it’s also fun to have accessories. That’s where Trill Paws succeeds — by having both. Based in Los Angeles, founder and CEO Rachel Jones developed this pet accessory and lifestyle brand to make every furry member of a family feel special and look unique by providing what they want and need in a vibrant and fun way. Inspired by pop culture icons and sayings, the product range (in addition to tags) includes bowls, collars, leashes, toys, and more for both cats and dogs. There is also plenty of style and chicness to go around since Trill Paws features some fun accessories for pet owners as well.

Learn more about career opportunities in the pet industry here.