People have kept animals like dogs, cats, fish and birds as pets for centuries, but only in recent years have they begun pampering them more than ever. In the last decade or so the pet care industry has absolutely exploded, with people purchasing everything from the basics like food and cages, to odd products like orthopedic pet beds and Halloween costumes for cats.

Not only are people spending more money on their pets, but they are doing so by shopping online. According to a recent report, 18% of U.S. retail sales of pet products take place online, and this number is expected to grow to 23% by 2023. When you think about it, it makes perfect sense. Why would someone want to go to the store to pick up a 20-pound bag of dog food or cat litter every few weeks when they could just have it delivered right to their door?

This rise in eCommerce sales is great news for online pet product retailers, but it’s important that they are able to keep up with their incoming orders. If you’re shopping around for a pet product fulfillment services partner, here are three things to consider during your search:

You may need to work with an FDA-registered warehouse

While it’s not necessary to work with an FDA-registered fulfillment center if you’re shipping products like pet beds or clothes, it is required by law if you’re shipping products that an animal will consume. This can include items like pet food, dog treats, medicines and other health supplements.

Working with an FDA-registered warehouse ensures that the team handling your products receives ongoing specialized training, and that they follow strict regulations so that all orders arrive fresh and safe for consumption.

Standing orders can be very lucrative if done correctly

Cats are one of the most popular pets, and some live to be as old as 20 years old. Over the course of their lives, their owner will continually need to purchase items like food, treats, kitty litter, and flea prevention.

As a result of these items that are purchased on a recurring basis, eCommerce pet retailers are thriving. Also known as standing orders, these orders will be fulfilled until a customer cancels their subscription. Outsourcing your pet product fulfillment services to a leading 3PL allows business owners to rest assured that these standing orders will be delivered on time each week or month, so that Fluffy never runs out of food, treats or kitty litter.

Subscription box fulfillment is also huge

In addition to purchasing the necessary pet items, many dog and cat owners also love subscription boxes. Also referred to as continuity orders, subscription boxes provide a fun experience for both the pet and their owner, while allowing them to try new products every few days or weeks.

A 3PL services partner can help to ensure that your business’ continuity orders are fulfilled on time, and in the most efficient manner. It can also grow with your company as you offer more SKUs, and help with kitting and assembly services.