We recently had the opportunity to interview Kristen Levine, pet expert and publisher of the Kristen Levine Pet Living blog. Kristen is a well-known pet advocate, influencer, and content creator who has been a frequent guest on nationally broadcast TV shows like NBC’s Daytime.
Q: What prompted you to make a career of creating pet-centered content?
A: Pets have been an important part of my life since I was a child. I'm fortunate to work in the pet and veterinary industry and have access to latest trends, experts, and more, so I feel like I have a duty to share my knowledge with pet owners. I want to help them find solutions and live happier, healthier lives with their pets.
Q: What obstacles (if any) did you encounter when first working with brands?
A: In the beginning, brands didn't know how to best utilize my ability to help them spread awareness and education. This led me to creating my own proprietary programs that help brands by tapping into my strengths and my most engaged platforms.
Q: What’s your favorite success story in helping grow a brand? A: Oh gosh, it's hard to choose just one favorite. I've worked with brands in startup phases that have gone on to make it big on Shark Tank, I've worked with brands that have never engaged with an influencer before—only to be wowed when they saw the results. It's great to help companies reach more pet parents and to help them grow sales, but my favorite successes are when pets get adopted because of a program I'm involved in. For example, I've featured over 1,000 dogs and cats on live TV or radio programs resulting in forever homes. Nothing beats that!
Q: What are some of the more unusual pet-centered topics you’ve addressed?
A: Pet messes! A few years ago, Bissell conducted a survey that showed that nearly a third of people surveyed said that pet messes are a concern that might prevent them from adopting a pet. That was a surprising statistic to me, but also a great way to highlight the cleaning solutions and technology available today to clean up pet odors, stains and other messes. I've also been focusing more lately on style for pet homes and family. More and more, people want beautiful and functional pet products that complement their style, whether it be in the home or on the road. Things like beautiful fabrics, designs, modern colors, etc.
Q: How did you acquire your knowledge about pet health and wellness?
A: I've spent more than 25 years learning about pet health and wellness, and I spent fifteen years working hands on with animals during my tenure at the SPCA. Also, I founded an agency that helped veterinary and pet businesses with marketing and PR, so that has been a great way to learn in depth knowledge about health care, wellness and lifestyle issues. Also, I've interviewed hundreds of experts, I've spent time working in vet practices, I've sat on various committees and Boards that champion better pet health, wellness and lifestyle.
Q: Is there an area of pet advocacy or marketing that you feel is underserved?
A: I believe there needs to be more advocacy for pet health care and wellness, and it doesn't have to be veterinarians. I think more pet experts from other areas can be involved (like myself) as influencer and educators. I'm still amazed at how few pet owners have pet health insurance policies and how many people wait until their pet is sick or injured to take them to the veterinarian. That tells me there's a lack of education around these topics—but a huge opportunity for improvement.
Q: What’s the most unusual pet-related product you’ve ever reviewed?
A: Probably the Litter Kwitter—which is a toilet training system for cats. I know it has worked for some people because they had great testimonials!
Q: How many pets do you have personally, and are any of them rescues?
A: All of our pets are rescues. Chilly is our 9-year-old Lab mix, Olivia is our rescue tuxedo kitty, and we have two miniature donkeys we adopted after they were unwanted.
Cecily Kellogg is a pet lover who definitely has crazy cat lady leanings. Her pets are all shelter rescues, including the dog, who is scared of the cats. She spent eight years working as a Veterinary Technician before becoming a writer. Today she writes all over the web, including here at Figo.
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