Innovative New Pet Products
Dr. Marty Becker
May 12, 2003
May contains both National Pet Week and Be Kind To Animals Week. We should take advantage of this time to truly appreciate our animal friends — furry, feathered and finned. The latest statistics show more than 70% of all U.S. households now have pets. They are part of the family and this month perhaps they are in line for a little extra attention and pampering
Each year, hundreds of new pet-related products are introduced into the marketplace to make Fido and Fluffy’s life a little better. There are also many innovative new gizmos and gadgets for birds, fish, reptiles, and other exotics.
Co-Leash is one of those “why didn’t I think of that?” inventions. A collar and leash combined. It’s perfect for those off-leash dog parks where Fido can run free and it’s also ideal for training purposes. The leash neatly wraps around the collar and allows you to grab control at any time. It’s the perfect choice for family dog owners — no need to remember to carry a separate leash every time the dog tags along. One model even comes with a night-lite strip for an added safety feature. The co-leash sells for $19.95. www.co-leash.com.
Many families “baby” their pets and treat them just like one of the kids. Well, now there’s an adorable new product with just that in mind. Paws of Endearment by Remember Me Keepsakes, LLC is a patented 3-D paw casting. You mold your dog or cat’s paw into the clay until you get it just right. Then, send it back to the company and it’s bronzed and returned mounted on a photo plaque. You can even have your pet’s name engraved. Drew and Laura Werb of Arizona developed the product after losing a beloved pet and wishing they had something to remember him by. Paws of Endearment was just named one of the best new gifts for pets by the industry. You can find it at www.pawsofendearment.com.
These days one of the biggest trends in the pet industry is toward organic and natural products. The good news is, the treats don’t have to taste like Styrofoam or tofu. The Hand That Feeds You in Maryland has a line of pet treats that come in six organic varieties from peanut butter & banana to pumpkin and turkey and basil. It’s a nutritious way to reward your dog without losing the flavor. All of the ingredients are from certified organic farmers and fresh baked. You can find them at www.healthydogbakery.com.
For your favorite feline, how about a boredom buster. Cats aren’t easily entertained, but luckily there’s Panic Mouse. If you haven’t seen this toy in action, you must. Panic Mouse is an interactive toy with a built-in computer chip. It creates random “mouse like movements” changing directions with unpredictable jerking motions. It will keep Fluffy amused for hours. Panic Mouse sells for $29.95 at pet stores nationwide.
This next gift might be as much for you, as your pet (o.k. maybe even more so.) Signature Housewares, Inc. has an adorable line of designer pet bowls. Called “Spot” it’s a colorful and whimsical depiction of what dogs and cats do best – eat! The Spot line consists of three dog and two cat bowls with matching airtight treat canisters and vinyl placemats. The stoneware keeps your pet’s food and water cleaner and cooler. You can find these fun items at www.sighouse.com.
If you’re like me, giving your dog a bath means you get a shower too. Pooches love to shake, rattle, and roll. The EzyBathe puppy bathing kit can make the whole process more comfortable for you and your dog. EzyBathe safely secures your pet in the bathtub, sink or shower with a patented restraint system. The kit comes with washing gloves and a quick dry towel. You can find it at most pet stores.
Furget a better mousetrap, they’ve built a better litter box. Petmate’s LitterLocker gives cat-caretakers an odor-free, hygienic way to dispose of waste and makes cleaning the litter box about as easy as changing a roll of toilet paper. The unique device seals soiled cat litter into a seven-ply plastic bag that — trust my nose here — is smell-proof. In fact, I’ve waited weeks before emptying the unit.
Now that I’ve outlined some gifts and gadgets for the pet in your life, enjoy this month dedicated to our beloved pets. Go play fetch with your dog, give your cat a few extra treats, talk to your bird a little more, and show them just how much they mean to you.