According to the American Pet Product Manufacturer’s Association, pets are now celebrating Christmas too. If you don’t buy gifts for your own pets, odds are that friends or relatives will. Here are some new products for pets – most of these were displayed at the 2007 H. H. Backer Pet Industry Christmas Show in Rosemont, IL.
Some dogs are total social butterflies, loving the holiday commotion and parade of visitors to you home. However, other dogs become agitated, preferring to be nowhere near company. For those wallflower pups, being sequestered in a den, bedroom or the basement with something distracting to do is a good idea. The Dogzilla from Booda/Apsen is unique because aside from dropping yummies inside the toy, the toy itself is yummy. Dogzilla is actually infused with protein and scented with vanilla; and it’s unusual bounce adds further appeal, $ 8.99 to $14.99 (available at pet stores and many online sites selling pet supplies).
Stuff kibble or treats inside a Planet Dog holiday bulb toy (in festive green or red, of course), $9.95 or into a snowball toy, $9.95, never melts. Also, from Planet Dog, for dogs who like to play with their food – Orbee tuff strawberry, artichoke and eggplant toys (suitable for pouring their real kibble or treats into), $13.95 per vegetable or fruit (available at pet stores and many online sites selling pet supplies).
Apparently, Santa has gotten into the cooking sherry. Loopy Santa is great for dogs tugging on; and when yanked on, this inebriated Santa responds with a slightly hoarse “Merry Christmas” and the Jingle Bell song, $14.59 at www.barkerandmeowsky.com, or 773-868-0200. To help your dog get into the holiday mood, festive rope toys shaped like candy canes $12.95 or a ginger bread man $12.95, at www.barkerandmeowsky.com, or 773-868-0200.
Cats deserve festive fun too. The Tick Tock Teaser is a wood box, shaped like a slice of cheese, with a wand toy sticking out from the top which the kitty can bat around and a mouse toy on the bottom, which kitty can ‘capture,’ If your cat gets bored with the mouse, change the ‘prey’ by attaching a different Velcro toy. The Tick Tock Teaser is $21.99 from www.esmartcat.com or 866-317-6278.
It’s been years since Jim Boelke came up with the concept putting a piece of cardboard at the end of a wire – a toy known to millions of cats as the Cat Dancer. At that time, the idea of enticing play with a wire toy was downright innovative. Now, Boelke has come up with another pioneering idea, called A Mouse in the House. Since he can’t deliver a real mouse, he does the next best thing. You can set a timer for a toy mouse to show up. He announces his impending appearance with a squeak. The mouse then races along a track on a toy living room backdrop. While, so far, no cat has figured out how to work the timer – some cats do actually learn to push a button to make the mouse appear. The Mouse in the House is $70, and available at some pet stores as well as www.catdancer.com, or 920-426-4330.
It’s that time of year: You need to do something about those little ice balls and the street salt which embed themselves into dog paws, but lots of people don’t want to deal with booties. Lots of dogs detest them. A new option is to plunge your dog’s paws into the Paw Plunger. This device was created by journalist Brianne Leary, former host of Animal Planet’s “Petsburgh USA.” The Paw Plunger is about the size of a giant beer mug, which you fill with warm water and a tad of a dog shampoo of your choice. Simply dip your dog’s paws through the cleaning bristles and into the water and shampoo. No most need for cleaning muddy pawprints from the carpet and furniture. The Paw Plunger is $29.99, available at PETsMART, Macy’s Herald Square in New York, and at www.pawplunger.com.
Increasingly, people travel with four-legged companions. The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) has a new line of products, which includes a car safety seat for small dogs and cats to travel in comfort and safety. The pet is safely strapped in the back seat. When not being used in the car, it doubles as a pet carrier, $49.99, through www.aspca.org, or call 212-876-7700.
For an all together different type of travel, check out bicycle baskets for pets called the Sport Cruiser from Midnight Pass. Pets travel in comfort and safely as you push the peddles around the neighborhood, available in lots of sporty colors, or as a wicker basket, $80 to $89.95 at selected pet stores, www.midnightpass.com or 877-997-7700.
Waterproof collapsible nylon bowls are easy for travel, $7.99, available at some pet stores, www.aspca.org, or 212-876-7700.
Daisy Dog Mod porcelain bowls look as if they were designed by the same folks who created the old set for TV’s “Rowan & Martin’s Laugh In” show in the late 1960’s. The bowls are are pop art for pups. The designer is honoring her late Pit Bull, Daisy, by donating proceeds to Out of the Pits Pit Bull Rescue, $22 to $52 The Mod bowls are at www.barkerandmeowsky.com, or 773-868-0200.
If there’s a trend in the pet product world, it’s about being green. For dogs who care, a hoodie (sweatshirt with a hood) which advertises their hip Pro Gore attitude “Go Green!” with a recycle symbol (can also fit cats, sizes range from extra extra small to extra extra large), $26.99 (for all sizes) at www.barkerandmeowsky.com, or 773-868-0200.
The marketing materials for Yoghund state the product was created to meet a growing demand. Apparently, there’s been a growing demand for frozen yogurt for dogs. Why not? Ingredients are all organic, no additives or chemicals, but does contain organic bananas and organic peanuts along with live yogurt cultures. Apparently, you can even eat the packaging – which is biodegradable. Available in a single pack, $5.99 or a party- pack for $29.95. A store locator is at www.yoghund.com, or call 877-964-4863.
©Steve Dale, Tribune Media Services