Heart BEATS: "When 'Compared To' Doesn't Cut It: Why Some Products Stand Alone"

Dr. Marty Becker

There is only one iPad. Sure, others say “just like an iPad,” or “better than,” but when you tried them out — let's hope you didn't buy the wannabe — you found out that these tablets didn't measure up. At least, that was my experience. 

Same with shaving. Edge shave gel with extra moisturizers and vitamin E demands a premium price, but it delivers a close, smooth, comfortable shave with no nicks or irritation. The brands right next to Edge at half the price make shaving feel like mowing a lawn with rake. It's rough, uncomfortable and my face shows it. Same with Merrell mocs, which provide unparalleled comfort for my feet, or Fox River performance fiber socks, which cost four times more than other white socks but feel as if you're walking on feather pillows all day. There are shoes that look like Merrells, but they don't feel and last like Merrells. And what value do you put on ultimate comfort for socks?

What does this mean for my being a veterinarian and for pets? There are certain products I use and recommend that stand alone as the definitive solution for a problem. Other products may appear to be the same, claim to be just as good, are promoted at a lower price, but they don't work as well, or, in some cases, at all.

Here are my top six products for which there is no equal, products tha provide extreme value — and enough benefits to justify the price:

  1. FURminator. The is the ultimate tool to decrease shedding by up to 90 percent. I used the same FURminator for about six years, and only recently upgraded because I wanted the new ejector feature.
  2. C.E.T. Hextra Chews. These products use a proprietary process to get the chlorhexidine to bind to the rawhide and be palatable. There are other brands out there that don't work as well, or the dogs won't eat them. CET chews are so tasty we use them as treats for pets who come into Lakewood Animal Hospital. Most people aren't going to brush their pet's teeth, but everyone can give their pet an edible toothbrush per day. Good daily oral care can help your pet can live 15 percent longer, and these chews are part of that care.
  3. Adaptil and Feliway. To calm an anxious pet (noise phobias, trips to the veterinarian) nothing works like Adaptil for dogs or Feliway for cats. Both are made by CEVA. I call it “Kumbuya in a Bottle.” Pet store shelves are filled with other anti-anxiety products that don't work. These pheremones really do.
  4. Kong. Seems like every pet-product company tries to make a toy/food puzzle that works like a Kong. None do. The Kong has a unique shape that encourages play and good dental care, can be stuffed to provide enrichment, and is durable. Recently our dogs dug one up that had mistakenly been plowed under in the garden — 10 years later, it was still good as new.
  5. Fresh Step. Fresh Step Extreme Clumping unscented litter is the brand most cats prefer. What does “prefer” mean to you? It means a cat uses the litter box.
  6. Pledge Pet Hair Fabric Sweeper. Reusable, and it works like a combinations of a vacuum and sticky tape to remove hair from furniture, bedding, clothing and upholstery. It's easy to use, works incredibly well and saves money.

When I find a winner, I’m very loyal. These are products that really work for me, and as a veterinarian, I find myself recommending them again and again.



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