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Thousands of brands showcased their newest and best-selling products at the 2012 Global Pet Expo, the pet industry's largest annual trade show. Vetstreet's editors walked the aisles, checking out the products and talking to vendors, and we singled out dozens of items from the thousands that were there.
If you've been following our coverage, you will have read about wacky new products, items to splurge on, interesting new health and wellness items, top training products and even Dr. Marty Becker's Best New Products from the show. But that still wasn't enough for us. Here are 15 products we loved so much we had to make sure we shared them with you. Enjoy!
The Flirty Bird Flyer, $19.99, is part of the Play line of toys at Petstages. You shoot the birdy from the handle, and then reel it back for nonstop interaction with your kitty.
Want to be sure your pets can have a cool drink of water any time they're thirsty? Frosty Bowlz, $26.99, is the solution. Simply freeze the Frosty Core overnight (it goes inside the shell and never touches your pet's mouth, in case you're concerned about germs), then assemble the bowl and fill with water; your pet's drink will be nice and cool all day, even if it's in a hot environment. You can also fill the base with water to create a moat to prevent small ants and other insects from getting to the water.
As we wandered the New Product Showcase at Global Pet Expo, all of us found ourselves drawn to a truly beautiful piece of furniture. It was sleek, modern and totally useful — in short, we loved it. The Refined Kind Kitty Ball Cat Bed comes in two colors of rattan for $99.99, but our pick is absolutely the bamboo. Sure, it costs a little more at $149.99, but isn't that a small price to pay for a cat bed that would actually add to the design of your home?
Chief Furry Officer
You'll never mistake your phone for someone else's again with a custom iPhone 4 cover, $32.95, from Chief Furry Officer. You know you already have loads of adorable photos of your furriest buddy (on your phone, even!) — all you have to do is upload your favorite shot to the website, and they'll take it from there! The hardest part is choosing which picture should get the honor.
Not only are these dog toys incredibly cute (just look at that sock monkey!), they're sure to be incredibly appealing to your dog too — JW Crackleheads are designed with balls made from that crackly water bottle material your pup loves. Plus, there's a wide variety, with something for every dog — these toys come in plush, canvas and durable rubber. Crackleheads will be available at major retailers at the end of April and will run $6.99–$12.99.
Kitty a go-go
The Kitty A GoGo, $129.99, combines function with fashion in a litterbox that you won't have to hide in a corner. In addition to the decorative, whimsical design, the Kitty A GoGo also features a "pull-out litter tray drawer" with pull-out sifter rake to make one of our least-favorite household tasks a little easier.
Credit: Kristen Seymour
Nobody knows food puzzles like Nina Ottosson, and when we stopped by the Company of Animals booth, we were delighted to see that not only did she have a new puzzle for us (available in the U.S. in just a couple of weeks), but Ottosson herself was there to tell us all about it. The Dog Miracle Puzzle can be configured in hundreds of different ways, which will keep your dog on his toes and allow you to adjust the level of difficulty.
Absolutely New's Roll Play, $12.99, packs a power punch of kitty cat fun. It dispenses treats and holds dried catnip in a special chamber — and even without all that, the sisal and feather accents are sure to draw your frolicking feline into the game.
First off, a pet carrier has to hold your pet safely and be easy to use, and Petmate's Luxury Pet Retreat Curvations Carrier, $99, does that with no problem. But along with its functionality, this carrier is also attractive, which is a definite plus — and, even more important, it folds almost flat when not in use, making it perfect for folks with limited storage. And really, who doesn't have limited storage?
Treat toys were ubiquitious at Global Pet Expo, but we were particularly drawn to Planet Dog's new addition to the orbee-tuff line, Mazee, $17.95. Since it's designed as a food puzzle, the Mazee doesn't have a "Chewometer" rating, meaning you shouldn't leave your dog alone to chew it up. But the clear plastic and bright interior make it a fun toy for your dog — just put a few treats inside and watch your pup figure out, both by sight and smell, how to retrieve them!
Whether you have a new puppy who's just learning where and when to "go," or a dog entering his senior years who just can't hold it like he used to, you know that potty pads can be a pain — they scoot, they move, they scrunch up. But with Absolutely New's Puppy Pad Holder, $21.99, none of that is a concern. It holds the pad in place and protects your floor, and the raised edges even contain any runoff you might encounter. Plus, it's easy to roll up and store in a small space when not in use.
Fill the Kong Kitty Dipper Toy with treats and watch your kitty roll, tip and dip into this toy until she finally gets to the good stuff. $14.99. Not only is the Kong toy sturdy, but it gives you three different ways to dispense your feline's favorite treats so they don't get bored with the toy.
Credit: Melanie Kramer
This cool food bowl from the organic pet toy company Simply Fido is actually made from surplus potatoes in a plant in Tennessee. Yes, potatoes! The container is angled so food pools in the bottom of the bowl making it easier for the dog to eat. You'll be able to find it at the end of May for $12 to $16.
How many times have you taken your dog for a walk and left your cell phone or water bottle behind because you didn't want to have both hands full? Here's a solution: A hold-all belt from Waglet Works that holds the products you need for walking or training your dog. The system was inspired by the entertainment industry, where everyone from the makeup artist to the set director totes what they need for a day of shooting around their waists. The line includes the belt, a fold-up water bowl, a snap-on water bottle, a toy bag, a sit upon and more, all ranging in price from $7.99 to $27.99.
While we don't promote allowing your cats to live outdoors, we acknowledge that there are times when a cat may need to do so (as our own Dr. Marty Becker explained regarding his barn cats). In such a case, a safe, warm shelter like this Outdoor Heated Kitty House by K&H Manufacturing, $119.99, is a must. We can also see a heated house like this being a boon for older, arthritic cats, particularly on cool days, even indoors.
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