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Every year I love going from booth to booth to see the thousands of pet products at Global Pet Expo in Orlando. The unique and innovative cat and dog products always blow me away.
For my annual Becker's Best list, I chose 10 of my favorite new items. Here are my 2014 picks.
Technology can now help you train your dog. The PetSafe AutoTrainer uses a collar-based reward system to keep your dog calm and quiet while you’re away. The collar unit transmits your dog’s barks to a base unit by using a detection system that only understands your dog’s barks. If your dog doesn’t bark, the dog is rewarded with a treat. You can set the number of treats and how often your pup will be rewarded.
Available online for $199.99.
You share kisses with your dog, but do you want to share the same water or carry separate drink bottles for each of you? Probably not, and that’s why the Dexas H-DuO Collapsible Companion Cup is the perfect solution, because it allows you to carry one bottle with separate reservoirs for pet and person. Plus, when you’re ready to collapse from a vigorous walk with your pet, you can whip out the attached collapsible pet cup and let your pet slurp away.
Available online for $19.99.
Do you ever feel like you need the arms of an octopus to get ready to walk your pet? Created by three engineers looking for a simple, safe, surefire way to connect a leash to a collar, they came up with the MagicLatch system — where with one hand, connections between the leash and the collar find themselves quicker than a pet responds to the opening of the treat drawer.
If trimming your pet’s nails has been more hell than heaven, you might be ready for a little zen with the Zen Clipper. Imagine cutting your pet’s nails like a hot knife through butter (or using a Samurai sword) rather than crushing them. Imagine not being able to cut the quick.
Available in May from independent pet retailers, professional groomers and veterinarians for $19.99.
Where is your cat's #1 place for going #2? Does your dog incessantly roam the house when you’re gone, or does he go to sleep five minutes after you close the door? The Motorola Scout1 Wi-Fi Pet Monitor Camera answers these questions and more. Via an app, you can pan, tilt and zoom the camera, have two-way communication with your pet, monitor the room temperature, capture video or snapshots of your pet’s routine, and even play soothing pet music of your choice. You may leave home, you may even leave the country, but now you can view and communicate with your pet simply and securely, day or night (thanks to the product’s infrared night vision).
Available at PetSmart for $199.99.
Do you have a pet who inhales rather than eats his food? My daughter Mikkel has a 6-year-old fawn Pug, Bruce, who has more suction than a Hoover when it comes to emptying his food bowl. Dogs who wolf down their food or cats who "binge and purge" have more than met their match with the Slo-Bowls that turn a pig-out session into a relaxing — and safer — meal.
Available now in three sizes (more coming in June) for $14.99 to $24.99.
One third of pets are lost sometime in their lifetime, and the standard ID tag is the way that most pets are returned home via neighbors. Attaching ID tags or other bling-around-the-collar is not only a chore but can make your fingers sore from breaking a nail or getting pinched with pliers. The Links-It Pet ID Tag Connector is a brilliant, award-winning solution to easily, quickly and securely attach or switch tags to pets’ collars with a durable, lightweight, compact, space-age material. My wife, Teresa (who has 20 collars and dozens of pet tags for each of our canine cocktails), is going to love me — and so are my ears, because Links-It's diamond shape eliminates the noise of tags jingling and jangling.
Available online for $7.99.
Tuggo Dog Toys
Are you tired of being tired out by exercising your dog, or you don't have enough time to do so? Inspired by his dog who liked to play with a bowling ball that had a rope drilled through it, Adam Harrington invented the Tuggo Dog Toy. The 10-inch ball, which can weigh up to 20 pounds when you fill it with water, comes in red and blue. And the toy is versatile — your dog can play by herself, with another dog, or with you.
Available online for $29.99.
This easy-to-use indoor pet relief system is a convenient and cost-effective alternative to disposable pet pads. The urine drains down to the bottom of the unit so you don’t have to see the pee, and it has a cleaning solution you put in the bottom so you don’t smell anything either. It also has an enzyme that attracts dogs so they will go there to relieve themselves, and it’s very simple to clean. You can even toss the grassy cover right into the washer.
Available online for $99 to $119.
Some neat magnetic levitation technology makes the Kong Glide ’n Seek a great toy for cats who like fast motion. The two feathers bounce within the machine, encouraging your cat to bat at the feathers and even try to grab them through the small holes. Perfect for some great indoor exercise!
Available at Petco, PetSmart and at pet speciality stores for $24.99.
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