The number of new pet products available this year at Global Pet Expo, the world’s largest pet industry show, is so overwhelmingly abundant, I’ve had to narrow my focus to the top issues I’m passionate about. As an animal trainer, my focus walking the trade show floor has been finding products that improve behavior and provide enrichment, exercise and play. It’s been tough, but I’ve narrowed down my top picks for new products that channel your pet’s energy and behavior into productive outlets to better their overall behavior and manners.
Dogline Alpha Multipurpose Harness
I am a huge fan of the new Dogline harnesses that feature specific information about the wearer, such as agility dog, earthdog, nose work, in training, do not pet, and therapy dog (like my Pug, Willy, who's certified by Pet Partners). These speak volumes for your dog, even if it's simply "pet me" for a social pooch.
With this training device from Trixie Pet Products, the dog touches a target with his nose or paw, and the remote feeder will instantly give him a reward, which can be a treat or a piece of kibble. (You can watch a video of it here.) This is great for mental stimulation as well as exercise, as the button can be placed up to 130 feet away from the dispenser.
The Buster Activity Mat from KRUUSE is a fun, new take on the food puzzle. It's meant to be interactive for pet parents and their dogs. You simply place the mat on the floor and attach different puzzles. As the canine gets better, the difficulty level of the puzzles can be increased to keep the challenge going for even the most brilliant of dogs. Just be sure to always supervise your pup when he plays with this toy. You don't want him to accidentally chew up the puzzles.
Available soon at select retailers starting at $69.99; Extra tasks retail from $10 to $15.
Outward Hound Lucky Dog Slots
I like games that vary the level of challenge, and the Lucky Dog Slot game from Outward Hound fits that bill. It’s a fun take on a food puzzle and is modeled after classic slot machines. It features three kibble chambers and a paw-press release. This game not only engages dogs with up-and-active stimulating play, but also portions kibble for slow feeding. Be sure not to leave the toy with your dog unattended and remember to wash it out after every use.
Originally created by a mom who needed a brush to comb her daughter's curly and easily tangled hair, the Groom Genie is a brush for cats and dogs that helps take the stress out of grooming because it doesn't pull on hair like other brushes. The brush is also a great tool for calming pets and can be used when extra-soothing touch is beneficial, such as at vet visits, training class or when relaxing at night.