It may sound like a Julia Roberts film, but the theme of “eat, play and love” dominated the recent Global Pet Expo.
Better also add “poop” to that trifecta, since the Expo, as can be expected from a pet products trade show, definitely also offered an exhaustive array of options about that particular reality of living with animals.
Despite the pandemic, or possibly because of it, 2020 was a banner year for those in the business of keeping pets — and their owners — happy. The industry for the first time in its history reached more than $100 billion in annual sales, according to the American Pet Products Association, or APPA.
“This past year presented a host of challenges that resulted in consumers across the country turning to their pets for comfort and companionship,” said Steve King, APPA president and CEO.
King also notes that product trends in the pet industry mirror those consumers desire for themselves, such as a healthier lifestyle, increased focus on fitness and a stronger connection with technology.
The multi-day Expo, usually held at the Orange County Convention Center in late March, went virtual this year, but that did not stop manufacturers from showcasing more than 10,000 pet-related products to buyers around the nation. Here are some of the latest and greatest, grouped in categories.
Eat: The latest in pet food and treats
Popular Bully Sticks, beef dog chews, can become a choking hazard if a dog swallows the last few inches of a chew whole. Bow Wow Labs addresses the issue with Bully Buddy, a new safety device that prevents dogs from choking on bully sticks.
The product tightly secures the sticks, thus preventing choking. The Bully Buddy is sized to Bow Wow Labs’ Safe Fit Bully Sticks, sourced from free-range, grass-fed, 100% hormone-free cattle. The fact that the sticks help remove plaque and tartar is a bonus. Sizes run from XS to XXL.
The company also manufactures upscale Bow Wow Treats. Bowwowlabs.com
Delicious treats that support health and vitality? Yep. For dogs, the experts at Happy Bond have rounded up tasty treats such as chew sticks with collagen ($14.99) and even French macarons with collagen ($24.99). Happybond.com
Treatibles Soft Chewables Intro Packs, with organic full-spectrum Hemp CBD oil, offer a cost-friendly introduction to the world of CBD benefits. The company also just launched an extra-strength Organic Full Spectrum Hemp CBD Oil with an irresistible peanut butter flavor. Treatibles.com
Nuna insect-protein based cat food
Kitties can do their part for the environment with Nuna insect-protein based cat food from Catit. Traditional meat production emits more carbon than cars do. Since there are almost 500 million cats on the planet, substituting the meat protein in their food can make a big difference to Mother Earth. A sustainable alternative to meat protein, Nuna uses protein-rich — and clean — insect larvae like Hermetia Illucens grubs, together with a variety of superfoods that are healthy for both cats and the planet. Catit.com
Made with real chicken and easily digestible ingredients, rawhide-free Zeus Better Bones provides a healthy alternative and chewy goodness, not to mention better oral hygiene. Usa.hagen.com
Get Joy has unleashed convenient, travel-friend and nutrient-dense Fresh Freeze-Dried Meals that deliver the convenience of kibble and health benefits of fresh food, including improved digestibility and bioavailability of micronutrients. Human-grade ingredients are preservative and additive-free. Getjoyfood.com
Wellness CORE from WellPet introduced Bowl Boosters, functional toppers that deliver guaranteed nutrients, protein and crave-worthy flavor. Toppers are designed to aid digestion, heart, joint and skin and coat. Wellpet.com
Zen Life and Fat Dogs/Fat Cats
Among this year’s launches from Natural Balance premium pet food is Zen Life, designed to help ensure picky eaters and anxious pets enjoy tasty nutrition. The company tells it like it is with Fat Dogs and Fat Cats, which as the name clearly tells you, is aimed at overweight pets. NaturalBalanceInc.com
Bonne et Filou
Bonne et Filou has a mission of helping owners treat dogs like royalty. Named after King Louis X1V’s beloved pooches (who had their own personal chef), the company manufactures human-grade, handmade macarons in mint, strawberry and lavender flavors. Bonneetfilou.com
Play: The latest in dog toys
N-GAGE Dog Toy Pack
Each N-GAGE Pack contains a curated selection of four to six premium, designed-for-longevity dog toys, plus a travel accessory, such as a zip water bowl or sport water bottle. The packs, available in two colors, are sized to the canine recipient, as in small, medium and large. Ngagebrand.com
A little late for Easter, but Soda Pup’s Bunny Enrichment Toy works year-round for the for “power chewers,” since it is made of hard nylon material that can filled with soft foods and stuck in the freezer for a long-lasting eating puzzle. Sodapup.com
Instachew Petbot offers a way to keep pets entertained when humans are away. A motion-sensing camera in the ‘bot allows it to play with the pet as well as to dispense treats. A smartphone app allows owners to remotely control the ‘bot, see the pet and even reward the animal with treats. Instachew.com
Because no two dogs approach chewing the same way, the new Nosh Chew Toys offer flexible bones geared to everything from teething pups to hardcore chewers. Available in bacon, chicken and beef/cheese, plus a wishbone shape that makes it easier for Rover to grasp and chew. Hagen.com
Tall Tails’ new Crunch Bunch Toys activate doggy senses by squealing, crinkling and crunching to keep canines mentally, physically and audibly stimulated. Crunch Bunch seal, gator, lobster, snapper and snake are crafted with a plastic bottle inside and reinforced mesh fabric for durability.
Tall Tails also introduced new top-grain leather tug toys made of vegetable-tanned skins, so dogs can safely sink their teeth into them, and natural bouncy rubber toys in the shape of an acorn, pinecone and stick. Grooves help maintain doggy dental hygiene and also serve to hold spread-on treats.
Tall Tails toys include a hangtag that explains the benefits of sensory play and a QR code that links to further information. TallTailsDog.com
Love: Ways to show your pet some love
Lives there a dog or cat that likes its nails trimmed? Nah. Pets, however, do like to play and love to eat, so De’Vora plugged into those instincts with Scratch Square, a multi-functional pet care product that tricks pets into trimming their own nails while playing with an interactive toy that rewards them with a food treat. DeVora.us
If people have mechanical stair climbing aids, why not dogs? Paw Lift is the world’s first commercially available product that transports injured or medically fragile dogs up and down stairs. The well-made device, unfortunately, comes with a tag of $12,950. ThePawLift.com
The Companion uses computer vision with machine learning to train dogs. Using infinite patience and consistency rarely found in humans, the box-like Companion rewards dogs for desired behaviors such as sit, down and stay. JoinCompanion.com
Kurgo’s Door Guard & Shade
The canine clan adores car trips, but they can be tough on a car. Enter Kurgo’s Door Guard & Shade, which provides fresh air, shade and privacy for the pet, while protecting the vehicle’s interior from muddy paws and scratches. On top, a stretchy nylon mesh shade allows Fido to see without sticking his head out the window. The bottom half is a door protector with fasteners for the shade when not in use. The product accommodates a range of vehicles. Kurgo.com
Suzie’s CBD Treats
CBD, or cannabidiol, is extremely popular for relieving anxiety, inflammation and pain in humans and pets. Now horses can get in on the action, with Suzie’s CBD Nibbles. The horsey Nibbles join a line of CBD treats for dogs and cats. Oils, tinctures, treats and even CBD peanut butter are available at a range of prices. Suziespettreats.com
InClover Research offers a variety of all-natural supplements, including allergy relief for pets to help pets breeze through spring. InClover’s BioResiliant allergy powder features a superfood-packed recipe designed to maintain and support a pet’s natural histamine balance and fortify the immune system naturally.
Spry for cats supports respiratory and ocular needs of your cat. Spry also contains a boost of InClover’s signature prebiotic immune system support.
Optagest promotes “good bacteria” naturally found in a pet’s intestinal tract. It is designed to settle upset tummies, optimize nutrients in food, and support good digestion. Inclover.com
Florida summers can be brutal to little pet feet, but not with fashion-forward Poochy Pawz booties with heat-resistant soles. Lightweight, non-slip and easy to put on and take off, they are a favorite of Dog Whisperer Cesar Milan. Poochypawz.com
Protective apparel company Suitical launched Recovery Double Sleeves, an alternative to dreaded Elizabethan collars. The sleeves protect a dog’s front legs after a medical procedure and during recovery of skin conditions. The comfortable pressure around the chest also has a calming effect against anxiety. Suitical.com
From H&C Animal Health comes bSerene, pheromone-based calming products for cats that include a Calming Diffuser Plug-in Kit and Calming Spray. The products mimic naturally produced feline facial pheromones, which help cats mark their surrounding as safe. Bserenepet.com
Important Zooming ahead? The Wagz Freedom Smart Dog Collar allows you to teach your dog to recognize your office as a “no” zone with up to 20 adjustable geofences. The no-shock, wireless pet containment system teaches with audible as well as ultrasonic sound, plus vibration. The collar also tracks your dog’s level of exercise, health and overall happiness through the Wagz app and the GPS feature alerts you to Pup’s exact whereabouts. Wagz.com
Poop: Products to improve your cat’s litterbox habits
Catit ‘s Go Natural! litter recycles empty pea husks and mixes these with raw, food-grade materials, including starch, corn powder and guar gum as natural clumping agents without a speck of dust. Available with a subtle vanilla scent, as well as with a delicate lavender scent that has been dyed with an edible purple pigment. Catit.com
Pet House Candles by One Fur All are healthy and safe pet odor eliminators. The brand just upgraded from 8.5 to 9-ounce jars that, complete with bamboo lids, are designed to be reused. The Pet House line, which includes mini candles, wax melts, air fresheners, room sprays and car fresheners, are made in the USA with premium fragrances with no dyes, phthalates or parabens. Onefurallpets.com
Naturally Fresh Cat Litter showcased the Herbal Attraction formula, with natural, calming herbs that help attract kittens in training, seniors who have lost sense of the litter box and fussy cats who are dealing with stress by ignoring the litter box. NaturallyFreshLitter.com
ScoopFree Litter Box
Monitor kitty’s litter box activity via your phone with the PetSafe’s ScoopFree Smart Self-Cleaning Litter Box. It self-cleans for weeks with no scooping or refilling, removing waste and absorbing urine for dual odor control. Petsafe.net
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