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For those of us who live and breathe the pet industry, August means SuperZoo, the weeklong extravaganza when Las Vegas becomes the epicenter of pet products and services. My dogs and I go every year—this was Maggie’s eighth SuperZoo and Rossi’s second.
SuperZoo showcases animal products for every sector of the industry: food, toys, beds, habitats, wearables, holistic remedies, grooming products, supplements. And treats. Lots of treats. Which might have something to do with why my dogs love SuperZoo so much.
While it’s all still fresh in our collective memory, we want to share some of our favorite new products on the market.
Pet Apparel and Gear
One for the kitties! SleepyPod launched an original and well-designed cat harness that aims to solve the problem of Houdini cats. Conventional harnesses, even when fitted correctly, can’t prevent your cat from slipping out the back when they’re scared.
This harness works like a martingale collar so that it tightens if the cat pulls back. SleepyPod is always innovative and safety-minded—and as with this harness, all of their products are made from high-quality materials.
‘Blown away’ doesn’t adequately convey my excitement after meeting up with the people behind this new Finnish company with a line of truly original products. My favorites are their very stylish dog harness and jacket, which are made from extremely reflective material. Your dog will be stylish and safe in this jacket.
Paikka also offers an ingenious ceramic dog bowl that, after soaking in cold water, stays cold and dry for hours. If like us, you live in a warm climate, you could use this at home or take it with you on your adventures. They have human water bottles made from the same material, so I’ll be getting one for myself as well.
Does Rossi need a backpack? I’d never thought about it before but once I saw DOOG’s backpack, I was pretty sure he did. This is an adorable way for our pets to help carry their poop bags and treats (one can never have enough) will be launching soon.
Dog Is Good launched some cute designs for the humans (we can treat ourselves every now and then too, right?). A few of my favorites are the witty tote bags of their dog mom line.
As a dog trainer, I’m a huge fan of enrichment games that engage our dogs’ minds and tire them out in a healthy way. Here are a few new ones we saw this year:
Kong is launching a treat spiral, a uniquely shaped toy that puts your dog’s nose to the test while also being fun to chase, push, and chew on. I’m really excited to get this as I’m sure Rossi and many of my client dogs are going to love it!
The Varram robot won SuperZoo’s highly-coveted top new pet product award. It’s an electronic toy that through a combination of treat rewards and motion keeps your pet engaged, stimulated, and busy. You can schedule playtime with the robot—it creates a game of chase and interaction as it rolls and spins on the ground.
We use Nina Ottosson puzzles by Outward Hound a lot in our home, but I was really excited to see some more challenging puzzles coming out. Rossi is no border collie, but he is too smart for his own good, so I’m looking forward to watching him work through these more difficult challenges.
My dogs aren’t really toy destroyers, but many of my clients’ dogs are, so I understand the constant hunt for toys that dogs like but won’t kill in a few minutes. Many iron-jaw chewers are using the Indestructibone from GSDs to Malinois.
What I loved about it is that you can still dent it with a fingernail slightly, meaning it won’t crack teeth like many of the tougher bones for dogs out there. If the dogs get any pieces off they will be under the size of a grain of rice, a size that will be easily passed and not cause a blockage. If you have a heavy chewer this would be something I would strongly consider. It comes in different sizes. (Rossi is holding the smallest size).
Health and Grooming
Here’s a simple truth: clean teeth and a healthy mouth can add years onto your dog’s life. But there’s nothing simple about brushing your dog’s teeth or affording expensive (and sometimes risky) veterinary dentistry. There are a lot of water additives out there but none that I’ve really been excited about till now.
My vet and I spent a long time chatting with the Teef creator about how this product works. Teef’s proprietary formula kills ‘bad’ bacteria but not ‘good’ bacteria, and it also cleans under the gum line. Over time, it breaks down the plaque and tartar that’s accumulated on your dog’s teeth.
You simply add a tiny scoop of Teef to their water and that’s it. It has no taste and it’s safe for cats and humans, which is good because I accidentally drank an entire glass of water with Teef in it at the booth, so I can attest that it has no taste at all.
My dogs have allergies and sensitive skin. I’ve used True Blue shampoo for a while because I like how it smells, it leaves Maggie feeling soft, and it’s easy to rinse off. I saw True Blue had a booth and was surprised by how many other products they make. I found their detangle spray pretty amazing at helping get the tangles out of the pups.
But I really love that they offer a safe natural alternative to dental wipes (the owner even used it on his teeth!). They also offer tear stain eye wipes, grooming wipes, and CBD water. With over 70 CBD companies at Superzoo this year, I wanted to know what made True Blue’s offering unique—it turns out it was the only CBD water product coming to market.
Maggie now qualifies as a senior pet, and I give her CBD to help with her joints, combat inflammation, and relax after a day of adventures. It took me a while to find a CBD product that seemed to actually work for her, but I’d worry that she wasn’t getting it all if she didn’t finish her food. And then I saw CBD peanut butter and thought, “What a brilliant idea!”. Maggie—like most dogs—loves peanut butter!
When I was photographing dogs for my book “Working Like A Dog”, we met dogs that are trained to detect cancer in humans. They do it with greater accuracy and at earlier detection times than most diagnostic tests.
BioScent Pet has trained dogs to detect cancer in other dogs. It’s done the same way as with humans—you send in a saliva swab and the detection dogs go to work helping their fellow canines.
For the Home
I, like many pet sitters, have a revolving door of pets coming and going, plus the permanent presence of my own two pets. At the end of the day, it’s still our home and we strive to keep it nice and homey and, well, not smelling of dogs.
We have an air purifier but sometimes that isn’t enough. So I was thrilled to discover Pet House Candles by One Fur All, definitely the best smelling booth at SuperZoo. The candles don’t just smell nice, but they actually neutralize odors. Because they’re infused with pet-safe essential oils, they can help create a calmer household, too. I’m going to use these in our home and give them away as gifts.
Tall Tails offered a neat product called the Wet Paws Bath Mat that you can put on the floor of your bath or shower when bathing your pet. The mat allows water to run through it, but the mat catches all dog hair. This also provides traction for your pet’s feet.
I find that many dogs get nervous in the bath due to slipping and this could greatly help with that. (I like it so much, I may leave it down to catch some of my hair too!). Currently, the mat is available only in orange, but they said they’ll be launching grey soon.
We’re going camping in a week with our horse and dogs and some friends. And I’m so tempted to get this tent for the pups. (Unfortunately, the horse is too big to fit.) Maggie and Rossi made themselves right at home inside of it. It would also be perfect for beach adventures too, giving the dogs a shaded area to relax, nap, and hydrate. It’s so roomy, I think I could fit in there if I need a break from everyone.
The Bandana Bowl by Pet Product Innovations opens up and turns into a water bowl. Handy if you forget your bowl at home, and you can also store ice in it to act as a cooling banana for your adventures together.
Ruffwear launched some new products that are as durable, gorgeous, and made-for-adventures as everything that Ruffwear makes. I loved their new Kibble Kaddie and Haul bag. The Kibble Kaddie is a portable dog food carrier to bring to your pet sitter’s house when going out of town or to bring on your camping trip with your pet in tow. It rolls down to close, keeping your food fresh and preventing it from spilling. It has a compartment to store your bowls and other items, too. The spout lets you pour your pet’s food easily no matter where you’re stopped for a break.
So many treats!!!
The dogs got spoiled with so many treat samples, and I had a blast reviewing all the ingredients with my vet, Dr. Patrick Mahaney, to see what was actually good for them!
Their favorites were the trachea chews from Ziwi (great for dental health) and the cat food which Rossi discovered on his own. They both loved Probiotic ice cream from the Bear & The Rat, Jiminy’s line of cricket (yes, those type of crickets) protein treats, treats from Happy Howies and Dr. Becker’s Bites (a family-run business) which had a whole slew of different proteins from bison to venison, which is great for dogs who are picky eaters or have allergies. Dr. Becker’s was actually another one of Rossi’s finds—I was at a different booth and Rossi followed his nose to their tasty snacks.
We hope you’re as excited as we are about all these new discoveries. Maggie and Rossi Bear say thanks for joining us on this fun adventure!