Though I adore Janice and Leroy and profess myself to be a great fan of canines, I dislike the labels “dog person” and/or “cat person”. I grew up in a home with dogs, cats, ducks, sheep, goats, and the occasional wild critter in rehabilitation (including ducklings, raccoons, opossums and more). So, I am just your average “animal” person. However, I will admit freely that I am among the millions of others who have happily allowed cats to take over the Internet. Yes, I’ve written about dogs and Instagram on several occasions, and even looked at a recent trend in “popups”. Yet, I find myself heading to the famous I Can Has Cheezburger site each day to see what funny cat, dog and other animal hilarity has appeared overnight.
Interestingly enough, as the audience for this material has grown, the site has started to make a lot of informational items available, as well as offering entertaining content. So, I was delighted to see them looking at some of the biggest trends in pet products appearing towards the end of this year and decided to explore a few of them in a bit more detail to share with my dedicated readers. Some of these products touch on items that I have looked at in the past, and so they are great updates, but some are new innovations that I feel are really wonderful.
Last update on 2019-01-16 at 21:45 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
One of my favorite new products to emerge is the Woofie. It is one of those products that is about to make millions of other people (including myself) slap their foreheads and shout “Why didn’t I think of that!” It is an insanely simple solution to the problem of getting your dog to smile pretty for the camera.
I’ve done a few articles about tricks and tips to use when you want good Instagram and social media photos of your dog, this gadget may actually make some of those tricks unnecessary. Here’s why: the Woofie is basically a pet selfie and portrait tool that clips safely to the top of your phone where the soft rubber coating ensures it doesn’t harm the device. Into the space at the top, you can insert a bone or a biscuit to hold the dog’s attention AND get them to make a wonderfully expressive facial pose. Never struggle to get them to smile pretty again with this super easy attachment.
My dogs don’t fear the vacuum, and I have to say that even if they did it would not stop me from using it. Boxers shed a lot of course, needle-like fur that goes everywhere and so a regular round of vacuuming becomes crucial during shedding seasons. However, one of the latest products has seriously caught my eye and got me saving up for a purchase.
The Miele Blizzard CX1 Cat & Dog Bagless Canister Vacuum seems too good to be true. For one thing, it has an integrated HEPA filter that comes with a lifetime guarantee. In other words, it will never need to be changed or replaced throughout the entire lifetime of the machine! I try to be green, and previous HEPA equipment has left me upset at the amount of material I’ve tossed.
Yet, this machine also comes with tools for every possible surface and is able to capture fur and dander. It can contain almost 100% of the allergens inside of your home and it offers vortex tech that pulls are through the system at more than 60MPH and yet captures even the finest dust particles. Even more amazing (and particularly for a bit of a klutz like me) is that it has a ComfortClean feature that allows the Gore CleanStream fine dust filter to clean itself! Though it is not a silent or even quiet model, the fact that it can help to keep your home free of most allergens, even in the high static winter season.
I’ve written about the ways to choose the best flea vacuums in the past, but this one is a surprisingly innovation packed option. The price tag is not far off from other premium brands, but without the need to replace any filters, it will be an extreme, cost-cutting option over the long term.
I have two pretty active dogs, and though they yo-yo from insanely high levels of energy to couch potato, “are you breathing” status quite quickly, I like to make sure they have enough activity throughout the day. I was authentically delighted when I read about the next trending pet product – the VARRAM Pet Fitness Robot. Let me just repeat what the press release for the product says: “The Pet Fitness Robot’s advanced technology allows pet owners to remotely track and monitor their pet’s activity, decide when their pets are active, set the duration of activity, and control the number of treats their pet receives all from a convenient smartphone application.”
Designed to help pet owners maintain a pet’s physical AND emotional health while they themselves are at work or unavailable, this robot can distract a dog that might experience separation anxiety, get an underactive dog up and running, and even help to remedy boredom and depression in a dog that is too isolated during the day.
Made from polycarbonate materials, it is water resistant and durable. It has passed weight tests and bite tests, has undergone field testing with more than fifty different large breeds and been exposed to fluids and splashes from every direction. And just what does it do?
Well, the robot spins and moves all on its own. It vibrates and wiggles and dispenses treats to catch your dog’s attention. It will move about the entire home, getting the dog to follow and chase. Like an automatic vacuum cleaner, though, it has sensors that allow it to avoid area where it could get entangled or trapped. It can even drive over large obstacles. It can fall down stairs and move over carpet. It knows when the dog has left the area and can try to attract attention again.
The robot is controlled via a smartphone app that allows you to monitor, track and control the dog’s level of daily activity. It can be used with any sort of treat and doesn’t require you to commit to specific brands. It has a ten-hour battery life, meaning it is a great tool for keeping a dog of any size entertained and busy while you are at work or away for the day.
The robot already went through a successful Kickstarter campaign and is now actively using an Indiegogo campaign to get investors. I, for one, sincerely hope they succeed since this could be what millions of stay at home puppos need to avoid separation anxiety, boredom, obesity and more.
Another of the products that really caught my eye came from Sleepypod. Though I was aware of their harnesses and travel gear, their new mobile bed, carrier and car seat made me sit up and pay attention. I’ve written a lot about the carriers and safest methods for traveling with a dog, and always advocate for seat belt harnesses, cages and more.
However, the Sleepypod mobile unit is pretty amazing and well-suited to cats as well as dogs. It is a cozy travel carrier that works as a bed when it does not have its mesh dome zipped into place, but quickly converts to a rugged carrier in seconds. What I really love about it, though, is that it is a crash-tested car seat. You just use the Velcro system to belt the unit snuggly into the car and your pet sits inside of the durable carrier throughout the trip.
It comes in an array of sizes with options for pets of up to 15 pounds. Its components are machine washable and it has easy to clean materials including luggage grade nylon. It even has “four season” accessories like a warming kit, plush liner, safety tether and mesh bedding. Available in sky blue, robin egg blue, blossom pink, strawberry red, dark chocolate, and jet black, as well as in a mini and a medium size, it will transform the ways that people can travel with their dogs and cats.
And speaking of travel…
I could not have been happier to see a headline announcing that the brainiacs at TESLA were looking for a solution to the nightmare of dogs locked in hot cars. Though many dogs die from being trapped in hot cars every year, and though headlines scream about the ways people bust out windows and get in trouble to save dogs, people still think it will somehow be okay. And so TESLA has created a “dog mode” that they hope to integrate into their vehicles and expand to other brands in the future.
In a recent tweet, company founder Elon Musk said that the firm was working on a dog mode that “could possibly tell onlookers that the dog waiting inside the vehicle is not overheating and its owner will promptly return.” This would be paired with the company’s pre-existing tech that is able to regulate the interiors of their electric cars and prevent any overheating. However, the company indicated that the development of the software was cued by “a long history of confusion between people leaving their dogs in cars and the casual observers panicking at the uncertainty of the animals’ safety.”
The firm agreed that any dog owner who takes such a risk is behaving badly and endangering their pet, and even though some do leave air conditioning on and crack windows, people are still concerned about the situation. The new software is meant to allow those outside of the car to understand that the car is automatically cooled, the dogs are not in any sort of immediate danger, and that the owner intends to return momentarily.
Though we are still a long way from dog owners understanding that there are too many risks associated with this, at least TESLA’s tech is going to keep everyone safe – including the car!
Though we’ve looked at five of the trendiest products to emerge towards the end of 2018, there was another trend that I was happy to have predicted. A bit earlier this year, I mentioned the book “Feed Me: 50 Home Cooked Meals for Your Dog” in my article about dogs and their obvious appreciation of Italian food. Well, that book has since really taken off and inspired lots of dog owners to begin preparing at least one or two home-cooked meals for their dogs each week.
Last update on 2019-01-16 at 21:45 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
The book seems to have struck a nerve with dog owners eager to emphasize more natural ingredients and to avoid the use of additives and fillers in their dogs’ meals. One article noted that the book seems to also have tapped into many dog owners’ hopes for keeping their dogs from overeating.
This was directly in line with another recent article expressing a similar concept – that dog owners are worried they might be feeding their dogs too much.
We all use food as a form of love or expression, and dog owners can be very guilty of loving our dogs too much with lots of treats and snacks. Yet, as that article points out (and as that cookbook aims to overcome), overfeeding causes everything from diabetes and arthritis to heart disease and obesity. Such symptoms as inadequate self-cleaning and bathing, lethargy and signs of health issues are indicators that a healthier diet should be followed.
With these on trend pet products that emphasize physical health and wellness, safety and fun, it is clear that our love of our dogs is not diminishing at all over time. In fact, it seems that expenditures in the pet industry are still booming. I love that these trends are less about toys, costumes and food and more about quality of life, interacting with our dogs, and even keeping all pets (cats, rabbits, and others) as happy as possible, too.