Recently, I read that over $50 billion was spent on pet products last year! Billion, not million! That is more than the GNP of some small countries.
But, I shouldn’t be surprised really, considering what I do for my furry four legged friends. Yes, I’m the girl who has turned down dates because I couldn’t leave my old dog alone.
Mind you, he was mostly deaf and blind at the time and probably didn’t know I was in the same room (the dog, not the date)!
Plus I spend way too much money on dog treats, toys, clothes and anything else that I find interesting for my pet. But, I don’t just spoil my foster dogs, I spread the wealth with all the dogs in my building and on my street satisfying their treat and toy addictions. In fact, my neighbors are starting to get annoyed that their dogs run to my door every time they go out for walks. My apartment is littered with chewy bones, treat pieces and slobbered upon toys.
So I am the perfect “guinea pig” to write about dog stuff for Monsters and Critics. With the help of my new foster pup, Charlie (go to https://www.facebook.com/FurryAngelFoundation to find out about adopting this sweet baby boy) and my old foster Tallulah Grace (Lula) who was staying with me for the weekend, we tested out some new products that you should know about.
Doggie Play Time:
There are thousands of dog toy options out there and let’s be honest, we buy the toys because we like them, the color works with the décor or you have always had a thing for frogs or it’s pink and you have a girl dog. News flash: Our dogs really don’t care what they slobber on as long as we will try to grab it from them at some point. Or so I thought…
Monkeez & Friends, who give a portion of each sale to Best_Friends Animal Society, sent me a sample of their dog toys and I thought, “ok, these are cute, I like that they are giving back but the toys are no big deal...” Well, what do I know? My dogs loved them, I mean really slobbering-mess-chase-me-around-the-house, loved them… out of the hundreds of toys that I have, the Monkeez & Friends where the ones they wanted to play with. I have always found dogs to be great judges of character, I guess they are a great judge of toys too! Check them out at www.MonkeezAndFriends.com
Another new favorite this week are Tuff Tugs. It is a hand woven, Made in America, reinforced fleece toy that has a little “give” in the pull. Which is very important for the three hour of tug-of-war marathons between me and my dogs, yes, I know Karen, get a life!
Another major plus with the Tuff Tugs is they do not shred or fray. I can’t tell you how many hours I’ve spent picking up fuzzy pieces of cotton off the floor, bed, furniture just because my dogs wanted to destroy their toys, or watch me pick up after them which I actually think is their real goal.
So far, the Tuff Tug has been indestructible. Be sure to order the correct size for your dogs. I got one that might be a tad too big for them; when they try running, a leg will invariably get stuck in one of the loops. Think Monty Python’s ministry of the silly walk skit - but with dogs. I really don’t mind but I think Charlie is getting a complex! https://www.facebook.com/TuffTuggs or http://www.etsy.com/shop/TuffTuggs
We humans have fruit of the month, wine of the month, cake of the month or pie of the month, even sex toy of the month club (note to self, must look into that one) … you get my drift. Now, www.PetFlow.com offers a monthly gift club for your dog or cat. At $25 per month, ($40 value) The Spoiled Rotten boxes are filled with hand picked treats, toys and accessories for your pets.
Don’t think you are getting bottom of the barrel products, everything is from premium companies and all the edibles they send out are “Made in the USA”.
My December box came with a squeaky toy cow, YumZies treats, Luther’s Treats, Tropiclean Teeth Gel and Venison Joe’s Gourmet Beef Bones and a card describing all the goodies. I don’t know who loved it more, me or the dogs.
This is a great gift idea to welcome in a new four legged family member or give it to the person who has everything, people love when you spoil their pets. http://www.petflow.com/
For Doggies on the Go:
When I travel I have my regular suitcase, my travel bag, my computer bag, my make up kit… when my dog travels he has whatever leftover shopping bag is available. It's not fair people!
SturdiProduct listened to my whine and has created a Hanging Toiletry Organizer that is great for the four legged family members. Sturdi is a luggage company for people who travel with their pets, or as they say, traveling pets and their people... lets get a group “awwwww” for that.
They offer 40 products for people who travel with small pets including carriers, hammocks and even pet tents (or is it Pup Tents?)
The company was founded on the principle of decreasing the stress of both pets and people. I think my stress actually prefers a cocktail or two but this is probably safer. www.sturdiproducts.com
Are you a dog crater? The Safari Foam Pad from www.ZippyPaws.com will make your doggy crate comfy and luxurious and it has a removable cover which is machine washable.
It comes in Tiger, Leopard, Snow Leopard and Brown (just brown? Come on, why not Brown Bear to go with the wild animal theme?) and is sized for XX-Small to X-Large crates. Buddy, one of my neighbor dogs, glommed on to this when he saw it at my place and just had to have it; I think he was telling his two dads that a towel just wasn’t enough for his coddled body.
Since he absconded with the Safari Foam Pad, Buddy is now completely happy to hang in his crate, we just need to add a few throw pillows, a leafy plant and some Snoop Dogg on the stereo and he will be ready for any doggy... hmmmm… “play-date”. And as an FYI, you don’t have to have a crate to use it, the Safari Foam Pads can easily be used as a doggy bed for the house or the car. Let Fido travel in style!
For Doggies that have to Go:
The Fifth Paw is also made in America and is a US-patented contraption you attach to your leash that will hold used doody bags so you don’t have to.
How did we not all think of that idea? I mean, who really wants to hold a bag of poo? A bag of diamonds, yes! Bag of poo, no! The contraption has been tested on dogs as big as Great Danes so it will hold even the heaviest poops…. Um, can you imagine putting that job on your resume? And, it allows you to have both hands available should there be a doggy emergency that doesn’t involve poop! Go to www.thefifthpaw.com to get your own.
Guest reporter Karen V. Stevens is a dog poop hating segment television producer, USC booster and media/pr consultant living in Los Angeles, California. *If you are a USA company who makes amazing dog accessories, toys or food, you can contact her on Twitter