Another day, another Vegas conference. I don’t what it is about Vegas, but even when I go for work and behave and don’t stay out late and don’t do anything more titillating than eating nachos at 11 at night in the 24 hour cafe, I still come back feeling like Axl Rose after an all night bender. I guess this is what getting older does to you, when the simple act of walking around a convention floor all day wipes you out.
Nonetheless, it was a good show. I have to say, there was nothing earth-shattering, nothing that will Rock Your World. I don’t think I was expecting it. Perhaps as a reflection of our current economic woes, manufacturers are turning away from the ostentatious gold-plated ostrich leather leashes and collars and thousand dollar gadgets of dubious usefulness in favor of eco-friendly, cost conscious items that put a modern design spin on items already in existence.
The other trend I see more are items meant to help pets in their quest to be more healthy: weight vests and floatation harnesses and several types of dog treadmills. Seems the industry has finally caught on to the obesity epidemic. Glad to see more items out there for us to take advantage of.
I like the current crop of items that are hitting stores. Here’s a few of my favorites:
Green Interactive Feeder
Puzzle feeders are nothing new, bowls that force animals to slow down while they’re chowing down. The Green feeder from The Company of Animals is nice because it’s simple- no hidden drawers that make it difficult to clean, and it’s dishwasher safe. It also has a lip around the edge so if this heat wave continues, you can actually put some broth in it, freeze it, and give your pet a puzzle-sicle.
Collapsible Klip Scoop
If there’s something I say over and over, it’s this: you need to measure your pet’s food. Each time, every time. And oh, how people react, as if I said one should delicately weigh each kibble on a kitchen scale, polish it, and then place it in the bowl with tweezers. I get it, if the cup isn’t convenient, you’re going to eyeball it, and you’re going to overestimate the food, every time. Popware for Pets has created a simple and elegant solution, a collapsible measuring cup that doubles as a bag clip, so now there’s no excuses not to measure.
The Catemporary Cat Castle/ GeoDome
Every cat likes a cat tree. Apollo would, no doubt, love one. The use of vertical space, the hiding areas, the lounging areas, I get it. Cats love them. But you know, they’re pricey. The Refined Feline has introduced a cardboard version that provides all the benefits at a fraction of the cost. And if it gets torn up, you won’t be too torn up- just get a new one.
Not a new product, but speaking of KittyPod, the original pod itself is quite striking in person. I kind of want one, for me.
Ruff Wear Float Coat
Brody has a life jacket. All good surf dogs do. However, it is, like most life jackets, bulky and a bit unwieldy. I fell in love- LOVE, I tell you- with Ruff Wear’s designs this week. The float coat is sleek, sturdy, low-profile, and filled with thoughtful features such as a well placed handle on top and reflective trim. The hiking packs, with various sizes depending on how much you want your dog to carry, are fantastic too. This is at the top of our Christmas wishlist.
Major news? Well, Hills is reformulating Science Diet, which I thought was kind of a big deal. No more chicken by-product, and no more corn. I believe the official statement was somewhere along these lines: While we continue to feel that our ingredients had and still do provide excellent nutrition, we have reformulated our foods in response to overwhelming consumer demand for these changes. So good on them for listening. I have another bit of exciting news from a company I’ve spoken highly of already, but I’m waiting on their official announcement to write about it. Stay tuned.
And just for giggles, let me remind you that no Vegas trip is complete without an Elvis sighting.
There will be an extreme dog grooming reality show someday. Mark my words.