Every year, the number of Editors’ Choice submissions of new dog products grows larger, and 2013 did not disappoint. We received more products than ever before, and a huge variety to boot! Evaluating nearly 200 items was daunting. On the following pages, you’ll see our top 16 products from 2013, why we chose them, and what makes them special.
Dog Product Reviews from Ernie Slone, DOG FANCY Editor
Pup-kin Spiced Latte All-natural Dog Treats
Pumpkin is a great food for dogs, aiding digestive health and weight loss. So why not feed your dog a healthy pumpkin treat? These cookies contain all-natural pumpkin, vanilla, ginger, and cinnamon. They are topped with marshmallow flavored mini-wafers and packaged in a latte-like cup by those fun-loving folks at Three Dog Bakery.
Available in season, $8.99, from Three Dog Bakery; Website>>
Clickit Utility Three-Point Safety Harness
Testing has shown that not all safety harnesses can keep your dog safe, but the new Clickit Utility three-point safety harness from Sleepypod passed the federal safety standard set for child safety restraints in a 30 mph frontal crash. Strong yet comfortable, it can double as a walking harness. Available in Jet Black, Strawberry Red, and Orange Dream, and in four sizes.
$89.99-$99.99, from Sleepypod; Website>>
Bark and Activity Counter
When you leave home, are you concerned that your dog barks a lot or displays other separation anxiety behavior? Find out what your dog is up to while you’re away. This small device slips onto the collar, and when plugged into your computer’s USB port, delivers a detailed report of what your dog does, and when.
$69.95, from PetSafe; Website>>
Pet Cooler Carrier
To keep your dog cool for hours, simply add ice to the compartment on top. As the ice melts, it also provides your pet with cool drinking water. Available in blue, pink, brown, and black, in a small size for pets up to 15 pounds. Larger sizes are in the works.
$99.95, from Pet Cooler Carrier; Website>>
Dog Product Reviews from Katie Ingmire, DOG FANCY Associate Editor
NFL Puffer Vest
Whether you root for the Chicago Bears, the San Diego Chargers, or any of the other 30 NFL teams, this vest helps show your allegiance — and keeps your dog warm. I loved the look and feel of this piece, from its quilted shell, designed to repel water, to its soft fleece interior and removable hood. And with its Velcro closure, toggle adjustment, and sleeveless style, it should be easy to get your dog suited up and out the door in no time. Five sizes are available.
$39.99 to $59.99, from Hip Doggie; Website>>
Just as people have their own sleep styles, so do dogs. What I love about this convertible bed is that it caters to these different sleep preferences. The plush bed can be fashioned into a sleeping bag, a mat, or a bolster bed, so whether your dog curls up or stretches out during a snooze, he can stay comfy. It’s also designed to be machine-washable and dryer-friendly, which makes cleaning easy. Two sizes are available.
$55 to $75, from P.L.A.Y. Pet Lifestyle and You; Website>>
Adults and kids alike will have a blast with this tennis ball launcher, which puts a twist on the game of fetch. Just pull back on the ram of the launcher, insert the tennis ball into the barrel, pull back on the ram again to get your desired range, aim, and squeeze the trigger. Then watch your dog chase after the ball as fast as he can. The product has some fun features, including an area for extra ball storage and a design that lets you pick up the ball without using your hands.
$34.99, from Hyper Pet; Website>>
Sherpa Park Tote
Versatility, style, and easy-cleaning make a great mix when it comes to carriers, and this dog tote has all three. It features a brown or black quilted design, and grommets and windows to help your dog see and breathe when traveling. Once you arrive at your destination, you can unzip the carrier entirely, turning it into a blanket. And when you get back home, you can throw the whole thing into the washer. Two sizes are available.
$54.99 to $69.99, from Quaker Pet Group; Website>>
Dog Product Reviews from Jackie Brown, Natural Dog Editor
Sunbeam Pets Gourmet Treat Maker
I like making treats for my Miniature Poodle Jäger because I can choose the ingredients. Baking your own dog treats can be messy or time consuming, but the Gourmet Treat Maker makes it easy to whip up healthy, tasty treats for your dog in just minutes. A variety of recipes are included, such as Peanut Butter Bones and Chicken Broth Biscuits, or you can create your own fun flavors.
$29.99, from Sunbeam Pets; Website>>
JW Pet Treat Tower
Puzzle toys are a great way to engage your dog’s mind and alleviate boredom. The egg-shaped JW Pet Treat Tower is filled with a network of holes, with a reservoir on top where you can drop treats or kibble. As your dog noses or paws at the toy, the treats roll and randomly drop out of four different exit holes. You can adjust the difficulty level to make it easier or harder for the dog to release the treats. Two sizes are available.
$17.99 to $24.99, from Petmate; Website>>
Bissell SpotClean Complete Pet
The SpotClean Complete Pet portable deep cleaner is the newest addition to Bissell’s large line of cleaning products. When it comes to cleaning up pet messes, Bissell products never fail to impress, and the SpotClean is no exception. The Stain Trapper hand tool sprays and cleans pet messes, then stores the “yuck” so you can easily empty it then rinse it clean.
$119.99, from Bissell Homecare Inc.; Website>>
A crate is a wonderful, safe place for your dog, but some crates are hard to take apart for cleanup or when traveling. The new Petmate Navigator plastic kennel uses patent-pending “Slide ‘N Snap” technology that makes breakdown and assembly a breeze. Thanks to the easy-to-open turn-dial latches, you can open the door from the right or left side, or install or remove it completely without taking apart the kennel. Included with the crate is the “Grow With Me” wire divider that lets you section off smaller areas for housetraining puppies.
$39.99 to $224.99, from Petmate; Website>>
Dog Product Reviews from Ethan Mizer, Managing Editor DOG FANCY
Greyhound Dog Bowl
There’s a lot to be said for durable dog bowls that are also stylish and pleasing to the eye. ModaPet’s pedestal-style Greyhound Dog Bowl is sturdy yet attractive, and is equally easy to clean. It’s BPA-free, made from food-grade polymer, and is microwave- and dishwasher-safe. I especially liked the heft of the bowl, and the nonslip base keeps it in place when my dogs are eagerly eating their dinners. Also, the pedestal is large, meaning the bowl doesn’t tip over or move around easily when in use.
$24.95, from ModaPet; Website>>
Giving your dog’s collar a custom look is now easy with Yellow Dog Design’s online collar customization tool. You can choose from more than 40 backgrounds, icons, colors, fonts, and sizes, all to perfectly match your dog’s personality. Using the online tool is easy, and the best part is you can include your dog’s name or a custom message on the collar.
$24.99, from Yellow Dog Design; Website>>
Tru-Fit Smart Harness with Camera Mount
I’ve often wanted to see the world through my dog’s eyes. With Kurgo’s innovative new harness, I can now connect either a GoPro camera to my dog’s chest or back, or a Sony Action Cam to my dog’s back. The harness features a five-point adjustment system, serving as a stable platform for your pooch’s directorial debut. Sturdy enough for hiking, biking, outdoor play, and more, the harness stays out of the way so your dog can do his thing. The camera comes separately, and the harness comes in small, medium, large, and extra large.
$35, from Kurgo; Website>>
Drinkwell Everflow Fountain
Keeping your pet’s water bowl filled — especially during hot weather — can take vigilance. Cleaning can also be messy and unpleasant. With PetSafe’s Drinkwell Everflow Fountain, you can attach the bowl to a standard garden hose and always ensure your dog has fresh, clean water. The fountain continuously circulates the water, and you can preset the water level. — E.M.//ital//
$99.99, from PetSafe; Website>>
MEET OUR RESCUE MODELS Our thanks to the Irvine Animal Care Center, which for the fourth year provided us with doggie models for our photo shoot. These dogs were great, and we’re excited to report that all four have been adopted. As always, all of the products we received for judging were donated to animal rescues.
(From left to right, Top Row: Ellie, Chelsea Bottom Row: Isabelle, and Christian)