Vegas is a glitzy town known for its extravagant shows. There’s Britney Spears’ “Piece of Me,” The Blue Man Group, all of the Cirque du Soleil productions and, of course, the classic Vegas revues with feather headdresses and rhinestones galore. It’s also the home to one of the pet industry’s largest trade shows: SuperZoo.
This year, SuperZoo featured 983 exhibiting pet product companies in 2,170 booths. Walking the trade show floor was a lot like walking the Vegas strip. Business owners, salespeople and marketers hover at the edge of their booths, handing out business cards and product information, hoping to entice you to check out their wares… much like those ubiquitous club promoters who hang out along Las Vegas Boulevard, handing out business cards and fliers, hoping to entice you to check out one of the city’s many hot spots.
But unlike walking the Vegas strip, we actually wanted to talk to these business owners, salespeople and marketers, because we were on a mission to find the most interesting and eye-catching new dog and cat products on display at the show.
Here are 13 of our favorite finds.
1. Friendship Collar by FriendshipCollar Ltd.
Don’t you just hate it when someone else calls your best friend their best friend? Ensure that never happens to your four-legged friends with the Friendship Collar by FriendshipCollar Ltd. The Friendship Collar is a pet collar that comes with a matching bracelet for humans. Prices range from $25 to $35. So now you and your dog or cat can put your friendship on blast everywhere you go. “It’s a gift for yourself and a gift for your pet,” said company director Bianca Eden. The concept is so sweet and simple, it had us wondering why we didn’t think of it ourselves.
2. Humunga Bling by Moody Pet
Moody Pet always gets the laughs with its Humunga fetch toys for dogs. There’s the Humunga Lips (giant red lips); Humunga Stache (a big, black mustache); Humunga Tongue (an extra-long tongue) and Humunga Chomp (pearly white teeth). Now the company is bringing you Humunga Bling (available in October for $12), which is like the Chomp, but with gold grillz. On one side, the grill spells “Dawg” and on the other it spells “Rock Star.” Both sides include a “diamond” tooth. Baller.
3. The Klimb by Blue-9 Pet Products
The Klimb is a dog training platform that is designed to provide a more focused dog. Ever see a lion at the circus performing tricks on top of a pedestal of some sort? Well, this is kind of the same thing. The platform creates a natural boundary that is meant to make the dog pay more attention to you, the trainer. “When they’re elevated, they have to make a conscious decision to step off,” trainer Kyra Sundance told me. Platform training is not a new concept, but The Klimb ($159.95) is being touted as the first commercially produced training platform. Hey, if it can get our dogs to focus, we’re in!
4. Pumpkin Treats
If you thought pumpkin spice was just for basics, you thought wrong — it’s also for dogs. We saw a couple pumpkin treats for dogs at SuperZoo, including Pumpkin Beer Biscuits from newcomer Portland Pet Food and Fruitables Pumpkin Spice Treats from Vetscience LLC. Yes, pumpkin seems to be everywhere these days, but don’t brush it off as a mere trend. Pumpkin may be a favorite fall flavor, but it’s also known to aid in digestion.
5. Snuggle Puppy by Smart Pet Love
These plush puppies are more than just stuffed animals. The Snuggle Puppy ($39.95) is a pet anxiety aid designed to help calm dogs and puppies who are fearful, lonely or suffering from separation anxiety. To that end, they come equipped with a beating “heart,” and they’re warm to the touch. “There’s nothing more natural than another beating heart to a pack animal,” company president Bob Thorne told me. We kind of want one to snuggle with for ourselves.
6. Wee Kitty by Rufus & Coco
The first thing we noticed about Wee Kitty cat litter was the cute packaging — it’s a highly stylized cat design — and then we noticed how small it was. How could this little, roughly 4-pound bag be enough cat litter, we thought. Anneke van den Broek, director of the Australian company, assured us the eco-friendly corn-based litter is super absorbent (it absorbs four times its own weight in liquid) and lasts up to a month. OK, so what about the smell? Within 5 minutes, you can’t detect the ammonia odor, she said. Definitely worth checking out.
7. Cat Bag by DF Beautifool Pet
Yeah, so, this is a paper bag. And cats love paper bags. But, unlike the regular ol’ paper bags you get from the grocery store, the Cat Bag, which costs $55, was made knowing cats would be hanging out in it and possibly chewing on it, so it’s safe and durable, according to co-founder and CEO Elena Volnova. It also comes with a machine-washable cushion. And it’s way cuter than an ordinary paper bag.
8. Vesper V-Line Cat Furniture by Rolf C. Hagen (USA) Corp.
It’s impossible not to notice this striking cat furniture from Rolf C. Hagen (USA) Corp. The sleek modern design is meant to be seen. So no more hiding hideous carpeted monsters in the spare bedroom (if you even have a spare bedroom). You can put Vesper V-line cat furniture, which ranges in price from $89.99 to $179.99, in plain view for all of your guests to admire. We’re sure the cats will love it, too.
9. Spooky Fun Cat Scratchers by Felli
Felli’s Spooky Fun cat scratchers are far from boring. From scary spiders to Frankenstein’s monster to one-eyed aliens, these whimsical characters, made by in-house designers, are sure to put a smile on your face. Plus they’d go perfect with your Halloween décor.
10. Pettag+ PAHW (Pet Activity Health and Wellness Device) by Pettag+ Inc.
Over the last few years, there’s been an emergence of devices that allow us to monitor our activity levels. As many trends from the human product marketplace often find their way into the pet realm, it should come as no surprise that there has been an emergence of gadgets that allow you to monitor your pet’s activity. The Pettag+ PAHW is one such device. It can be used to keep track of several types of activity, including eating, playing and snuggling. All information is logged in a free mobile app, and you can share updates with friends and family. The Pettag+ PAHW, which retails for $59.99, also can help you track down your pet should he go missing.
11. PetChatz by Anser Innovation
What’s worse than having to get up early every morning and go to work? Having to get up early every morning, go to work AND leave your pet behind. They always look so cute and snuggly in your bed! PetChatz can help ease some of that pain. It’s a videophone that allows you to greet and treat your pet over the Internet. The system, which retails for about $349, mounts on a wall and, with the click of a button on your computer, tablet or smartphone, you can say hi to your pet, give him a treat and even dispense a soothing scent. The company plans to add a PawCall accessory this holiday season which will allow your pet to call you. It’s like we’re living in the future.
12. Multi Collars by Buddy Belts
If you tend to change your outfits 10 times before going out, you’ll probably like Multi Collars by Buddy Belts. They allows you to change the entire collar cover, so you can pick a design and color that suits you and your pet’s every mood. The collar base costs anywhere from $17 to $23 and the changeable covers (aka straps) range from $10 to $18.
13. Cheese by Petsafe
We’re a big fan of interactive toys because they provide great enrichment for pets. This delightful interactive toy from Petsafe is a lot like whack-a-mole for cats, but instead of a mole, they get to whack a mouse. It retails for $29.99, which is less than what we spend on real cheese each month.