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My Favorite Things: Cool, Fun Stuff for Dogs and Their Owners

I spent a couple of days recently at one of the biggest pet products trade shows in the United States – SuperZoo – and I saw a few things that I’d love to have for my little Maxie. I think you might like some of them in your canine household too.

One of the great things about attending one of these shows is that the organizers, in this case the World Pet Association, set aside specific areas of the convention center floor for products that have been introduced during the previous 12 months or so.

In any spare time I have, I like to make a beeline for the new products showcase. This particular show had a separate area just for dog products, along with a few things deemed “miscellaneous.”

I love things that are designed to solve what seems like a simple problem, but never is that easy to manage. So, one of my favorites from SuperZoo is a combination measuring cup and bag clip. Part of Dexas International’s Popware for Pets line, the collapsible, silicone cups can measure from one-half cup to a full cup. And you don’t have to leave it in the bag, getting all greasy and gross. Just use the generous-sized clip to close the bag when you’re done, and the gizmo’s ready for the next feeding.

In this same line, the company offers collapsible kennel bowls, a handy one that hangs on a standard bottle of water and even a slightly elevated bowl. (Info: www.popwareforpets.com)

PetPaint is a nontoxic, wash-out spray you can use to “costume” your dog for Halloween, parties or other special occasions. Photo courtesy of PetPaint.

Now, from the practical to the fun. Both Kayla Kurucz, Best In Show Daily’s founder, and I had the same thought about this next product: “So wrong, but so fun.” Called “PetPaint,” the company says it’s the “first color fur spray designed for use on your dog.” In the product literature, one black dog is transformed into a zebra, another “wears” black, orange and bright green camouflage, and one more appears to be wearing a red sports jersey with the number “5” on it.

I won’t be using PetPaint on Max as I’m sure the sound of the spray would scare him. Poor little guy is super sound-sensitive for some before-our-time reason. But I am thinking of asking some friends if I can turn their Rhodesian Ridgeback into a tiger for Halloween. Our neighborhood’s annual dog parade features canines – and their owners – costumed simply, elaborately and everywhere in between. I’d certainly love to see Dexter walking along Second Street. He’s such a sweetie, he’d never growl at a soul, but I think he’d be a convincing tiger, nonetheless. (Info: www.petpaint.com)

This handy leash has a fabric compartment for keys, phone, ID, even an MP3 player, and a separate one for a roll of poop bags. Photo courtesy of Fozzy Dog.

When I’m walking my little dog, I sometimes nearly lose my pants. Between my cell phone, my keys, etc., the weight is a bit much. I’m not a purse person and couldn’t manage one anyway because I almost always have a big glass of Diet Coke with me.

Fozzy Dog comes to the rescue with what the company calls “the original all-in-one leash.” The leash ends in a loop on the person’s end, with a highly ergonomic rubber handle. A fabric insert that spans the oval has a compartment for your necessaries on one side and a nicely designed one on the other for your dog’s necessaries – poop bags on a roll. (Info: www.fozzydoginc.com)

Power Paws traction socks can help keep your dog on his feet on slippery floors. Photo courtesy of Woodrow Wear.

Max doesn’t need this next clever product yet, but as he ages, I suspect he will. He loves to run from our living room down the hall to our bedroom. If he does it with enough speed, he goes sliding on the wood floor when he gets to his destination.

Power Paws traction socks from Woodrow Wear are a lot like the ones you may wear around the house in winter: comfortable socks that don’t slip down and have little pads of skid-proof material on the bottom. Power Paws are just smaller, made in a variety of designs, colors and sizes, plus a special design for Greyhounds and Poodles. The company suggests also using them on older dogs that have trouble getting up so their paws don’t slip, to protect a paw with a minor injury or bandage, and to keep your pack of dogs from scratching your hardwood floors. (Info: www.woodrowwear.com

With just these four items, from a few hundred new ones I saw at the show, my life can be easier when it comes to feeding and walking my dog, more fun with a little holiday coat decorating, and Max can have a surer footing in the house. That’s a pretty good take-away in my book.


Written by

Susan Chaney has been on the editorial side of publishing since 1990, starting her career as a newspaper features writer and editor. A lifelong lover of dogs, Susan has lived with German Shepherds, Labs, Yorkies, an Irish Setter, a Great Dane-Bloodhound mix, a Sheltie and currently a Chihuahua mix of unknown pedigree. She was the editor of Dog Fancy magazine, content editor of DogChannel.com and group editor of Dog World, Dogs USA, Puppies USA, Natural Dog, Cat Fancy, Cats USA and Kittens USA from March 2005 to December 2009 when she left her position to work at home, part-time. Susan lives in Long Beach, Calif., with her artist husband, Tim, that Chi mix and two big cats. As an editor and writer for Best In Show Daily, she is reveling in the amalgam of three loves: writing, editing and dogs.