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Category Archives: Cool New Products

Screamin’ hot products from the trade journals, trade shows and other industry sources.

Product Review: Snaps Collars

snapscollarspinkblackHere’s a cool idea for a customizable, changeable pet collar. It’s called SNAPS (TM). It’s a collar and interchangeable snap system with tons of fun snaps to add, combine and switch out whenever you like. (Sorry for the red dog hair on the black collar in the photo. I actually do test these products on my own dogs.)

24 themes, five designs each, ranging from holidays to causes, regional to animals, bugs to flowers. They come in sets of 10 (two each of five designs) and the collars have 10 solid brass, nickel-plated snap studs on them. The great thing is that you can buy the snaps individually, so you can choose two from this group and one from that group. You could put together a sort of charm bracelet of your dog’s favorite thin

snapscollar

The collars come in two options: leather or nylon. Nylon collars are available in black, red or pink; leather collars are black. They come in four sizes to fit necks 8″ to 22″. gs by cherry-picking which snaps you like. With over a hundred designs, ou’ll find plenty of choices. All snaps fit any size collar.

The snap ornaments are silk screen painted brass, which holds up very well to chipping and scratching. They have a high tension socket for a secure fit. They need firm pressure to put them on, and I found my fingers fatiguing after I had put a few on. But then I used the heel of my hand and they went on quite easily. I don’t mind pushing hard though; I don’t want them to fall off while my dog is scratching her neck at the dog park. Nor would I want one dog to be able to chew them off the collar of the other dog when they’re playing. These snaps are REALLY on there!

SNAPS (TM) features a unique way to create the perfect fashion accessory to highlight your dog’s personality and charm, to to give him/her a a distinctive style for the holidays. There’s even a birthday collection!

snapscollaraccessories

This is such a clever idea! I used to have a different collar for Christmas, summer, Easter, St. Patrick’s Day (I have an Irish Setter), and Halloween. Now, all I have to do is swap out the ornaments for a totally new look. It’s a snap!

Product Name: Snaps

Cost: Leather collars with 10 studs, $14.99 – 17.99 each, nylon collars with 10 studs, $12.99 – $14.99 each. Ornamental snaps: .90 each or $8.99 for a set of 10.

Where to buy: http://www.snapsstore.com

 

Product Review: Humane Healing Dog Wound Ointment & Spray

Dog first aid ointment

Now available to dog owners – not just veterinarians – Humane Healing dog wound ointment and spray promotes  safe and faster healing of common dog wounds such as hot spots, punctures, lick granulomas, lacerations (cuts), abscesses  burns, incisions, abrasions, etc. Using organic salts and minerals, this line of wound care is non-toxic, so if your dog licks it, he or she will not be ingesting harmful chemicals.

These are the only dog wound first aid products scientifically proven to reduce healing time, according to the company. They are free of antibiotics, non-caustic and non-steroidal.

I wondered how to test a canine wound ointment if my canines didn’t have a wound. But then our four-mont-old puppy, Benelli, swallowed some hair accessories of my girls’ and it was off to emergency surgery. $1,700 later, we had a sore and groggy but otherwise safe puppy with a long incision on her tummy.

I used the spray and ointment on her as she was confined to lots of crate rest and the dreaded cone. We could let her out to go outside and do her business, and for short leg-stretching sessions (always on leash). I was glad that I didn’t have to worry about what would happen if she were to lick some of the ointment or spray before we could stop her. Her poor tummy had been through enough. She healed quickly and within three days, we were able to liberate her from the crate for extended periods. Removal of the staples went smoothly, in part due to the good healing that had gone on while they were in.

Both products had a very VERY light odor, with no trace of fragrance. The ointment smells faintly salty, and the spray has a delicate medicinal smell, but not at all objectionable. The ointment absorbs quickly yet stays on the affected area. Both are clear.

Dog wound sprayThe only (minor) issue I had was that one of the spray bottles didn’t spray. I tried hot water and anything else I could think of to get it to work, but it never did. Might have been a bad batch, which happens to everyone. I’m glad I got two to test. The other one worked fine. If you buy some in the store, ask if you can spray your hand before you leave to make sure the spray nozzle works.

The ointment lasted a long time. Of course, it depends on the size of the wound and how much you apply, but I did not use the whole tube for my puppy’s 6-inch wound. The spray will give you around 200 sprays. Since the expiration date is nearly two years away, I’m going to keep the rest in my doggie first aid kit.

I really liked these products. They’re natural, effective and user-friendly. I would recommend any dog owner have some in the house for emergencies. You just never know when your dog is going to get an infection, scrape, or other minor injury.

Price: $29.95 each

Manufacturer: http://www.HumaneHealing.com

 

 
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Posted by on November 16, 2012 in Cool New Products

 

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Simply Bully Sticks Product Review

bully sticks review comparisonBy now, most dog owners know about bully sticks. They’ve been around for at least 8-10 years, maybe longer. They’re an especially fibrous, strong all-meat chew made out of … well, let’s say that you can’t make them from female cattle, only bulls.  They are made from a fibrous muscle, and are prepared by cleaning, stretching, twisting and then drying them. They can be smoked in a traditional smoker, sun dried or oven baked. The result is a very hard, compressed 30–40 in dark brown stick, which is then sawed into 6″, 9″, 12″, 18″ or even 24″ pieces.

As a dog chew treat, they’re suitable for dogs with wheat and corn allergies because they only contain protein, fat and moisture. And they last a long time (I know, I know), so they’ll keep even aggressive chewers occupied longer than rawhide or other similar chews.

When they first came on the market, folks I spoke to loved them, and so did I. But soon two concerns emerged. The first was cost. A 6″ bully stick often retailed for upwards of $3 each, and the 12″ and 18″ ones could be as high as $6 each. Some variety has entered the market, with buffalo bully sticks, steer sticks, Angus bully sticks, braided bully sticks, jerky wrapped, ends, braided, bully sticks from New Zealand, Australia, North America, South America, India, China, and on and on and on.

extra thick low odor bully stickI figure it’s time to slow things down a bit and really take a look at what a bully stick should be. I had bought my last bag of stinky bullies from Costco, pondering what “value” really means, when I got a package from www.simplybullysticks.com.

The first thing I noticed was that the bully sticks were very thick and natural-looking. By this I mean that they were at three times as thick as the ones from Costco, which are about the thickness of a Sharpie marker. And they weren’t tightly stretched or rolled, so there was more texture. This means more interest for the dog, and more ridges to help scrape off that dental tartar.

The second thing I noticed was that the bullies weren’t stinky. I even put one right up to my nose and took a big long draught in. They smelled faintly buttery. Hardly any smell at all, and what was there was pleasant and appetizing.

The information contained in the package said that Simply Bully Sticks carries only one type of bully stick. They hand-picked some of their smaller ones because I mentioned I had a four-month-old puppy (albeit a large one). Those “smaller” bully sticks are shown above in the picture with our full-grown, 70-lb Irish Setter, so you can see how big they are. If you order from www.simplybullysticks.com, the ones you’ll receive should be even bigger.

Both dogs love the bully sticks. The Irish Setter goes to town on them with his blunt but strong adult back teeth. The puppy, who’s teething until she’s six months old, tears away at them with needle-sharp milk teeth.

The verdict? Our dogs LOVE these bully sticks. These bully sticks are what dog owners buy bully sticks for … tough, long-lasting, satisfying chews for any type of dog, even those with allergies. Some bully stick brands use chemicals to hide the odor of their bully sticks, or to increase their attractiveness to dogs. But natural bully sticks don’t stink, and dogs don’t need any incitement to like them. So why not go natural?

What about value? Those hard, skinny, stinky bullies from Cadet were $24 for 12 of them, roughly $2 each. The ones I got from Simply Bully Sticks were the same length, and cost for a pound of them is $29.99. At 3 oz per bully, that’s about 4-5 sticks, or $5.99 apiece. If they were the same thickness, a $2 bully vs. a $6 bully would be a no-brainer. But remember, they’re three times thicker than the cheap ones, so they last much longer. Those cheap bullies are gone pretty fast. The equivalent cost in my view is pretty close.

When I have a cost comparison, I like to ask if the increase in price is commensurate with the quality. So are Simply Bully Stick’s bully sticks worth three times more than the cheapy ones? You bet! I actually had to keep the cheap ones in a zipper bag because I couldn’t stand the dead-fish smell. What’s on them or in them that smells like that? Ewwww.

I think there will always be a market for cheaper bully sticks. I bought them, didn’t I? But once dog owners see a higher-quality bully stick available, there is always a market for those, too. I think that high-quality bully sticks like these will appeal to dog owners who are willing to pay a little more to give their dogs a more natural, better chew. In all fairness, there may be other retailers who offer better quality bullies. But as for me, we’ll be getting our bullies from Simply Bully Sticks from now on.

 
 

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Product Review: Flush Doggy Poop Bags

I have been trying to figure out what to do about the stinky trash can that results from disposing of dog poop. If I put the poop pickup bags in a trash can in the yard, I can barely stand to go out there, and I keep thinking my neighbors – who don’t own dogs – can smell it. Plus, it attracts flies and other bugs. If I keep the poop in a trash can in the garage … well, let’s just say that I live in Texas, and the temperatures are warm for nine months out of the year, with summertime temps reaching well above 100 degrees. By the time our once-a-week trash pickup comes, the garage reeks so bad that the smell has begun to spread to the house and the neighborhood.

I didn’t used to worry about it so much. I hate to admit this, but since we adults did not use the back yard, we would just pick it up before the mowers came every week. But then we added three small children and a puppy who finds these piles to be irresistible (if you catch my drift), so now we have to clean up as we go. I love having a clean yard all the time, but what to do with the poop?

It seems to me that there are three options for disposing of dog waste that you pick up on walks or in your yard.

  1. A composter like the Doggy Dooley. Cons are that you have to dig a huge hole to put it in and our ground is very hard; you have to add water every day, you have to buy and add enzymes periodically, some customers still complain of strong odor, and some say that the plastic does not withstand extreme heat and sun.
  2. Collect the waste in pickup bags and dispose of them. Cons are a strong, unpleasant odor, flies, and a not-so-earth-friendly substance that accumulates in landfills.
  3. Flush the dog waste with biodegradable bags.

I can’ t believe I had never thought of flushing my dog’s waste down the toilet. But then I found Flush Doggy, the eco-friendly, flushable dog poop bags. These white bags are the same size as other poop bags I have tried (10.75″ x 8.5″), so they can handle anything my big dogs put out. They’re water soluble, so they won’t clog toilets or pipes. Yet they don’t fall apart if you use them on walks. They’ll stay intact for about an hour, so you have plenty of time to get your little package home before the bag dissolves.

There is an art to flushing the bag once you’ve picked up the poop, however. The first time I tried, I backed up my toilet. The reason? Air got trapped inside the bag, creating a large object that wouldn’t go down. The packaging does come with instructions for avoiding this:

  • Do not tie the bag; just leave the top open
  • Flush one poop at a time (it helps to dump the poop out into the water, then drop the bag in after it)
  • Avoid flushing dry or hard feces

I have discovered my own method for flushing. I flush the toilet and the bowl begins to fill with water. I hold the bag over the water. When the water begins to go down, I drop the bag right over the hole and down it goes. I have not had another problem since I started doing this. The suction takes the bag down, ridding it of any air that’s inside. Perfect!

Flush Doggy bags are not recommended for septic systems. The company, http://www.flushdoggy.com, sells them for $19.99 for 100 bags. I have also found them on Amazon. There are other manufacturers of flushable waste bags, so you can find one that you like. Here are the ones I have been able to find:

UPDATE: Eight months later, I’m still using the bags. My yard is always clean for my mowers, my children, and my bare feet. So grateful for these. I haven’t been without a yucky back yard since I’ve had dogs. I will never be without these bags. – LW

 
 

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Cool Sport Parka Vest

I recently came across this interesting item.

It’s a lightweight parka vest for dogs. Great for chilly mornings, cool fall days, and icy winter afternoons, this vest gives a little extra warmth to your dog’s core without adding bulk that could limit movement.

It’s handsome, but not fussy, warm, but not bulky. Just enough to add a little extra style and snugness to a chilly day.

The outer layer is durable yet lightweight, made of waterproof Supplex nylon to keep your dog dry on drizzly days.

Underneath, a soft polar fleece lining keeps your dog just warm enough. Also features reflective trim at the sides and back of the neck to increase visibility as the days get shorter. An easy hook and loop closure at the neck and waist assures a completely custom fit for snug, cozy comfort. Dries fast and fully washable.

It’s very Land’s End, don’t you think?

From Sherpa Pet Products (Cloak and Dawggie)

 
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Posted by on August 20, 2012 in Cool New Products

 

Feedimal Automatic Dog Feeder

It’s pretty impressive when your dog’s kibble dispenser is more stylish than your own trendy single-cup coffee maker. But the good folks at Feedimal have done. They’ve engineered a beautiful, practical, high-tech automatic feeder for dogs and cats that lets you program a custom feeding schedule for your pet.

Feed up to five times per day, and set the quantity for each meal with a touch-screen interface. Record a special meal-time message up to 20 seconds to let you pet know it’s time to eat. Sealed to keep the food dry and fresh, with a low food sensor to let you know when it’s time to refill. In four beautiful colors with a scratch resistant finish. Bowl is removable and washable.

Still in production, but check out http://www.indiegogo.com/feedimal# for more details.

 

Herbal Tea for Dogs

Oh, yes they did.

California Tea House, known for their estate loose teas, dessert teas and organic herbal blends, has created a first-ever tea for dogs. Loaded with health benefits for dogs, the tea is named after their Great Dane, Machu Picchu (site of the famous Peruvian Inca ruins).

Ani, one of the owners of California Tea House, tells me that Machu’s Blend is “loaded with health benefits for dogs. It was created after much research and consulting with canine veterinarians, and has ingredients for healthy skin and coat, stress management, gas reduction and improved digestion. Ingredients include Chamomile, Ginger Root, Fennel Seed, Skullcap and Calendula. The tea is also said to aid in the treatment of seizures and motion sickness.

Designed to be a once-a-day treat, the tea is available in half-ounce, four-ounce and eight-ounce sizes. Cost is 11 cents to 41 cents per serving, depending on which size you order. Instructions are given for preparing the tea and cooling it. For more information, visit California Tea House.

I think this is a dandy idea, don’t you?

 
4 Comments

Posted by on March 22, 2012 in Cool New Products

 

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