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Tag: pet products

Doggie market goes even more pupscale

Just when you thought the pet gear market couldn’t get any more precious, Martha Stewart and Crate & Barrell have launched new lines of upscale doggie products to further spoil our pooches.

Crate & Barrel is offering “a colorful pet gear line, which includes toys, beds, collars, leashes and more — all under $70,” according to PeoplePets.

It reports: “While we love the patterned cotton bones and catnip-filled mice, our pets are drooling over the dishwasher-safe porcelain bowls ($6.95-$14.95) adorned with conversation bubbles that say “Woof,” “Ruff” and “Meow.” Porcelain treat jars ($14.95-$19.95) are another charming accent for your kitchen. Dog jars feature a black-and-white fire hydrant motif and a bone-shaped handle, while the cat ones have fish and mice graphics and a fish-shaped handle.”

The new line is available in stores and on the Crate & Barrel website.

Martha, meanwhile — shown above during the taping of a commercial — has teamed up with PetSmart to premiere her Martha Stewart Pets line, which includes bowls, feeders, tote bags, toys, collars, leashes, beds and grooming accessories, all “designed with dogs and their owners in mind.”

BARCS party Saturday benefits animals

The Baltimore Animal Rescue and Care Shelter (BARCS) is having a party Saturday — and it’s a chance to get your pet a gift and support hundreds more who need homes.

A Pet Junkie Party will take place in the Conference Room at BARCS, starting at 4 .m. tomorrow (Saturday). BARCS is located at 301 Stockholm Street in Batimore, near M&T Bank Stadium.

Pet Junkie representative Denise Smallman-Chilcoat will be selling dog and cat toys, pet-themed home decor items, jewelry, T-shirts and more, with 35 percent of sales going to BARCS.

For those unable to make it to the party, Pet Junkie will donate 35 percent of online sales to BARCS.

What I want for Christmas, chapter two

petcover

Here’s a product that — while I could do without the monogram — would make my life easier.

The pet loveseat cover (they make couch and chair ones, too) would be a cozy sleeping surface for Ace, protect the sofa from drool stains (I can’t help it!) and save me from having to vacuum dog hair off of it EVERY … SINGLE … YEAR.

Available from Sure Fit, the throws come in quilted “soft suede,” or cotton, and are machine washable.

The quilted pet throw comes in taupe and chocolate, while the cotton ones come in black, claret or linen. Only the quilted ones are offered with monograms.

The non-personalized throws cost $29.99 for a chair,  $39.99 for a loveseat, and $49.99 for a sofa. The monogrammed ones — up to 15 characters are permitted — run $37.49 for a chair, $47.49 for a loveseat, and $57.49 for a sofa.

Were Santa to bring me one, I would opt for cotton, loveseat size, non-monogrammed, in the color linen. And I’d promise not to drool on it.

“Deluxe” FURminator easier on the hands

FURminator_blue_angle_01042The friendly folks at FURminator keep making a great, if pricey, product better — and ever more frustratingly difficult to get out of the package.

The product I was sent — the new fur-ejecting FURminator with an improved handle — worked amazingly well. They’ve improved the fur-ejecting technology, so, unlike with earlier models, hair shoots right out of the deshedding tool with the simple push of a button. The new handle is contoured to better fit the hand.

But the packaging! Why manufacturers insist on encasing their products in thick, clear plastic cocoons that take a hacksaw to open, I’ll never understand.

Perhaps it is to suggest that their product is so valuable it rates a hermetically sealed shroud that can be opened only by a team of physics majors.

Once I did manage to free the Deluxe FURminator from its package, which also featured a twisted wire to hold it firmly into its mold, it was smooth sailing.

As with earlier versions, it did a magnificent job of removing my dog’s loose hair and undercoat. In 15 minutes, not counting the 30 minutes it took to open it, I’d removed enough hair to fill a grocery bag. With the new and far more comfortable handle, I could have filled enough for two more bags, but I figured Ace might want to keep a little undercoat for winter.

The small “Deluxe Collection” FURminator, with fur ejector, retails for around $50, and the FURminator website lists some of the stores in which you can find it. The Deluxe Collection went on sale in pet stores today.

As for my now slightly used model, I repackaged it as best I could and it will be awarded — by Santa himself — to a worthy dog at the upcoming Pet Photos with Santa event at Riverside Park in Baltimore. (Saturday, Dec. 12 from 10 a.m. to noon). Proceeds from the event go to the Franky Fund for the care of sick and injured animals at Baltimore Animal Rescue & Care Shelter (BARCS).

It’s a life of luxury for many dogs in India

In a country of more than a billion mostly poverty-stricken people, the status of dogs –  purebreds at least — is reaching new heights.

India, home to nearly half of the world’s hungry, has seen a surge in pricey dogs (including pugs, like the one pictured, featured in the advertising of a cell phone company, Vodaphone) and pricey dog goods and services.

it’s not uncommon for wealthy families to spend more on imported dog food in a week than the weekly budget of the 420 million Indians officially classified as poor.

Pets are becoming big business in India, and predictions are that the industry will continue to experience annual growth of 10-15 percent, Agence France-Presse reports — even though about 40 percent of India’s population lives below the global poverty line of less than $1.25 a day.

India’s pet industry is valued at around $45 million dollars annually, according to the research firm Euromonitor, compared to the annual $40 billion dollars of the U.S. market.

Experts say that thanks to the economic boom of the past decade, pets have become status symbols in a society that is seeing shifts in its family structure.

“Often both parents work and there’s no longer any grandparents around for the children to come home to, only the maid,” said Linda Brady Hawke, publisher of Indian pet care magazine Creature Companion. “An animal is something which will greet the children with love,” she said.

Among the breeds seeing increasingly popularity are Great Danes, dalmatians, Afghan hounds and pugs, which soared in popularity after one was featured in a mobile phone TV advertisement.

Labradors and golden retrievers have shown staying power, with owners willing to spend up to 300,000 rupees (6,000 dollars) for a championship-level imported purebred specimen — and to leave the air-conditioning on so thick-coated breeds such as giant St. Bernards won’t perish in the summer heat, the article says.

Money’s not an object, either, with many clients of ScoobyScrub, offering such services as “full body massage” and hair streaking, which can cost up to 1,000 rupees, more than most maids earn in a week.

“Families want to spend more on pets whether it’s branded foods or toys — that’s part of the ‘humanization’ process” of the animal, said Euromonitor researcher Yvonne Kok.

Unnecessary entanglements

Every once in a while an invention comes along that seems quite brilliant, makes life easier for a while then — with more frequent use — turns out to be more trouble than its worth.

Such, I think, is the case with the retractable leash.

After one brush with death — fortunately not my own — and lots of time spent disentangling other pets and my own, I put my retractable leash away more than a year ago, and haven’t used it since.

I had bought it at the recommendation of a friend, but after several uses, the disadvantages (entanglements, rope burns and the flying hockey puck effect) seemed to outweigh the advantages (giving the dog a wee bit more freedom, having my arm nearly jerked off less often.)

Evidence is mounting that retractable leashes — technically illegal in Baltimore, as they extend more than the mandated 8 foot leash maximum — may not be as good an idea as they originally appeared.

The Consumer Product Safety Commission has announced one recall of retractable leashes. Last September, 223,000 “Slydog” brand retractable leashes were found to have metal clips that broke and flew off — like the one that struck and became lodged in the eye of Dereka Williams, a Dallas-area girl whose family has filed a lawsuit against Worldwise, Inc., the maker of the SlyDog retractable leash.

“She was like, ‘Mom, I can’t see! I can’t see!’” her mother Joy Williams told ABCNews.com

Slydog has since fixed the problem and changed to plastic clips.

But according to the March 5, 2009 issue of Consumer Reports, retractable leashes — often banned from many dog events — have been causing ongoing injuries for years.

Read more »

Climbing a stairway to Serta

The cushier we humans have it, the harder we may be making it on our dogs — at least when it comes our beds.

The bedding industry has been raising the height of its products, satisfying customer desires for thicker mattresses, the Wall Street Journal reports — and that may be creating a hazard for dogs, especially small ones.

Anecdotally, veterinarians across the country report a rise in such doggie disorders as elbow and shoulder arthritis, hip dysplasia and degenerative disk disease, often caused by dogs leaping into, our out of, the bed.

“For a little dog to take a flying leap off a bed that’s five to six times higher than he stands is an act of courage, and a recipe for injury,” says Stephen Crane, an academic animal doctor and diplomat of the American College of Veterinary Surgeons.

While scientists have yet to tackle the issue, the marketplace has, and several companies are now offering pet stairs designed to help dog from floor to bed.

Read more »


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