Every year, thousands descend upon the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Florida, for Global Pet Expo. This is the pet industry biggest trade show, spanning about 6-1/2 miles, the equivalent of about 13 football fields. The show features more than 3,000 product-launches and 150 first-time exhibiting companies. Fidose of Reality has visited this show many times, and this year we put on our comfy shoes and hit the floor for the latest and greatest trends in dog health and wellness.
Here’s the scoop on what we discovered for dogs from the health and wellness world:
Doing Things Outdoors With Your Dog
Sure, the tennis ball is still in the mix, but now there are products to make that tennis ball soar to the skies. PetSafe®premiered an automatic ball launcher that houses tennis balls, plays fetch with your dog, and has 6 angle and 9 distance settings. Multiple built-in safety sensors keep people and pets safe while playing fetch.
One of the sponsors of our big gala fundraiser, Wigglebutts Uncorked, is P.L.A.Y®, which stands for Pet Lifestyle and You. I oohed and ahhed over their new outdoor dog tent. For folks like me who like to get outdoors with their dog but perhaps are not much into hardcore camping, P.L.A.Y.’s Scout & About Outdoor Tent is a great option to keep dogs out of the elements, protected from rain, and for a dog to just go in and seek shelter from the sun. If you are into camping, it has a fully enclosed floor and compact, collapsible design.
P.L.A.Y.’s Scout & About Toss and Float Toy is designed to be thrown easily through the air for fetch on land or sea. This is a cute toy that is ideal for training, splash games and just plain fun!
Portability of things seemed to be a key theme in this year’s Global Pet Expo. The Sturdi Products SturdiBox™ Foldable 1/2 gallon multipurpose box is one such product that holds water or food for dogs. This is great for taking with you on road trips, popping into your purse, and doesn’t take up much room. I picked one up when I got back from the show for a gift, since I know many dog travelers.
Preventing Boo Boos
When my dog had his leg surgeries to repair his Anterior Cruciate Ligament x2, we used the Cover Me by Tui, which is basically a “onesie” for dogs. I didn’t want to use a cone and the Cover Me protected the surgical site and prevented my dog from biting or licking at it. If your dog has surgery from the neck up or needs something more preventative, this poses a problem. I am not a fan of the “lampshade” E-collars. I know dogs generally find them annoying. Then I saw this cutie:
He is wearing the Comfy Cone from All Four Paws.
Of note is the e-collar design that conforms to doorways so dogs don’t get stuck. It also is water resistant, and there are removable “stays” so that there is more structure when needed. The reflective stripes are good for night walks, too. I know eye surgeries are common in the Cocker Spaniel, and for any dog who has surgery that requires a cone, this cone is pretty darned cool.
Scrubs and Shampoos
A major trend is having spa-like treatments that mirror those of human counterparts. A concern we have is of what ingredients are in dog shampoos, conditioners, and skin treatments. Here are some tips when considering such products:
“When choosing a general shampoo for your pets, it’s important that you select an option that is appropriate for your canine or feline companion over those created for humans,” says Patrick Mahaney, VMD/CVA. “Be especially cautious in choosing a shampoo for your cat, as they are extremely sensitive to the toxic effects of essential oils — tea tree oil, etc.”
Pet shampoos can also have harmful side effects on people. Phytosphingosine is blamed for triggering one woman’s asthma attack, which was so severe the woman died. She was bathing her dog and did not know about the ingredient. The FDA has issued a warning about phytosphingosine on its website.
Synthetic ingredients can irritate and aggravate the skin of dogs with allergies, so avoid anything less than organic. Residue left behind on the skin can also cause itching, even with the safest shampoo.
Keep human shampoos away from dogs, as these contain chemicals that are too harsh for a pooch’s delicate skin. Human shampoos tend to irritate and dry out a dog’s skin.
Like people, dogs have skin types: Normal, dry, and oily. Skin flaking may indicate dry skin, while oily skin will leave a residue-type “sensation” when you run your fingers through a dog’s coat. If neither of these issues is present, then skin is considered normal. A veterinarian can assist in determining skin type.
Avoid harming your dog by asking the groomer what shampoo he or she is using, be sure you know what ingredients it contains, and run it by your dog’s vet for a double check.
Keeping pets safe while outdoors is a theme we saw over and over. Wigglebutts Uncorked sponsor, PoochieBoots™would have fit in nicely at the Global Pet Expo. For most dogs, footwear is a new concept so please be patient while your dog adjusts. Poochieboots are dog boots with red soles and interchangeable straps. You may guffaw at the notion of footwear for dogs, but consider how delicate and sensitive a dog’s paws really are. In fact, CLICK THIS: Treat The Feet and Other Dog Paws Problems
In hot weather, paw pads may be burned by hot pavement. In cold weather, pads can be harmed by frostbite or chemicals tossed on icy roads and sidewalks. Excessive or frequent walking or running can also wear a paw pad down.
PoochieBoots are fashionable and functional.Footwear is a new concept for dogs, so please be patient while your pooch adjusts. Positive reinforcement and treats are highly encouraged! We will be doing a complete post about this in the near future. What we like about these boots is that they address the issue that small dogs have where most boots are just too big and fall off. The size 7 fits the giant Leonberger breed, so all shapes and sizes of dogs are covered.
Dog Food Goes Size Specific
Until recently, most dog foods were geared for puppy, adult, and senior. Some brands have introduced dog food that is applicable for any life stage. A trend we spotted at Global Pet Expo in the dog food realm involves smaller bites for smaller dogs. In other words, smaller bites for tiny mouths. Small breed dogs represent for 47 percent of today’s dog population. We stopped by the Merrick Pet Care booth and discovered a full line of grain-free dry and wet recipes for small breed dogs called Lil’ Plates.
If you are anything like me, the first thing you do when you find a new dog food or dog treat is turn the packaging around to see what’s inside. The actual first several ingredients in the Lil’ Plates Little Lamb Chop Stew include: Deboned Lamb, Lamb Broth, Beef Broth, Beef, Beef Liver, Dried Egg Whites, Sweet Potatoes, and Carrots. It is designed for all life stages.
You can read more about the Merrick Lil’ Plates here.
We are looking paw-ward to seeing the Merrick folks at our upcoming sold-out Wigglebutts Uncorked fundraiser, too, as they are a Platinum Sponsor!
Something for the Dog Parent
We had to stop by Dog is Good, an award-winning lifestyle brand founded by Gila Kurtz. Since this is a health and wellness article, making sure dog moms (and dads) are happy is important, too! The new line from Dog is Good includes the Dog is My Zen collection. Some of the cutest t-shirts, hoodies, wall art, totes, and magnets were on display. Dog is Good is generous in their spirit of giving back, and as a proud sponsor of our fundraiser, I can honestly say that this line embodies the heart of a dog parent.
No health and wellness review would be complete without a peek into the world of dog treats and what’s on the health and wellness horizon. Einstein Pets was in attendance with their one-calorie chia treats. They do not contain chemicals, preservatives, wheat, soy or corn. The chia seeds they use are from an American source, and these powerful little seeds are high in Omega goodness for healthy bones, coat, and teeth. They are also a great source of fiber for healthy digestion. I know this because I feed them to my dog. All guests at our fundraiser will receive a very special treat from Einstein Pets.
….and 5 lucky people will win a swag bag of items from the Wigglebutts Uncorked fundraiser! Stay tuned for that.
Additional OMD (oh my dog) Dog Items Seen at Global Pet Expo
Of course, with a trade show the size of Global, we could not possibly detail every item we saw, so here’s an overview of the items in slideshow format for your viewing pleasure: Just head on over to this link, click, play, and enjoy!:
Of course we can’t go to Global Pet Expo and not bring back something for YOU to win:
We are giving one lucky winner a prize pack consisting of:
Pet Friends “Woof” Keychain and Did You Feed the Dog Dog Feeding Reminder, seen here:
USA only, 18 or older. One email per person. Complete rules here.
CONTEST CLOSED – Sharon Gilbert is the winner!
How to enter? Just put the name of one of your favorite pet products below in the comments. Winner selected April 14th.
Note: We were not compensated for any of this information; we just share things with our readers we feel would be of interest in the dog health and wellness realm.