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Hot Trends in Dog Health and Wellness #GlobalPetExpo

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.

Dog health products

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.

PetSafe ball launcher

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.

Scout & About Outdoor Tent

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!

Scout & About Toss and Float Toy

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.

Sturdi water box

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:

Dog Comfy Cone


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.

muddy dog

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.

Dog Lifestyle

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.

Poochieboots for dogs

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!

Merrick Lil Plates dog food

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.

Dog is Good Dog is My Zen
Me on left with Gila Kurtz

Dog Treats

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.
Einstein Pets dog treats

….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:

enter 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:

dog contest

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.

About Carol Bryant

A dog lover of the highest order is how Gayle King introduced Carol Bryant, when she appeared with her Cocker Spaniel, Dexter, on Oprah Radio’s Gayle King show to dish dogs. Carol created and owns the trademark, My Heart Beats Dog® and lives that mantra. A 30-year veteran of the Cocker Spaniel world, she is President of the Dog Writers Association of America (DWAA) and a frequently sought-after media contributor with over 15 years’ experience writing and blogging about Cocker Spaniels, dog trends, dogs, and the pet industry. She co-authored Pet Blogging for Love & Money and is the 2020 DWAA winner for Best Dog Blog.


    • Carol Bryant says

      Right? I plan to get one for the deck so Dex has his retreat when we are hanging out. Good for sun and bug protection, too!

  1. Robin Rue (@massholemommy) says

    That sounds like a great expo! I have never been to an event like this, but would love to attend one.

  2. Susan A. says

    I wish I could have gone to this show. It would be like Disneyland for me and my dogs. I really like the products you showcased. My Australian Shepherd would love the ball launcher. I’m going to purchase the multipurpose Sturdy box. I’ve not seen one that is foldable and can hold 1/2 gallon. That’s awesome since I have three dogs. Love your product selections. Now I’m going to watch your video.

  3. Nichole says

    I’ve been a huge fan of the Dog is Good brand for many years now.,,, but you did ask for PET product, so… we can never get enough of Lupine for our collars and leashes!

  4. Tonya C says

    What great items! That foldable and portable water bowl is awesome! I’d keep that in my car for sure for just taking my dog to the park.

  5. Joy says

    What a fun event!! I love hearing about all the new great dog and pet products out there 🙂 I love the Einstein Pets One-Calorie Chia Dog Treats. A very healthy and beneficial low calorie treat which would be great for my dogs especially the tiny ones 🙂

  6. Heather lawrence says

    Love the cute little doggy tent! Perfect for some shade in the back yard.
    The ball throwing machine made me laugh…isn’t that supposed to be part of the fun of having a dog?

  7. Christine Aiello says

    Hmm Not sure if you mean favorites out of the products you mentioned or our favorite products in general. Either way I love Einstein Pets and I love Dog is Good products. Coco loves Plato Duck Treats thanks to Dexter. I love Wellness Dog Food because so far it’s been the only dog food couldn’t hasn’t stopped liking LOL! I’ve gone through so many dog foods with her. Coco loves Dogswell Happy Hips Jerky Strips.

  8. Claudia Krusch says

    That sounds like a great expo! I’ve never been to an event like this, but would love to attend it! I’ve never heard of any in my area! Where do I find a list of expos around the country, do you know?

  9. Rosey says

    I laughed at the pretty dog in the water. Many, many years ago we had a Golden Retriever and at 6am every morning, he’d jump in the pool for a swim, like clock work. 🙂

  10. The Swiss Cats says

    Thank you for the tour ! Global Pet expo sounds like a pawsome event ! There are so many great products… Our favorites in your post are the tent and the SturdiBox™ Foldable. Purrs

  11. Lauren Miller (ZoePhee) says

    Global Pet Expo sounds like so much fun! I hope I can go some day! I also agree that doing activities outdoors with our dogs is really beneficial to everyone’s health and happiness! My most favorite times are being out in the woods with just me and the girls!

  12. Sarcastic Dog says

    We are going to NEED three of those Scout & About Outdoor Tents for camping this summer! Love those! Also, like the fashion cone of shame 😉 And, next year, take me with you! Please!! 😉

  13. Sandy Weinstein says

    wow, i dont know if i can pick just one. i love the PoochieBoots for my oldest gal. i have tried many and they never stay on. she needs them to walk on slick floors. i also like the ball throwing machine for my youngest, she would love this. i like the Dog is My Zen collection. for me. so hard to chose one favorite. but i guess the Poochieboots since she really needs them.

  14. Cathy Armato says

    Great roundup Carol, thanks! I could really use that doggy tent to shade my Husky from the Summer sun, she’d love that – brilliant. I’m not surprised that portability is a theme since so many of us have a Don’t Leave Home Without Them mentality these days – my husband & I certainly do! That photo of Dexter w/ muddy paws is priceless!
    Love & Biscuits,
    Dogs Luv Us and We Luv Them

  15. Christine Caplan says

    Oh I hadn’t seen the Dog is my Zen line! I’m glad you included that as I’m such a fan of the brand overall. There are some new products in this post I hadn’t see yet! The Scout and About Outdoor tent is cool too!

  16. Three Chatty Cats says

    The automatic ball launcher looks great. And while I hope to never need a cone again with our dog, if I do, I would look into the Cover Me by Tui onesie instead! Eddie tolerates sweaters much better than cones. So I would imagine a onesie would be much better for him.

  17. Erin | Tossed Cookies says

    Favorite pet product of all? Claw caps (like softpaws). When talking to people about alternatives to declawing a cat, There is nothing better than little rubber nail covers. Most companies sell them in colors!

    We have them on all our cats to keep our furniture from being scratched.

    We put them on the dog to make her toes look pretty.

  18. Talent Hounds says

    It really was an amazing Expo. So many amazing products. Thanks for sharing these. I liked the look of the cone and Kilo is trying Merrick food this month. He is also trying some games and toys etc.

  19. Robin says

    So much fun! It looks like there were a lot of really awesome products there. I have a feeling that Dexter got spoiled after this trip. 🙂 Now I’m interested to find out what the kitty trends were!

  20. Sadie says

    How to choose???? Okay, let’s check with the pack:

    Reese says: P.L.A.Y.’s Scout & About Toss and Float

    Henry says: P.L.A.Y.’s Scout & About Outdoor Tent

    Ricky (ya, he KNOWS he’s a cat but he lives with dogs and will give Reese a run for her treats when it comes to fetch. So, he votes for the PetSafe automatic ball launcher!!!

    Thanks for sharing this fun line up.

  21. Bethany Cook says

    I love the idea of the Sturdi box, I am always taking my dog on daily walk to the park and along the river this would be great to keep in the car so he can have a refreshing drink while we are out.

  22. Carolyn says

    I think the 1 calorie Chia treats would be great. My dog only weighs 10 lbs so I like treats that allow me to give her several without feeling like she has had too many calories (or breaking the treats into pieces getting crumbs everywhere).

  23. Jan Todd says

    SturdiBox™ Foldable 1/2 gallon multipurpose box
    This would be a great thing to keep in my car when I transport rescues. They are in need of a drink on the road.

  24. Sharon Gilbert says

    My favorite pet product is Einstein Pets Treats! Schooner and Skipper love the delicious taste! Low calories. I think they are delicious too! I tried one!

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