We love watching the Shark Tank TV show because they often feature pet products. (The recent Fresh Patch episode was pretty cool!) Earlier this month while visiting the Barkfest at Bonhams charity brunch, one of our favorite sharks, Barbara Corcoran, swam onto the scene to promote one of her doggy product partners, Ryan’s Barkery. We had been watching the humans enjoy bagels and baked goods, so we were ready to try some biscuits! Barbara scurried around the gallery floor with treat samples for all the pups — wow, she had a lot of energy at 10am! The grain-free biscuits come in three flavors and are made in the USA. We are a bit finicky when it comes to biscuits and weren’t tempted to try them. Or maybe we were just trying to trick mom into giving us some of her human food?! Ryan’s Barkery has a Shark Tank sale on their website – 3 bags of biscuits for $24.95 and free shipping.
Finally! It was just announced that Petco will stop selling dog and cat treats made in China by the end of the year. PetSmart followed suit and will stop selling China-made treats by March 2015. But why wait until the end of the year? And who is still buying treats made in China?! We know we aren’t!
Shopping for a pup can be overwhelming. In March we headed to Global Pet Expo and were a bit overwhelmed by all of the companies selling dog food and treats. We are loyal consumers when it comes to our food — Stella & Chewy’s and The Honest Kitchen — but we sure do like variety in our snacks! What’s a pup to do?!
Our friends at Spot Farms sent us a bag of human-grade, natural treats to try, and we are hooked! Below is what we look for in doggy treats — and how Spot Farms measured up to our high standards:
– Made in the USA – The Spot Farms bag even shows the U.S. farm location! The Turkey Bacon that we tried comes from Indiana. We asked Spot Farms about ingredient sources and here is what they told us, “ALL our ingredients listed are made right here in the USA, and are USDA inspected and sourced from trusted farm partners. Further, all of our treats are made here in FDA inspected kitchens that are certified for human food production.”
– Human-grade ingredients – We don’t want any animal byproducts in our food! Spot Farms uses USDA inspected animals.
– All natural – We don’t want to eat artificial preservatives or flavors! And Spot Farms does not use corn, wheat or soy fillers either. Their protein is antibiotic-free and raised on family farms.
– Tastes good – Yummo!!! We also like their variety and ease of use — the treats easily break into smaller pieces.
– Easy to find – Spot Farms treats are sold in Petco, Unleashed by Petco and Wag.com. A 12.5 oz. bag is $15.99 on wag.com.
Our advice to you when you are confronted with 50 different treats — read the label! Let’s demand quality products!
When we were asked to model at this year’s Global Pet Expo in Orlando, Florida we were so excited! Global is the pet industry’s largest annual trade show with 1,000 exhibitors, 4 miles of show floor to walk, and thousands of new products. The American Pet Products Association estimates that overall spending in the pet industry for 2014 could reach over $58 billion!! That sure is a lot of kibble!
Although we’re not professional trend spotters, we did notice several trends that we think will continue to grow. And most of our favorite companies from SuperZoo last summer exhibited at the show, too!
Here’s what we noticed at Global Pet Expo!
Rescue and Giving Back
Adoptable pups, companies that give back, and toys with a mission were all superstars at Global! Adoptable pups were front and center at Global with Florida Little Dog Rescue showing dozens of cuties at the event. DOGSFOOD DOG for DOG took home Best in Show in the dog category in the new product showcase. For every product they sell, they donate to a dog in need. Furry & Fabulous toys donate proceeds to help autism and Alzheimer’s.
Wow! Some very cool pet products in this category! We love iCPooch! It is a video chat system where you can have a 2-way video chat with your pup and deliver dog treat! It retails for $149.99 and is Made in the USA. PetChatz is another “greet and treat” machine that allows you to remotely interact with your pup using a smartphone.The iQ StarWalk attaches to a collar and helps track exercise. It also has a nightlight and syncs with smart phones to track data. Voyce is another wearable technology for dogs. It monitors dog vital signs to help get a complete picture of how your pup is doing. PetAcoustics Pet Tunes was one of the coolest products at the show — a preloaded device with soothing pet music.
We have been attending trade shows for years and have never seen so many products to help keep pups safe while riding in the car. (We think that is great!) We follow the Center for Pet Safety’s reports to see what they recommend. PupSaver, a small dog car safety seat, conducted their own testing and is a great option for dogs under 25 lbs. One caveat — please add a removable cover so we can wash it! 4pets, a Swiss company, had some unique car safety products including a mounted “penthouse system” for small dogs.
Grain-free, Gluten-free, and Natural Foods
We knew once gluten-free foods hit mainstream human foods, the trend would spill over to pet food. Mom still has to sort through all of our food samples and brochures. Our advice — read the label and buy American! Don’t fall for gimmicks . . .
How many beds does a pup need?
Just when we thought we had enough beds, (I think we have 8 in various forms and sizes!) we saw new and different must-have beds at Global. From Alcott doggy sleeping bags, to scented futons, to leather loungers, to Molly Mutt duvets stuffed with mom’s laundry — what will designers think of next to help us get some rest. Don’t they know we sleep in mom’s bed – BOL! Big-name mattress brands like Sealy have doggy beds, too!
Calming, Health, and Comfort Products
We modeled the new BH Pet Gear CalmCoat and we think it works! The soft coat gives us a hug and makes us feel safe. ZenPet has several calming products including a spray made from essential oils. We love the idea of Earth’s Balance Pill Paste to hide the bitter taste of pills! The Green Pet Shop had cool pet pads that we must get for this summer!
We loved all of the interactive toys and games – our favorite trend!
We were so excited to attend the Re-tails & Sales Pet Expo yesterday at Honda of Manhattan on the west side. The snow and rain were not going to keep us away from the 20 companies who came out to showcase their American crafted and sourced products. Is the “Made in America” seal important to dog owners and lovers?! We think so!! Especially when it comes to food, health products, and toys! We were thrilled to see the variety and quality of companies presenting at the event and will even add a few of the products to our routines. We also learned there is actually a kale treat for pups! And a doggy PetPlus prescription program! Who knew?!
Four made in the USA pet products we will be adding to our daily routine: Pet Portables small first aid kit handy ego carrier, Primal Pet Foods freeze-dried dinners, Dr. Emmo’s Ear Rinse, and Bessie Barnie reflective harnesses. Mom was also very interested in the escape-proof Harness Lead, but it is made for larger pups (14 lbs and up).
Three made in the USA products we would like to try: Fresh and Fluffy dry shampoo – it actually comes in a powdered form, Groovy Gravy flavor boost, and Earth Animal oral hygiene products. Their natural flea and tick treatments look interesting, too!
Sponsored by Long Island Pet Professionals, Whitegate PR, and Pet Age, the event featured made-in-America products that are must-haves for every pet household. We can’t wait to try some of the samples we received and let you know how they work!
If Life is Grruff is in the hood, the room will smell delish!! They are huge supporters of animal rescue and events and we love their all-natural treats! Small pups can be finicky eaters and we give them a paws ups! They had a large display of yummy treats! Every doggy store should have some pretty, tasty, and natural treats for pups!
Yes, mom will make us both a plate of food on Thanksgiving! We do eat dog food every day (Stella & Chewy’s!) . . . but we also get “human” food. It’s easy to safely feed your pup from the Thanksgiving feast. (Dogs should NOT eat these foods.) Here’s how we’ll do it:
We will eat some turkey meat.
We will NOT eat bones or skin.
We will eat some plain mashed potatoes.
We will NOT eat candied yams with loads of sugar.
We will NOT eat stuffing with onions.
We will eat plain non-fat yogurt with veggies on the side.
We will NOT eat onion dip.
We will eat sliced apples.
We will NOT eat pumpkin pie.
We will NOT eat any chocolate desserts.
We will drink some Honest Kitchen Pro Bloom goat milk.
We will NOT drink any alcohol.
We will also have green beans, a small bit of corn, and some kale. Oh, and some rice, too.
You know what?! If mom also ate what we are eating she would probably lose some weight – BOL!!
Can’t wait for Thanksgiving!