2015 Editors' Choice Awards
This year's winners include the most innovative and exciting must-have products for pets.
BLUE-9 PET PRODUCTS has hit all the marks with The Klimb. The easy-to-assemble dog-training platform can be secured to additional platforms to create more training space, and its rubberized surface prevents the dog from sliding. With positive attention and rewards, owners can teach their dogs that The Klimb is “their place” on which good things happen, and because it’s so lightweight, owners can take their dog’s place just about anywhere.
Food-throwing birds might have just met their match. CAITEC'S Awesome Parrot Café saves food—and therefore money—and keeps cages clean. The sturdy polycarbonate plastic means parrots can’t destroy it, and the product is dishwasher safe for easy cleanup. It can be mounted on the inside or outside of the cage.
CLEAR CONSCIENCE PET'S Clean Label Line is designed to cut through the natural labeling clutter and deliver pure, pronounceable and purposeful ingredients in its treats. The company promises that unadulterated and minimally processed whole food ingredients supply all the nutrients in its products. The best part is that our tester dogs couldn’t even tell they were getting health food—they gobbled up the line’s Beef Trachey Chewz, Sliders Stikz, Lamb Airy Bites and more with delight.
HYPER PET, a division of Rose America, makes playtime special for puppies and small dogs with its Lil’ Barks collection. The line, made with teething puppies and petite power-chewers in mind, comes in a range of designs, from cute plush characters to soft-rubber-and-rope toys. Our three Chihuahua-terrier mix testers, who are always looking for something to get in to, spent hours fighting over these toys and were unable to destroy them.
NATURE’S LOGIC’S Feline Turkey Meal Feast and Feline Sardine Meal Feast are made with whole foods and do not contain synthetic vitamins, synthetic minerals or synthetic amino acids such as taurine. These natural foods are highly palatable, and even our pickier cats dug in.
HEALTHY PET'S Ökocat Soft Step, made from lightweight, fine wood granules, is a natural cat litter that truly delivers on its odor-fighting promise. This is a great transition litter for cat owners reluctant to part with clay—once they scoop that first box and don’t get a cloud of dust in their face, they’ll be hooked.
Hunting season is here with MARSHALL PET PRODUCTS’ Bear Rug for Small Animals, a cozy haven where ferrets and other small mammals can nap or play a game of hide-and-seek. The fleece retains its softness even after washing.
The Pollen Ball Jumbo from GREENFEATHER BIRD SUPPLY is just what our senior rat needed. Mr. Rat perked right up as soon as he saw the 4-in. willow ball stuffed with a natural wood clothespin, nubbies, a mini pinecone, dried greens, organic apple sticks and timothy hay. The toy can be used for chew and play fun with larger critters too, such as chinchillas, guinea pigs and rabbits.
HAVEPAWS' Cheeky Chicken Jerky Chips, offered in 2-oz. and 4-oz. bags, were not turned down by a single one of our samplers. These treats come in thin, chip-able sheets that can be broken into pieces appropriate for pets large or small. They are made and sourced in the USA from chicken and little else. Jerky Chips have separate packaging for dogs and cats, making these treats an easy sell to both dog and cat owners.
HUGGLEHOUNDS, a division of Allure Pet Products, has created a beautiful, fun line of bedding and toys with its Tuffut Luxx collection. The coordinating dog beds, crate mats and toys feature durable ripstop quilting with lush color combinations, and the toys, available in adorable raccoon, squirrel and beaver characters, will make pet owners want to buy the whole set.
LIFEGARD AQUATICS' LED Aquarium Lights are sleek, compact, very bright and exceptionally cool. The quality and amount of light they give off is fantastic, and they are easy to operate. We’ll never go back to our old fluorescents. The line includes Marine LED High Output Blue/White Ultra Slim, Freshwater LED Blue/White Ultra Slim and Plant LED Red/White Ultra Slim models.
NOOTIE'S Mauri pet food features exotic proteins from New Zealand with flavors such as Grass Fed Lamb Entrée With Fresh Apples and Grass Fed Goat Entrée With Fresh Pumpkin for dogs and New Zealand Venison Entrée and New Zealand Hoki Entrée for cats—exciting alternatives to a pet’s ordinary diet. The high-protein canned foods are gluten and grain free.
NEKOCHAN ENTERPRISES’ Telescoping Rod and Birbug let pet owners fish for fun with their cat. The rod can be extended to 32 in. or retracted to 18 in., and the large, jewel-colored Birbug entices cats with its movement—owners can send it gliding through the air or twitching across the floor.
OOBOO DESIGNS’ Pet Haven—Indoor Folding Dog/Cat House offers dogs and cats the perfect portable hideaway. The house is easy to put together and comes with a memory foam pillow and a travel case that makes it simple to transport. The cozy den even has attic space for stashing a pet’s favorite toys.
PETPALS GROUP'S Cupola-PP4232 offers a cozy spot for cats to sleep that pet owners will be happy to have in their home. With its neutral color, the cat house, made from woven water hyacinth, looks good just about anywhere. It has a plush top and soft inner pillow, so cats can pick their favorite perch.
The Sadie’s 8 in 1 Security Leash from SADIE'S PET PRODUCTS is one of the most innovative leashes we’ve seen. It has eight individual grip points stitched into the leash, which allows the user to effortlessly change grip positions, making it easy to control the dog. In fact, the leash is so comfortable to use that it had our tester and her dad fighting over who got to keep it.
ROLF C. HAGEN'S Exo Terra Habisphere is well built, sleek and streamlined. It has integrated lighting, and the rounded edges make for ideal viewing. A natural photographic background is included, but the double background panel lets owners change the background image with their own pictures or with designs available for download from the company’s website.
WORLDWISE'S Petlinks Roaming Runner is a surprisingly simple electronic toy that moves around on vibrating bristles, eliminating the need for wheels and axles that can break or jam with hair and debris. The toy jitters around at just the right speed to encourage cats to pounce. For added fun—and to incite a round of bunny kicking—we suggest placing a sheet of tissue paper over the toy while it moves.
Our cats eagerly dug in to ULTRA PET'S Ultra Clump Cat Litter, which is made from very small crystals of silica gel that are soft on cats’ paws. It forms firm clumps that allow for the easy removal of urine and feces, keeping the rest of the litterbox fresh.
SEACHEM LABORATORIES’ Aquavitro aquarium tools do their jobs flawlessly. There are twelve different Aquavitro tools that consist of different types of forceps and shears, a soil spade and a coral cutter. These products are useful in other applications as well, but when it comes to planted tanks or reef aquariums, any hobbyist will want to have a quality set of tools like these.
VEE ENTERPRISES’ PURRfect Go-Fur-Curly Cat Toy is no lightweight in the world of wand toys. The 32-in. wand has a spring coil that allows for an 8-ft. stretch. With its colorful, curly end, the wand toy bounces up and down easily, enticing cats to play. Even after being played with for days—and drug around in the middle of the night—the toy showed no signs of wear and tear.
ANGEL PET SUPPLIES' Elite Collection combines high-quality materials with intricately detailed handmade designs for collars that are works of art. The unique collection, made of 100 percent top grain Argentinean cowhide with supersoft leather padded backings, is fitted with stainless steel and brass hardware and offers buck-stitching, two-tone finishes, basket tooling, rawhide weaving, original inlay work, metal sunspots
and hair-on leather.
BOBBI PANTER PET PRODUCTS’ Refreshing Dog Shampoo combines the fresh, natural and relaxing scents of mint and eucalyptus oils to deliver a spalike bath time experience. This hydrating, soothing blend doesn’t just cleanse fur and work to solve dry, irritated skin issues—its lasting fragrance makes close bonding time that much better for longer. It is salt and tear free, concentrated for two times more washes per bottle, available in a 14-oz. bottle and gallon sizes, and made and sourced in the USA.
DOG IN THE CLOSET'S handmade Leather Dog Collars, Harnesses & Leashes with interchangeable and oh-so-artful leather attachments offer the perfect blend of style and function. Change up the attachments to reflect any mood or whimsy with flowers, butterflies and monkeys in shades of pink, shades of green and multicolor pink. The harnesses are available in sizes XXS to M; collars are available in 10- to 24-in. sizes; leashes are 48 in. long and available in various widths.
HIKARI SALES USA'S dual-purpose coral food, Coralific Delite, is a unique, miniature pellet that can be used as a broadcast food or as a target food by soaking it in aquarium water. The amount of time the pellet soaks impacts its thickness and ability to stick, allowing fishkeepers to easily place it where it’s needed.
ARK NATURALS' Gray Muzzle No Shampoo! Shampoo! waterless, foaming and rinseless formula for senior dogs and cats (or any pet with grooming difficulties) easily transforms older pets from stinky to scrumptious without the stress of a tricky bath time routine. Owners can gently massage the nonsticky No Shampoo! Shampoo! into their pet’s coat without having to brush or towel dry. Made in the USA with natural botanicals; available in an 18-oz. pump bottle.
Using all-natural ingredients, including organic, fair-trade shea butter, Earthbath Shed Control Shampoo and Shed Control Conditioner from EARTHWHILE ENDEAVORS nourish and detoxify skin, rejuvenate coats, and control excess shedding, dander and associated allergens. The pH-balanced and soap-free formula also contains green tea leaf extract, ginseng, omega-6 fatty acids, awapuhi and other natural humectants and emollients.
Owners won’t have to ask dogs twice to fetch Look Who’s Happy Fetch’n Fillets from BIG CREEK FOODS. These USA-made, whole-muscle jerky treats deliver a savory flavor with naturally raised beef, cage-free chicken or grass-fed bison all sourced in the USA (grass-fed venison is sourced from New Zealand). The treats contain no byproducts, added hormones, artificial preservatives, flavors, colors, grain or gluten.
CENTRAL GARDEN & PET'S Aqueon JukeBox 5 Aquarium Kit delivers a new light, sound and sight experience that combines the beauty of fishkeeping with music. The 5-gal. glass tank is accompanied by two LED speakers that, when connected to an MP3, smartphone or other music-playing device, showcase a dynamic multicolored light display that pulses to the beat.
EVANGER'S DOG & CAT FOOD'S Hand Packed Foods for Dogs delivers meat. Whole chunks, parts and muscle meats, in fact, including Hunk of Beef, a whole, restaurant-quality steak cooked in its own juices. The made-in-the-USA, grain-free Hand Packed line also includes Whole Uncut Sardines, Braised Beef Chunks, Whole Chicken Thighs, Chunky Chicken Casserole and Roasted Whole Chicken Drummets.
FLEXI'S Giant L neon yellow retractable leash extends up to 26 ft. to allow dogs that weigh up to 110 lb. more freedom during walks while owners still maintain control. The protective housing features a soft-grip handle for added comfort and a two-button lock and release for easy operation with a single hand. The lead also includes a 17-in. safety collar and metal swivel clip for easy collar attachment.
HALO, PURELY FOR PETS' grain-free Vigor Dry Food for Cats in Chicken, Turkey & Whitefish and Lamb, Turkey & Venison offers high-quality, whole-animal proteins, complex (low glycemic) carbohydrates, coconut oil and legumes as well as natural plant enzymes for digestive health and nutrient absorption, and contains no artificial colors, flavors, preservatives, chicken meal, rendered meats or byproduct meals.
Traveling with dogs has never been so comfy or convenient. KURGO PRODUCTS’ Loft Wander Dog Bed is a stylish, high-quality and compact travel dog bed complete with travel-friendly features, including a nonslip, waterproof Rufftex bottom and a plush fleece top for comfort. This go-anywhere bed rolls up like a sleeping bag in seconds and is easy to tote with a built-in handle.
MIRACLECORP'S Stewart Fresh to Home Freeze Dried Patties offer an easy way to feed dogs a raw diet. Produced in the USA and prepared with fresh, human-grade ingredients, including single-source protein, fruits, vegetables and other natural ingredients, the patties are freeze dried to retain natural vitamins, minerals and amino acids. Grain, gluten and byproduct free and cold-process pasteurized, the antioxidant-rich patties come in three sizes for small, medium or large dogs and are available in Beef and Chicken recipes.
JOHN PAUL PET'S 8 oz. Oatmeal Shampoo and 8 oz. Oatmeal Conditioning Rinse add luxury, moisture and a rich yet natural scent at bath time. Aloe, chamomile and hydrolyzed oat protein cleanse sensitive skin without irritation, and sweet almond oil conditions and adds a delightful fragrance. Oatmeal, chamomile and vitamin E soothe, protect and moisturize, enhance the overall manageability and help free difficult tangles.
METRO PAWS’ Poopcase is a compostable, made-in-the-USA poop bag holder that is easy to clean, durable, eco-friendly and an upgrade in the quality and look of poop bag holders. Available in gray, white, orange, brown, purple, yellow, pink and black, Poopcase fits most standard poop bag rolls and comes pre-filled with a roll of 20 designer Poopy Packs poop bags and a convenient metal carabiner for leash-ready adventures.
Playtime can go on and on and on thanks to QUAKER PET GROUP'S goDog Shellz plush toys made especially for extra-large breeds. Shellz feature clams and shrimp in fun neon colors and are sized for large and powerful jaws. Each toy comes with Quaker Pet Group’s proprietary Chew Guard Technology, manufactured with a durable mesh lining and double-stitched seams built for tough play.
New grain-free Merrick Backcountry from MERRICK PET CARE offers such exotic proteins as rabbit, venison, quail and lamb. Dry formulas include freeze-dried raw protein pieces and come in Great Plains Red Recipe, Game Bird Recipe, Pacific Catch Recipe and Puppy Recipe. Stews are available in Hearty Beef Stew, Hearty Chicken Thigh Stew, Hearty Duck and Venison Stew, Hearty Salmon Stew and Alpine Rabbit Stew. Two protein-rich, grain-free loaf recipes include 96% Real Beef Recipe and 96% Real Chicken Recipe.
NATURAL BALANCE PET FOODS’ Wild Pursuit Lamb Lung Bites Dog Treats and Venison Lung Bites Dog Treats are the stuff of dogs’ dreams. These high-protein, grain- and gluten-free treats contain less than 8 calories per piece, contain no artificial colors, flavors or preservatives, and are made only from 100 percent New Zealand dehydrated lamb or venison lung.
RUFFWEAR'S Powder Hound hybrid jacket combines the warmth of synthetic insulation with a breathable stretch fabric for range of motion. The sleeved jacket provides full coverage yet offers a flexible fit with an easy-zip closure and features reflective trim and a light loop for low-light visibility. A bold statement coat available in red currant, larkspur purple and baja blue, this weather-resistant and packable jacket is perfect for romps in the snow.
SOJO’S new Sojos Wild high-protein, ultrapremium raw, shelf-stable dog food offers freeze-dried free-range venison, wild boar or wild-caught salmon as the No. 1 ingredient. Free-range venison—low in fat, calories and cholesterol—is rich in protein and flavor; wild boar—leaner than beef—is more flavorful than pork; wild-caught salmon is packed with omega 3s and essential amino acids. Made without grain, genetically engineered ingredients, or added sugar or salt, the gently freeze-dried meat and fish are paired with a blend of human-grade veggies and fruits.
Meal Mixers from STELLA & CHEWY'S are an easy and convenient option for consumers to introduce raw food nutrition to their pets. Varieties include Stella’s Super Beef, Chewy’s Chicken, Tantalizing Turkey and Savory Salmon & Cod. It can be fed as a mixer with a kibble/dry food or used as a 100 percent complete and balanced dinner. Available in 3.5-, 9- and 18-oz. package sizes.