Editors' Choice Awards
For the editors of Pet Product News (PPN), the Editors’ Choice Awards are a time-honored tradition. Each year, manufacturers submit their latest and greatest products for review, and we get to see what exciting new products they’ve been working on.
The pet industry seems to be constantly evolving, expanding and going to greater lengths to provide the very best products for the pets in our care—and it shows during the Editors’ Choice Awards.
In 2019, we selected the finalists for the Editors’ Choice Awards, and, this month, we’re proud to present the very top products from that field of finalists, products that have earned an Editors’ Choice Award. In the following pages, you’ll see products designed to bring pets better health, more exciting play sessions, mealtime thrills or perhaps just some really great naps.
We hope you find products that will make the perfect additions to your store shelves—and remind your shoppers why independent pet supply retailers really are the very best place to find products to make pets happier and healthier, all while building on that special bond between pet and owner.
And to the winners, finalists and everyone who submitted their products to our annual Editors’ Choice Awards, we would like to say thank you for sharing your ingenuity and inspiration with us, and for making the pet industry an exciting place to be!
Stella & Chewy’s presents Stella Solutions. The complete and balanced dinner morsels provide an efficacious boost to help proactively support pet health. The line consists of four formulas: Digestive Boost, Hip & Joint Boost, Immune Boost and Skin & Coat Boost. The grain-free, freeze-dried product lineup includes purposeful ingredients at meaningful levels that allow diets to safely and effectively provide health support.
2 Hounds Design presents its Reflective Freedom No-Pull Harness. The double-connection harness makes walking easier for dogs and their owners. A Swiss velvet lining prevents rubbing and chaffing sores behind the front legs, and the construction and adjustability allow the harness to fit any body shape or type; it sits high on the chest but below the trachea. A double leash is included.
Gott Pet Products presents Charlee Bear Grain Free Meaty Bites. The raw, freeze-dried meat treats are infused with superfoods that are actually visible in every piece. Each treat starts with a select cut of raw meat, poultry or fish. Instead of being cooked, the treats are simply blended with a raw fruit or vegetable, plus added probiotics, and freeze-dried to perfection. Made in the U.S. by a family-owned company, these natural treats do not contain any wheat, soy or corn, or artificial colors, flavors or preservatives. Flavors include Beef Liver & Apples, Beef Liver & Sweet Potatoes, Chicken & Blueberries, Chicken & Cranberries, Lamb & Blueberries and Salmon & Sweet Potatoes.
Fromm Family Foods presents Fromm Crunchy Os. Each treat recipe features a blend of premium ingredients including meats or cheese, fruits and vegetables with an airy texture that delivers a truly unique and audibly entertaining crunch. The “magic” of Fromm Crunchy Os comes from a unique manufacturing process designed to “puff up” treats to create a loud crunch when eaten. Special care and handling go into the time-intensive process to create consistent taste and crunch every time. Flavors include Blueberry Blasts, Smokin’ Cheese Plosions and Pumpkin Kran Pow.
Midwestern Pet Foods’ Wholesomes Jerky Treats consists of grain-free, gluten-free, propylene glycol-free recipes. The treats feature the finest farmland proteins, vegetables and fruits. Perfect for training or as a rewarding treat, these moist treats are packaged in 25-oz. resealable pouches.
Fluff & Tuff’s Olympia Octopus is an ultra-plush, durable dog toy featuring the company’s signature Tuffweb mesh liner and double-stitched seams. Part of the Swimmers & Splashers assortment, Olympia Octopus features the detailed design work the company is known for. The toy has a maroon plush exterior with textured light-pink arms and a friendly smile. The toy’s medium size makes it a good option for most dogs.
Sure Petcare’s Animo Pet Behavior Tracker is a lifelong activity and behavior monitor that learns and accurately interprets the unique behavior and activity patterns of a dog. It delivers insights into a dog’s activity and sleep as well as problem behaviors such as shaking, scratching and barking. These insights help owners to understand the changing needs of their pet over its lifetime, enabling them to provide proactive and personalized pet care. Worn on a dog’s collar, Animo comes with three attachment bands in different sizes, making it suitable for dogs of all sizes. Weighing just 22g, the product is lightweight, comfortable and waterproof.
P.L.A.Y. (Pet Lifestyle And You)’s Willow’s Mythical Plush Toy Collection features enchanting creatures. Dogs will go crazy when Darby the Dragon turns up the heat with crinkly wings and a giggle stick feature. Eunice the Unicorn features a crunchy recycled water bottle inside for dogs that prefer chewing on their toys. For bigger dogs, Bettie the Yeti has an oversized squeaker in the body, squeakers in the feet and crinkly arms. The line also includes Jasper the Jackalope and Ned the Gnome. All the toys are 100 percent machine washable and feature eco-friendly stuffing and azo-free dyes.
K9 Granola Factory presents its Single Meat Protein Dehydrated Meat Treats. Using a single meat protein was important in the creation of the meat treat recipes because this is a guarantee that the meat treats are not protein blended, or subjected to animal byproducts or nutritionally void fillers of any kind, the company reports. The unique consistency of the USA handcrafted dehydrated treats makes them easy to share. The added bonus of absolutely no crumbling and high palatability makes them perfect for training and reward.
SodaPup presents the Industrial Dog Pipe Wrench & Saw Blade Nylon Toys. The Pipe Wrench is ideal for dogs that like to hold their toys between their paws while chewing, while the circular Saw Blade features nine teeth that dogs will love to chew. The toys are made in the USA, and their proprietary nylon material is FDA compliant and ultra durable.
Ruffwear’s Restcycle Bed features a baffled design and is filled with Restcycle foam, made from repurposed, post-manufacturing closed-cell foam. Restcycle foam retains its shape and remains dry and odor free. The removable, machine-washable cover is made with recycled materials. The recycled microsuede sleeping surface is soft and long-wearing, with a built-in pillow topper stuffed with recycled 300g polyester insulation that provides plush comfort. The bed features an integrated handle for easy transport and a waterproof 600D TPD-coated recycled polyester base.
Pet Releaf’s Boom Bars are hemp protein supplement bars for dogs. Each ingredient included in each of the three flavors was specifically chosen based on its key health benefits. Energize is used pre-long form exercise such as a long walk or hike. Recovery is the ultimate reward for a hardworking dog after a day full of exercise, and great for a day post dog day care. Longevity is specifically crafted with senior dogs in mind as it promotes healthy pet aging, the company states. The bars are human grade, meaning pets can share them with their owners.
Evanger’s Food for Dogs & Cats presents Game Bird Recipe Dry Food with Coconut Oil for Dogs. The added coconut oil aids in digestive, skin and coat health, and the game bird recipe appeals to those dogs with chicken allergies or other intolerances. The hypoallergenic formula contains Actigen prebiotics, Alltech probiotics and chelated minerals. It contains no peas, chicken or flaxseed. The food contains kale and taurine as well as turmeric, which aids in liver function and digestion and acts as an anti-inflammatory, the company states. The food is made in the USA.
Kurgo’s the RSG with MOLLE Gear and Patches is a line of functional, customizable and modular product variations. The RSG is available in two harness styles, County Harness and Townie Harness, that have been innovated using years of tactical, field-tested engineering. Both have rows of heavy-duty nylon webbing for secure attachment of all the company’s Modular Lightweight Load-Carrying Equipment (MOLLE) accessories, which include a variety of packs, and hydration and food storage solutions as well as a first aid kit.
Pure and Natural Pet’s Sweet Orange and Coconut Shed Control Shampoo reduces excess shedding, dander and allergens. The shampoo is made with sweet orange, coconut oil and omega-3 fatty acids to moisturize, soothe, improve skin, and add shine and long-lasting manageability. It is safe and gentle on a dog’s coat and will not affect flea and tick treatments, the company states. The shampoo is paraben free, sulfate free and formaldehyde free. It is made in the USA with certified organic oils and contains no synthetic dyes.
Kitty Cardboard’s Designer Boxes for Cats are made from the highest-quality eco- and pet-friendly materials. They add a modern touch to the home and fulfill all of a cat’s needs. They are ideal for napping, hiding and playing. They help cats relieve stress and adapt to new environments. The boxes make for great photo opportunities as well. The boxes fit small and medium-sized cats up to 20 lb. Dimensions are 14 in. by 14 in. by 14 in. The boxes are very sturdy and easy to assemble.
Dr. Elsey’s Cat Products presents Cleanprotein pâté in Single Source Animal Protein Duck, Rabbit & Turkey, Single Source Animal Protein Salmon, Duck & Turkey and Single Source Animal Protein Pork. The foods are inspired by the protein levels found in cats’ natural prey. The veterinarian-formulated wet food incorporates high-quality animal-based proteins or fish as the primary ingredients. The foods are made for all cats and life stages. They are grain free and contain no byproducts, fillers, artificial flavors, colors or artificial preservatives.
Ziwi offers Ziwi Peak Mackerel and Hoki recipes. The Mackerel recipe is made from sustainable blue mackerel that are wild-caught and found in abundance in the remote ocean waters surrounding New Zealand’s North Island. A dark and oily fish, blue mackerel are loaded with omega 3, which is essential for the skin and coat. The Hoki recipe features one of New Zealand’s most sustainable fish. Fished from New Zealand’s Cook Strait and Chatham Rise, Ziwi’s hoki fish are certified by the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) as a sustainable fish. Both recipes feature 92 percent fish, organs, bone and whole New Zealand green mussel, with essential vitamins and minerals to ensure they are complete and balanced for all life stages.
Distinctly Himalayan presents the Dharma Dog Karma Cat Cactus Wool Bed. The bed is made with a unique blend of wools and is rich in lanolin, which reminds cats of their mother’s scent and helps condition paws and keep fur healthy. The wool is sustainably processed with just wool, water and soap, using a low-impact dying process that uses less energy and produces less waste byproduct.
Emerald Pet Products’ Wholly Fish! Chicken-Free Feline Treats and Wholly Fish! Chicken-Free + Digestive Health Treats are made using only real salmon or tuna and natural poultry-free ingredients. They are crafted specifically to be free of chicken and poultry for those cats looking for a pure, premium crunchy fish option. The first ingredient is real salmon or real tuna with no fishmeal. The treats are available in limited-ingredient recipes in Salmon or Tuna, and also available in those flavors in Feline Wholly Fish! + Digestive Health formulas, which contain natural ginger root and turmeric to help support digestion and reduce inflammation. The treats are grain, gluten, soy and dairy free.
Moderna presents the Top Cat litterbox. The seamless high sides prevent leaks, making the product ideal for cats that spray. Convenient side handles allow for easy lifting and, when the user tilts the lid, the remaining litter on the lid goes straight back into the tray. The built-in tracking mat on the lid helps to keep the floor clean and features clips that secure a liner bag when used. The litterbox’s design keeps dogs and toddlers out. The product is made from BPA free, premium, durable plastic that is nontoxic.
Primetime Petz presents the Hauspanther Cat Toy Collection. These cat toys are as satisfying for cats as they are for people. Each toy encourages a different kind of play behavior, from stalking and pouncing to chasing and tossing, keeping cats active and entertained. Abstract shapes, unique textures and sophisticated colors make the toys look like modern art on the living room floor.
DOG & CAT
Pawsitively Approved by JSG Oceana’s glass pet dishes are designed and manufactured in the USA and are of the highest quality. They are made of nonporous, nonleaching, 100 percent nontoxic “Hard Roc” borosilicate glass. The dishes are extremely durable, shatterproof, and resistant to scratches, stains, and thermal shock (heat). They can also be placed in the microwave and are weighted so they are spill proof, helping to prevent messes from occurring. The easy-to-clean dishes are available in three sizes (small: 5.5 in. by 2 in., medium: 7.5 in. by 2.5 in. and large: 9.5 in. by 3.5 in.). They come in a wide variety of colors and can be customized with etching.
Nulo’s Freestyle Bone Broths stand out in the marketplace because they are packaged as single-serve, tear-and-pour broths that do not require refrigeration or freezing at the retail level. The broths are made through an exclusive partnership in Washington state with one of the country’s leading premium human broth kitchens, the company reports. Adding broth to a pet’s diet can both soften the kibble and change the texture while providing for increased moisture consumption for both cats and dogs. The broths are available in Organic Chicken, Wild-Caught Salmon and Grass-Fed Beef.
AQUATICS & EXOTICS
ONEdersave Products’ EcoBio-Stone Nano uses unique beneficial bacteria spore colonies in volcanic rock to speed up the nitrogen cycle and keep aquarium water clear and clean, just as in nature. The perfect size for a betta tank, the product treats from 0.8 to 1.5 gal. EcoBio-Stone Nano 2-pack will treat from 1.5 to 3 gal. of water. The product works in both freshwater and saltwater tanks for about one year. It eliminates odor and reduces the need for maintenance by frequently replenishing beneficial bacteria, which breaks down organic waste into safer byproducts.
Hikari Sales USA presents Hikari Herptile, a line of food products for lizards and other reptiles. Hikari Herptile features supplement-rich, scientifically formulated and lab-verified nutrient blends. Developed for leopard geckos and other insect-eating lizards, LeopaGel offers an appealing live food-like texture. Ideal for the crested gecko and other fruit and insect-eating lizards, CrestGel also has a natural food-like texture that lizards will happily attack. DragonGel boasts a natural food-like texture and is perfect for bearded dragons and other vegetable-eating lizards. Dragon Delite is a scientifically balanced nutrient mix ideal for adult bearded dragons over 8 in. as well as other vegetable and insect-eating lizards with larger appetites. Lizards will love the pellets’ texture, which is akin to live food.
Vitakraft Sun Seed presents Sunseed Crazy Good Cookin’ Kung Fu-licious and Cajun Bean & Corn. The cookable treats for pet birds are designed to be a special treat served in addition to a bird’s regular diet. They offer owners a convenient way to bond with their pet birds. Kung Fu-licious is a blend of rice noodles, green peas, sweet potato, carrots, papaya and pumpkin seed. Cajun Bean & Corn features hearty beans and corn mixed with peas, barley, lentil seeds and dried rose hips.
Central Garden & Pet presents the Kaytee CritterTrail Super Habitat, a habitat for larger breeds of hamsters or gerbils. It offers 540 sq. in. of living space, and the large top-access door allows both hands to enter the habitat to ensure safe removal of pets. Small pets can reach the second-level Comfort Shelf using a safety ramp. The second level features a Port Door to connect additional CritterTrail habitats or accessories.
Ware Pet Products presents the Slanted Coop. A contemporary take on coop keeping, the design blends function and style for any yard. It features nesting boxes and multiple access points for ease of use. The product is easy to assemble with a screwdriver or power drill.
Higgins Premium Pet Foods’ inTune Complete & Balanced Grain Free Diet for Ferrets does not contain artificial preservatives, flavors or colors. It is grain and gluten free and specially formulated for a ferret’s nutritional needs with 40 percent protein and 20 percent fat. The diet relies on quality sources for protein, such as turkey meal and chicken meal, as well as wild-caught, sustainable Alaskan pollock, which is rich in omega-3 fatty acids. The food is also enriched with omega-6 fatty acids as well as vitamin E to support immunity and promote healthy, shiny coats. Calcium and phosphorus are balanced to support the growth and maintenance of strong teeth and bones. In addition, natural beet fiber and protected probiotics are added to support digestion, immunity and overall health.