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Editor's Choice Awards 2007

Not Just Fish
AquaTerra Naturalistic 3-D Backgrounds, for aquariums, terarriums and vivariums, are designed to look like realistic models of nature. And they do! Made from industrial-grade foam, they can be submersed in water and trimmed to size. And all are animal-safe, according to the company. Whether it’s a rainforest, canyon rock, Amazon tree or desert tree, each background brings an otherwise plain enclosure to life. Pictures just don’t do them justice.

(310) 674-3474

Aspen Pet Products Inc.
The Reef, inspired by the art of Christian Riese Lassen, is an aquarium-décor line that includes a movable magnifying glass that attaches to the front of the aquarium to give fish owners a close-up experience, as well as a sound module that adds the sounds of crashing waves and seagulls. The line also features figurines, tank decals, 3-D backgrounds and sculptures. Our tester, who has a 10-gallon aquarium, says the vibrant-colored products are a hit with her son, who especially likes the turtle figurine that looks like it’s swimming through the tank’s glass wall. “He was very amused,” she says. As for us, we’re keen on the three-dimensional, underwater feel, which is especially apparent when all the products are used together.

(800) 289-4738

Aquavista Inc.

The Aquavista 100, designed to look like a flat-screen LCD monitor, is a 2.4-gallon tabletop aquarium. Our tester, who has never even owned a goldfish, raved about its low-maintenance design. “It’s compact and easy to set up,” she says. “And you don't have to buy a bunch of intimidating components that can overwhelm an aquarium.” It comes preassembled with overhead LED lighting, a wet-dry biological filtration system, a heater, an air pump, a submersible 3D background, an interchangeable picture frame and an aquarium stand. Can it get any easier?

Radio Systems Corp.
The PetSafe Electronic SmartDoor is designed to allow pets to come and go as they please without letting other animals into the house. When set to automatic mode, only pets wearing the SmartKey can pass through. After the pet passes though, the door locks automatically. Our tester, who doesn’t have the heart to turn her back to a stray, is relieved to have found a way to keep her indoor cat population to five. “Every cat we own was once a stray,” she says. “We used to just leave the patio door open so the cats could come and go, but two would leave and four would come back. I’m thrilled to not be feeding the neighborhood anymore.” The nifty thing about this door is that the range is adjustable up to 3 feet, which means that a pet headed toward the door in a hurry can just run right in without having to approach, stop and wait for it to open. Brilliant!

PetEdge Dealer Services
The Puppy Builders Pull ’N Play Puppy Gym, which comes in a handled vinyl bag for storage, is designed to boost muscles, sharpen senses and improve reasoning processes. Featuring a soft playmat and a plush, criss-crossing canopy, it includes bungee attachments in a variety of shapes and textures. Our tester, who has a 1-year-old Yorkie and Maltese mix with “the attention span of a goldfish,” raved about its interactive delights. “Jersey goes crazy over it and bounces around playing with the hanging toys and chewing on them,” she says. “He likes to play fetch with the toys since they’re removable, and he likes to rest on the mat, too. Even our cat pokes it with his paw or nose once in a while.” We think the crinkling noises and the hidden squeaky spots are very fun, and we approve of the materials, which appear to be very puppy-safe.

(888) 876-2567

PF Bofabs LLCs

Chillybuddy, a jacket featuring an outer fabric of loose-woven plastic with an aluminized finish to reflect light and heat, is designed to help keep dogs cool and reduce the risk of ill effects from intense sunlight and high temperatures. Our tester, who has a 1-year-old German shepherd, says the jacket attracts a lot of attention. “People were very responsive and liked the idea a lot,” she says. She also says it works. “Mercedes didn’t even notice the jacket once it was on, and we could feel that her skin and fur felt cooler.” Ah, the dog days of summer.


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Editor's Choice Awards 2007

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