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Pet Product News Editorial Blog:

Friday, October 2, 2009

New, Cool and/or Unusual Products

By Sherri Collins

Editor, Pet Product News International

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Bird Ball from Paradogs

I like going to trade shows. Not only do I get to meet and interact with a host of people whom I normally have contact with via e-mail and the phone, I get to actually see and touch the products—both existing and new—instead of relying on press releases and images. I enjoy reading and learning about new products, but nothing takes the place of actually looking at and closely examining products.

With more than 600 booths to visit, SuperZoo 2009 presented a wide range of new, cool and unusual products to peruse. My first stop, of course, was to the New Product Plaza, where I could get a quick and fairly comprehensive overview of the myriad new products at the show.

While many of the new product offerings were also displayed at Global Pet Expo earlier this year or came across my desk courtesy of our Editors' Choice Awards, there was more than enough new stuff to keep me walking the aisles for the full three days of the show. What follows are just some of the new products at SuperZoo that caught my eye:

Several dog toys filled the new, cool or unusual bill. The Bird Ball from Paradogs is a colorful ball that incorporates wings and whistles that make it twitter and flap about like a flock of small birds as it’s hurled through the air. The Dura Doggie Disc is a basic-looking black toy disc that can double as a water dish. What makes the disc special is its durability (thanks to nylon-netting reinforcement) and provenance--it started out as a class project at the University of California, Santa Barbara, and blossomed into a full-blown product and company. For an even more basic toy, check out the simple yet effective design of the Amazing Treat Machine. It’s a sturdy cardboard box combined with a perforated water bottle and a tennis ball that results in a “dog-it-itself” entertainment and treat center.

While oodles of cat toys were on offer, the new product trend that stood out the most was cat litter. The plethora of new, environmentally friendly litters included Kitty’s Crumble made from coconut husks; Wyoming Sunmade, which uses sodium-type bentonite; and also from Wyoming Sunmade, Frugal Feline in Premium, Original and Economy formulas. Another cat-oriented product of note was DERMagic’s new Feline Skin Rescue that is formulated to help scabs heal faster and soothe dry skin.

For the feathered crowd, a new Tidy Seed feeder for small birds from Wyld Wingdom stood out, as did the Ecotrition Bird Snak Shak from 8 in 1 of United Pet Group--it’s a completely edible house for birds.

There was also a practical/functional bend to many of the products on hand. First-time exhibitor H2O4K9 presented a very sleek and cool-looking stainless-steel water bottle for dogs that incorporates a bowl into its cap for ease of drinking. RoadWagz offered up a nifty K9 Night Patrol Cap that has two LED lights built into the cap’s brim to help illuminate the path for after-hours walks. And grooming product manufacturer Nootie presented the “first-ever” Pet Shampoo & Daily Spritz in one colorful and innovative package. The shampoo bottle sits on top of the spritzer and comes in five fun scents.

I could go on and on about all the cool stuff at SuperZoo, but as this is a blog and not a dissertation, I need to stop here. Visit ppn.com’s product preview to see more of the new products at SuperZoo. Click here for a peek at the new products appearing at this week’s H.H. Backer Christmas Show. 

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