Every March, pet product manufacturers converge on Orlando, Florida, to present their wares to buyers and media from around the world. More than 1,100 exhibitors displayed toys, beds, food and more last month at the Global Pet Expo.
Here are our top nine picks.
1. Be ready for anything on a walk with the Compleash, which combines a nylon leash, a built-in 10-ounce capped water flask, and two stackable bowls that can hold food, treats or personal items such as cash, credit cards or keys. The containers are part of the leash handle, and a waste bag dispenser can be attached to the leash as well. (MSRP $24.99; sitstaygo.com)
2. Snake on a stick? The Elegant Snake cat toy by Be One Breed makes a crinkly sound when your cat pounces on it, and the handle allows you to wriggle it in a lifelike manner. Bonus: It’s filled with catnip. (MSRP $5.99; beonebreed.com)
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3. Make your dog a treat master with Planet Dog’s GuRu interactive toy. Insert treats into five different openings and let your dog have at it. He’ll need to chew and squeeze the toy, which releases treats when the dog applies enough pressure to pop them out. (MSRP $18.95; planetdog.com)
4. Forever furless? That’s the dream of many dog and cat owners whose clothes and furniture seem constantly covered in hair. The Lilly Brush promises to pick up pet hair with just a few swipes across clothing, upholstery, rugs and more. Just rinse and reuse. (From $12.95; lillybrush.com)
5. To help your anxious dog stay occupied while you’re running errands or busy around the house, spread peanut butter, squeeze cheese or scoop canned food on the nubbly LickiMat from Hyper Pet, freeze it to make the treat last even longer, and set it out. Your dog can get in his licks and maintain his interest for a long time. (From $5.99; hyper-pet.com)
6. Cats or dogs who scratch on furniture or at doors and windows to get out can cause a lot of damage that’s expensive to repair. Clawguard door and furniture shields protect surfaces without hurting pets. Sizes are adjustable, and covers come off easily. (From $14.99; www.clawguard.com)
7. Have a bag of poop and no place to toss it, and you don’t want to put it in your car until you reach a spot with a trashcan? Enter the Tailgate Dumpster by Kurgo. The silicone holder attaches to metal vehicle surfaces (don’t try it on aluminum or fiberglass). Put your poop bag inside and drive away from the beach or hiking trail stink-free until you encounter a proper receptacle. (MSRP $20; kurgo.com)
8. If your aging cat is having accidents outside the litter box, it might be too difficult for her to get in and out of. The Kitty Go Here litter box, with its low entrance, is easy for cats of all ages and abilities to navigate. (From $15.99; kittygohere.com)
9. Travel in style with your 10-pound or smaller pet in the Madison carrier combined with the Pet-Trek 4-spinner-wheel folding trolley, both by A Pet With Paws. The eco-friendly carrier looks like leather but is made of recycled plastic bottles and has a breathable mesh back, side and top for easy entry and exit. The carrier can be pulled without tipping your pet backward, which is more comfortable and less frightening for him. (MSRP $169-$179, plus $49 for Pet-Trek; apetwithpaws.com)
Pet Connection is produced by a team of pet-care experts headed by veterinarian Dr. Marty Becker and Kim Campbell Thornton, author of many pet-care books. The two are affiliated with Vetstreet.com.