Archive for 2016

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16 Aug 16

SuperZoo Top 15 picks! ...

by Nancy E. Hassel,

Walking the SuperZoo trade show floor in Las Vegas earlier this month, I am always looking for new, innovative, different, unique and useful pet products.  Products that may wow me or that I have yet to see in our huge industry.   While the trade show floor had 1,100 booths and I know I was clocking at least 5 or 6 miles a day walking around, in addition to a ton of meetings, I managed to see some very cool products.

For newbies to the trade show world (i.e. buyers/retailers) I always suggest to go to the new product section first – this alone is a big section – but where you will quickly be able to see new products and notate what booth they are at.

Some of my favorite and interesting finds are below:

Dog Products:

If you are in the market for a pet carrier Bark n Bag has you covered.  With many different styles and functions, there is something to choose from for everyone’s taste. A t SuperZoo they debuted their new Carrier the Noir Herringbone Classic. The Noir Herringbone Classics boasts the classic styling with smart detail in lightweight herringbone nylon is your pup’s home away from home.  The comfortable roomy interior makes it the perfect dog or cat travel companion.  Comes in the following sizes   Medium: 18″W x 10″H x 10″D. For pets up to 16″L x 9″H. Maximum weight: 16lbs: and Large: 20″W x 11″H x 11″D. For pets up to 18″L x 10″H. Maximum weight: 22lbs. There are some additional cool new features to this carrier as well, and they include: Fur Friendly mesh on 3 sides for ventilation; padded double tubular handle; adjustable shoulder strap; NEW! Adjustable gadget straps to secure in car with seat belt; machine washable quilted pad; two easy access zippered pockets; folds flat for storage and a sturdy patented construction. Visit their website to see more, and if you’re a retailer you should have these in your store!

If you are a pet parent who likes to Chews Happiness, then you will love the new additions to the Chews Happiness line of luxorious pet products. (Couldn’t resist their play on words!). At SuperZoo Chews Happiness launched their new line of handcrafted Leashes and Collars. The environmentally conscious line is handwoven from yak down that’s luxuriously soft, silky, and extremely strong. Yak down is naturally shed and is an extremely robust natural fiber. It is also much kinder to the planet than cashmere, which causes land degradation due to overgrazing of cashmere goats. Chews Happiness’ Founder and CEO explained that “we were so incredibly amazed regarding how soft and strong this incredible fiber is that we had to work with our Bhutanese artisans to fabricate these WOW leashes and collars!

In addition to the collars and leashes, Chews Happiness recently launched Happiness Hugs, stunning, environmentally conscious fashion from yak down that’s luxuriously soft, silky, and warmer than alpaca and cashmere.  These one-of-a-kind garments are consciously handcrafted by women artisans from Bhutan to Boulder, Colorado and celebrate the connection between dogs and their people. The cruelty-free, fairly-traded apparel for dogs and their moms are uniquely designed to spread Happiness vibes from Bhutan, the Land of Happiness. Each features traditional and spiritually meaningful Bhutanese motifs and represent ideals such as long life, stability, wisdom and the interconnectedness of all beings.

Highlighting the seafood menu are Pet Botanics’ Simply Salmon Strips and Simply Salmon Cutlets by Cardinal Pet Care debuted at SuperZoo. Made from 99% fresh Atlantic salmon from the coldest Norwegian waters, these treats are Organic and Non-GMO. They contain no anti-biotics, hormones or artificial flavor or color, have delectable flavor and aromas that are irresistible to canines. The salmon is flash frozen and shipped to Florida, then perfectly smoked by the traditional Scottish method to maintain taste, color, and nutritional value. Along with the tantalizing taste of real salmon, dogs will benefit from the Omega 3 anti-oxidants salmon is so famous for.

The Bog Tagok so this literally stopped me in my tracks.  Why?  Something I would have never thought of for a product, it has really nice and bright marketing materials and because I can totally relate!  So what is The Bog Tag?  Bog actually stands for Boy Or Girl – it’s a gender identification tag for your pets, now I will not say what I know you are all thinking!  But, my dog Cody who is a boy, neutered and happens to have a very pretty face, he gets often mistaken for a girly girl dog!  It doesn’t bother me when people say, “Oh she’s so pretty…” then look under and say, “Oops I mean he!”  I always respond with, “it’s ok, he has a pretty face!”  The Bog Tag’s tag line is, ‘Don’t Look Under Me.”  This product is creative, funny, cute and new for the pet industry.  Can you relate to this?

This is definitely a product that will make you think, the ZugoPet new dog car harness called the Rocketeer, which according to the owner of the company will keep your small dogs safer than any pet car harness out there.  I have to say I had my doubts of the product, because of the way the dog is harnessed in, I can see dogs wriggling their way out of this or just not being comfortable while in the car.  But they have had it crash tested, and watching that video was very impressive.  Right now the 25lbs sized dog, and according to the veteriniarn the company consulted, the dog should not be in the car harness more than 45 minutes.  I think this harness will of course depend on your own dog.  Will he stay in the harness?  Or fight you tooth and nail not to be in it.  You have to know your dog, and should never force your dog.  I would say do very short time periods of the dog being in this harness to get them used to it, short like a minute or two at the time and reward your dog tremendously while in there.  I do give them a lot of credit for wanting our dogs to be safe in the car while traveling, it’s so important.   If any of my small dog friends have used this or are trying it out, I would love to know what your thoughts are.

Dog Product trends I noticed while there were Pop-up tents and other products to keep your dog shaded from the sun while out camping or watching games with your pup:

I thought Shady Paws was pretty cute, especially for small to medium sized dogs.  Could work is you have a pup with you at the beach, and don’t have an umbrella, or just for you backyard while hanging out with your pup.  I could also see cats seriously taking over this product! Meow!

The Cool Air Cot by Gen7Pets is a great idea, could even be used for dogs in animal shelters too.  The one they had there didn’t seem like it would hold large dogs, again small to medium. They do have a large size that goes up to 36″ but I can’t see really big dogs on that.  I like this too for the beach if you are with your dog, for them to sit on the hot sand, this will get them up of the ground a bit.

Popup tent and accessories by P.L.A.Y. was just too darn cute, the display itself made me want one.  Really cute for camping trips for your dog too cool off, and even has a bed on the inside.  Of course if your taking your pup with you camping he should be safe and secure with you in your tent or camper at night!  This would be great for dogs that like to be in their own ‘den’ even in your house too.

Cat Products:

Remember Tetris? Now you can assemble Katris lynks for your cat!  KATRIS Lynks are modular, so they can be placed and rearranged in many different combinations and builds – either on their own, or in combination with other KATRIS blocks, which increases options for play and fun for cats and their owners (or vice versa). KATRIS Lynks’ superior material and craftsmanship allows them to last longer than other cat scratchers, thereby eliminating pet owners’ needs to purchase a multitude of replacement pads. KATRIS Lynks come equipped with real Teak wood covers on their sides, making them look stylish in homes, as well as protecting the pads from wear and tear.

The Catit Senses Activity Center by RC Hagen is a serious cat activity center, I can definitely see this keeping indoor cats quite busy.  Reminds me of a habit trail, but it has interactive center with a scratching post, ball to go through the tunnels, treat tree and dispenser and area for your cat to dig for food.

The Dharma wool Monster Cat Cave stands out for just how funny and cute it is.  This would be perfect for cats that like to hide under furniture and take a cat nap, and I could see small dogs loving this as well.  Made from 100% wool, and bright colors that are made from safe and eco friendly dyes – this definitely stood out.


These Wool bird nests also stood out to me, while I was there admiring these unique and really adorable new products, a few pet retailers who specifically sell bird products, I asked, “Will pet birds really go into these?” the answer was an absolutely! Sadly, I did not get the product company name – but will look for it and edit this post.


Having a salt water fish tank just got easier with the Evo Saltwater Fish kit.  It’s the size of a regular fish tank, and has a very bright 11000K LED that provides optimal conditions for healthy coral growth color and conditioning.  It also has a powerful 3-stage filtration with oversized media delivers fantastic water quality.

Of course the other big trend that a lot of companies are either getting into or adding to their line are Cannibis treats and products for dogs or cats. Which is CBD oil derived from the marijuana plant, but…the jury is still out on this for me, would like to see in a few years after studies have been done and how affective/safe they are.  I have read studies and have seen new reports how the products are effective for humans with many ailments, and know CBD has helped in many cases.

Now we head to the P3 Pet Trade Show in Chicago next week and I am will be curious to see if there are any stand out pet products there as well!  Were you at SuperZoo, what was your favorite new find?

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30 Jul 16

Dock dogs make a splash on LI! ...

By Nancy E. Hassel,

Dock Diving made a splash this weekend returning to Long Island for a 2nd time in the past few months with the most recent event that just took place in Westhampton Beach, N.Y. Friday and Saturday, July 29 & 30, 2016.  DockDogs, a Canine Aquatics Competitive company, was hosted by the Greater Westhampton Kiwanis & Hurricane Educational Foundation held at the Westhampton Beach High School.

My dog Cody tried out and competed, but he is still a novice at it and didn’t do great – but we only are in it for fun – he loves, loves, loves to swim, but jumping off the dock can be a bit intimidating for newbie dogs.  While he jumped in 5 times total in two days, he really only got to go up and try/compete a total of 8 runs.

Awesome photo by Cathy Pratt Williams of Precious and Few Photography!


The first time he tried it was at the dog shows at the Oyster Bay Planting Fields in May – and he was able to try as many times as he wanted with the NADD AKC Diving Dogs.  He jumped a few times then, so it was great to be able to try again with him this weekend.  Many of the dogs at today’s event were pros and just so much fun to watch them fly through the air, like this dog, Tango the Pit Bull – what a sweetie! And he competes a lot.

Tango the Pitbull

Pet vendors and people from all over brought their dogs to try it or compete.  There were dogs there from Arizona and Connecticut, Queens and of course LI.

This pup was from Arizona

If you missed it and you are thinking of trying out with your dog, first remember it is for fun – and if your dog actually is good at it then competing may be for you.  Your dog needs to have a strong toy drive, be able to swim well – and loving to swim really helps.  You have to give your dog time, some dogs take right to it where others, like my own dog, don’t always jump, no matter how much they love their toys or the water.  And that’s ok, he had fun is what counts.  One of the local DockDogs instructors is hoping to start Long Island Dock Jumpers, email for more information.

Thanks to Terrie Bauer and everyone who helped put this event together – we know how much work it takes to put on any event!  For MORE pictures of the event, click here! I also really enjoyed the music and MC for the event – he did a great job the entire time.  If you missed this event and want to be sure to never miss another pet event happening here on our isle and beyone, click here to sign for the free weekly Pet Events Newsletter!

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27 Jul 16

Heat Kills pets in Cars – Leav ...

By Nancy E. Hassel,

While we are enjoying the warm weather and summer activities – our pets may not be.  One thing many people tend to forget or not even think of is pet safety and heat.

While there are many ways your pet can overheat; too much exercise in the heat of the day; squished face pets like bulldogs, pugs, Frenchies, Shihtzus who can’t breath that great to begin with – they have a hard time with the heat; and lack of access to water for your pets especially if they are outside for any length of time in this hot and humid weather.

Of course this time of year the major concern is pets left in cars.  It amazes me year after year, that I still see people on a warm day leaving the windows open a crack and leaving their very furry dogs in the car – while they go into a store. According to a study done by San Francisco University, and if you haven’t seen this video of a veterinarian sitting in a hot car which shows how quickly temps rise during a heat wave.

Why not try it yourself, without your pet of course.  Next time it is a beautiful 75 -80 degrees, go sit in your parked car crack the windows a bit and sit in there for 10 -15 minutes. Don’t cheat by drinking water or turning the AC on.  Now imagine yourself in a fur coat without the ability to sweat. Are you hot yet?

Sometimes people think it’s ok to run into the store for 5-minutes during the summer and leave their pets in the car.  But what if you get stuck in the store, there is a long line, problem at the register, etc., and there you are in the air-conditioned store while your pet is sweltering in the heat, causing heat exhaustion or worse death.

What to do if you see a pet left in the car during during the warm spring, summer and fall months:

  • Call Animal Control of the town the car is located in. *Helpful tip, program the Animal Control phone #’s of all your town municipal animal shelters into your phone so you can quickly access them.
  • Call the police, tell them the location, make/model color of the car, give them the license plate number.  Take a photo of the car, license plate and pet inside the car.
  • Stay until the authorites arrive to be sure the pet was safely evacuated from the hot car.
  • Know the laws in your town, city and state.  Some people may take actions into their own hands if the animal is in severe distress in the hot car and may get in trouble for bashing in the window of a car to save the pet.  Some areas the laws are changing where you would not get into trouble.

Check to see if the car is running, sometimes people leave their car locked and running with the AC on, water in a bowl to run into a store for 5 minutes.  It may not be ideal, but they are making the effort to make sure their pet is cool while they do their errand.  This also goes for people who are traveling alone with their pets on a road trip, and may have to stop to use the rest stop.

Pet owners should also know if you are caught doing this or someone reports your car with a pet in it to the police, the police have the right to break into to your car with whatever means necessary, call animal control and have your pet seized. You may be issued a summons, arrested for animal cruelty, or more. So the next time you are running up to the supermarket on a hot day, please, please, please leave your pets at home in the AC!

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13 Jul 16

7 Pokemon safety tips for dog parent ...

by Nancy E. Hassel,

Out walking your dog lately and notice all the Pokemon people out and about?  Well it can be challenging to navigate through the crowds of kids (and adults) while walking your dog, here are some tips to help make this craze a little less stressful for you and your pup, and you thougth this post was a joke!

1. You want to make sure you dog doesn’t actually step on one of the Pokemon characters.

2. Be sure to clean up after your dog so Pickachu and his friends are safe from stepping a pile of duty.

3.  When approaching the zombi-like humans walking looking down at their phones, let them know you’re coming – my own dog nearly got stepped on countless times in the last few days.

4. While daylight may be new to many Pokemon Go fans – realize their eyes may not have yet adjusted to the bright sunlight and they may not see you or your dog right away.

5.  Sudden movements may startle your dog – like the kid who was so excited he got one broke out into a dance stomping his feet – scared the crap out of my dog and me too.

6. Some Pokemon players are bringing their dogs along with them, great! Luckily my dog is super dog friendly, but their dog may not be, so always get their attention (the humans) and ask if your dog can say hello to their dog.

7.  Make sure while crossing the street at a crosswalk, give them a wide birth, suddenly no one seems to look both ways or gives you and your dog any room to pass them.

Okay, okay – poking some fun at Pokemon – it seems like a fun thing for millennials to do, gets them out, social and forming their own community.  It’s nice to see, but really be careful, my dog Cody did get scared by that foot stomping kid and they really are NOT looking where they are walking.  Could actually be a great socialization tool for your dog weaving your way in and out of the Pokemon peoples.

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29 Jun 16

Pet 4th of July Safety tips ...

by Nancy E. Hassel,

While we may love the 4th of July and all the pomp and circumstance – it may be a very different story for our four legged and feathered friends. Sudden loud fireworks going off nearby, loud parties, or just having more friends and family over can very easily stress out your otherwise well behaved pets.  I am one to always err on the side of caution to keep my dog safe.  To enjoy the 4th of July, here are some simple tips to help your pet and family make it through the weekend:

  • Make sure you have a collar with ID tags on your pets at all times during this weekend.  Some owners like to take their pet’s flat collar off when they are in the house – but the first block buster that goes off could scare your pet so much they may bolt out your front door and take off.  Even the most well adjusted dog or cat could get scared easily.   Also be sure to have your pet’s microchip registered with your contact information.
  • If you know your pet is terrified of loud noises, try using products like Rescue Remedy® or Canine Calm™ or in extreme cases contact your veterinarian for tranquilizer/valium pills ahead of time.
  • Leave your pets home in a secured house.  Pets do not need to be at firework shows, it’s almost inhumane if you are not sure of how your dog may react.  Know your dog, some dogs don’t seem to mind, but think about their sensitive hearing.  And what if a firework goes rogue and comes close to your dog?  Anything can happen so it’s better to be safe than sorry.
  • Crating pets that are used to being crated will add a layer of protection as well, keeping them confined and in a safe place they are used to.
  • Having a 4th BBQ? Friends and family tend to want to feed your dog or cat while at a party, to avoid this ask them not to or have your pet in a safe cool room away from all the guests.  Check on the pet often, make sure he has fresh water and a comfy place to sleep away from the crowd.  (Lock the door if you can!)  Guests that are not pet savvy could accidentally open or leave the door open and the pet could escape. (Another reason crating works well!)
  • Parades and pets.  Some pets may be fine with attending a parade with you, however the majority will not be used to the loud noises, crowds and tell tail signs that dog is stressed: are licking their lips, shaking, panting excessively, crying, pulling on the leash, and acting out (i.e. not their usuall behavior).  Again, know your pet, and don’t be in denial about what they can and can’t handle.  Some pets do not do well in large crowds, people, kids petting poking at them, loud sirens from fire trucks going by, etc.  If you see your dog is stressed – leave the parade – don’t comfort the dog with, “It’s ok” while petting the panicked animal – that will just make it worse.
  • Bringing your dog out on your boat or too the beach? Bring plenty of cold bottled water, pet safe bug spray and sunscreen, extra leash and collar with ID, treats, a properly fitted doggie life jacket, and monitor them for overheating, bug bites, ticks and make sure their paws are not on hot surfaces for a long time – concrete and sand can be scorching- and of course bring poop pick up bags!
  • Traveling for the 4th and bringing your pet?  Find out where the nearest 24-hour emergency clinic is at your destination.  Make sure there are no Breed Restrictions at your location.
  • While en route use a safety harness that clips into the seatbelt of your car, or crate your pet while traveling.
  • Have a first aid kit in your car especially for pets and bring extra pet food and water – you never know if your car breaks down you get stuck somewhere.
  • Always have an up-to-date picture of your pet with you, i.e. on your phone in case your pet gets lost during the 4th.
  • Store local animal shelter contact #’s in your phone in case you need to call immediately.

Having fun and enjoying the 4th of July is part of our human lives here in the US, but just remember it may not be normal for our pets who don’t understand loud noises, blasting, whistling fireworks and bright sudden flashes of light.  Have a happy and safe 4th!