Living The Easy Life
Even though caring for pets is a time-consuming task, there are plenty of products that provide convenience.
Everyone knows that owning a pet comes with unique challenges and responsibilities. As people’s lives continue to get busier, there’s a newfound demand for pet products that can help alleviate the guilt that stems from being away from home for extended periods of time. To help make pet care easier, it’s important to anticipate the wants and needs of both pets and owners.
“We’re noticing a new cross-section of pet parents living active lifestyles while still wanting the comfort and companionship of their pets along for the ride,” says Chris Wilson, executive vice president of Petmate.
According to Wilson, pet parents are traveling with their animal companions more than ever. That’s why the Arlington, Texas-based company has made strengthening the human-animal bond a central part of its mission.
Petmate’s Gen7Pets line of strollers, ramps and carriers makes it easier for consumers to go on long runs, walks and rides with their pets. All of these travel products are designed to provide a comfortable environment for the pets they help transport, whether it’s older dogs that have trouble walking for long periods of time or protecting paws from hot pavement.
“We see pet products trending towards inclusivity and safety, making sure that owners are equipped to have their four-legged companions join them on everyday adventures or exotic vacations,” explains Lindsy Argenti, a marketing manager for Coastal Pet Products, Inc.
The Alliance, Ohio-based company offers leashes with easy-to-open clips, airline compatible carriers and travel feeders and bowls. The Bergan Travel Feeder can hold up to 5 lbs. of food, and its base doubles as a bowl that automatically fills with dry food when it’s rotated outward. Coastal Pet also manufactures self-cleaning tools for on-the-go grooming.
She adds that the company backs its products with a Quality Guarantee that retailers and their customers can rely on. She explains that owners who trust the products they use around their pets have one less thing to stress over.
This desire to use only the best products stems from the continued humanization of pets.
“Pets are part of the family, and people have less hesitations bringing pets along when they travel domestically and sometimes even internationally,” says Michael Leung, Sleepypod’s lead product designer and co-founder. “Sleepypod provides products that allow pets to travel with less anxiety, and with increased comfort and safety.”
The company crash-tests all of its carriers in order to achieve the highest safety ratings.
Sleepypod’s Mobile Pet Bed is multipurpose, designed to be used at home as an everyday bed, a safe and convenient carrier, and a car seat.
“Pets enjoy travel much more when they travel in the comfort of their everyday bed,” explains Leung.
All those trips and adventures, particularly of the outdoor variety, inevitably result in messes. Headquartered in Coppell, Texas, Dexas manufactures its travel products with a focus on convenience and cleanliness.
“Dexas has always focused on solving problems or inconveniences that pet parents face: Easily taking food along, quickly popping open a travel cup for a quick hydration break, even cleaning off four dirty paws before letting your friend back into your car or home,” says Meghan Dereta, product manager.
Dexas’ MudBuster line is designed to combat dirty paws. The original MudBuster was designed for in-home use for dogs returning from walks or backyard play. The paw washer easily removes mud and dirt with gentle silicone bristles. However, the new travel version—launching this summer—will allow pet parents to bring it on outdoor adventures. It even includes a secure lid so pet owners can easily pre-load it with shampoo and water.
Let’s be honest: dogs and cats aren’t always the neatest animals. And, as pet owners work longer hours and maintain their social lives, pets find themselves alone for most of the day.
“The reality is that while owning a pet is one of the most rewarding experiences in our lives, it can also be a lot of work,” says Kevin Dalby, marketing specialist for PetSafe. “Unfortunately, a lot of pet owners struggle with guilt that they’re unable to do everything they’d like to for their pets. That struggle informs a lot of our product designs, as we aim to bring a little more convenience to the lives of pet parents.”
Based in Knoxville, Tenn., PetSafe aspires to create more special moments between pets and their owners by making animal care easier and combatting real-life challenges, such as smelly litter boxes.
The company’s Deluxe Crystal Litter Box System works specifically with PetSafe Premium Crystal Litter, which absorbs urine and dries out solid waste to control odors. The dual-layer design includes a drainage grid and a tray lined with an absorbent pad for added protection. Vents along the underside of the litter box circulate air, drying out the litter and extending freshness. With these innovations in place, the litter box is designed to be changed only once a month. “We don’t want pet parents to feel guilt; we want them to feel empowered,” says Dalby.
Having a clean, odor-free litter box is important to combat litter box avoidance, one of the main reasons cats are surrendered to shelters. Boxiecat, based in Santa Monica, Calif., aims to provide litter that’s formulated to get rid of unwanted smells while making clean up easier.
The company’s litter forms easily-scooped “Flat Top” clumps, available in an Extra Strength formula for greater odor control.
“Boxiecat works to make healthier, cleaner and safer litter for cats and those who care for them,” says Josh Wiesenfeld, the company’s founder and CEO. “We want to decrease human aversion to litter care, as well as increase peace of mind.”
The company’s newest litter, BoxiePro, eliminates bacteria in the litter box so cats won’t track germs to kitchen counters, beds and other areas of the home.
“By wiping out harmful bacteria and odors in the litter box, BoxiePro keeps homes cleaner and healthier,” says Wiesenfeld.
The company also offers dog and cat lines of stain and odor products that can be used around the house and on bedding. The products are powered by probiotics that digest the organic matter that cause odors and eliminate the pheromones that cause repeat soiling.
The challenges that come along with pet care are far outweighed by its rewards. One of the best things about owning pets is the opportunity to play with them.
Petmate has focused on providing long-lasting, innovative toys that provide hours of fun for pets and their owners.
“We have unveiled an excellent puzzle and treat solution for our heavy-chewer pets,” says Wilson. “The JW Twist-In Treat Toy is designed with a durable treat that locks securely in place to help treat time last longer.”
Taking into consideration that a good amount of pet parents have to spend most of their day away from home, PetSafe created toys that don’t require human interaction.
“If you feel guilty because you can’t entertain your cat while you’re at work, you can feel good knowing she’s having fun with a laser cat toy,” says Dalby. “Or, if you can’t keep up with your dog’s energy level, you can give him what he wants with an Automatic Ball Launcher.”
For pets on-the-go, Dereta explains that Dexas offers an Off-Leash line, which includes a flyer, a tumbler and a reaction ball that bounces erratically when thrown. All three toys include a carabiner that allows them to be clipped to purses, leashes or backpacks for easy transportation.
“People, including pet parents, are multitasking to maximize time to be able to do what makes them happy in the few hours they have left in a day,” she explains. “That’s why convenience is such an important factor to consider when introducing any new product into the marketplace.” PB