By CHERESE COBB
Don’t we all want our pets to have the latest and greatest gadgets? Whether furry, feathered or flippers a-flapping, they’re part of our families, after all. But there are so many products on the shelves that it’s hard to know which ones work and even harder to know which ones your pets will actually like.
So we’ve rounded up 10 unusually cool pet products that will make you say, “Why didn’t I buy this sooner?”
1. Pineapple Microplush Pet Bed
Nandog Pet Gear; $49
Your pupperinos don’t have to have square pants or live in Bikini Bottom to nestle in this pineapple-shaped pet bed. Featuring a bright, tropical yellow exterior with a leafy green top, this cheerful and spacious cuddler cave is the perfect hidey-hole for a midday snooze or a sound night’s sleep. Designed with both comfort and convenience in mind, it fits snugly in tight corners and has a non-toxic, polyester cushion that can be hand-washed, keeping it as fresh as an island breeze.
2. Playology Dri-Tech Rope Knot Dog Toy
Do you find yourself buying expensive dog toys and watching them be chomped to bits in minutes or hours, if you’re lucky? Then let your destructo-pups roughhouse with this extra-durable rope knot by Playology. It’s infused with an all-natural chicken, beef, bacon, cheddar cheese or peanut butter scent that lasts for at least six months, even after being rinsed with warm water. Made with fibers that wick away slobber and can’t be swallowed, your woofers will be tied in knots while noshing on this game-changing chewer.
3. Smart Pet Love Snuggle Puppy™
Crate training, thunderstorms and fireworks can make your dogs feel like cables that are being stretched too tight and beginning to fray. Melt away your dog’s stress and curb their bad behaviors, like excessive scratching and snarling, with the Smart Pet Love Snuggle Puppy. It features a real-feel, pulsing heartbeat that lasts up to two weeks on one set of AAA batteries and a non-toxic, disposable warming pack.
4. Noxgear LightHound
Made with military-grade CORDURA® fabric, the Noxgear Lighthound is like a party on a leash, with solid-color flashing and slow-fading color modes such as cool comet, independence day and photon burst. With 360-degree illumination, reflectivity and fluorescence, it’s visible for over half a mile. The LightHound is weatherproof, lightweight and machine washable with micro-USB rechargeable LED lights that last up to 12 hours. It quickly slides over your dogs’ favorite collars, harnesses or jackets, making sure that they’re always homeward bound.
5. Petcube Play
Petcube; $129 with 1-year care subscription
Ever wondered what your pets get up to when they’re home alone? While they’re probably not massaging themselves with your KitchenAid, they might suffer from separation anxiety, depression or boredom. If they’re nibbling on your Nike Air Prestos, puffing up at the mailman or swatting at your vintage Tiffany lamp, break their anxiety with Petcube Play.
Featuring two-way audio, night vision and 3x digital zoom, it has a built-in laser that can be set to autoplay. The WiFi pet camera also has a cloud recording video service that provides up to 10 days of timeline history, reporting major sound and motion events straight to your smartphone.
6. Chuckit! Flying Squirrel
Natural Pet Warehouse; $9.99
Here’s one squirrel who loves being chased. The Chuckit! Flying Squirrel is made from heavy-duty canvas that will withstand rugged play while its soft, curved sides are gentle on your dog’s mouth. Fling him by his bright orange “paws” for a far-flung game of fetch. He also glows in the dark for engaging outdoor play, ideal for pets who are active at night or pet parents who work mid-shift. With water-resistant rubber feet, he floats in water for a splashing good time at the pool, lake or ocean.
7. Pretty Litter
Pretty Litter; $22
Unless you’re able to toilet train your cat like Robert De Niro in “Meet the Parents,” you’re stuck with a litter box that has big, ammonia-smelling lumps and dust clouds. Tired of masking the smell of urine and feces with baking soda and lifting 20-pound bags of litter? Try PrettyLitter. Made of highly absorbent silica microcrystals, it traps odors and bacteria while allowing moisture to evaporate. So you’ll only have to scoop the poop. For a single cat, a four-pound bag lasts an entire month and detects illnesses early, simply by changing colors. Yellow and olive green are normal, while blue, red, bright green and orange are telltale signs of UTIs, inflammation and kidney issues.
8. Wooly Snuffle Mat
Paws 5; $39.95
Handmade from a combination of virgin and upcycled materials, the Wooly Snuffle Mat is a playground for your canine’s nose. Hide kibble, treats or soft veggies between its fabric tassels and your dogs will snuffle, snort and sniff their way through dinner or snack time. Available in modern gray and machine-washable, this interactive puzzle toy encourages natural foraging skills by mimicking the hunt for food in grass. If your walks are growing shorter because of sour weather, your jam-packed schedule or your senior pet’s achy joints, it improves learning and memory while burning off excess energy.
9. Rover 7v Battery Heated Dog Jacket with Bluetooth
Cozy Winters, $119
The Rover Battery Heated Dog Jacket is worth investing in before Mother Nature’s next snow parade. Made from a lightweight nylon fabric, it has a neck collar slot for on-leash activity and Phoslite reflective safety trim. This Bluetooth dog vest uses powerful yet lightweight rechargeable lithium-ion batteries that can last up to 13 hours. Change its temperature (90°F on low to 104°F on high) on-the-fly wirelessly with the MW Connect app or use the built-in touch control button. Available in navy or red, it also comes in “Rover” for larger dogs and “Rover Mini” for toy-sized pets.
10. The Fat Cat Backpack
Your Cat Backpack; $119
Whether you’re using the Fat Cat Backpack to explore the great outdoors or take regular trips to the vet, it’s never been easier or more adorable to carry your cat. Designed for big-boned breeds like Maine Coons and American Bobtails, this bubble bag holds nearly 20 pounds. It also has a bungee where you can clip a leash or harness so your cat can just hang out. Featuring mesh sides where you can stash treats and a water bottle, The Fat Cat has air holes in the front, a detachable bubble and a Velcro mat that’s machine washable. Available in charcoal or pink, it has enough room for your feline friend to lay down and turn around completely.