Every spring, the AKC Shop heads to the Global Pet Expo in Orlando to seek out the newest, most innovative, and must-have pet products from some of the world’s top vendors. The 2019 show, the largest pet products trade show in the world, featured 1,174 exhibitors, 3,604 booths, and more than 3,000 new product launches.
Unfortunately for pet owners, the Global Pet Expo is open only to independent retailers, distributors, and mass-market buyers. That’s why we did the work for you, wandering 16 football fields’ worth of pet products to find the ones that you’ll feel good about buying for your pet. Here are some of the highlights.
Functional Dog Furniture and Home Accessories
Nobody likes pet products that detract from the beauty of their home. But it’s hard to find dog beds, bowls, and crates that fit well with your home decor. These items all marry form with function — and will look great in your abode.
See-through pens: Clearly Loved Pets offers clear-walled dog pens that make the barrier between you and your pet seem to disappear. The Lucidium Dog Pen is made of clear acrylic and creates a cage-free vibe, which is particularly good for anxious dogs and puppies who hate to be separated from their owners. Most Amazon verified purchasers loved how the crate lets a pet and owner see each other and how it reduced pet whining and desperate attempts to escape the pen. However, some purchasers complained that assembly was difficult. The pen comes in three sizes for small, medium, and large dogs, while the anodized aluminum frame comes in blue, green, pink, and silver. Price: $439
Cool food bowl: Finnish brand Magisso offers the Happy Pet Project line of slow-feed and cooling dog bowls that keep food fresher for longer and prevent pets from inhaling their meals. Soak the bowl in water for a minute to activate the natural cooling effect that lasts several hours. Then pour food around the raised shape in the center, which makes your pet eat their food more slowly and deliberately around the edges of the bowl. These stylish ceramic bowls come in pink, black, and blue. Most Amazon reviewers loved how it slowed down their pets’ eating, but some noted that the bowl chipped easily. Price: $44
Best dog travel bowl: Dehydration is dangerous, even fatal, for dogs. That’s why it’s so important to make sure your pets are well-hydrated, especially when you’re on the road. Highwave Dog Travel Waterbottle looks like a water bottle for humans (it fits in your car cup holder), but is really a pet-hydration system. With one squeeze, water flows into the attached bowl so your dog can grab a quick drink — then release the squeeze and the water flows back into the bottle. It’s a great way to give your pet a drink during rest stops while you’re traveling. Amazon reviewers loved that it prevented water waste, though some did find it difficult to use at first. Price: $23
Stylish Beds and Covers
If your dog is typical, he’ll spend up to 50 percent of the day snoozing and 30 percent lying around thinking about snoozing. Where your dog sleeps, however, is up to you and should be part of your early dog training.
If you don’t want pet hair on your couch, you’ll need to consistently tell your pups to stay off it and direct them to their own dog beds. But if you like a little snuggle time with your pet, invest in a good couch cover that will protect your furniture from pet hair, drool, and accidents.
Fashion-forward beds: Harry Barker’s dog beds resemble decorative throw pillows (in vintage stripe, toile, solid, and tweed designs) and will easily complement your home decor. But they aren’t just stylish — they’re also pesticide-free, eco-friendly, and filled with fiber made from recycled plastic bottles. Covers are mildew resistant, washable, and pre-shrunk. Price: $80–$100
Couch cover: If your pet spends most of his life on the couch (at least when you’re not home), the Couch Companion Bolstered Sofa Throw can help protect your furniture. The Couch Companion is a woven polyester throw with bolsters on three sides, which make perfect headrests for napping dogs, while the long drape keeps pet hair and other messes from trailing down your sofa. Wipe or vacuum it clean. Price: $120
Natural and Organic Dog Products
You want only the best for your pets and that means finding food, treats, and supplies that are free from preservatives, dyes, and scents that can be harmful to your pet’s health.
Flea fighter: Pura Naturals Pets, a grooming and wellness company, just released its Flea and Tick Wipes, which use natural oils — no DEET or parabens — to repel pests. Bonus: They’re flushable! Price: $13
Tasty treats: If your dog loves the taste of yak milk, try Himal Dog Treats — long-lasting chews made from yak milk, cow milk, salt, and lime juice. Yak milk is richer in protein, casein, and polyunsaturated fatty acids than cow milk. An Amazon verified purchaser with two German shepherds said the chews last a long time, don’t stink, and don’t stain her carpets and furniture. Other reviewers, however, mentioned that their dogs didn’t like the smell or taste, or that the treats didn’t last as long as they had expected. Price: $12
Gourmet Dog Treats
Your pet, like you, loves a treat once in a while — whether it’s a new toy to chew on or something delicious. Here are a few choices that will spice up your dog’s day.
Chew on these: Zippy Paws makes plush, squeaky toys that resemble food and wine — so while you’re having dinner, your dog can busy herself with toys that look like hamburgers, tacos, Chinese takeout, and bottles of champagne, vodka, and whiskey. Price: $7–$8
Sweet treats: For special occasions, treat your pet to bakery treats created especially for them.
Pawsitively Gourmet Bakery offers sweet potato- or peanut butter-based cookies in the shape of sharks, stars, footballs, and birthday cakes. Price: $51–$75 for 20-count
Bocce’s Bakery sells small-batch, preservative-free biscuits in flavors including Banana Split, Monkey Bread, and Turmeric Latte. Price: $6
If your pup prefers homemade treats, Puppy Cake’s Peanut Butter Cake Mix and Frosting for Dogs make it easy to bake a dog-friendly delight yourself. Price: $9
Socially Responsible Pet Accessories
Giving back is a growing trend among pet companies. Some companies try to protect the planet by using only organically grown ingredients in pet food, while others donate money from each purchase to help shelter pets.
Supporting artists and the environment: Australian company Outback Tails sells collars, leashes, and coats designed by members of the Warlukurlangu Artists Aboriginal Corporation, who receive a percentage of the profits from each sale. Sales from the eco-friendly and non-toxic Outback Animal Toys also benefit the Australian Wildlife Conservancy, which is working to save native Australian animal habitats. Price: $20–$50
Mental Stimulation Toys
Dogs are intelligent creatures who need stimulation. A bored dog is a dog looking for something to do, which can result in unwanted jumping, barking, chewing shoes, and digging up the yard. But when you’re not there to give your pups the attention they crave, mental stimulation toys can help.
Dig it: iDig is a round, interactive toy that lets dogs dig for treats hidden under flaps. The iDig stimulates dogs mentally and physically and also tires them out — so you both can get a good night’s sleep. Price: $80
Sniff it: Dogs experience the world through their noses, which are commonly thought to be up to 10,000 times more powerful than a human’s. That’s why they go nuts for Playology’s durable, scent-infused toys — ropes, balls, donuts — which only they can smell. Price: $15–$30
Chase it: The Jolly Egg by Jolly Pets is a giant, plastic egg-shaped toy that rolls erratically, piquing the interest of dogs who love to push and herd. Price: $25