SuperZoo in Las Vegas debuts new trends, merchandise for pets

Updated June 30, 2018 - 8:01 am

It’s a good thing our pets can’t use credit cards.

If they did, we’d go bankrupt paying for all of the cool stuff our critters probably would buy at SuperZoo, the annual pet products trade show held here last week.

The show at Mandalay Bay Convention Center offered a glimpse of pet products that’ll be appearing on retailers’ shelves over the coming months. Health and beauty products — many of them of herbal provenance — were popular again this year. Organic foods and treats continue to be big, with a few twists on the typical flavors (hummus chews?). So were vitamins and nutritional supplements, many of which contain cannabidiol, the compounds in cannabis that some claim offer relief from pain and other conditions. There also were such pet care necessities as organic meadow hay for hamsters and pocket pets, goat milk yogurt and bake-at-home dog treats. And, as always, there were blingy, bejeweled accessories, proving that our desire to pamper our pets never goes out of style.

Strolling in style

Petique was offering a line of pet conveyances in the form of strollers, joggers with all-terrain wheels and carriers that can be used as backpacks, luggage or car seats. But doesn’t walking a pet in a stroller defeat the purpose of, well, walks?

Not at all, said Petique’s Lyly Lao, because the pets in question often are “older dogs and smaller dogs or dogs that have arthritis or have hip problems. You can take them out and they don’t need to be cooped up in the house.”

Stroller also protect pets when the pavement is sizzling in the summer or frigid in the winter, she added, conceding with a laugh that strollers also are good for “just spoiling them.”

Bringing on the bling

Something else that’s good for spoiling them: Designer harnesses and leashes from Jeweleash that are studded with Swarovski crystals.

Sandra King, of parent company Select-A-Vision Eyewear, said the accessories — calling them leashes and collars seems so gauche — were designed by Eriko Liebers. “Women like the bling bling,” she says. “Women just gravitate for it.”

But as flashy as they look, the items are made for real-life use. “The leash has 110 pounds pull and the harnesses are Velcro and they’re custom made,” King said.

Chickens uncooped

SuperZoo displayed goodies for species beyond dogs and cats. ChickenGuard was promoting its automatic chicken coop door opener, which opens and closes at preset times to help keep the birds safe from raccoons and other predators.

The device is intended to make chicken owners’ life a bit easier, company representative Nick Mecham said. “The reason people have it is they don’t want to be up at 5 in the morning opening the door.”

Couldn’t you just make the chickens wait a few more hours? “You can, but it’s not very nice to the chickens,” Mecham said. “They want to be outside.”

“Owning chickens is a lifestyle choice,” Mecham said, “and this is something that really helps them enjoy that lifestyle.”

Dog washing made simple

Some dogs love baths, others loathe them. For both groups, but especially for the latter, the Aquapaw pet bathing tool can make baths less stressful for everybody involved.

Tom Zipprian, Aquapaw’s director of products, says the device — which was birthed in a Kickstarter campaign — connects by hose to an outdoor spigot or bathroom shower head. With a one-size-fits-all plastic half-mitt attached to the palm of one hand, the pet owner can steady and comfort the dog with one hand while delivering water to the animal with the other simply by pressing a button on the palm fixture.

“It’s nice and it takes a lot of the stress out,” Zipprian says. “You never have enough hands when bathing a dog.”

Another touch: An optional Slow Treater, a nubbed device the owner can fill with peanut butter or another treat and affix to the tub wall to keep the dog otherwise engaged during a bath.

Vegas Golden Knights pet duds

Your dog can look just like Bark-Andre Furry with Vegas Golden Knights-branded apparel — including doggie jerseys — from Pets First.

Sales executive Shelly Kabak said Las Vegas’ first professional sports team made a mark among hockey fans and their pets all season, not just for the records the team set but also for its striking logo. He expects strong demand for the team’s branded pet apparel to continue.

The company’s products are sold at McCarran International Airport and T-Mobile Arena, Kabak added. “So we have pretty big distribution with regards to the Golden Knights in Vegas.”

Doggie goggles

Mush together “dog” and “goggles” and you get Doggles, the brand name for a line of protective eyewear for dogs.

Sure, donning a pair of Doggles would make a dog fit right in at the Electric Daisy Carnival. But the company’s Margarita Garcia said Doggles also offer 100-percent protection from harmful ultraviolet rays and protect a dog’s eyes from the sun, dust, thorns and water reflections.

“They’re not just fashion,” she said. “They’re eye protection.”

Contact John Przybys at jprzybys or 702-383-0280. Follow @JJPrzybys on Twitter.

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