The range of products available for puppies and kittens has diversified beyond basics for nutrition, play and initial training to include increasingly sophisticated products.
New releases address a broader range of issues than ever before relevant in introducing a puppy or kitten with the aim of benefitting owners and their families, as well as new and existing pets. Additionally, product advances in this sector echo the children’s products market. We take a look at a few of the latest introductions for puppies and kittens.
Safety is paramount in designing and manufacturing products aimed at more vulnerable young animals. Whilst most manufacturers carefully consider the safety of materials and shape of products for puppies and kittens, some new products are specifically aimed at ensuring safety for new arrivals.
Puppy Bumpers®, for example, were designed by Ann Price, Virginia, US, originally to solve the problem of her Maltese puppies getting through a baby gate. They are soft, stuffed safety collars that attach easily to the existing collar to prevent escape and possible injury. First patented in 2009, the Puppy Bumpers line now includes Ultra (tough), Rainy Day (water-resistant) and the new Glow Pups (reflective) Puppy Bumpers, alongside the most popular, Original Puppy Bumpers.
Another trend in the puppy and kitten product market is the increase in number and sophistication of products designed to comfort young animals. This also reflects the growth in enhanced comfort to luxury levels in human products designed for both adults and children.
Smart Pet Love based in Michigan, US, has introduced a range of products with many specifically for puppies and kittens. The range includes:
- Snuggle Puppy or Kitten – a comforter that aims to recreate the intimacy that puppies and kittens had with their mothers through physical warmth and a simulated heartbeat.
- Comfort Pup or Kitten – a comforter that relies on warmth only.
- Snuggle Beds and Snuggle Blankets – soft and warm sleeping aids.
- Safe and Sound Harness – simulated heartbeat positioned against the chest to soothe anxious dogs.
- A special puppy teething toy.
Puppies and kittens require play products to learn and divert their energy. Many advanced play products are now hitting the market, most with relevance for young and older animals and many are very innovative. Alongside saleable toys, some manufacturers have introduced extra campaigns aimed at stimulating direct customer interaction, generating loyalty and emphasizing the importance of play for pets.
With the discovery that cats respond well to moving images on flat screen tablets, Friskies have launched a free website named ‘games for cats’. This website enables owners to download on-screen toys for cats.
Integrating new arrivals with other pets
Notably, manufacturers are increasingly catering for integrating puppies and kittens into multi-pet households. The portable Feed-Safe™ feeding station produced by Automated Pet Care Products Inc. based in Michigan, US, is not specifically designed for puppies and kittens, but has value in protecting the food ration of smaller sized pets, including youngsters, within a multi pet household. And could be useful in reducing any tensions over feeding that can arise between pets.
It features an adjustable sliding door that locks into position to allow smaller pets into the dome, whilst keeping larger pets out. A one-way flip-door located on the side lifts for quick alternate access if the entrance is blocked or closed for secure feeding. In addition, food and water mess, which can be particularly extreme with puppies and kittens, is contained, and the dome is easily removed for cleaning.
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