I was asked to research the latest ideas in the pet industry and found some brilliant ideas to help us all occupy our pets and generally look after them far more than just picking out a squeaky toy. So, in the interests of dragging us all into modern pet ownership, here’s what I found.
Activity toys are the new essential. How about the iDig by Fetch? This is a multi-layered dog toy with removable, washable fabric layers into which toys and treats can be placed. This practical innovation also has a folding version for smaller modern homes. If you’re feeling creative, you can probably make one.
How about a phone-controlled cat toy that you can pilot around your home using the linked app? This is ideal when you’re a cat owner out at work or for indoor cats who risk lack of exercise.
Pet cams for the home include remote control treat dispensers with microphones so that you can talk to your pet, so you can share all the office gossip… dogs and cats are great at keeping secrets.
Capturing pictures of your pet isn’t new but the perfect photos are infinitely desirable on social media platforms such as Instagram. Pet selfie tools such as phone accessories help you take a photo with your furry friend. They use clever ways to get the pet to look at the camera, using phone attachments into which you can clip a ball or treat at a variety of angles with lights or a sticker that attaches it to the wall so you can have hands-free!
Treat food ideas include fancy, customisable cookies for dogs (organic, gluten free, dairy free of course), and gourmet treats made in shapes with beautiful icing designed for humans to show their love (to a pet who probably doesn’t care what it looks like!). Probiotic treats can contain goat milk and even yak milk. If you want to do a bit of a Paul Hollywood in your home, why not get a home baking pet biscuit or birthday cake mix? Be careful not to give your pet more than 5% of their diet with treats, however. It’s very easy to overfeed – so… don’t.
Controversially, since they really are unnecessary, new pet ‘dress up’ outfits resemble popular licensed characters, Marvel heroes or Pokémon, or just teddy bears. I am not a fan (of the outfits, but I love Marvel). We humans seem enjoy these and so, our poor domesticated animals are forced to adapt.
Enjoy the new ideas, but remember that all our pets are still animals that have a right to behave and be treated like the species that they are.