Animal Planet announces new pet shows for 2017-2018

March 28, 2017

Animal Planet has announced these new pet-oriented TV series for the 2017-2018 season. Premiere dates are to be announced. The titles of the shows are subject to change.

“Animal House”

Antonio Ballatore and Chewie of "Animal House" (Photo courtesy of Animal Planet)
Antonio Ballatore and Chewie of “Animal House” (Photo courtesy of Animal Planet)

“Animal House” (working title) follows “HGTV Design Star” winner Antonio Ballatore and his right-hand dog, Chewie, along with project manager Grace and a team of designers as they convert drab spaces into dream living arrangements for homeowners and their pets. Each week, Ballatore and his team meet with pet-owners looking to add custom-designed, pet-centric builds to their homes. The “Animal House” designers and builders are up to the challenge of finding creative ways of building new customized spaces for homeowners to share with their beloved pets.

“Rescue Dog to Super Dog”

Nate Schoemer and Laura London on "Rescue Dog to Super Dog" (Photo courtesy of Animal Planet)
Nate Schoemer and Laura London of “Rescue Dog to Super Dog” (Photo courtesy of Animal Planet)

Millions of dogs live in shelters in the U.S. waiting for their forever homes. Tens of millions of people in the U.S. live with physical, mental or neurological disabilities. In Animal Planet’s new series, “Rescue Dog to Super Dog” (working title), shelter dogs are given a second chance to become a companion to someone in need.  Dog trainers Nate Schoemer and Laura London work hand in paw to train dogs to improve the lives of the people they serve, proving that people may rescue dogs, but dogs rescue people, too.

“My Fat Pet”

Travis Brorsen (center) of "My Fat Pet" (Photo courtesy of Animal Planet)
Travis Brorsen (center) of “My Fat Pet” (Photo courtesy of Animal Planet)

Who hasn’t laughed at a shared internet video of a fat cat trying to fit through a cat door?  But the unfortunate truth is that the U.S. pet overweight and obesity rate for dogs and cats is more than 50 percent, mostly the result of being overfed and not getting enough exercise. In Animal Planet’s all-new series “My Fat Pet,” animal expert and trainer Travis Brorsen works with pets and their owners through a four-month weight-loss journey. “My Fat Pet” premieres on Animal Planet in the third quarter of 2017.

UPDATE: The title of this show has been changed to “My Big Fat Pet Makeover.” The series premiere is on September 30, 2017.

“Cat Meets Dog”

What happens when nature’s worst enemies are forced to live together? Cat behaviorist Jackson Galaxy (“My Cat From Hell”) and dog trainer Zoe Stathis-Sandor come together to establish harmony in households with cats and dogs who don’t get along. Throughout the series, Jackson and Zoe also educate one another on their preferred species and try to convince the other who has the most pawsome pack.

UPDATE: The title of this show has now been changed to “Cat vs. Dog.” The series premiere is on November 11, 2017.

In addition, Animal Planet has announced that these pet-oriented TV shows have been renewed: “My Cat From Hell,” “Pet Nation Renovation,” “Pitbulls and Parolees,” “Puppy Bowl,” “Tanked” and “The Vet Life.”

New shows on Animal Planet that will focus on wild animals will include “Monster Rivers,” “Expedition Mungo” and “Extinct or Alive.”

2017 Global Pet Expo: New Product Showcase winners, Retail Excellence winners and other highlights

March 24, 2017

The Global Pet Expo (presented by the American Pet Products Association and the Pet Industry Distributors Association) was held March 22 to March 24, 2017 at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Florida.

Here are the winners of the trade show’s awards and other highlights of the three-day event.

New Products Showcase Winners


Best In Show

Seriphos Drop Off Aquarium
Elive, LLC

Second Place
Jelly Cylinder 5
Jellyfish Art LLC

Third Place
Brio 35 Urban Eco Garden
Deep Water Aquatics


Best In Show
USA Happy Beaks Toys
A&E Cage Co., LLC

Second Place
Bird Temp – Digital Infrared Thermometer
Zoo Med Laboratories, Inc.

Third Place
Eco- Friendly Bird Nest
Le Sharma Trading, Inc.


Best In Show
Bake-at-Home Birthday Cake Mix for Dogs
The Lazy Dog Cookie Co., Inc.

Second Place
Dodo Bird Family: Baz the Dad, Barb the Mom & Billy the Baby Dodo Birds
Merito Industries dba THINK OUTSIDE

Third Place
PetCakes Frozen Yogurt Treats
PetCakes by Lucky Paws, LLC


Best In Show
Catysmile Backpack Cat Carrier
Primetime Petz LLC

Second Place
The Bridge
Molly and Friends Cat Furniture Company

Third Place
Side Table Cat Bed
Sauder Woodworking Co.


Best In Show
West Paw Design

Second Place
PAW5 Wooly

Third Place
TropiClean Natural Flea & Tick
TropiClean Pet Products


Best In Show
Earth Animal

Second Place
Ruff Bone
Himalayan Corporation

Third Place
CannaBoost (TM) CDB/Hemp full spectrum extract
PawFlex, Inc.


Best In Show
Exo Terra Gecko Food
Hagen Group

Second Place
Exo Terra Tall Terrarium
Hagen Group

Third Place
Zilla Front Opening Terrarium
Central Garden & Pet


Best In Show
Kaytee Run-About Ball LED Light Rainbow 7 inch
Central Garden & Pet

Second Place
Walkin’ Wheels Mini Wheelchair
Walkin’ Pets by

Third Place
Kaytee Critterhome 30 x 18 Deluxe Habitat Large
Central Garden & Pet


Best In Show
Meowijuana – Retail Display Box (Large)
Meowijuana LLC

Second Place
Earth Rated 2017 Collection
Earth Rated

Third Place
Kaytee Crittertrail Building Station
Central Garden & Pet

Global Pet Expo Retailer Excellence Awards

Here are the winners of the Sixth Annual Global Pet Expo Retailer Excellence Awards. The award ceremony took place at the Show’s Pet Industry Breakfast on March 23, 2017 at the Orange County Convention Center.

The Retailer Excellence Awards are designed to honor outstanding independent pet stores in a variety of categories. The following retailers received designated awards in each of the 10 different categories:

1. Paw’s Natural Pet Emporium of Richland, WA
Best Overall Single-Store Retailer: This award recognizes a single-store retailer for excelling in sales, customer service, store design, merchandising and community service.

2. Yarn & Bone Pet Supply Co. of Camden, DE
Best Overall Retailer (2 – 10 stores): This award recognizes multi-unit retailers with less than 10 stores for excelling in sales, customer service, store design, merchandising and community service.

3. CountryMax Stores of Victor, NY
Best Overall Retailer (10 or more stores): This award recognizes multi-unit retailers with more than 10 stores for excelling in sales, customer service, store design, merchandising and community service.

4. Most Valuable Pets, Inc. of Nicholasville, KY
Best Live Animal Retailer: This award recognizes a retailer that excels in sales, promotion, display and knowledge of the dedicated live-animal category.

5. Pet Pantry Warehouse of Rye, NY
Best Merchandising: This award recognizes their outstanding creative techniques to promote sales and services.

6. The Green K9 of Mount Dora, FL
Multi-Service Excellence: This award recognizes their effective offering of a broad spectrum of services including grooming, training, boarding, etc.

7. Bark Out Loud Doggie Boutique & Café of Mansfield, TX
Best Marketing: 
This award honors effective execution in sales and promotional techniques to increase sales and customers including the use of advertising, public relations, social media and more.

8. Natural Pet Enrichment Center of North Royalton, OH
Best Customer Service: This award recognizes an unmatched level of customer service, demonstrates familiarity with products and services, etc.

9. Pet Express of Saugus, MA
Best Store Design: This award honors excellence in overall store design including merchandising displays, store layout, curb appeal and more.

10. Petsway of Springfield, MO
Best Community Service: This honor recognizes fellowship, integrity and a clear demonstration that the store is committed to giving back to the community.

Entries were judged by a committee consisting of Global Pet Expo and Pet Business Media staff members.

New Product Launches

Here are a few of the new products that launched at the 2017 Global Pet Expo.

The following information are excerpts from press releases:

(Photo courtesy of Le Petit Treat)

Le Cordon Bleu trained chef Gigi Samandari, the founder of Le Petit Treat, announced the release of new premium dog biscuits that are inspired by the flavors of France and use all-natural, non-allergenic, grain-free ingredients which are 100 percent made in the USA. The treats are made in small batches, using only grain-free, premium food-grade ingredients. The flavors are inspired by classic French dishes like Quiche Lorraine and Coq au Vin with new packaging that has a sophisticated yet vintage look.

Merrick Backcountry Hero’s Banquet (Photo courtesy of Merrick Pet Care)

Merrick Pet Care is expanding its partnership with K9s For Warriors with the launch of Merrick Backcountry Hero’s Banquet recipes, a new lineup of natural dog food & treats to raise awareness for K9s For Warriors’ work pairing service dogs with military veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress disability (PTSD).

Introduced at Global Pet Expo, the world’s largest pet food trade show, the new Merrick Backcountry Hero’s Banquet recipes build on Merrick’s million dollar partnership by giving pet parents a way to support K9s For Warriors while feeding a nutritious, ancestral canine diet to their dogs. Beyond the new recipes, Merrick provides all the food and treats for K9s for Warriors and has since 2015. Last year, Merrick also committed $250,000 to complete clinical research showing the effective role service dogs play in the treatment of PTSD among American military veterans.

Three new Hero’s Banquet recipes will be part of Merrick’s Backcountry line, which was introduced in 2015 and continues to be the fastest-growing ancestral canine diet in pet specialty. The Merrick Backcountry Hero’s Banquet recipes include a protein-packed kibble infused with freeze-dried raw meat; a complementary wet food; and a meaty soft & chewy dog treat. Recipes are making their ways to stores this spring. In a special K9s For Warriors promotion this July, Merrick will make a donation to K9s For Warriors for every Merrick Backcountry Hero’s Banquet item sold.

Wellness CORE RawRev (Photo courtesy of Wellness Natural Pet Food)

Wellness Natural Pet Food unveiled its first line of grain-free, raw meals and treats for dogs, Wellness® CORE RawRev and Wellness CORE 100% Freeze-Dried Treats for dogs, marking the brand’s first foray into the quickly-growing category of raw nutrition for pets. Wellness CORE RawRev combines high-protein, grain-free kibble with 100 percent pure bites of freeze-dried meat for a delicious topper, snack or complete and balanced meal. Wellness CORE 100% Freeze Dried Treats are made with just a single raw ingredient to deliver high protein with delicious flavor. At just two calories per treat, they are grain, gluten and filler free.  Wellness CORE RawRev is available in three delicious flavors for dogs: Turkey, Lamb and Turkey Small Breed recipes,. Wellness CORE 100% Freeze-Dried Treats are available in four meaty flavors for dogs: Boar, Salmon, Turkey and Beef.

In addition, Wellness Natural Pet Food introduced 28 new and improved Wellness Complete Health recipes, giving cat parents more grain-free options to choose from in a variety of flavors, forms and textures. From smooth pates to fresh cuts of savory protein in rich gravies, the new recipes offer tantalizing flavors and textures, in complete and balanced meals for cats—without grains or fillers. By taking out the grains, cats are able to enjoy more protein-packed meals filled with nutrient-rich fruits, vegetables and botanicals that keep them feeling satisfied and healthy, meal after meal and year after year.

Wellness Complete Health Gravies (Photo courtesy of Wellness Natural Pet Food)

The new recipes include Wellness Complete Health Gravies, which feature delectable bits of high quality meats in ample gravy without fillers. Available in delicious flavors such as tuna, chicken or salmon, Gravies provide tasty nutrition with plenty of hydration your cats will love. Wellness also ensured cats have a crunchy, grain-free option by introducing new Wellness Complete Heath Grain-Free dry food for cats, available in three flavors for cats: Deboned Chicken (Kitten), Salmon & Whitefish Meal (Indoor) and Deboned Chicken (Adult) recipes.

Existing Wellness Complete Health wet cat recipes have also been enhanced, featuring new and improved packaging, lower pricing and are now Carrageenan free.

American Kennel Club announces top U.S. dog breeds of 2016; dog museum to move back to New York

March 21, 2017

by Amy McGregor

The American Kennel Club (AKC) has announced the 10 most popular dog breeds in the U.S. for 2016.  For the 26th year in a row, the Labrador Retriever was No. 1. AKC compiles the list based on its dog registry.

The same dog breeds that were in the Top 10 in 2016 were in the Top 10 in 2015, although the rankings for a few of the breeds changed. All of the breeds kept the same position on the list from the previous year, except the poodle dropped from No. 7 to No. 8; the Rottweiler jumped from No. 9 to No. 8; and the Yorkshire Terrier dropped from No. 7 to No. 9.

In other AKC news, AKC Museum of the Dog will move back to New York City on a date to be announced, according to an AKC press release. The AKC Museum of the Dog, founded in 1982, was originally housed in the New York Life Building located at 51 Madison Avenue as part of the AKC Headquarters. In 1987, the Museum moved to St. Louis at a temporary space in the historic Jarville House, located in Queeny Park, West St. Louis County, Missouri. A press release stated that the move back to New York City “is the result of a mutual agreement between both boards [AKC and the Museum] to expand and enhance the future of the Museum.”

The press release continued: “With a population of over 8.5 million people, and 59 million visitors per year, New York City provides an excellent opportunity for a substantial increase in visitors and exposure and lends the potential for educational programs to coincide with the promotion of the purebred dog. The relocation to Midtown Manhattan also provides a means for the Museum to generate revenue from additional admissions, memberships, sponsorships, and donations. The AKC is in negotiations for ground floor retail oriented space in the heart of New York City that would give the Museum the location necessary to become a world-class tourist destination.”

Here are AKC’s Top 10 dog breeds in the U.S. for 2016:

1.  Labrador Retriever

(2015 Ranking: No. 1)

2.  German Shepherd

(2015 Ranking: No. 2)

3.  Golden Retriever

( 2015 Ranking: No. 3)

4.  Bulldog

(2015 Ranking: No. 4)

5.  Beagle

(2015 Ranking: No. 5)

6.  French Bulldog

(2015 Ranking: No. 6)



7.  Poodle

(2015 Ranking: No. 8)

8.  Rottweiler

(2015 Ranking: No. 9)

9.  Yorkshire Terrier

(2015 Ranking: No. 7)

10.  Boxer

(2015 Ranking: No. 10)

Packaged Facts reveals Top 10 trends for packaged pet products

March 21, 2017

Sherpa AKC Double Pet Carrier (Photo courtesy of Sherpa)

Packaged Facts, a division of, has announced the Top 10 trends for packaged pet products for the year 2017. These trends are discussed at length in Packaged Facts’ recent report “Durable Dog and Cat Petcare Products in the U.S.”

Here are Packaged Facts’ 10 key pet product trends:

  1. National pride is worth the price: While frequently associated with pet food and treats, “Made in the U.S.A.” also carries huge appeal in the durable petcare products market, especially in the collars, harnesses, and leashes category. Several companies offer products made in the U.S., including Coastal Pet Products, 2 Hounds Design, Up Country, Lupine and Wolfgang USA. All of Cycle Dog’s products are made in the U.S.A. as well, and its new Stars & Stripes collar, leash and other accessories take patriotism to a new level.
  2. “Functional” a sought-after buzz word when purchasing pet beds: Features including easy to clean, durable and comfortable are now more or less de rigueur in the pet bedding market, so products focusing on function now typically offer additional appeals. In particular, specialty beds with comfort features can reduce pain while the animal attempts to fall asleep, helping the pet sleep better and reducing discomfort throughout the day. For example, memory foam and gel mattresses have become a mainstay in orthopedic beds for humans, so it should come as little surprise that similar products have carved out a solid niche in the pet market, especially for senior dogs.
  3. Designer brand apparel for cats: In general, most pet apparel is geared towards dogs, which tend to be a lot more amenable to getting dressed up. Taking humanization to the extreme, one of the biggest ways cats have been impacting apparel markets is via human clothing. High-end designers such as Gucci, Marc Jacobs and Jonathan Anderson have incorporated cats into their recent collections.
  4. Bowl designed to improve digestion, reduce neck strain: Many of the new, innovative designs in the bowl, feeder and waterer market tackle specific problems that pet owners have with their current feeding options. This includes products designed to reduce pets’ neck strain, improve digestion and maximize comfort and convenience while adding a sleek and stylish look to pet owners’ homes.
  5. Fashionable pet carriers are in fashion: The importance of fashion and style cannot be overestimated since many pet owners seek out carriers that serve as a fashion accessory. Available in a vast range of materials, colors, styles, and patterns—with trims ranging from fine leather and faux fur to rhinestones and silver findings—pet carriers that look more like handbags also allow owners to sneak their pets into places that may not be dog-friendly. Accordingly, designer purse-type pet carriers, like those offered by Michael Kors and Chanel, are popular, with many manufacturers operating more like fashion designers  As a result, many companies that started out with more basic models have been trending up to better compete with the growing ranks of marketers that focus exclusively on fashion-forward options.
  6. Pet collar marketers capitalize on the “maximum visibility = safety” formula: For most pet owners, safety is a given when it comes to collars, leashes and harnesses, but marketers of these products continue to find ways to make these products even safer for both pets and humans. Coastal Pet Products, for example, recently updated the design of its Lazer Brite collars for maximized reflectivity, making the collar visible at up to 600 feet.
  7. Pet feeders getting “Smarter”: The recent proliferation of high-tech products in the feeding and watering category may leave some pet owners overwhelmed with the array of choices. “Smart” feeders and waterers allow pet owners to set feeding schedules, control portion sizes, and even customize feedings for multiple pets. As a result, pet owners’ involvement in the feeding process is no longer tied to the bowl itself; in fact, with some of the new technology-based feeders, everything can be controlled remotely via a smart phone.
  8. Customers favor customization, personalization: Pet owners enjoy products they can adapt to their own specific needs, including those they can personalize via appearance or function. German-made flexi offers a wide variety of flexible leashes that allow owners to do both, ranging from functional to luxurious. Its Comfort line offers the option to customize the leash with the company’s Multi Box or LED Lighting System options, attached via a fastener system, giving owners the ability to carry extra snacks and waste bags or light the way when it gets dark out.
  9. Tiny pooches and cuddly kitties spurring pet stroller sales: More and more, owners of small dogs and cats want their pets to be able to enjoy the great outdoors as much as their larger canine counterparts, driving up interest in pet strollers. Strollers offer a safe way to experience new outdoor environments and provide stimulation. One marketer cashing in on this trend is Pet Gear, with its new Jogger No-Zip Stroller designed for runners or joggers with a large three-wheel design.
  10. Whisker-friendly designs: Cats are notoriously finicky when it comes to food, and this behavior can extend to their food bowls as well. A common problem: many cats don’t like their whiskers touching the sides of their bowls when eating. New products include bowls with slightly curved designs that allow gravity to focus the food in the center of the bowl rather than being pushed to the sides while feeding. Other bowls are made with materials such as plant fibers to provide cats with mottled mate textures instead of the extra shiny or gloss surfaces believed to be unfavorable to most cats.


2017 Global Pet Expo: What to expect at this year’s show

March 21, 2017

The 2017 Global Pet Expo will take place March 22 to March 24, 2017 at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Florida. The event is presented by the American Pet Products Association and Pet Industry Distributors Association.  According to Global Pet Expo press release, the 2017 Show will feature 1,130 exhibitors (27 percent of which are international companies), 3,435 booths and 223 first-time exhibiting companies. With more than 3,000 new product launches, Global Pet Expo will showcase the latest products available for all types of pets including dogs, cats, birds, fish, reptiles, small animals and horses. The show has also grown in recent years with added special sections including the “International Pavilions,” “Natural Pet,” “Boutique,” “Everything Aquatic,” and “What’s New!” Global Pet Expo is open to independent retailers, distributors, mass-market buyers and other qualified media and professionals.

One of the more high-profile product launches at 2017’s Global Pet Expo is from Bissell, which is known for is cleaning solutions and floor care. BarkBath, which is the Bissell’s first dog-washing system and the company’s first  portable bath  system. According to a Bissell press release, the Bissell BarkBath allows pet parents to bathe their pet with virtually no mess—eliminating  the  inevitable clean-up that comes along with  washing a four-legged  family member. This all-in-one system  can be used in any room of the house, anytime,  with a minimal mess. The BarkBath works with any length of fur or hair and uses a no-rinse shampoo. Specially  designed nozzles get beneath the fur and down to the skin to allow  water and shampoo to wash the skin clean, while a soft suction pulls dirt and water away into a  separate dirty water tank.

BarkBath uses less than 48 ounces of water to clean pets up to 80 pounds, compared to traditional bathing in a tub, which can use up to 19 gallons of water. The entire BarkBath system comes complete with no-rinse shampoo designed specifically for the BarkBath, a microfiber mat for the machine, a microfiber drying towel for faces and paws, and a storage bag to give pets a full grooming experience at home. Live demos of the BarkBath will take place at the Bisell booth at the Global Pet Expo. In addition, Dr. Marty Becker will be hosting a book signing copies of his new book “From Fearful to Fear Free: A Positive Program to Free Your Dog From Anxiety, Fears, and Phobias” at the Bissell booth from 2 p.m. to 3 p.m. on March 23.

Petmate, a leading company for pet products, also revealed in a press release what new items it will be showcasing at the event:

Petmate debuts Calmz Anxiety Relief System for dogs combining high-tech innovation with acupressure in a revolutionary new non-invasive, drug-free treatment that soothes common anxiety that often arises as a result of thunderstorms, fireworks, encounters with strangers, travel, separation, and loud noises.

  • This innovative system features an adjustable Comfort Fit Vest that holds the Calmz device over specific acupressure points on your dog’s spine. When the device is activated, the clinically proven NeuroSync Technology takes over. NeuroSync Technology combines a therapeutic medley of classical music and a specially calibrated tone to create a vibration. This multi-faceted approach eases anxiety in a completely new way.
    • The system employs vestibular (audible) and peripheral sensory (tactile) stimulations to achieve test-proven anxiety relief in dogs
    • Vestibular stimulation is the result of a low-frequency C-note tone that is blended with a modified version of the classical piece, Beethoven’s Für Elise
    • Peripheral sensory stimulation comes from the massaging sensation generated from the device when placed on acupressure calming points along the spine

Cat Play
Petmate continues to expand its award-winning cat product line developed with renowned cat behavior expert and animal advocate Jackson Galaxy, star of Animal Planet’s “My Cat from Hell.” The Jackson Galaxy Collection by Petmate features captivating play products and expands into new categories including feeding and watering, litter, carriers, bedding and more. Each product speaks to natural cat behaviors – Hunt, Catch, Kill, Eat, Groom and Sleep. Highlighting this year’s collection:

  • The Butterfly in a Ball creates the ultimate in satisfying hunt play with its sensor-activated action that sets the butterfly fluttering within the ball when it is pushed by a stalking cat.
  • The Whisker-Stress Prevention Bowl and Less-Mess Bowl feature a unique concave design to help relieve whisker stress during meals and a smooth stainless steel surface to prevent cats from developing chin acne.

Brandon McMillan Training Products
Petmate has teamed up with celebrity dog trainer Brandon McMillan, host of the Emmy-award winning Lucky Dog show on CBS TV, to debut a new line of dog training products featured in his new book, Lucky Dog Lessons.

  • Shake & Break is a training tool to help stop unwanted pet behavior.  The noise made by shaking the tool breaks the dog’s focus and stops bad behavior in its tracks.
  • The new Lure Stick, is a treat reward training tool, designed to encourage dogs to heel, keep them from pulling on the leash and redirects their attention; it literally lures the dog back to the pet parent.

Dog Toys
Petmate expands its popular Chuckit! toy line, offering More Ways to Play®outdoors:

  • Chuckit! Breathe Right® Fetch Ball is a high performance ball designed to facilitate breathing and airflow into dogs’ lungs while running and fetching and is compatible with all Chuckit! Launchers.

Always a favorite for play time, the JW Collection, known for its durability and multifunction action, expands with new dog toys that are designed with intelligent ideas and patented manufacturing.  This year’s collection features an extra element of fun with mixed materials and a new take on the popular Hol-ee® toys:

  • Inspired by the best-selling Hol-ee Roller, the Hol-ee Gourmet line offers a variety of 2 in 1 treat toys that encourage dogs to play. Fill the rubber outer shell with harder larger treats and the inner nylon bone with soft spreadable treats. These fun toys are featured in the shapes of a peanut, turkey leg and steak.

K-9 Control Retractable Leash
Petmate redefines the functionality of retractable leashes for more control and safety with the first-ever leash that can be retracted in the lock mode. This new technology represents the first functional change in retractable leashes since their introduction in 1971.

  • The K-9 Control Retractable Leash features the new patented Zero Slack Technology that keeps the leash taut while locked or in the temporary brake position.  This gentle tension provides control and keeps the dog from moving forward. The owner can safely pull back the dog without worrying about excess slack.

Petmate puts a new twist on healthy eating with the new Diggin’ Diner 2 Cup Feeder.

  • This unique feeder is designed to slow pet’s intake of food with a strategic opening that allows dry food to fall out at a healthy pace while encouraging physical and mental stimulation.

Finally, Spectrum Brands, Inc. – Pet, Home & Garden will have interactive elements to the portfolio of products the company will showcase at the event. The Aquatics division will be represented by Tetra brand, Marineland and Instant Ocean. Its Companion Animal division will be represented by Nature’s Miracle, Healthy Hide, Pro·Sense, LitterMaid, Dingo, FURminator, Perfect Coat, Wild Harvest and eCOTRITION. Here are more details from a press release:

Innovating the Aquatic Experience

To whet the appetite for innovations in aquatics, the Spectrum Brands, Inc. – Pet, Home & Garden booth will feature engaging videos showing the latest technologies and aquatic mobile apps, introduce new products and marketing tools to support the retailers and showcase a recent scientific breakthrough through the University of Florida Tropical Aquaculture Laboratory (UFTAL).

  • Celebrating Heritage, Innovating the Future of Fishkeeping
    Tetra and Marineland are celebrating years of aquatics industry heritage at our booth with a timeline showcasing how we have innovated and evolved. While we are rooted in history, the future of fishkeeping is a focus as well. Tetra and GloFish brands will showcase new programs designed to introduce potential hobbyists of all ages to fishkeeping with educational content, new GloFish® characters and Macaroni Kid events.

  • Experiencing a GloFish Gallery
    Pet retailers can Experience the Glo in a darkened room dedicated to GloFish Fluorescent Fish, offering a very unique aquatic experience. A live aquarium will be filled with brilliantly-colored tetras, barbs and danios and the latest GloFish line décor and accessories. Under the new GloFish Cycle Light, visitors will watch the environment transform before their eyes. The GloFish Color-Changing Background, Plants and Ornaments change colors as the lighting rotates through a cycle of blue LED, black LED and white light.

  • Innovating Aquatics with Tetra Brand My Aquarium App
    The video for Tetra brand My Aquarium App will show the latest innovations that aquatic retailers can offer customers to keep them organized and makes maintenance simpler so they have more time on their hands to enjoy their fish.  To demonstrate the My Aquarium App experience, a station of tablets will be available to show its features including instant recommendations as well as custom notifications for food dispensing, water changes, water testing, filtration, etc.  Additionally, visitors can watch the YouTube video campaign, featuring The Bergmans, a big and busy family who uses the My Aquarium App to make aquarium maintenance easier and have fishkeeping expertise at their fingertips to maintain their beautiful, healthy aquarium.
  • Instant Ocean Features UFTAL’s breakthrough culturing First Pacific Blue Tang in captivity
    Instant Ocean® will feature presentations from members of the team of scientists from the University of Florida’s Tropical Aquaculture Laboratory (UFTAL) who were the first to breed Pacific Blue Tangs (Paracanthurus hepatus) in captivity in an aquatic environment using Instant Ocean®. Assistant Professor Dr. Matthew DiMaggio and Assistant Extension Scientist Eric Cassiano will present from 2 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. on March 22 and March 23, 2017, which will also be streamed live on Facebook. They will share their perspectives on this historic achievement. Attendees will have direct access to ask questions, see photos and footage, and learn insights on how captive propagation could affect commercial production protocols and conservation efforts in the future.

Improving the Pet Owner Experience

Because dogs, cats, birds, and small animals are all big parts of the personal and professional lives of Global Pet Expo attendees, the Spectrum Brands, Inc. – Pet, Home & Garden booth will also host attractive, interactive displays that introduce new Companion Animal packaging and formulations. The theme of the Companion Animal displays is interaction, so the booth will have sensory stations for our Nature’s Miracle, LitterMaid, Pro·Sense, Healthy Hide and Digest-eeze brands.

  • Promoting a Balance Between Pet Parenting and Home Ownership
    To continue its “Trust the Miracle” campaign, Nature’s Miracle® will demonstrate how “Pet Parents Can Have Nice Things.” The beautiful white lounge of the Nature’s Miracle® area announces new formulas for long-term odor elimination, as well as new delivery systems for cleaning carpet. As a long-standing cornerstone product, Nature’s Miracle® will proudly debut its new packaging to give visitors a glimpse at the evolving design of the brand.

  • Catering to Cat Lovers
    Because every cat has different litter box needs, LitterMaid and Nature’s Miracle are highlighting the range of litter products available for consumers to deal with the toughest litter box odors. The area also details the ways pet retailers can educate their consumers on proper usage of litter.
  • Treating Dogs Right
    Healthy Hide and Digest-eeze have teamed up to bring pet retailers up close and personal with their lines of gourmet dog treats. This area focuses on digestive health and lists each product’s number of ingredients, recommended age for feeding, chew time, digestibility and added benefits. Under this display, visitors will be able to examine and interact with each line’s products and packaging.
  • Providing Affordable Care Products for Pets
    Expanding on the interaction theme of Companion Animal, Pro·Sense is bringing its dental, itch and joint health solutions out for display. Visitors will get to check out a video and the new look of each product. This area promotes the idea that pet owners can use Pro·Sense products to care for their pets the same way they take care of themselves.
  • Solving the Pet Hair Problem
    Education is the most important part in the fight against pet hair. That’s why the FURminator area details the grooming tasks pet parents should perform daily, weekly and monthly. Each activity is tied to FURminator products, so visitors will know the proper grooming regimen and solutions to recommend to consumers. To help pet retailers understand FURminator consumers even better, this area profiles the “FURminator ProSumer,” the individual most likely to seek out pet grooming products and education.
  • Making Pets Jump for Joy
    The lively Dingo display wastes no time showing why the right assortment and selection of rawhide dog bones, dog chews and dog treats can increase sales. This area shows off the new look of Dingo packaging for its flavored/standard rawhide, rawhide alternative, benefit added, and its soft, chewy and crunchy varieties. Visitors will also learn consumer statistics they can use to strategize their store’s product offerings.

Purina Farms Visitor Center re-opens for the 2017 Season

March 16, 2017

Purina Farms
The Better with Pets at Purina Farms (Photo courtesy of Purina Farms)

Purina Farms Visitor Center in Gray Summit, Missouri, is re-opening for the 2017 season on March 18. The center is located about 40 miles west of downtown St. Louis. Here is more information from a Purina press release:

New for the 2017 season is a fresh paint job at the Visitor Center to incorporate Purina’s iconic Checkerboard red, along with a new main entrance.

The Purina Farms Visitor Center is open from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday in the spring and fall (Tuesday through Sunday from Memorial Day to Labor Day) and includes the following guest offerings:

  • Interactive Better with Pets exhibit, where pet lovers of all ages can celebrate the powerful relationship people and pets share and learn about responsible pet care. Guests can help trigger a donation to the Petfinder Foundation in support of homeless pets* simply by turning in the pet I.D. card they receive at the beginning of the experience. The Petfinder Foundation provides grants to shelters and rescue groups around the U.S. to help them in their life-saving work to place homeless pets in loving homes. Learn more about all the exhibit has to offer here.
  • Incredible Dog Arena, where the Purina® Pro Plan® Performance Team dogs demonstrate their amazing skills in flying disc, diving dog and agility during three shows daily
(Photo courtesy of Purina Farms)
  • Pet Center, which features a 20-foot, multi-level home for cats and an opportunity to meet the dogs who perform in our shows
  • Barn and play area, which houses domestic farm animals and also features rope swings, tunnels and pedal tractors.

There’s also a theatre, a concession area, gift shop, and information center.

In addition to daily activities at the Visitor Center, Purina Farms hosts events year-round, including the popular Springtime Village March 29-April 15. Purina Farms also hosts some of the most prestigious dog and cat shows in the country at the Purina Event Center, including national all-breed dog shows like the Dalmatian Club of America, Poodle Club of America and the German Shepherd Dog Club of America.

Patio Pet Life offers grass-based portable solution for dog waste management

March 10, 2017

Patio Pet Life pet potty pad
(Photo courtesy of Patio Pet Life)

Patio Pet Life  is aiming to help dog owners who do not have lawns, need to potty train puppies, or are temporarily unable to walk their dogs due to timing or bad weather. Patio Pet Life delivers farm-fresh pet grass right to their customer’s door, providing a convenient alternative for pet owners with no lawn.

According to a press release, Patio Pet Life (a family-run company based in Orange County, California) provides real grass potty pads for dogs. The company offers both small (2’x2′) and large (4’x2′) potty pads along with a tray for holding the real grass pads that make cleaning easier.

Grown locally in Southern California, the hydroponically grown pet grass is soilless and 50 percent lighter than traditional grass, making it lightweight with just as much absorption and odor control. The real grass potty pads are simple and easy to use too. They just roll out and are ready for use. When a customer wants to dispose of it or swap it out for another potty pad, they simply roll it back up and dispose of it. The company also includes a roll of disposal bags with each delivery for quick and easy clean up.

Patio Pet Life’s subscription program has no contract and allows the customer the flexibility to adjust delivery frequency and place their deliveries on hold if they are out of town. The company ships nationwide.

American Kennel Club announces first set of 2017 AKC Paw of Courage winners

March 6, 2017

AKC Paw of Courage 2017 winners
(Photos courtesy of American Kennel Club)

The American Kennel Club (AKC), the world’s largest purebred dog registry, has announced the first set of 2017 AKC Paw of Courage awards to recognize the working canines that put their lives on the line every day to keep our communities safe. This award specifically recognizes those who are serving or have served their departments honorably.

Any working dog is eligible to receive the AKC Paw of Courage; the award is not specific to purebred dogs. To nominate a dog for the next set of Paw of Courage awards, click here. Recipients of the award, or their human partner, will receive a 2017 AKC Paw of Courage medal along with a certificate. In addition, the recipients will receive a photo and profile on

The first set of 2017 AKC Paw of Courage recipients are:

K9 Mattis of the Alpharetta Police Department, Georgia

K9 Mattis, a 3-year-old German Shepherd Dog, serves with the Alpharetta Police Department. In October of 2016, while his handler, Officer Mark Tappan, and K9 Mattis were in a foot pursuit, the suspect leapt off a 30-foot retaining wall, and Mattis followed without hesitation, leading to his surrender. Mattis was checked for obvious injuries and was quickly on his way to respond to the next call with Officer Tappan. They were able to track down and apprehend the second suspect shortly before Mattis collapsed from internal injuries from the earlier fall. He was rushed to the emergency vet where he was treated for a lacerated liver and a contusion of his right lung.

Mattis has since made a full recovery and returned to active duty. In his short time with the department, Mattis has contributed to over 100 arrests and has assisted in removing countless amounts of narcotics from the streets. Additionally, he has performed several demonstrations for church groups, schools and various other community groups, often surrounded by the children of the community. Officer Tappan describes K9 Mattis as a very special blend of tenacious working dog and friendly family pet. Mattis’ lack of hesitation jumping off the wall demonstrates his dedication and loyalty to his work. The sacrifice Mattis made that day to protect his community is truly appreciated by Officer Tappan, the Alpharetta Police Department and the community he serves.

K9 Jardo of the Boise Police Department, Idaho

K9 Jardo was a 6-year-old Belgian Malinois of the Boise Police Department in Idaho when he was shot in the line of duty while confronting an armed suspect. Jardo was rushed to WestVet Animal Emergency and Specialty Center with at least one gunshot wound to the chest. He underwent surgery and two dogs, both pets of staff members at WestVet, donated blood to Jardo, giving him a life-saving transfusion. The surgery and transfusion were successful and Jardo was expected to make a full recovery. However, about a week later, he succumbed to his injuries.

K9 Jardo was trained to track and apprehend dangerous criminals, find evidence relating to crimes and locate street drugs. He successfully apprehended a dangerous gang member in his very first week on patrol. When he was not on duty, Jardo enjoyed playing with his dog friends and swimming in the canal by his house. K9 Jardo made the ultimate sacrifice in the line of duty to protect his community. He will be missed dearly by his handler, Officer Shane Williams, as well as the entire Boise Police Department and each person he has touched throughout his life.

K9 Peydro of the Woodland Police Department, California

K9 Peydro is a 3-year-old German Shepherd Dog, handled by Officer Juan Barrera. He served the Woodland Police Department honorably for a little over a year. In May of 2016, Peydro was struck by a vehicle while he and Officer Barrera were in pursuit of a wanted man. K9 Peydro was immediately transported to a veterinary hospital and after a successful surgery and blood transfusion, he made a full recovery, but was medically retired in October of 2016. The suspect involved in the incident later turned himself in to the Woodland Police Department. Peydro was a dual purpose police K9 trained in narcotics, apprehension, and article searching. He weighs about 80 lbs, but Officer Barrera and his family are convinced that he thinks he’s a lap dog. When he’s not on duty, he loves to cuddle up on the couch and balance toys on his nose. Peydro’s sacrifice in the line of duty was an indication of his courage and commitment to his community. He is now enjoying his retired life with his family.

K9 Bruno of Anaheim Police Department, California

K9 Bruno, a 7-year-old German Shepherd Dog, served with the Anaheim Police Department for six years at the time of his injury. He was given an AKC Humane Fund Award for Canine Excellence (ACE) by the American Kennel Club in 2014 after being shot while assisting the SWAT team with a search. The bullet went through Bruno’s lower jaw and lodged in his chest, only about an inch from his heart. After the incident, Bruno retired from his K9 duties and lived at home with his partner, Officer R.J. Young. About two years later, K9 Bruno succumbed to complications from his initial injury.

Bruno was one of two dogs who trained to become part of the SWAT team. He graduated first in his class from the K9 academy and also won first place overall in narcotics during his first ever K9 competition. Bruno was credited with finding millions of dollars’ worth of narcotics and narcotic-related money. He was always full of energy and was well known around the department for disrupting briefings by chewing on his red toy. K9 Bruno was a cherished officer, partner and family companion and will be missed dearly by Officer Young and the Anaheim Police Department, as well as every one of the many lives he has touched.

Here are more photos of the winners:

Honda partners with spcaLA to help people adopt dogs

March 2, 2017

Carlos PenaVega in Honda's 2017 CR-V SUV campaign
Carlos PenaVega in Honda’s 2017 CR-V SUV campaign that promotes the car and dog adoption. (Photo courtesy of Honda)

Honda has teamed up with spcaLA in a campaign to help people adopt dogs. The campaign (which runs from March 2  to March 31, 2017) is also aimed at boosting awareness for the 2017 Honda CR-V SUV. According to a Honda press release, the  promotion will be primarily on Honda’s Latino-oriented social channels, such as @HondaLatino Twitter, Instagram and Facebook. The campaign incorporates the brand’s belief in “The Power of Dreams,” which has been a key theme throughout the CR-V’s marketing launch. Actor/singer Carlos PenaVega (formerly of the group Big Time Rush) stars in a series of three videos for the campaign. The dogs featured in the videos are pets from the spcaLA that are up for adoption.

Honda’s “CR-V Pet Adoption Drive” follows the CR-V’s “Best Friends” Spanish-language TV spot, which debuted on Fox Deportes during football’s big game in February, marking a first for Honda. The spot focuses on the notion that sometimes a dream means helping others realize theirs. It tells the emotional story of a young boy and his mom adopting a puppy together. Over time the boy and his dog develop a fun and loving relationship and the whole family comes together to train the dog. One day, they receive a call they’ve been expecting. In the final moments of the spot, it is revealed that the months-long training activities have been done so that they could gift the dog to another family as a service dog to help a child with special needs.

‘Cesar Millan’s Dog Nation’ features Cesar Millan and son on road trip to help dogs

February 9, 2017

Cesar Millan's Dog Nation
(Photo courtesy of Nat Geo Wild)

Celebrity dog trainer Cesar Millan is back for a new TV series called “Cesar Millan’s Dog Nation.” The show premieres in the U.S. on Nat Geo Wild on March 3, 2017, at 9 p.m. ET/PT. Here are more details from a Nat Geo Wild press release:

The series will present new challenges for Cesar as he does more than just help dog owners with their pets’ behavioral problems. We uncover inspirational K-9 stories and connect with those that are working to make our world a better place for us and our pets, such as organizations helping veterans and their service dogs, community-run animal rescue groups training K-9 police dogs and therapy dogs that help children with autism. From canine heroes to issues affecting local dog communities, no pup is off limits as the Millans hit the road to help dogs across the country.

During production of “Cesar Millan’s Dog Nation,” the father-and-son duo traveled to seven different cities across the country to find the most unbelievable and inspirational canine stories America has to offer. They met with local hero dogs from Philadelphia, Chicago, the District of Columbia, St. Louis, San Francisco, San Diego and Los Angeles.

Cesar is also sharing the life-changing lessons he learned from the dogs he has worked with, in an exciting new book. For the first time, the No. 1 New York Times best-selling author shares personal insights from decades of experience and eight very special dogs in his life, in “Lessons From the Pack: Stories of the Dogs Who Changed My Life” (National Geographic Books; on sale now everywhere books are sold; ISBN 978-1-4262-1613-8; 240 pages; $24.95).

Premiere Episodes Include:

City of Angels
Premieres March 3 at 9/8c
World-renowned dog behaviorist Cesar Millan and his protege son, Andre, crisscross the United States to work with nonprofit organizations and dog lovers that are helping save millions of canines around the country. Their first stop is in Los Angeles, where they help an amazing golden retriever named Fergus who survived a horrific burning. Fergus’ owners hope that he can someday become a therapy dog for other burn survivors, but they need Cesar to help with the dog’s behavior while on his leash. Then Cesar and Andre pay a visit to The Help Group, a nonprofit that uses dogs to help kids with autism and other special needs. The dogs seem to help with verbal and mental skills, and even motor skills, helping some kids through an obstacle course. Andre has an emotional moment as he reveals a personal connection.

Borderline K9s
Premieres March 10 at 9/8c
Cesar and Andre Millan journey down the West Coast to visit with heroes of the canine communities of San Diego. After Cesar’s live demonstration downtown, where hundreds of fans have brought their dogs to get real-time take-home tips, Cesar takes Andre to Tijuana, Mexico, to visit with Dog Rescue Without Borders, an organization that works to help lessen the city’s massive stray dog population. The Millans go on a ride along and help rescue from the streets a stray that is in very poor condition, suffering from mange and a variety of other diseases. While in Tijuana, they pay a visit to Mrs. Franco, a woman who runs an animal sanctuary there.

A Whole New Ball Game
Premieres March 17 at 9/8c
World-renowned dog behaviorist Cesar Millan and his protege son, Andre, travel to San Francisco, California, to help locals with their problem dogs and meet some of Dog Nation’s heroes. The first stop is Cesar’s live event at the Pet Express Dog Adoption Fair, where hundreds of fans have brought their dogs to get real-time take-home tips from the experts. Then, the Millans meet Pali, the founder and president of Rocket Dog Rescue, who canvasses local San Francisco shelters trying to find homes for dogs on the euthanasia list. Pali grew up homeless herself, so she identifies with these dogs that society has forgotten. They travel to an Oakland shelter to see Cassie, a pit bull that has behavior issues that make her a tough dog to home. Finally, Andre visits San Quentin State Prison to learn about a program that matches minimum security inmates with shelter dogs. Both parties benefit here — the shelter dogs have a home, and the inmates gain comfort and connection they otherwise would lack.

Meet Me in St. Louis
Premieres March 24 at 9/8c
World-renowned dog behaviorist Cesar Millan and his protege son, Andre, road trip to St. Louis, Missouri — the Gateway to the West — to help as many members of our dog nation as they can. In this episode, Cesar and Andre work with an organization called Serendipity German Shepherd Dog Rescue. The duo hopes to help the organization with a dog named Bruce Wayne that was recently rescued from a puppy mill and shows signs of anxiety and fear around people. Missouri is considered the capital of the puppy mills of the United States, so Bruce Wayne’s story is sadly a common one in the area. The Millans take this opportunity to meet with some local heroes who have been fighting puppy mill abuse in the state. Finally, Cesar and Andre work with a local shepherd mix named Roxie whose owner abruptly passed away. Both Roxie and her new owner, Arian, are still living with their grief, causing extreme separation anxiety for Roxie.

Cesar Millan’s Dog Nation is produced for Nat Geo Wild by Leepson Bounds Entertainment. Executive producers are Cesar Millan, Bob Aniello, Richard Hall and David Leepson. For Nat Geo WILD, executive producer and senior vice president of development and production is Janet Han Vissering and executive vice president and general manager is Geoff Daniels.