Welcome wagging: Dog gear keeps pups healthy, happy and looking good

With companies putting as much thought into canine gear as human gear — focusing on performance, comfort and safety — the active dog is well equipped to hit the trail.
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Throughout the next month, SNEWS will recap its coverage of Outdoor Retailer Summer Market 2012 with select stories from the O.R. Daily we published at the show Aug. 2-5. It’s an opportunity for you to catch up on stories you might have missed in O.R.D., and for us to update and upload the articles to our searchable archives.

This SNEWS Outdoor Retailer Summer Market recap is brought to you by Cordura:

With companies putting as much thought into canine gear as human gear — focusing on performance, comfort and safety — the active dog is well equipped to hit the trail.

Energy and endurance start with good nutrition. Zuke’s, known for its all-natural treats, introduces three flavors of superfood bites: Super Berries, Super Betas and Super Greens. Each 6-ounce package (MSRP $6.99) of semi-moist dog treats is rich in nutrients and antioxidants.

Peakwaggers, which makes dehydrated, vacuum-sealed canine trail food that sounds good enough to eat yourself (it is human grade, in fact), debuts two new flavors: a bison stew and fish and chips (MSRP $10-$12 for two meals). Both contain ingredients such as potatoes, carrots, peas, tomatoes and oats; the stew includes bison, beef and cranberries, while the fish meal has wild Alaskan salmon. Look for an elk stew in the near future.

On to pet accessories, Ezy Dog’s  Double Up collar (MSRP $16-$20, photo, left) reflects the company’s mission to “meet our customer’s demands in the areas of safety, security and control,” said Brady McClintick, operations manager. The nylon-webbing collar with reflective stitching has two stainless-steel D-rings, one on each side of the buckle. Attaching a leash to both removes all pressure from the buckle, making the collar virtually unbreakable. A separate attachment loop holds tags.

Another dependably secure option comes from Ruffwear, whose adjustable Knot-a-Collar (MSRP $23) takes its cues from climbing gear. It’s made of 7-millimeter reflective rope that doesn’t snag on thick fur and is looped through an anodized aluminum plate; adjust the size via two sliding fisherman knots. Another piece of aluminum secures a leash.

The fashionista canine will be happy to hear of a new color trend in performance leashes, collars and accessories. “Typically, our products are offered in two colors, but our customers made it clear that they wanted more choice,” said Christy Caplan, spokesperson for Ruffwear. In response, the company has broadened its palette, with the Climate Changer recycled-fleece dog jacket (MSRP $60), for example, now coming in burnt orange, purple and gray.

Likewise, OllyDog’s popular Mt. Tam leash (MSRP $27) comes in three colors instead of just one. OllyDog also has a smaller, 600-milliliter version of its popular OllyBottle (MSRP $10); made of BPA-free Tritan, the water bottle includes a detachable bowl for a dog to drink from.

And don’t discount the importance of fun and games. New exhibitor Go-Go Dog Pals has brought its remote-controlled toy (MSRP $300) to Summer Market because, said CEO Will Bowen, “We take dog fitness to a new level. Dogs are usually relegated to a few standard activities like a game of fetch or joining their owners on a hike/walk/run. We provide them with the workout they were made for — a good chase.”

--Cindy Hirschfeld



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