Making your pet your plus-one

Dog-focused products add to and upgrade travel lines.
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Throughout the next month, SNEWS will recap its coverage of Outdoor Retailer Summer Market 2013 with select stories from the O.R. Daily we published at the show July 31 – Aug. 3. 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.

Pet gear manufacturers around the country have taken heed to that sad face your dog makes when you head for the door. So next year’s pet products are all about making it easier to take the canine along.

“Pets are being accepted in more venues than they’ve ever been accepted in before, so I think it’s an increasing trend that people want to bring their dogs with them,” said Brady McClintick, vice president of operations with EzyDog.

“That’s something we continue to see people having a great interest in, primarily because they just want to take their dogs along to more places,” said Susan Strible, director of marketing for Ruffwear, Inc.

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Ruffwear Kibble Kaddie

For 2014, Ruffwear is bringing back the Kibble Kaddie (MSRP $40), a durable fabric bag that functions like a dry bag to adjust the size depending on how much food you need to haul. Roll the top down to compress the size as the amount of food decreases. A front side pocket is ready to hold collapsible food bowls.

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EzyDog Convert Harness Saddle Bag

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EzyDog Doggy Flotation Vest

EzyDog debuts a Convert Harness Saddle Bag, which can attach to its Convert Harness, letting the traveling dog carry a little of its own weight. The saddlebags, made with water-resistant fabric and embellished with reflective trim, fit treats, toys and food, and are available in various sizes (MSRPs $100-$135 for harness and bags). McClintick also pointed to its Doggy Flotation Vests (MSRPs $40-$63) gaining popularity, as watersports enthusiasts take Fido to the beaches and rivers.

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Mountainsmith K9 Cube

Mountainsmith upgrades its dog-specific travel storage equipment along with its broader travel lineup, all large, rectangular bags with modular cubes inside to keep gear sorted in the garage, the car and at the campground. The K9 Cube (MSRP $60) sports food and water bowls that flip down from the front to turn the bag into a feeding station. Upgrades to the style of bowls and support structure keep the bag upright even when it’s empty. Mountainsmith already is looking at new dog packs prototypes for 2015 that will improve the kit quality and harness, President Jay Getzl said.

The trend for taking lighter, weather-resistant and more durable materials coveted by humans to pet products continues this year. “We find that people appreciate seeing the same features in our gear as they see in human gear,” said Ruffwear’s Strible. The Ruffwear Roamer leash uses Wavelength webbing, which incorporates elastic to extend and retract, and the Sun Shower (MSRP $50) waterproof rain jacket is a lightweight option for keeping dogs dry, but compresses into a small footprint.

All those dogs on the go will want to snack on something along the way, so be sure to check out Peakwaggers and Zuke’s, both with new flavors and treats debuting this year.

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