Our annual look at what’s going on in the world of our favorite furry friends.
As animal companions become evermore integrated into our human families, it should come as no surprise these days that pets are often included in the same life improvement trends as humans. Nowhere is that more evident than in the food section of your local pet store.
Gone are the days when choices for your pet’s food were limited to wet or dry. Just as consumers are now more mindful of where our food comes from and what is in it, they’re also paying closer attention to what to feed their furry friends, and the options are only continuing to expand.
Organic pet food has been around for a while, but lately there has been a veritable explosion in the variety of quality treats available to reward that special little buddy for being so good. And — as with their main meals — pet treats are being formulated with greater attention to ingredient sourcing, allergens and nutrition, ensuring that no matter what digestive sensitivities your pet might have, there’s bound to be a treat for them, too.
The ingredient list in Zuke’s Natural Dog treats, for instance, reads like a Whole Foods shopping list. Fruit, vegetables, herbs and spices, along with chicken, fish and even duck round out a menu that sounds like it might be just as tempting for humans. Zuke’s even makes a special holiday turkey and cranberry tree-shaped treat perfect for Fido’s stocking this year — assuming he hasn’t chewed his to rags already. Zuke’s Mini Naturals Trees are available at independent retailers and PetSmart locations nationwide for $5.79 per 6 oz. resealable bag.
As anyone who has looked up a benign symptom on the web knows, you’re always just clicks away from discovering that whatever symptom you have is dire. Seventy-five percent of pet owners also turn to “Dr. Google” to try to self-diagnose pet symptoms, and that can be even more dangerous than when we do it to ourselves. PetCoach, a Petco company, offers an app for your smartphone that not only answers health questions, but also offers training advice, behavior insights and nutrition information, all for free. If your dog barks too much or your cat doesn’t purr enough, PetCoach has thousands of vet-reviewed articles that explain everything you want to know about your pet. For $19.99, you can also get a real time consultation with a vet (available 24/7) to help figure out if your pal is just being weird or has something seriously wrong. Still got questions? Ask.Vet offers a yearly membership for $99 which includes unlimited text sessions and six phone calls with a veterinarian (who are on call from 7 a.m. to 1 a.m.). Although either of these services can be helpful to ease your mind about a pet’s health, they ‘re no substitute for regular veterinary care. Always keep the number for your vet and the nearest 24-hour emergency animal hospital programmed into your phone or in an easily accessible place.
If you go to a lot of parties, you may have already encountered “party suit guy.” He’s the dude with a suit with hearts all over it for Valentine’s Day and an American flag suit on the 4th of July. Chances are, he got those duds at shinesTy.com. Now they carry matching suits for your pet too, so you’ll both be well dressed for any special occasion.
Giftsforyounow.com also offers an entire section of pet-centric items to make sure your four legged friends are not left out of the holiday festivities. Treat your pet to a customized ID tag with any picture you want. Hang a stocking with their name on it, or hang an ornament on the tree just for them.
Your pets can’t read of course, but pet lovers with a penchant for design should be sure to check out At Home with Dogs and their Designers: Sharing a Stylish Life (Rizzoli, $35) by author Susanna Salk. Her book, featuring 22 A-list designers and their pets is both a glimpse into the designers’ lives and an inspiration for anyone who wants to live beautifully in harmony with their animals. Fun photos by Stacey Bewkes feature pets and owners at play and lounging around their fabulously appointed spaces. See which lucky pets summer in the Hamptons and which lucky quadroped uses a miniature vintage chair to hop in and out of bed. Each section is written by the designer/owner as both love letters to their pets and explanations of how they’ve adapted their homes to accommodate their beloved companions — offering practical guidance and examples of how you can create a pet-friendly environment that is also stylish and beautiful.
Last modified: December 6, 2017