Investing in the coolest gear, games, and gizmos comes with the territory for parents — especially pet parents. Thankfully, the folks at Toys, Tots, Pets & More have gotten the message and for the first year included pet products in their semi-annual showcase, which happened Friday in NYC.
A quick inspection of the show floor made for an almost dizzying array of sound and color. Every new whosit and whatsit and thingamabob was fired up and ready for play. It was obvious that fun was the immediate goal, but a closer look revealed some spectacular superlatives in pet products. Some of these toys are in stores now, but your pup will need to wait on a few.
1. Best Dog Toy for Days When You’re On a Short Fuse
We’ve been obsessed with Nerf ever since we were old enough to toss a brightly colored foam football. And now Gramercy Products has released a new line of Nerf Dog toys that has us more than a little jealous of how much fun pups get to have. The coolest of the bunch is probably the Stomper, which is a foot-activated tennis ball launcher that sends Fido’s favorite fetch mate sailing up to 100 feet away. Looks like a good way to give him some exercise while taking out any pent-up frustration of your own.
2. Best Dog Toy for Slobber Haters
The Fetchbee began as a simple concept that stood to benefit from brilliant design. Real Innovators was up for the challenge and has introduced a soft, flexible flying disc with its own flinging stick. The plastic rod deftly snaps into place to pick up and toss the toy, so you’ll never have to touch a slippery-slobbery disc again. And doing backbends to pick up the toy? Consider it history. The flinging stick means you won’t come close to spilling your coffee when you lean over to lift the toy.
3. Best Toy for Dogs Obsessed With Fetch
Petmate is one of those old standbys — we always know they’ll have something worthwhile. This time around it’s the Chuckit Ultra Sling with multi-colored darts. You’ll feel straight out of The Hunger Games with this pet-friendly slingshot. Needless to say, we’re a little excited to add these bad boys to our arsenal.
4. Best Toy for Pet Parents Who Hate Squeaky Toys
What’s that you say? You hate the sound of your dog’s high-pitched squeaky toys? We hear you, loud and clear. Apparently so does Quaker Pet Group’s goDog HearDoggy! soft plush toys. These ultrasonic wonders make plenty of sound, but at a frequency that only dogs can hear. This means Rover can chomp and chew the bejesus out of his new plaything to his highly sensitive ears’ delight … and you won’t hear a peep. With specially trademarked Chew Guard technology (for roughhousing types) and reinforced and double-stitched seams, these toys will likely stand the test of time.
5. Best Gear for Embarrassing the Paws Off Your Pet
Dressing up your dog on a daily basis isn’t for everyone, but doing it on Halloween is kind of a must. There’s nothing more fun than embarrassing your four-legged family member, and Fetch…for Pets! has teamed up with DC Comics and Looney Tunes to make some pretty sassy superhero apparel that fits the bill. For female pups, a bitty badass Batgirl costume comes with a tiny, glitter-flecked tutu. How awesomely embarrassing is that?
6. Best Toy for People Who Can’t Keep Track of Pet Toys
Too. Many. Toys. Is what the majority of us are thinking most days. To the rescue is the Nerf Dog arrowhead trackshot launcher: a single-piece apparatus in a sea of products that require a separate launching element and toy. One less thing to worry about losing at the park equals major points in our book. Plus, the stretchy elastic sends the toy flying up to 100 feet and is crunchable for pups that like to chew.
7. Best Toy for Dogs With a Mind of Their Own
Imagine leaving your above-average-intelligence dog with a toy that keeps her mentally stimulated and physically engaged. Stuff the JW Pet Company Hol-ee bone with pig ears, raw hide, or anything else you can think of. Its large interior accommodates all types of treats and its bone-shaped design is a classic.
8. Best Toy for Making Your Pup Look Like a Human Toddler
From Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles to SpongeBob SquarePants, GMason Group has cartoon-crazed folks covered. Pint-sized pooches will look downright childlike in these bright and colorful tees. And for pet-obsessed parents, that’s the ultimate goal sometimes.
Read more about dog products on Dogster:
- 12 of the Hottest New Dog Products From the Global Pet Trade Expo
- Monkey the Saint Bernard and His Friend Try Out the Puller
- We Test the iFetch, the Automatic Ball Launcher Your Dog Can Operate Herself
About the author: Whitney C. Harris is a New York-based freelance writer for websites including StrollerTraffic, Birchbox, and WhattoExpect.com. A former book and magazine editor, she enjoys running (with Finley), watching movies (also with Finley), and cooking meatless meals (usually with Finley watching close by).