By Michele C. Hollow of Pet News and Views
I’m in a bit of a cranky mood, so bear with me. Occasionally someone sends me a new pet product. My inbox is filled with press releases touting the latest pet products. And I have attended pet trade shows featuring a broad offering of goods for cats, dogs, and other pets.
This Post is Not going to Make me Popular
I guess a lot of people expect that I will publicize a product just because I got a freebie. Sorry, I don’t do that. I’m a journalist, and yes, I’ve done public relations work and know how hard it is to do promotions. I promote products and organizations I believe in. Writing about the Pioneer Pet Fountain was easy. Since Earl Gray, my cat, has been using it, I sleep better at night. To read that story, click here.
About a year ago, a well respected pet publicist invited me to a pet show in NYC. I saw a wide range of beautiful products. I loved the doggie T-shirts that said, “Adopt” on them. One of my favorite collars is from Up Country with the same message!
1. No Fur for Fido
At this pet show, I saw a fox pet collar. Yes, you read that right: a pet collar covered in fox fur. When I was a kid and not involved in animal advocacy, I knew fur was wrong. I just never understood how anyone could wear a fur coat, hat, or real fur anything. So, I imagined—wrongly—that people who live with dogs are animal people. I’ve since learned that just because someone has a dog or a cat doesn’t make them an animal lover. I could not understand how anyone could put a fur collar on their dog. I look at fur and see dead animals. So, no, I won’t promote a real fur pet collar.
2. You’re So Vain
When a friend told me about this new product, I didn’t believe her. Well, now you can dye your pet’s fur. Available in such colors as “Monster Green,” “Screaming Pink,” “Shocking Orange,” and other colors, I do find this shocking. Why mess with perfection? My cat is a beautiful smokey gray and white. He is absolutely beautiful. Why would I ever want to add “Midnight Blue” to his fur? Ugh! I just do not get it. We should celebrate the beauty of our furry friends, not dye their coats. The products say they are safe, but really, why would anyone find this appealing?
3. This Made Me Cry
I actually saw a product that brought tears to my eyes. There are these incredibly tiny fish bowls that sit in the lap of a small stuffed animal. The poor fish inside has just enough room to turn around. I recoil in horror when I see products like this! The stuffed animals (teddy bears, penguins, frogs, monkeys, and other animals) look light enough to be toted around by a small child. That is a truly frightening thought. Remember “Finding Nemo?” Nemo didn’t want to go with Darla, the little rough girl.
4. The Lazy Award
For people who want their dogs fit and trim, there are treadmills. I guess if I were homebound, this might work, but what about spending time with your pet and going for a long walk together? Studies prove that long walks benefit you and your pooch. When I had a dog, our shortest walks were 20 minutes.
A Note to My Readers: Since I posted this and got your wonderful comments, I had a change of heart about the treadmill. Read the comments for a better explanation!
5. Video Cameras for Pets
The good news is that this product doesn’t harm a pet, but why on earth would I want to put a video camera on my cat and have him photograph everything at his eye level? I hate looking at blurry photos and videos of people’s feet and the floor.
6. It’s Not Your Pet’s Fault
If you buy chew toys that look like shoes, handbags and iPods, don’t blame your dog if he confuses your real shoes, handbag, or iPod as a chew toy.
7. This Doesn’t Make Scents
I haven’t seen this for cats, but someone invented perfume for dogs. This is wrong on so many levels. A dog’s sense of smell is so much stronger than ours, that using perfume just seems unhealthy. I cringe when I think of dousing a dog with perfume. Instead of perfume, just give your dog a bath.
8. Scratching the Hand that Feeds You
My friend’s husband was puzzled when his cat scratched him. He purchased a glove that has cat toys attached to them. I’m not making this up. You put the glove on your hand and expect your cat to reach for the toys at the end of the fingers. Problem is (besides this being stupid), as your cat grabs for the toy, he will accidentally scratch you through the glove.
9. Table Manners
I was always told not to feed my pets from the table. So, I would think that the pet highchair would cause confusion for pets. I know my cat would squirm in it, and a dog just doesn’t look comfortable in it.
10. Spotlight on Purring
Someone invented a collar that lights up when your cat purrs. Again, I am not making this up. One of the most beautiful sounds is listening to Earl purr. I’m usually petting him while he purrs. So, this is necessary—why?
These are just 10 really dumb pet products. I know there are a lot more. It makes me cranky just thinking about them—especially when all our pets want is our attention and love. The food doesn’t have to be top-of-the-line. The toys can be a simple cat dancer (one of Earl’s favorites) or a ball to toss. Just spend quality time with your pets, so I can stop being cranky.
Win A Box of Love
This is just a reminder that there is a contest going on here at Pet News and Views to benefit Bideawee and Second Chance Animal Rescue. The Honest Kitchen has generously agreed to donate a large quantity of their high-quality pet food to these animal centers. Plus, they are giving one Pet News and Views’ reader a 10 pound box of Love dog food. Click here for details.