Puppy Bowl vs. Super Bowl


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Harmful Super Bowl Foods for Pets

Who doesn’t love the Super Bowl? It’s practically a national holiday. And, this year with it being in our backyard here in New Jersey, it is even more exciting.

But, with all the good food, loud screams when your team scores, or loud unprintable words being said your team doesn’t, there are plenty of opportunities for a pet to get stressed or sick.

Food is likely the biggest challenge, because as many times as you tell your little cousin not to give the dog any treats from the table, you know they are bound to slip them at least a tortilla chip. That is the least of your worries, however.

Popular appetizers like salsa and guacamole, which typically contain onions and can be toxic to dogs, are a major concern. So is caffeine in soda, or the bones from Buffalo wings. Alcohol is another major worry, so keep your bottles of Goose Island’s 312, or glasses of Penguin Merlot, out of your dogs reach.

To combat the loud noises, and general excitement of a crowd of unfamiliar people roaming about your house during your party, try using a calming product for your pup.

One product readily available at a local retailer that can help this is the ThunderShirt. Or, try a homeopathic spray, like the ones offered by Rescue Remedy.


P.S. — Go Broncos!!





Lawrence Joins PetFirst

Clint Lawrence joined PetFirst, a national pet insurance company, as the new vice president of sales and marketing. 

“We are excited to have Clint lead our sales and marketing team at PetFirst,” Katie Grant, CEO of PetFirst, said.  “Clint’s career has demonstrated leadership in both business development and account growth, and he will be an asset to our team.”

Lawrence comes to PetFirst after 13 years with Cintas Corporation where his focus was new business development.

“I am excited to join the team at PetFirst and I welcome the opportunity to lead the Sales and Marketing team,” Lawrence said.  “PetFirst holds a strong brand position in the pet health industry.  I look forward to working with the leadership team and the sales and marketing associates to expand our customer base throughout North America.”

The company is headquartered in Jeffersonville, Ind.

Fetching Promotes Payne

Fetching Communications, the PR and marketing agency for the pet and veterinary industries, appointed Dave Payne as the company’s vice president, client services.

Payne joined Fetching in 2011 as an account manager.

Fetching Communications President and Founder Kristen Levine said Payne’s years of experience in public relations will continue to help the agency prosper.

“Dave brings to his new position an impressive track record of successful account management and PR and media relations strategies that garner excellent results,” Levine said. “As vice president of client services, Dave will utilize his experience to further develop and mentor our team and ensure excellent results for our clients.”

NAPPS Announces Business of the Year

Heather Branch, of Best Friends Forever Pet Services was the 2014 Business of the Year Award recipient by the National Association of Professional Pet Sitters.

Branch  was given the award because she possesses the true entrepreneurial spirit and developed her business after yearning to spend more time with animals and feel the constant joy she felt when with her own furry family members, according to the organization.

After a lifelong career in the entertainment, radio, TV and media industry, Branch decided to enroll in the Animal Behavior College when she was looking to create a shift in her professional career. Branch earned her certifications in dog obedience training and veterinary assistantship and worked with her mentor, a local professional pet sitter who was certified through the NAPPS program. Two years after beginning her journey and her new career, Branch merged her company with her mentor’s.

“Heather has helped set the standard of quality care in the professional pet sitting industry,” Sherry L. Suhosky, president of NAPPS, said. “The success of her business demonstrates her passion and commitment to advancing the industry and providing excellent customer service.”

Best Friends Forever, located in the San Fernando Valley of Los Angeles, has a staff of 10 animal lovers to assist with business operations.

“We pride ourselves in knowing that our clients can be confident in leaving their pets in our care without worry,” Branch said. “We have invested our hearts into an invaluable, much-needed quality service and have helped many people carry on with their workday guilt-free, or go on a much needed vacation without worry.”

Each year, NAPPS presents the Business of the Year Award to a member who has demonstrated outstanding business practices and maintained the vision of growing his/her business. A comprehensive evaluation is conducted on all members being considered for the award. Areas of focus include commitment to the profession, management philosophy, reputation of client satisfaction, and community involvement.

Included in Branch’s award package is complimentary registration to attend the NAPPS 2014 Virtual Conference, when she will be formally recognized, in addition to being acknowledged in the NAPPS publication, Professional Pet Sitter Magazine.

A Tradition of Quality and Perfection

We recently talked with Manfred Bogdahn, founder and CEO of flexi, about his company and their new product collection.


Michelle: Tell us about how flexi got its start.

Manfred: What began with a conversion of a chain-saw starting mechanism 40 years ago, has grown to a high-tech product, which is leading all developed markets worldwide. The first prototype was made in 1972.

The concept has not changed, but the technology has matured to perfection over the years. The original flexi leash features a patented high-tech retraction system, it embodies our spirit of continued innovation and uncompromising standards of perfection. Quality, comfortable handling and innovative designs underline the level of refinement of our leashes.


Whether classic, trendy, fashionable or elegant, the range is designed to excite every dog and their owner.


Michelle: What do you do to produce your outstanding quality products?

Manfred: We are a family-owned business and manufacture all of our high-quality flexi leashes in our facility in Bargteheide, near Hamburg, Germany. With more than 300 employees, all flexi leashes are manufactured by hand under one roof. We produce about 50,000 flexi leashes per day, and export to over 90 countries worldwide.

Additionally, all of our leashes undergo extensive in-house product testing for durability and usability. It’s Made in Germany simply at its best.


 Michelle: What can retailers expect to see from flexi in the next year?

Manfred: flexi’s focus is on three topics: To strengthen the flexi brand, better presentation of flexi leashes at point of purchase and launch innovative new products to develop the retractable leash category and to grow our business.

One of the most important things to remember about flexi is our commitment to quality and perfection. Retailers should be excited to know that we offer impressive in-store displays as a service to them, free of charge.


We feel that customers will be able to see our new offerings, for instance the flexi VARIO, flexi NEW CLASSIC and a program with special leashes, best when they can see it displayed properly and complete. We truly partner with our customers, and go above and beyond to ensure sell-through and successful results.

Michelle: Tell us more about your new product collection, VARIO.

Manfred: We are very proud of our new VARIO SYSTEM. It is an elegant line, and offered in five sizes with a wide range of color options. It is called the VARIO SYSTEM because you can add a lot of accessories to the leash.

The VARIO accessories include an LED Lighting System, great for evening walks with your dog, and a MultiBox for waste bags or treats. Each accessory attaches conveniently to your flexi leash.


We also offer a Duo Belt for walking two dogs at once, an LED Flash Belt for added evening safety, and a Soft Stop Belt. There’s never been a more complete, comprehensive leash system in the market.

Puppy Bowl Dog Goes to Disney World

After day one of our semi-successful paparazzi quest to get some quality time with Pong, one of the stars of Animal Planet’s Puppy Bowl, we decided to go back for some more. Our goal was to find Pong and at least get a hug from her.

Since her Puppy Bowl starting line up profile said she had been to Disney World 12 times already, that’s where we headed. After some searching at Downtown Disney, Epcot and Hollywood Studios, we finally spotted her just outside of the Magic Kingdom, where she performed a very Lindsey Lohan-style escape.

But, like any good paparazzi, we knew she would eventually have to get out of the car. And, we were correct, as we snapped her taking a stroll outside the Magic Kingdom.

After a little sweet talking, and maybe just a few of her favorite treats, we finally found Pong, who has become a local Orlando celebrity, with multiple TV and live appearances.

Follow #PongSpotting on Twitter for more of the action.

Puppy, Clydesdale Become Super Bowl Stars

Get ready for the collective, “awwww” you are going to hear as you share this video with your co-workers, friends and family.

Once again Budweiser has capitalized on their famous Clydesdales, this time co-staring them with an adorable puppy for this year’s Super Bowl commercial.

Take a look ~


Puppy Bowl Paparazzi Style

Move over, TMZ and PEOPLE Pets. Pet Age went on the hunt for a pet celebrity that would make any paparazzi proud.

Last week, while in Orlando for the North American Veterinary Community Conference, we thought it would be fun to try and see if we could catch up with Pong, one of the cute dogs starring in this weekend’s Animal Planet Puppy Bowl.

Pong is from the Florida Little Dog Rescue Group, which if you attended Global Pet Expo last year, you may remember them holding adoptions at our booth. Her starting lineup profile says she has been to Disney World 12 times already, so I had some idea of where to start, but we also got a few tips from locals that she would be shopping and making a few local appearances in the Orlando area. So, that’s where I headed.

First stop, was The Hammered Lamb, which will be hosting a Puppy Bowl viewing party the day of the game. When we first saw her walking down the street, she wanted nothing to do with us, as you can see in this video.

Looks like being a celebrity went to her head a little. The next few days, which were spent trying to spot her in between NAVC events went much like the same.

I was able to snap a photo of her grabbing a quick bite of Spring Naturals at The Hammered Lamb before we were asked to leave the local celebrity alone so she could dine in peace.

But, a few hours later we spotted her doing a little shopping at The Doggy Door, a local retail store in the area. First, she checked out some toys from West Paw, before looking at other toys, clothing and house ware items.

While we got to spend some time with her, we still didn’t get as close as we wanted, so we went back the next day to search for her again. This time at Disney World, where she did a very Lindsey Lohan-style escape. Also follow #PongSpotting on Twitter for more of the action.

Peanut Butter Goes to the Dogs

There are certain foods my dog, Toby, loves. Peanut butter is toward the top of that list.

In fact, I would guess most dogs tend to like it, especially since there are hundreds of peanut butter-based treats available for retailers to carry. A quick search on WholesalePet.com for “peanut butter” results in 917 results. That’s a lot of peanut butter options.

Toby, however, tends to prefer his peanut butter stuffed into a KONG toy. It gives him hours of play time, and helps keep him active and entertained.

So, in honor of National Peanut Butter Day, which is today, we want to know what is your best-selling peanut butter pet treat? Tell us in the comments below.



HABRI Names Executive Director

After an extensive nationwide search, the Human Animal Bond Research Initiative Foundation named Steven Feldman executive director.

An experienced association executive and public policy advocate with more than 20 years in the field, Feldman has worked in many related areas including wildlife conservation, animal welfare, healthcare and education.

“On behalf of all of our trustees and sponsors, we are thrilled to welcome Steven into the organization to help position HABRI for continued growth,” Bob Vetere, president of HABRI, said. “Given his successful background in leadership and management in the public sector, along with his extensive knowledge and previous work in the zoo and aquarium industry, we are confident he will be a great asset in taking HABRI to the next level.”

Feldman replaces Steve Hellem of Navista, who had been contracted by HABRI to oversee the organization since its launch nearly 4 years ago.

“We truly thank Steve Hellem for all he has done to help HABRI get to where it is today,” Vetere said. “He has been a great asset and we look forward to growing HABRI on the solid foundation he has helped build with a full-time executive director.”

Prior to joining HABRI, Feldman served as senior vice president for external affairs for the Association of Zoos and Aquariums. He also worked at Powell Tate, a leading public affairs firm, and as a staff member in the United States Senate.

“It’s an honor to join HABRI because its mission is so critical to improving the lives of so many people,” Feldman said. “The Foundation has taken a leadership role in achieving more widespread recognition of the power of the human-animal bond to benefit the health of individuals and communities. I am grateful to the trustees and sponsors, and look forward to continuing the momentum they have created in advancing the research in this important area of health and science.”

Since its launch, HABRI has created the world’s largest database of human-animal bond related research, which can be found at www.habricentral.org.

Founded by The American Pet Product Association, Petco Animal Supplies Inc. and Zoetis, HABRI is a broad coalition of companies, organizations, entities whose mission is to achieve formal, widespread scientific recognition that validates and supports the positive roles of pets and animals in the integrated health of families and communities, leading to informed decisions in human health.

For more information, visit www.habri.org

Puppy Bowl Stalking, NAVC

Sometimes you just know when a star athlete is born. You look into their eyes and you see something. There is a passion, drive and motivation.

That’s what I saw in Pong the first time I met her last year at the Total Pet Expo in Chicago. She was strong, brilliant and I knew she was going to be a star.

Oh, who am I kidding? She was just so freaking adorable, I had to grab her and snuggle her.

But, it sounds like a good story, especially since now she is one of the puppies who will be staring in Animal Planet’s Puppy Bowl X.

All my animal loving friends go nuts over this event, so you better believe when I found out Pong, who is from Florida Little Dog Rescue, was going to be part of it, I totally flaunted the, “I knew her when” card. I mean, isn’t that what you do with anyone you know when they become famous?

Too bad I don’t have any scandalous puppy photos, or juicy dirt about Pong before she became famous, that People Pets might be interested in.

I’m heading down to Orlando, where she is from, on Sunday to attend the North American Veterinary Conference, and I am going to see if I can spot her, because I would love to see her and the folks from the Florida Little Dog Rescue again. The conference hotel I’m stay at is on Disney property and according to her starting lineup profile she has been to Disney World 12 times already.

Plus, from what I can tell, she has become very much of a celebrity down there, having been on numerous local TV stations.

By the way, if you are going to be at the NAVC, I would love to meet up with you, so send me a tweet and hopefully we can get together.

Are You Ready For Some Puppy Bowl!?

Note: Pet Age is accepting submissions till Noon on January 31st.

Here at Pet Age, we are extremely excited for Animal Planet’s 2014 Puppy Bowl. We are so excited in fact, we decided to do our own fantasy league. Want to play? It’s easy!

First, check out the starting lineups on Animal Planet’s site.

Second, pick your starting lineup.

Third, take a screen shot of your team and send it to our assistant editor with a sentence of who you are and your company or store if you’re with one and we will put it up on our website.

Lastly, watch and enjoy the puppy bowl while watching your team score points (here is the score sheet) and earn bragging rights against the rest of the Pet Age 2014 Puppy Bowl Fantasy League.

Once your team is up, we encourage friendly competition in the comments below.

And then, use the hashtag #petagefantasy along with #puppybowl to tweet with us and other competitors prior to, and during the Puppy Bowl.

First up, Michelle Maskaly: Editor-in-Chief of Pet Age magazine.


Second, Jason Kamery: Assistant Editor of Pet Age magazine

Third, Brianne Molnar: Account Executive for Pet Age magazine

Fourth, Meredith Schneider: PetPR.com Manager and senior account executive at Fetching Communications


Fifth, Alyx Ricke and Bella: Avid Readers of Pet Age magazine

Sixth, Maggie Marton: Dog writer for Pet Age magazine

Seventh, Christie Zizo: Runs LifeWithBeagle.com – a pet trends, lifestyle and beagle blog.

Eighth, Felissa Elfenbein: Blogger for twolittlecavaliers.com

Ninth, Laura F.: Reader

Tenth, Nancy Hassel: Founder and President of Long Island Pet Professionals, LLC.

Eleventh,Beckie Tomala: VP at Matrix Parnters

Twelfth, Kerry Sutherland: Principal of K. Sutherland PR

Thirteenth, Sarah Hinckley: Assistant Account Manager for K. Sutherland PR

Fourteenth, Caroline Golon: Founder of High Paw Media and creator of www.crayonsandcollars.com 

Fifteenth, Rachel Phelps: Publisher of PrestonSpeaks.com

Sixteenth,Lauren Darr: Founder of the International Association of Pet Fashion Professionals

Seventeenth, Erin Terjesen: PR/Marketing Partner & Pet Lover, Propel Communications

Eighteenth,Sharon Waters: Reader of Pet Age magazine

Nineteenth, Rachel Hoffnagle: Avid Reader of Pet Age magazine

Twentieth, Missy Chehi:Fan of Pet Age

Twenty-first, Stacy Mantle: Writer for Pet Age and founder of PetsWeekly.com 

Twenty-Second, Karen Alley: Writer for Pet Age magazine

Twenty-third, Pepper: Pepper’s Paws

Twenty-fourth, Impetus: * Note from Impetus*

After careful analysis of all the entire draft class, we have assembled an elite team of puppies based upon their ability to fill stat sheets and fit within our west-coast system. Come game day, their performance will be so epic that history will remember those watching not as spectators of a sporting event, but instead as witnesses of divine perfection.

Twenty-fifth, Kristy Boulos, Vice president, account supervisor of Matrix Partners

Twenty-sixth: Malia

Twenty-Seventh, Danielle: Researcher at NJBIZ

Twenty-Eighth, Francesca: Service and Marketing Manager at Pet Store Websites

Twenty-nineth, Kyle: Marketing Specialist at Pet Store Websites


Thirtieth, Kyra: Marketing Specialist at Pet Store Websites

Thirty-First, Leeann: Marketing specialist at Pet Store Websites

Thirty-Second, Lori: Marketing Specialist at Pet Store Websites

Thirty-Third, Janet: Service and Production Manager at Pet Store Websites

Thirty-Fourth, Tiffany: Marketing Specialist at Pet Store Websites

Thirty-Fifth, Jacquie: Marketing Specialist at Pet Store Websites

Thirty-Sixth, Brandy: Editor for The Dogington Post

Thirty-Seventh, Beth: Co-Owner of Harper & Hound-Coordinating jewelry for doggies and their divas!

Thirty-Eighth, Nicole: Designer NJBIZ

Thirty-Ninth, Ashlee: PR Manager for Matrix

Fortieth, Kim: PRCoordinator at Matrix Partners

Forty-First, Kelly: Co-Founder of Harper & Hound

Forty-Second, Kerian: Support Coordinator Manager for Pet360

Forty-Third, Tamara: Barker for www.thebarktorialist.com

Forty-Forth, Anne:Audience Development Manager for NJBIZ

Zuke’s Joins Nestlé Purina PetCare

Zuke’s Performance Pet Nutrition, was acquired by  Nestlé Purina PetCare, the company said. 

“I’m personally so pleased that Zuke’s is now a part of the Nestlé Purina family,”  Patrick Meiering, founder of Zuke’s, said. “Their understanding of Zuke’s core mission of fostering an active and healthy lifestyle for pets and pet parents alike, their commitment to keeping Zuke’s and its employees in Durango as an independent operation, and their ability to help grow the Zuke’s brand in the pet specialty marketplace were important factors in partnering with Nestlé Purina.”

According to a press release issued by the dog and cat treat company, “Zuke’s, and its employees, will continue to be operated as an independent company based in beautiful Durango. Zuke’s will continue creating and producing outdoors-inspired, safe, and healthy dog and cat treats in the same facilities, in the same way, right here in the USA.”

“I joined the Zuke’s team in 2010 with the goal of growing the Zuke’s brand while staying true to its authentic roots and history,” John Hart, president of Zuke’s, said. “We achieved that goal and are excited to continue and accelerate that growth in pet specialty with our new partnership.”


Kathy Ireland Partners With Worldwise

Worldwise, a leading consumer pet products company, entered into a long term, exclusive licensing agreement with kathy ireland Worldwide.

Under the partnership, Kathy Ireland, CEO and chief designer for kiWW, will develop a line of solution based home decor friendly pet products with the Worldwise team and market the collection under the brand kathy ireland Loved Ones.

“As a company, Worldwise  is excited to partner with Kathy Ireland and her team at kiWW to develop a line of solution based pet products unique to the market,” Kevin Fick, Worldwise CEO, said. “Kathy makes a great partner, she brings both her design savvy as well as her knowledge of what it means to be a busy parent to both the two-footed and four-footed child. Kathy’s design sense combined with Worldwise’s ability to create innovative and solution based products is a winning combination.

“Worldwise and kiWW partnership has evolved naturally and through the shared interest in pet wellness has led to building a significant pet advocacy program that will work to raise awareness of the benefits of pet adoption.”

The kathy ireland Loved Ones pet product collection will be both functional and stylish, and will be launching at Global Pet Expo next month.

“It’s a joy to partner with Kevin and the extraordinary team at Worldwise to bring our brand into the world of pet lovers,” Ireland said. “We have never thought of ourselves as pet owners, rather, we are the trusted guardians for these very special loved ones.”


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