Pet Age Speaks With Fromm Family Foods

Glenn A. Polyn, editor-in-chief of Pet Age, talks with Bryan Nieman of Fromm Family Foods at Global Pet Expo in Orlando, Florida.

Global Pet Expo Day 2

Stella & Chewy’s to Release Raw Blend and Raw Coated Kibble

Stella & Chewy’s, a leader in the rapidly-growing freeze-dried and frozen raw segments of the pet food industry, will be introducing a family of Raw Blend and Raw Coated Kibble at Global Pet Expo in Orlando, Florida, March 22-24. The additions represent the company’s largest new product introduction in its history as it enters the kibble segment of pet foods.

Since it was started in 2003 by Marie Moody, founder and chairman, after she discovered the power of raw nutrition with her own animals, the company’s mission statement has been “to provide the highest quality, natural pet food available with emphasis on health, palatability, and convenience.”  Stella & Chewy’s is built on the philosophy of the power of raw food nutrition and that any amount of raw food in a diet will have a meaningful and positive impact on a pet’s health and well-being.

“Since the beginning, we have been focused on making raw food more readily available and more convenient for pet parents,” Moody said. “From our start in frozen raw, to the addition of complete and balanced freeze-dried dinners, to our more recent introduction of our Meal Mixers, we have always believed that less processed food, pristine ingredients and raw food at any levels in a pet’s diet will be beneficial.

“We understand there are many kibble type products available, and while many are of good quality, none really offer the promise of raw in every bite,” she added. “We believe we have created a kibble that is truly unique and special, consistent with our values, and that delivers on feeding ‘Only the good stuff’ to pets.”

Each grain-free recipe starts with responsibly-sourced proteins like cage-free poultry, grass-fed meat and wild-caught fish, organic fruits and vegetables, and includes 65 – 70 percent meat ingredients. Each is then slowly and gently baked, resulting in a less-processed, more easily digested and highly palatable product.

Raw Coated Kibble is coated with freeze-dried raw goodness, crafted in the company’s own kitchen, on every piece in each of the four recipes: Grass-Fed Beef, Cage-Free Chicken, Wild-Caught Whitefish and Small Breed Chicken. Two additional recipes of Raw Blend Kibble, Red Meat and Cage-Free include the same raw coating, to which has been added freeze-dried pieces of Stella & Chewy’s Meal Mixers to deliver additional freeze-dried raw nutrition in every meal.

The family of products will be launched nationally this April in distinctive 3.5-, 10- and 22-pound packaging to visually communicate its important product differences on-shelf. The brand will be supported with in-store merchandising, aggressive product sampling, consumer promotion support and digital media to drive awareness. The company says it is proud to partner exclusively with the neighborhood pet store retail channel with this important addition to its product portfolio.

Hello, Birdie

By Jennifer Higgins

February may be looking in its rearview mirror at the holidays now long passed, but the winter weather is sticking around. As we hunker down in the warmth and safety of our homes, you can see that our feathered friends outside are doing whatever they can to survive the elements. Though a significant number of birds migrate to more temperate regions over the winter, there are a few bird species that stick around, including nuthatches, woodpeckers, sparrows, chickadees and many more.

By the same token, just because the temperature outside has dropped and the snow is falling doesn’t mean nature lovers, outdoor enthusiasts and even novice bird watchers have given up on their quest to enjoy what nature has to offer. They are just enjoying all of it from a different vantage point: through their kitchen or rec room windows. What’s more, there is just as much to see of these winged and beaked characters as there might be in spring or summer—it’s just a matter of providing the season-appropriate housing, food and structures to keep our feathered and frolicking friends hanging around.

Birdie, It’s Cold Outside
Birds require three important elements all year round, but even more so in the winter: food, water, some degree of warmth and shelter. These items are even more essential during the winter months, as all three become very scarce at this time of the year.

Biology and evolution have ensured that many creatures are well equipped for all types of weather, and birds are no exception. During the winter, a bird’s metabolism slows down to conserve energy, and they will fluff their feathers to trap heat, much the same way a comforter or parka made with goose down works to keep those who use them—usually humans—toasty warm. However, when feather fluffing and metabolic management does not suffice, we can provide artificial sources of food, water, warmth and protection from the winter elements.

Food, Glorious Food
Those interested in keeping wild birds happy and healthy in the winter months should focus their attention on food, water and—to a lesser degree—shelter. Food is first on this list because not only are natural food sources scarce in winter, but whatever food nature provides in winter does not meet the nutritional requirements for birds to get through the winter and stay healthy.

Therefore, the food you put out must be high in fat and, to a lesser degree, protein. Suet is in high demand during the winter months and comes in a wide variety of ingredients. Packing on the fat is essential for wild, non-migratory birds that stay behind in the winter. Suets and the ingredients from which they are made are the most efficient and economical way to provide this important component of a wild bird’s winter diet.

Suet is a fat rendering food source and is often chock full of “prizes,” like nuts and even insects! Kaytee manufactures a Cedar Suet Feeder Wild Bird Feeder which can be easily mounted to a wall, fence or tree and is made from durable, renewable Red Cedar. Kaytee Winter Blend also boasts a premium blend of three types of seed with no fillers and the added surprise: Kaytee’s own Energy Chip, which boosts a bird’s strength to sustain them in the cold. Nuts are a great source of both fat and protein and insects get the vote for the best source of protein, which is also an essential part of a bird’s winter diet.

“Squirrels love suet, too, and can quickly consume a cake that would otherwise feed dozens of birds for days,” warned Joan Casanova, who promotes Cole’s Wild Bird Feed products. “To discourage squirrels, Cole’s Wild Bird Products offers ‘Hot Meats’ suet cakes, which uses a patented technology consisting of rendered beef suet, red chili peppers, sunflower meats, corn and oats. Birds love it, but squirrels don’t like the heat.”

Susan Parker of Scarlett Quality Pet and Wild Bird Food in Sauderton, Pennsylvania, takes pride in her company’s own manufacturing facility where they have created custom mixes for every season.

“In the winter, we feature our Winter Blend—we offer it in 20-pound bags,” she said. “It is a mix that is extremely high in fat and protein, two things that will be most beneficial for birds during the cold months.”

According to Parker, Scarlett recently added the Mr. Bird line to its product mix.

“It is a mixed seed and suet line of preformed and cylinder feeding blocks featuring premium ingredients, such as pecans, safflower and dried mealworms,” she said. “It brings a higher retail price point with nice margins. The high quality of product packaging makes it an easy sell.”

Hot Tub Time
Erva Metal Lawn and Garden Products is one of many manufacturers carrying an assortment of heated bird baths. These miniature avian hot tubs are all the rage, as more and more backyard bird enthusiasts want to keep birds coming to their property all year round, even in the winter. Not only does it provide a source of warmth, but it is also the best way to provide a source of hydration to birds during the winter.

“Birds lack the ability to convert snow into water, so it is important to provide a water source for wild birds in the winter,” said Alyse Burman of Wild Bird Shack in Mount Prospect, Illinois.

Furthermore, birds bathe all year round; bathing plays an important role in feather maintenance.
When water and/or food is not enough to keep them warm, birds will often seek shelter, such as a natural tree cavity or grass thicket. However, there exists a wide array of winter safe and cozy bird houses, nest boxes and other sturdy structures for hiding and supplementing warmth. promotes its Roosting House, which is predominantly for woodpeckers but can be used by other bird species. Nature’s Way Bird Products CWH3 Cedar Bluebird Box House is made of insect and rot-resistant premium cedar.

Stock up on winter wild bird wares to pique the interests of seasoned backyard bird enthusiasts and newcomers alike. You will not only boost your bottom line, but you’ll also enrich the lives of store patrons as well as the wild birds they love to watch.

Featured Photo Courtesy of Cole’s Wild Bird Products.

The Raw Deal

By Eric Stenson

The Paleo Diet has become increasingly popular among people, going back to basics with an emphasis on lean proteins similar to what our ancient ancestors might have eaten. For pets, ancestral and raw diets have come into the spotlight increasingly as more and more manufacturers introduce products to address this burgeoning market.

As cats and dogs lie on their cozy beds in our living rooms, it can be hard to remember that our pets are direct descendents of lions, tigers and wolves who prowled the wild for their dinner, rather than having a beneficent human guardian put it in a bowl for them at the first whimper of hunger.

Processing conventional pet food involves high temperatures, while freeze-drying never exceeds 115 degrees, preserving natural enzymes present in meats, according to product information on the Sojos website.

The Rise of Freeze-Dried
Raw food, while still a very small percentage of the overall pet food marketplace, is growing quickly, especially in freeze-dried forms, a segment that has grown by 47 percent in the past year, according to GfK data cited by Pete Brace, vice president of communications for Merrick Pet Care of Amarillo, Texas.

“Dogs are meat eaters by nature, and a canine ancestral diet provides similar nutrition as they’d eat in the wild: a diet high in protein and healthy fats with no grains,” Brace said.

In addition to freeze-dried raw, the Merrick Backcountry line also includes exotic protein blends and high protein kibble and canned recipes made from real deboned meat. Brace stresses that all of his company’s foods follow a simple formula—meat, fish or poultry is always the first ingredient, with fresh fruits and vegetables added for additional vitamins, minerals and fiber. All ingredients are USA-sourced, and all products are manufactured in the company’s Texas-based kitchens.

The interest in returning pets to an ancestral diet is growing quickly, but many pet owners are squeamish about handling raw meat or are concerned about possible pathogens that would only be killed by cooking. According to Ward Johnson, co-founder of Sojos, freeze-dried raw foods offer all the benefits while eliminating potential risks.

“For many pet parents, the leap from kibble or canned to raw can be intimidating; there are concerns about time-consuming prep, cost and safety,” he said. “That’s why it’s important for pet specialty retailers to be ready to introduce freeze-dried alternatives that combine the shelf-stable convenience of their customers’ current kibble or canned food—with the superior nutrition of raw.”

Sojos features dog food in 8-pound bags that rehydrate into 40 pounds of raw, fresh goat, lamb, beef or turkey; fish-based dog food; turkey cat food; and a variety of dog and cat treats.

The Honest Kitchen in San Diego makes “100 percent human-grade food for pets using whole foods,” according to founder and CEO Lucy Postins.

Postins recalls starting her company in 2002 in her own kitchen to feed her own dog. Her freeze-dried food comes in 10-pound boxes that make 40 pounds of food when warm water is added. Dog foods include turkey, beef, chicken and fish, while cats get turkey and chicken. The company also produces treats and supplements.

“Our foods are convenient because they don’t require freezing or refrigeration, so they work like an instant homemade meal and can just be kept in a kitchen cupboard or pantry,” Postins said. “Since our meats and eggs are gently steamed before dehydration, they also offer peace of mind to customers who may be concerned about handling a truly raw diet.”

Raw Food for Cats
Radagast Pet Food in Portland, Oregon, concentrates on cats. As opposed to freeze-dried products, its Rad Cat Raw Diet line is frozen and available in 8-ounce, 16-ounce and 24-ounce tubs. Rad Cat offers five varieties—Free-Range Chicken, Free-Range Turkey, Pasture-Raised Lamb, Grass-Fed Beef and Pasture-Raised Venison.

“There are many people that feed their dogs raw, but haven’t thought to explore raw options for their cats,” said Tracey Hatch-Rizzi, vice president and co-founder of Radagast Pet Food. “People are hearing about raw diets through their local retailers, the media and holistic veterinarians and are looking to manufacturers to educate them on the benefits of raw diets and how they should be fed.”

Hatch-Rizzi started her company to address a need close to home: her cat, Juno, was diagnosed at six months old with inflammatory bowel disease. Her holistic veterinarian suggested a raw diet with no grains and very few vegetables. After switching to raw, Juno quickly recovered and Hatch-Rizzi’s other cats also showed health improvements—her overweight cat dropped excess pounds, her allergy-ridden cat’s nose stopped running, and all their coats were soft and lush. She started making food for friends and family and soon realized she had a marketable product. After 13 years, the company and Juno are still going strong.

Making It on Your Own
Hatch-Rizzi supports cat owners who make their own raw food for their cats; indeed, many of her customers supplement their own efforts with her products. She also understands the risks of handling and feeding raw meat.

“When making food at home, meat purchased from the store is certain to have higher bacterial loads than a commercially-made product,” she said. “We take precautions in our processing that are not possible to replicate in a home kitchen, such as temperature control and the use of intervention steps to eliminate pathogens and other bacteria.”

Primal Pet Foods straddles the marketplace—producing frozen and freeze-dried formulas for cats and dogs, including its Pronto line, which comes in small, frozen nuggets that don’t require any thawing before serving.

“Freeze-dried foods can help remove a perceived barrier to feeding raw: the freezer,” said Kyle Frautnick, Primal’s marketing director. “Because of the versatility and ease of use, freeze-dried products help customers looking for better foods for their pets to look at raw feeding solutions. Additionally, it can also get customers into the freezer with other complementing products such as raw frozen formulas, raw goat milk and raw bones once they are comfortable with the raw concept.”

Planet Dog Celebrates 20th Year in the Pet Industry

Planet Dog, a leader in eco-friendly, durable toy design in the pet industry marks 20 years of innovation and continued success this year.

Since the launch in 1997, Planet Dog has made a lasting impact on the pet industry and world with its eco-friendly, made-in-the-USA, premium products suitable for dogs of all sizes and ages.

“It’s a significant milestone for Planet Dog and worth celebrating,” said Colleen McCracken, owner and CEO of Planet Dog. “Planet Dog’s socially responsible, values-based position in the market brings people and dogs together for fun and mutual support unlike any other brand in the industry. The last 20 years have been incredible for us as a company, and the future is even more exciting with many new partnerships and product innovations to come.”

With an extensive line of durable and eco-friendly dog toys, leashes, collars and harnesses, Planet Dog works endlessly to make the planet a better place by unleashing the power of play for all. The company is perhaps best known for their signature, award-winning Orbee-Tuff specialty plastic that is completely nontoxic and as safe for humans (even babies) as it is for dogs. The material is manufactured in the in the USA without the use of any chemical softeners or toxins.

Also, beyond innovating quality dog products, the company’s “Planet Dog Foundation” provides necessary funding for the training, placement and support of service dogs helping people in need.

“We look forward to the next 20 years and beyond as we continue to make a positive impact in the lives of humans, dogs and the world,” McCracken said.

Pet Age Talks With Scruffs at Global Pet Expo

Pet Age Assistant Editor Alexandra Wepner talks with England-based Scruffs, maker of luxurious pet bedding and accessories, about the company’s new Thermal Collection.

Global Pet Expo – Day One


Kurgo to Replace Any Dog Car Harness Involved in an Accident

Kurgo is serious about safety, and it has just announced “Safe Again,” the Kurgo Harness Replacement Program. Through this new program, Kurgo will replace any dog car harness involved in an accident—from any brand.

“We care about pet’s safety, and just like a child car seat, if an auto safety harness for their dog is in an accident, it should be replaced to ensure the pet’s safety in the case of another incident,” said Gordie Spater, Kurgo’s chief business officer and company co-owner.

“We wanted to grow awareness of that fact and we thought the easiest way to do it was to just replace the harnesses,” Spater told Pet Age in an email, via the company’s PR representative. “We also thought we might entice people to get a crash-tested harness if the harness they were using previously were not. We are trying to grow awareness of pet travel safety and increase the number of people restraining their dogs.”

No matter what brand of auto harness involved in the accident, Kurgo will replace it free of charge with one of Kurgo’s crash-tested dog harnesses. To participate, pet owners simply need to:

  1. Fill out Kurgo’s Harness Accident Claim Form
  2. Upload the police report and a photo of the harness
  3. Select which Kurgo crash-tested harness they would like
  4. Within 15 business days, the pet owner will receive their replacement harness

According to Spater, Kurgo has “received a lot of notes saying how grateful people are that [the company is] doing this. Or applauding [Kurgo] for taking this step.”


Radio Systems Corporation Acquires Solvit

Radio Systems Corporation (RSC), an industry leader in the development of innovative pet behavioral, containment and lifestyle products through its PetSafe Brand, Invisible Fence Brand and SportDOG Brand, has acquired Solvit Products. The acquisition was finalized Friday March 17.

Based in Arlington, Texas, Solvit Products has a portfolio of highly functional, easy-to-use pet products for travel, active life, therapeutic and senior care. The company and its owner, Patrick Hoffman, have been dedicated to developing quality products that address the unique challenges of dog ownership. Each product has a specific purpose in mind which ensures the pet parent will get more quality time with his or her beloved pet. The products offer unparalleled mobility and support to make sure that, as Hoffman says, “no dog is left behind.”

“Solvit understands what pet parents need in order to manage situations including traveling with their pets and caring for senior pets” said Lance Tracy, chief commercial officer of Radio Systems Corporation. “While many Solvit products complement current PetSafe Brand categories, we are very excited to introduce our PetSafe customers and retail partners to new lines including ramps, stairs, and car seat covers, to name a few. Solvit’s outlook on caring for pets is in sync with PetSafe Brand’s mission to help pets and their owners live happy lives together.”

“Solvit’s philosophy is to create innovative and durable products that allow dogs and their humans to spend more quality time together, which is a mission in line with the culture of PetSafe Brand and RSC,” Hoffman said. “Our pet products, like those at PetSafe Brand, do more for humans and their pets. From conception to design to construction, we are dedicated to the details that make our merchandise highly functional, durable and easy to use. We pay attention to the little things, so that owners and dogs can enjoy the big things.”

Popular Solvit products include therapeutic and senior care (walking and lifting aidspet stairspet ramps), travel (dog car seat coversdog safety harnesses and more), active life (bicycle trailers and bicycle baskets) and more.

Solvit was represented in this transaction by Aramar Capital Group, LLC, a boutique M&A investment bank focused on the sell-side representation of middle-market companies.

Registration Now Open for SuperZoo 2017

SuperZoo, a pet retail trade exposition and conference produced by World Pet Association (WPA), has opened registration for the 2017 show at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center in Las Vegas, July 25-27, with conference sessions July 24-26.

After adding 85,000 square feet of exhibit space in 2016, SuperZoo will reconfigure its exhibit hall for 2017 so aisles run perpendicular, making them shorter and easier for attendees to navigate. The change will also add roughly 100 additional 10 x 10 booth locations.

Country music star Trace Adkins will grace the House of Blues stage on Wednesday, July 26, bringing his trademark, high-energy stage show for a rip-roaring evening stacked with his numerous hits. Adkins’ trademark baritone has sold more than 10 million albums, charting more than 20 singles on the Billboard country music charts. The Grammy-nominated member of the Grand Ole Opry is also an actor, author and has performed on 11 USO Tours, supporting American servicemen and women.

“Each year, we look for ways to evolve SuperZoo to continually meet the needs of pet industry professionals from across the spectrum—all the way from suppliers to consumer-facing businesses,” says Doug Poindexter, president of WPA. “With the quality, depth and growth we have seen year after year, we look forward to 2017 being another record-breaking year for SuperZoo.”

In 2016, SuperZoo staged its largest show to date with a more than 4 percent increase in attendees and 8 percent increase in companies attending over 2015. The 2016 event also boasted the most exhibitors of any similar event, with nearly 1,200 participating. These record-breaking numbers cemented SuperZoo’s place as the largest pet retail show in North America in terms of buyer participation.

As participation continues to grow, and in an effort to streamline the registration process, WPA has implemented a new system whereby qualified buyers who have registered for SuperZoo in the past will be able to use a personalized form, prepopulated with their past registration information, to register. Those who have not registered previously will be asked to supply business information to ensure they are qualified.

“The quality of buyers is extremely important to our exhibitors,” Poindexter said. “And at the same time, we want to make sure that qualified buyers are able to register more easily and efficiently through a prepopulated form. These improvements to our registration system will help SuperZoo remain a popular and important event for all segments of the pet industry.”

Building on its more than 65-year history of helping pet retailers and service professionals discover new products, learn how to build their business and connect with others who share their passion, SuperZoo has grown from a small, regional event to one of the most productive gatherings and positive trade shows of the year. SuperZoo’s theme for 2017—“Better Together”—reflects the inclusive nature of an event that welcomes everyone from independent retailers to groomers to international and corporate buyers. Beyond the premier assortment of new pet products in North America, SuperZoo will continue to feature a selection of products from abroad, including Australia, New Zealand, China and Brazil.

In addition to a bustling trade show floor, SuperZoo offers attendees more than 80 education sessions covering a wide variety of topics including: staff training, human resources, leadership, social media, customer service and marketing, among others. Grooming and service industry sessions are geared toward building your business and animal wellness sessions focus on small animal care in stores and best practices for birds and reptiles.

For more information about SuperZoo, or to register:


PIJAC to Host Three Events at Global Pet Expo

PIJAC says it is proud to host three important events at this week’s Global Pet Expo that are open to attendees and the press.

PIJAC Annual Meeting – Tuesday, March 21, from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Eastern Time – Room W208B

Small Animals Care Standard Discussion – Wednesday, March 22, from 2 p.m. to 3 p.m. Eastern Time – Room W203A

Conversation with APHIS Deputy Administrator of Animal Care Bernadette Juarez – Thursday, March 23, from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. Eastern Time – Room W203A


About each event:

The PIJAC Annual Meeting takes place at Global every year. It is the meeting at which PIJAC announces the results of our annual board elections and is the first of the group’s quarterly meetings. The board elects the officer team for the coming year, hears from PIJAC staff on a wide range of activities that have been carried out over the past year and discusses plans for the coming year. PIJAC staff also discusses the results of the pet industry’s economic impact study, a new opinion survey of industry leaders, an expanded communications strategy and more.

The Small Animal Care Standards Discussion will present the standards that have been drafted by PIJAC’s working group since SuperZoo. The broader industry is encouraged to attend to provide feedback and ask questions as part of the responsible pet trade’s effort to continue holding ourselves to the highest criteria of ethical care for animals and consumers.

Conversation with APHIS Deputy Administrator of Animal Care Bernadette Juarez – The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and its Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) oversees many of the breeders and distributors who provide responsibly raised pets nationwide. To facilitate greater understanding between the USDA and the responsible pet industry, PIJAC will moderate a wide-ranging discussion with Deputy Administrator Juarez. The discussion will include a question-and-answer period and include the USDA’s recent decision to remove inspection reports and other documents from its website.

Open Wide

By Eric Stenson

Cats face many of the same dental challenges faced by humans—plaque and tartar buildup, periodontal issues and bad breath. According to the Cornell Feline Health Center at the Cornell University School of Veterinary Medicine, about 85 percent of cats above the age of six will wind up suffering from periodontal disease.

Often, extraction is the final result of these types of maladies. It’s costly to cat owners and potentially devastating to felines, who need to be placed under anesthesia to undergo the surgical procedure.

So, what can be done? The Cornell Feline Health Center website points out a lot of issues in the diet of today’s housecat—namely, soft foods have replaced the flesh and bones of birds, rodents and other prey, the chewing of which kept cats’ teeth clean and strong.

Preventative Products
Fortunately, there are products to help counteract these issues. One of the best preventative steps the Cornell Feline Health Center suggests is daily tooth brushing for cats. Virbac Corp. of Fort Worth, Texas, for example, manufactures toothbrushes for animals, as well as a full line of toothpastes in pet-friendly flavors, such as poultry, seafood, beef and malt.

Virbac’s toothpastes are intended for veterinary use, but there are also several pastes that retailers can market directly to cat owners. Frank Frattini, CEO of the Hungry Puppy, an independent retailer in Farmingdale, New Jersey, carries products from Nylabone, which makes a molasses-flavored cat toothpaste, and TropiClean, including brushes, pads, pastes and liquids.

Frattini admits it’s not easy to get a cat to allow an owner to brush its pearly whites. He suggests starting when they’re kittens, when they’re most likely to accept using brushes, pastes and gels.

“The trick with those is getting them used to them when they’re young,” he said. “Cats are pretty independent to begin with. As they get older, it’s much more difficult.”

He also indicates that food choices can be an important point in feline oral health. His store carries a number of teeth-cleaning treats, including Feline Greenies and Oral Care by Hills Science Diet cat food.

“It’s a bigger kibble,” he explained. “When they bite into it, it helps clean their teeth as they chew it.”

At-Home Dental Care
Kathy Hillestad, a staff veterinarian for Drs. Foster and Smith, a Petco company in Rhinelander, Wisconsin, acknowledges that brushing a cat’s teeth presents a challenge. While the best way to ensure sound dental hygiene for felines is for a vet to do the cleaning under anesthesia, Drs. Foster and Smith provides a line of products that make follow-up care at home a bit easier.Finger toothbrushes offer a good alternative to brushes used for dogs, which are too long and too hard to use with cats. Drs. Foster and Smith’s feline toothbrushes are only about 15/8 inches long, fit on a fingertip and are extremely soft. The company also makes Advanced Tartar Control Toothpaste, which is gentle on gums, non-foaming and uses an enzymatic action to help clean teeth. The chicken flavor is popular with cats.

Hillestad agrees that it is easier to get cats used to brushing when they are young, but maintains that adult cats can become accustomed to a dental care regimen over time. Cat owners who might be skittish over the idea of sticking a brush into Tabby’s mouth are advised to start slow.
She suggests getting the cat used to licking something tasty off your finger, like chicken broth or canned cat food, then over time gently beginning to insert your finger into the cat’s mouth along the side of the teeth, using a wiping motion. It takes patience—don’t be discouraged if the cat only lets you wipe a few teeth at a time. Keep it short, then come back later.

Eventually, you can progress to using the brush. For cats that really can’t tolerate the brush, Drs. Foster and Smith also makes Dental Clens Pads. These contain a chlorhexidine solution that helps kill bacteria that can lead to the formation of plaque. They are soft, disposable and easily wrap around a finger. Hillestad suggests them as a good alternative to a brush. The solution is also available in a squirt bottle or spray.

Drs. Foster and Smith also makes a line of teeth-cleaning, breath-freshening Daily Dental Treats for cats in tuna, chicken and salmon flavors.

Let the Cat Work
For pet owners with cats who don’t take well to brushing or even having their teeth wiped, there is an alternative. Let the cat do the work for you!

TropiClean of Wentzville, Missouri, produces Fresh Breath Oral Care Water Additive for Cats and Fresh Breath Clean Teeth Gel for Cats. The water additive is tasteless and odorless. Just add a capful to a cat’s water dish each time it’s filled.

“It’s made with natural ingredients such as green tea leaf extract that naturally defends against bad breath,” said James Brandly, marketing coordinator for TropiClean. “It’s easy to use—no brushing required.”

The Fresh Breath Clean Teeth Gel for Cats is also made with natural ingredients that fight plaque and tartar and freshen breath, and it’s similarly easy to use.

“We found that cats are very independent and would rather groom and care for themselves,” Brandly said. “That’s why we introduced our gel that lets them brush their own teeth with one simple dab to their mouth. After application, you’ll notice your cat licking her lips repeatedly; this is normal and helps the gel coat the teeth and gums.”

EarthWise Grand Opening

EarthWise in Voorhees, New Jersey, held its grand opening event on March 18.

Clickit Terrain is a New Car Safety Harness for Dogs

Sleepypod, a Pasadena, California-based company known for redefining pet products, today unveiled Clickit Terrain car safety harness for dogs. In crash tests, Clickit Terrain delivers higher performance results than any of its top performing Sleepypod car safety harness predecessors. It reduces the forces on the highly vulnerable chest area by 10 percent. Watch Clickit Terrain crash test video footage here.

Clickit Terrain was crash tested at the standard for child safety restraints. Chest force data was obtained using Sleepypod’s proprietary crash test dog, DUKE 2.0 (pictured here). Load sensors in the crash test dog’s chest measured the forces when moving forward in a collision. Data collected from these tests revealed a 10 percent reduction in forces. More information on DUKE 2.0 here.

Sleepypod’s Clickit harnesses have led their category in safety. The Clickit Utility model earned Top Performer honors in a 2013 collaborative Harness Crashworthiness Study by the Center for Pet Safety and Subaru of America. The Clickit Sport harness earned the highest possible five star safety rating in the Center for Pet Safety’s Certification Program in 2014.

“Clickit Terrain offers unparalleled protection for dogs who travel in cars,” said Michael Leung, Sleepypod co-founder and lead product designer. “In order to reduce accident injuries, there needs to be measurable data to assist in creating a safer product design. Clickit Terrain excels in its ability to absorb kinetic energy while keeping the pet from accelerating forward and leaving the seat.”

Clickit Terrain is light and easy to use without sacrificing safety. New shock absorbing sleeves work with a broad padded vest and patented Infinity Loop design for more safety in the car. The same patent pending shock absorbing sleeves make Clickit Terrain comfortable for use as an everyday walking harness and also provide better control for the handler. Reflective patches on the harness shoulders can be interchanged with service patches for working dogs. Clickit Terrain can be used with an optional Terrain Pack.

Working dogs and active dogs will benefit from the Clickit Terrain design. It combines award-winning travel safety technology with enhanced safety, comfort and control features for sustained daily use.


  • Strength tested for use as a walking harness
  • Crash tested for use as a pet seat belt
  • Three-point design for use in rear passenger seat secures a dog’s entire torso
  • Broad, cushioned, energy absorbing vest for safety
  • Shock absorbing sleeves
  • Quick connection and release when used as a pet seat belt
  • High strength metal slide buckles
  • Rear reflective patches for night visibility can be interchanged for service patches or custom patches
  • Front reflective logo for night visibility is non-removable
  • Loops for quick connection and release of optional Terrain Pack


  • Colors: Jet Black, Strawberry Red, Orange Dream, Robin Egg Blue
  • Size is determined by chest measurement around a dog’s rib cage, just behind the front legs.
  • Sizes: Small (16.5-22 inches), Medium (22.5-28 inches), Large (28.5-34 inches), Extra Large (34.5-40 inches)


  • Small $89.99, Medium $93.99, Large $96.99, Extra Large $99.99

Clickit Terrain Accessories

  • Terrain Pack: dog backpack with handle that offers extra control for the dog handler
  • S-Clip: seatbelt locking clip pre-sets the seatbelt length and also helps prevent the car seatbelt from further retracting
  • Buckle Shield: seatbelt buckle protector that prevents a pet from unbuckling the seatbelt when stepping on the buckle
  • Buckle Shield: seatbelt buckle protector that prevents a pet from unbuckling the seatbelt when stepping on the buckle


Customers can pre-order Clickit Terrain through the Sleepypod online store at Clickit Terrain will start shipping in June 2017.


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