With the holiday season only months away, now is the time for retailers to ensure they are well stocked with the latest carriers and crates. And there are a lot of new styles and colors with functional, innovative features from which to choose.
Sleepypod has added a beautiful purple shade called True Violet to their colorful range of carriers and mobile pet beds.
“Our research has shown that purple is the most requested color by Sleepypod customers,” said Michael Leung, Sleepypod co-founder and lead product designer. “We responded by creating a lush True Violet color that blends elements of purple with blue, Sleepypod’s most popular color.”
The company’s carriers are all crash-tested to the standard set for child safety restraints (the current industry standard) and have received a five-star rating from the Center for Pet Safety. And for the second time, the Sleepypod Mobile Pet Bed has been nominated as a Best Buy in the premium carrier category by Consumer Digest magazine.
Carriers that convert to pet beds are becoming a new trend.
Gen7Pets has introduced the Carry Me Sleeper, the first carrier that actually converts into an open soft padded fleece bed for comfort at home and while travelling.
“The goal of all our products is to make life easier for pet parents,” said Jeremy Buckley, sales manager for the company. “And in doing our research, we learned that many parents don’t travel with a bed because it’s cumbersome in terms of additional luggage but would really like to have one for their pet. Hence, our latest design.”
Also new from the company is the Gen7 Commuter, a carrier that can be buckled into a car using the vehicle seatbelt latch and strap system in order to restrain the carrier in a moving vehicle.
Another pet carrier that does double duty is the Petmate Jackson Galaxy Double Extend.
Both sides of this navy blue carrier with green trim have zip-out plastic coated mesh vestibules that provide a pet with an additional 34 inches of space to stretch out. The carrier also has five points of entry: all four sides and on top, providing pets with excellent ventilation. There is a spacious pocket for documents, treats and travel accessories. It has a removable, washable foam pad with fleece on one side. When closed, the carrier meets most airline specifications.
With the idea of crates also doing double duty, the Hagen Dogit Design Cargo Carrier comes in five sizes and the specially designed double Latch mechanism on the sturdy carrier allows for the removal of the front door from the unit without actually taking it apart.
“This feature allows the carrier to be converted to a living area/doghouse to be used at home as well as on your travels,” said Damian Hall, marketing communications manager at Hagen.
Apart from a secure locking device to deter escape artists, the design has a large contoured front entrance with no sharp edges. This line also has a reversible door and a slide-locking assembly system, eliminating the use of easy-tolose screws. Additional accessories are available, such as a portable accessory compartment and a snap-on water bowl to help make the crate a home away from home.
The Dogit Voyageur line also has this slide-latch assembly system. The smallest size meets certain airline specifications and is ideal for trips to the vet as well as general travel because it has “bonus” features such as a petting door on top to soothe a pet without having to open the main door. There is also a treat compartment on top with a small food and water bowl included. It’s available in a number of bright, fun color combinations.
PetSaver Healthy Pet Superstore has just opened its fourth store in Victor, New York, and offers customers a variety of carriers, including the Dogit and Petmate brands.
“For our customers, price is always the important criteria, followed by size, features and whether the brand is airline compatible,” said Lora Sturm, operations manager for the company. “We have found that our customers do a lot of research online before they actually walk into a store to make a purchase. Carriers are a long-term investment and, interestingly, color is not always an important prerogative.”
Contour, the newest crate line from Midwest Homes for Pets features the company’s latest Laplock technology.
“It’s a patented, superior locking system which reinforces the door with multiple locking points, plus it has a Safe and Secure Slide Bolt Latch,” explained Tara Whitehead, marketing manager for the company.
The doors on both the single door range and the double range feature a low threshold and a large opening, making it easy for pets to access and also for pet owners to reach inside. The crates are available in six sizes and come with an ABS plastic pan and a crate divider panel, ideal for a growing puppy.
There is a new carrier and accessories from Sherpa, too. The new Sherpa Comfort Ride is best described as a slightly “egg-shaped oval” and is available in two sizes. Both sizes comply with the Sherpa’s Guaranteed On Board program that guarantees airline compliance based on each airline’s specific rules and regulations. Th e top zips off to make it easier to place a pet inside and to clean the base. Th e design also folds flat when not in use.
Carrying a carrier can, literally, weigh heavily on the shoulders. Consequently, the company has also introduced the Comfort Strap, designed to relieve the discomfort of carrying a heavy pet. This patented, extra-wide fabric strap distributes pets’ weight evenly across the entire shoulder area and works with all Sherpa carriers as well as other brands.
Just released from Kurgo is the K9 Courier carrier that has an Armor-sole waterproof bottom.
“Airlines have always required waterproof carriers but are beginning to enforce this requirement,” said Gordie Spater, co-founder and CEO of the company. “Apart from this special waterproof base, the K9 Courier easily wipes clean, and is constructed from a water-resistant, rip-stop material with a machine washable liner.”
This versatile carrier is designed for dogs up to 15 pounds and allows them a place to stick their heads out of the carrier. It also converts into a booster seat for road trips. Currently, it’s available in red.