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November 2, 2015

It is hard to believe that it has been more than 25 years since the airline-approved Sherpa bag first appeared in pet specialty stores, changing the way pets travel. It spawned a plethora of spin-off products, such as carriers with wheels and a variety of strollers that have boosted pets’ social lives and made it easy for pet owners to take them everywhere.

Recently this category has seen new and improved versions of popular products getting attention.

According to Todd Jakubowki, president of Pet Gear, Inc., the company’s patented easy latch gadgetry eliminates the hassles of closing strollers with zippers as well as the maintenance issue of repairing them. Not to mention eliminating the issue of pet escape artists with deft paws opening the zippers themselves.

The company’s NV No Zip Stroller is designed for joggers with its large three-wheel design.

“It navigates rough terrain with ease with a front-locking wheel,” Jakubowski said. “Conventional air-pumped tires offer a smoother ride and the stroller also features an elevated paw rest as well as a better view with the newly designed panoramic meshed view window. Other new features include a weather cover and a plush bolster pad to improve the interior comfort.”

The roomy stroller is designed for multiple pets or a single occupant up to 75 pounds. It also has a special one-handed, easy to close mechanism to fold it flat for travel.

Other new additions to the Pet Gear line include two new fabric designs for the single no-zip strollers, namely a black and white Dalmatian pattern and a brown and black jaguar design.

The company also recently debuted a line of totes for small dogs called R and R Totes. Available is six stylish color combinations, the totes have a removable fleece inner liner and a handy pocket for keys and a cell phone.

According to Jakubowski, the tote design also meets certain airline specifications.

There are also a lot of new features in the line of strollers and rolling pet carriers from Gen7Pets.

“Our Monaco strollers have a new lightweight aluminum frame and now only weigh 17 pounds as opposed to 27 pounds,” said Daniel Hawk, sales and marketing director, Pet Gear.

“They also have what we call Smart Features, such as a new auto-lock latching system, which eliminates the use of zippers and a larger removable basket. The idea is that by making the basket removable pet owners don’t have to unpack it when folding down the stroller.”

Hawk added that the consumer landscape has changed dramatically with regard to pet strollers over the past few years.

“At one stage, strollers were only available from online retailers. Now they are becoming a common stock item in brick and mortar stores nationwide,” he said. “This means that pet owners have more opportunities to examine them firsthand, and this in turn translates into more sales.”

Hawk stated that the company’s new Roller Carriers also have new smart features. The new level platform remains flat and doesn’t tip and tilt pets forward when the carrier is being rolled along. It also has top and front entry access.

“Further, the roller carrier is multifunctional,” Hawk said. “It’s a roller carrier bag, a backpack, a portable den and also a car restraint as the carrier can be secured in a vehicle using the standard seatbelts. It also has four wheels to ensure a smooth ride for the occupant.”

New from LazyBonezz is the Super Star Carrier made from vegan leather with a removable interior pad and a tether for additional safety.

“The star design offers pets a mesh lookout in addition to the mesh ventilated side panels,” said Devon Hambrecht, spokesperson for the company.

From Solvit Pet Products comes the Solvit Stroller Conversion Kit that easily converts the company’s HoundAbout II Trailer into a versatile, all-terrain stroller for pets.

‘The easy to install stroller conversion kit includes a handlebar, front swiveling wheel, parking brake and cup holder,” said Pat Hoffman, president of the Texas-based company. “The conversion from trailer to stroller literally takes a minute.”

Finally, Sherpa—the brand that started it all—has tweaks to talk about, too. The Sherpa Ultimate On Wheels, for pets up to 16 pounds, now features recessed castor wheels for an easy-glide motion and a detachable padded pull strap. It’s approved for use on most major airlines and the medium size is included in Sherpa’s Guaranteed On Board program.

The range of Sherpa carriers now fall under the Worldwise umbrella as a result of the merger of the Quaker Pet Group with Worldwise.

As more pet owners take their dogs with them wherever they go, the growth in the demand for carriers and strollers shows no sign of slowing down.

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