The top dogs in science and tech are continuously treating us to new solutions for our pups’ health, leisure, and comfort. We sniffed out nine innovative pet products to try this year.
1. Nom Nom Gut Health Kit
What the pup is a gut microbiome? According to the experts at Nom Nom, it’s the genetic material of microbes in a particular environment, like your pet’s gut–and a key indicator of Fido’s overall health and immune system. Nom Nom’s cutting-edge at-home testing kit gives you the power to peek at your companion’s tummy to help you and your vet get ahead of health issues, like GI symptoms (e.g., vomiting), weight, and even mood.
I tried out Nom Nom’s microbiome kit on Gus, a healthy, one-year-old pit bull. The process was simple: collect a stool sample and pop it into two provided vials, which I mailed back in a prepaid envelope.
A few weeks later, I got an email with an easy-to-understand assessment of Gus’s gut health, an analysis of the bacteria that live there, and data to show how his microbiome stacks up against other pets who’ve been tested.
The main takeaway was that Gus’s gut bacteria lacks diversity. To improve this, Nom Nom served me up some custom recommendations such as adding fiber, probiotics, and more variety to his diet.
For just $90, you too can experience the thrill of sending your dog’s poop in the mail. (Nom Nom also has a line of ultra-healthy meals and treats your dog will go mutts for–and we scored you 50% off a food order.)
2. Embark DNA Kit
Dog DNA tests have been mainstream for a number of years now, but innovative improvements continue to add to the suite of what you can learn about your pet. Embark’s kit can not only identify your dog’s breed(s), but also her ancestry and possible health conditions. With the world’s only “canine relative finder,” it can also help you discover and connect with dogs who share your pet’s DNA.
After taking bets on the results of Chloe’s breed makeup (my guess: Rat Terrier mixed with Border Collie), I swabbed her inner cheek for 60 seconds and mailed back the sample. When the results came back, we learned she’s a mix of–wait for it–German Shepherd, Pit Bull, Shiba Inu, and about six other breeds. This is one heck of an innovative dog product!
It was particularly fun to browse Embark’s photo database of Chloe’s genetic relatives. Some even live nearby, raising the possibility of the most mixed-up family reunion ever.
For safety’s sake, we’re big proponents of keeping your pet leashed or fenced in at all times when outdoors. That said, we’ve known a few talented escape artists in our day–for whom this pet GPS tracker could be a dogsend. Petfon offers a petite, durable device that allows you to track your pet’s activity and pinpoint his location in real time using GPS, Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth. Easy to use with a long battery life, the tracker also enables you to define a safe area around your pet’s location and be notified as soon as Spot leaves that spot.
For already-active duos or dogs aspiring to take more walks in 2022, FitBark is a neat tool. In addition to monitoring your dog’s activity, distance, and calorie data, the device and app comes with a slew of other capabilities like tracking mobility and sleep. You can even sync it with your Fitbit or Apple Watch to work on building healthy habits as a team.
Stimulate your BFF’s mind and body with an automatic launcher that can toss a ball up to 30 feet away. Train her to drop the ball into the iFetch and you’ll never get drool on your fingers again–or feel the need to leave your sofa.
Two of the most difficult doggo skills to train are polite door greetings and begging at the dinner table. Because this remote training device allows positive reinforcement to take place up to 100 feet away, it’s an invaluable tool for those hard-to-teach commands. Imagine being able to greet guests in your home while your dog waits for his treat in the next room, courtesy of your magical remote-snack-dispensing abilities.
Innovation meets luxury with this ultra stylish, ultra high-quality dog car seat from maxbone. Their unique design serves two purposes. First, it’s a safe n’ cozy enclosed car seat, which clips into your back seat and attaches to your dog with a harness clip that attaches to the seatbelt.
Second, the car seat converts to a comfy dog bed that you can use when you reach your destination. Its easy-clean, upholstery-grade fabric can be wiped down with a damp cloth, and its snuggly faux sheepskin pad provides extra comfort for riding and sleeping.
Mission: Get the Pawfect Selfie just got a tad bit easier with this selfie tool for dog owners. Yes, we know that Fido is ever-so photogenic, but sometimes he’s just not in the mood for your selfie shenanigans. Introducing the dog-distracting ball holder that can attach to your smartphone to grab the pup’s attention.
Since there’s no pawparazzi at home, the Pooch Selfie will become your new essential assistant to getting those Insta-worthy photos. Just snap in the floof’s fetch ball to start snapping your selfies.
9. Puzzle Feeder for IQ Training & Mental Enrichment
When the floof’s not working on keeping the squirrels away, keep her brain quick and challenged at dinner time with this dog puzzle game. Whether you’ve got a young pup or a seasoned senior at home, the Loobani Feeder Toy can help with avoiding mental decline, reducing risk of bloating with slowed feeding, and increasing intellectual development.
While this puzzle can initially be tricky for some four-legged frens, with a lil trial, error, and effort the pupper will eventually sniff out the code.
Keep your hound hydrated and entertained at the same time with Scuddles dog water fountain. With a convenient hose connection, it ensures a continuous water supply that activates and dispenses with the simple push of a paw. Its sediment filter removes grit and dirt from water (ew), so your bestie is getting nothing but the cleanest, freshest water. And, with training instructions and adjustable water pressure, pup’ll get the hang of it in no time.
Which innovative dog products are you itchin’ to try this year? Woof about your experiences in the comments, and tag @SidewalkDog in your pics so we can give you props for your early-adopter status.
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