It was only a matter of time before Martha Stewart extended her empire all the way to the doghouse.
The domestic doyenne and animal lover has always been a beacon of homestead elegance and problem-solving. Now with the help of PetSmart, she has just launched a new line of pet products that are exactly what you would expect from any Martha Stewart product: classic, practical and lovely to behold in all the glory that is robin's egg blue.
The new goodies, which debuted June 29 at PetSmart stores and online, include the basics – collars, leashes, bowls and beds – but also a few welcome surprises, like a toy storage bin ($9.99), bathing pitcher ($9.99), doggie daycare kit ($16.99) and massager brush ($11.99). A hand-crafted crochet squeak toy ($9.99) in the shape of a little chicken is even cute enough to show off on a bookshelf or in a baby room – but it would probably be just as happy to fulfill its destiny inside a dog's slobbery mouth, too.
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When friends of mine meet my 10-year-old Maltese Ethel for the first time, they tend to do the nice thing and squeal about how cute she is. They pick her up, get close to her face, and hesitantly ask what she had to eat that day.
"Did she just have some fish...?"
Rank. Stank. That's my old lady's mouth for you. And despite my best efforts to work on her dental care – brushing her teeth multiple times a week, getting a different food bowl to help slow down her eating – she still manages to knock me out once in a while with her hot, smelly breath.
Suffice it to say I was pleased to try something new in Ethel's dental hygiene routine, which I got to do with TropiClean's Fresh Breath Made Easy line of oral care products. The natural pet product company makes a fresh mint foam, an oral care water additive, a clean teeth gel and dental treats that are designed to prevent periodontal disease and to help your pet to get fresher breath – all without brushing.
The water additive's ingredients include purified water, aloe vera and chloride, and frankly smells a bit like bubble gum-flavored cough syrup. The foam, though instantly effective (Ethel's breath has never smelled so minty!), looked a little like she was a rabid dog foaming at the mouth, not to mention that the foam kept dripping down her chin.
My favorite of the three was the clean teeth gel, which you apply with a gentle squeeze of the bottle onto the teeth. It's quite simple, doesn't take a lot of time or effort, and it's a fun little thing to do at night (I know, it's probably not a good sign when I think that treating my dog's teeth is a fun evening activity). I'm probably not going to keep using the whole system, but the gel is working for me – and hopefully for Ethel, too. I guess we'll find out at her next dental exam!
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I have a confession to make. I liked Nooties' new Sweet Pea & Vanilla spritz for dogs so much that I sprayed it on my sweater before running out for work one morning. It's that good. But how does my dog like it? I was concerned the inviting, sweet smell of Nootie was going to have my 5-year-old Wheaten terrier trying to lick it off her fur, but she was completely unfazed.
Now, I too am unfazed by the backyard dirt romps that are sure to come this summer. Nootie Shampoo & Daily Spritz is a new weapon for my arsenal. And while it didn't make Zoey like taking a bath any better, it did make her smell positively yummy and look fabulously fluffy (after a nice blow-out)!
The shampoo and spritz fit together nicely in a too-cute, connected bottle available in three other scents: Japanese Cherry Blossom, Warm Vanilla Cookie and Cucumber Melon ($19.99). Dreaded bathtime went by quickly for Zoey since the shampoo lather got nice and sudsy and was easily rinsed out from her fur.
The shampoo and spritz won't interfere with your topical flea and tick treatment either, a bonus for the summer months -- but be sure to avoid contact with your pet's eyes because it is not tear-free. Another downside is that the spritz does wear off quickly, so it should be applied every day for best results. It was a bummer that the 4-oz. spritz ran out long before the 12-oz. bottle of shampoo–as the saying goes, good things often come in small packages.
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For celebrities, a trip to the red carpet means prep sessions with stylists, designers, hairdressers, beauticians, masseuses, you name it. So much pampering! Dogs could use some of that loving, too, don't you think?
Since it's Oscar week, we decided to give a shelter pup a luxurious red carpet pamper session! We invited Spunky, a Lhasa Apso from the North Shore Animal League, to get some movie star treatment from celebrity dog stylist Jorge Bendersky.
Spunky, who was found on the street, came into Jorge's salon at the New York Dog Spa & Hotel looking like – well, a hot mess. His hair was so matted, it almost looked like he had dreadlocks. He had all kinds of goop in his eyes, but you couldn't see his eyes with all the hair in his face. It was clear it had been ages since anybody gave a thought to poor Spunky.
Luckily, the pooch was in great hands. Jorge worked all of his grooming magic, and after a few hours of brushing, bathing and trimming, Spunky came out looking "Jorgelicious" and red carpet ready! Not only that, he'll be smelling great for his new forever home, which we hope he finds very soon.
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Here at PEOPLEPets.com, we love getting to know other pet lovers – especially those who make the world a happier place for our cats and dogs. So today we're off to the mile-high city of Denver, Colo., to visit Dog Savvy, a boutique and spa in the city's historic Larimer Square. Known for its slick grooming skills, this canine retreat is a temple for feel-good, tongue-wagging treatments like "pawdicures" and – as crazy as it sounds – a blueberry facial. (Hmm, we might like to try that ourselves!)
But Dog Savvy doesn't leave all the fun just to the four-legged types. "I did a do-it-yourself dog-wash birthday party for one little girl," managing partner Robb Horen tells PEOPLEPets.com. "So I had five girls in here with their dogs. The birthday girl had a Chihuahua puppy, a few others had small or medium dogs, and one brought her golden retriever." After the little ladies finished the soapy process, they had a final request for the 6-ft. 4-in. Horen: doggie pedicures. "So there I am putting pink nail polish on these tiny dogs! It was probably the most outstanding request I've had. But the kids loved it."
If you and your furry BFF can't make it out to Dog Savvy for Horen's professional pawdicure, he suggests the next best thing: the perfect at-home bath for your pup.
"Before you get your dog wet, be sure to brush its coat well to eliminate tangles and debris," Horen cautions. Once your pup's coat is nice and smooth, follow these steps:
1. Place your pet in the tub, then start running warm, not hot, water.
2. Wet the coat entirely; be gentle when wetting the face. Speak in a soft voice and remain calm, but assertive, with your dog.
3. Apply a dog-specific shampoo. (Horen recommends Buddy Wash from Cloud Star.) Work the shampoo into a good lather, using a rubber brush to get the product down to the skin in the direction your dog's coat naturally grows.
4. On your dog's face, try a gentle, tearless shampoo (like South Bark's Blueberry Facial). Be careful not to get soap or water in your dog's eyes and ears – this will prevent irritation and ear infections.
5. Rinse your pup thoroughly, as product left on the skin can cause itching and discomfort. The coat should feel squeaky clean, not slippery, when you run your hand over it.
6. Condition your dog with a deep conditioner (which requires a rinse), or a leave-in conditioner (again, try the Buddy Splash). A leave-in conditioner is a good option for dogs with healthy coats (it smells great, too!).
7. Release your dog for an air-dry, which Horen says is fine, or gently blow-dry with a high-pressure dog hair dryer. (Petting your pup's neck and head will make the process a bit easier for him or her.)
8. Just one more step: A final brushing after your pooch is dry. And once you're satisfied with the overall look, be sure to give your dog a hug. That was a long (though necessary) process!
Check out more great grooming products on Dog Savvy's Web site!
Check out last week's Treats to Try: Yummy Blueberry Buns from Texas's Three Dog Bakery
The weekly task of clipping my feline's nails is a dangerous dance: I sneakily try to snip them as he's purring happily on my lap, and he quickly morphs into Edward Scissor-paws and leaves scratches all over my fingers and hands.
So, while he was sitting with me at my computer one day, I spied an online ad for the Emery Cat – it's a new cat scratcher made of corrugated cardboard with a little something extra: a patented honeycomb coating that files a cat's nails like a real emery board. It seemed like the perfect solution.
For $29.95, I received two scratchers, an enticing feather toy attached to them and a bonus de-shedding brush. The scratchers were essentially useless without the promised packet of catnip, which for some reason never arrived. So, after an unappreciated trip to the pet store, I was ready to introduce it to my cat.
First, I placed it in the middle of the room just to see how said kitty would react. He was more compelled to roll on top of it because of the irresistible catnip smell. But when I swapped it in place of his regular scratcher, that's when he started to use it.
I inspected his nails and noticed that the sharp edges were actually duller. Used in conjunction with frequent nail clipping, as difficult as that may be, the Emery Cat is a helpful tool. Now when he goes in for a swipe, there are definitely less battle scars!
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They say you should never buy the 1.0 of anything, including super-gadgets like the iPhone and Kindle. Turns out that statement also rings true for pet products.
Building on the success of the original FURminator deShedding tool ($39.99 for the small size), which debuted back in 2002, the company has launched a new and improved "deLuxe" version this month ($44.99 for small), which is definitely easier to use than the older model thanks to some design tweaks. First, a new ergonomic rubber handle helps keep the tool firmly in your hand, which can be hard when you're trying to comb a squirmy pet on your own. Then, the new patented FURejector button now makes it easy to get the hair off of the brush after you've combed. Simply push the button and goo-gobs of fur are easily dumped in the trash.
Both versions of the FURminator remove an unbelievable amount of loose pet hair with the fine-toothed stainless steel edge. While the "classic" is still available for purchase at most pet-retailers, why not spring the $5-$10 extra for a FURminator upgrade?
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Traveling with pets is no easy task. Their hair, slobber and messes can end up anywhere and everywhere – but we still love them! For families that travel frequently with their pets – particularly show dogs – Airstream has introduced the 34-foot PanAmerica trailer, which boasts an 11-foot "garage" in back. The aluminum space features a rubber floor, and is both oil- and stain-proof.
"We really developed it with the idea that different customers would come up with a variety of different uses for the garage," Airstream CEO Bob Wheeler tells PEOPLEPets.com. "It was interesting to see that some of the first purchasers were dog owners who show, and needed a place to set up mobile grooming stations for their pets."
The vehicle comes with a hefty price tag – $85,000 – but lots of creature comforts, like a flat-screen TV, stainless steel appliances and more. Offering a cozy yacht-inspired living space in the front, the PanAmerica is very similar to any other Airstream RV, just with the bonus space. "The Airstream sensibility is a whole different experience than the traditional white-box RV," says Wheeler. "Everything is light and spacious." The garage itself can haul up to 2,500 lbs. of accessories for your pets, and features storage crates and cabinets, water bins, leash hooks – and speakers tied to the main cabin's stereo system.
"It seems to have really struck a chord with dog owners in general," Wheeler says. "And we're happy it's ended up that way."
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