Every summer the Pet Products Association puts on an exhibition (held this year in New York), displaying the latest fashions, gadgets and pampering devices for pets. The owners of this $800 million industry spare no pains to solve the problems of pet owners and promote the comfort and happiness of pets, ranging from goldfish and turtles to mynah birds and great Danes. No dog need suffer ostracism because of dull fur, unpleasant breath or long floppety ears that get in his way when he eats his dinner. Fish that have grown weary of last year's color scheme may now have their bowls paved with translucent crystal quartz. Turtles can swim in a plastic pool with a diving board.
To solve a problem that has been a nuisance to hounds, the J. Hankin Co. of The Bronx has devised plastic, buckled twin snoods which it calls Ear Ups. Ear Ups sell for $1 and come in three sizes.
For dogs that like to wander around at night, the Newark Comfort Co. has developed a fluorescent plastic safety belt—called a Glo-Belt—that fits snugly around the middle. It warns motorists of the dog's presence by reflecting automobile headlights. The Glo-Belt costs $1 and can be adjusted to fit any size up to 34 inches in circumference.
For dogs with a penchant for water sports, the Elvin Salow Co. of Boston, makers of life preservers for people and cushions for boats since 1905, has come out with the Doggie Safety Harness (above). Made of soft unicellular foam and having adjustable cotton web straps, the harness is light in weight and allows the dog complete freedom of movement. A loop attached to the back of the harness near the dog's shoulders makes it easy for someone aboard to pluck him out of the water. The harness comes in four sizes: small, medium, large and (for dogs weighing around 50 pounds) extra large. The first three cost $6, the last a dollar more.
An indirect benefit of the Atomic Age is a product developed by Lambert-Kay, Inc. of Los Angeles. It is a powdered spray dentifrice originally developed for use by humans dwelling in bomb shelters, where water would be in short supply. Called Happy Breath, it is now available for dogs dwelling in homes. One squeeze from a plastic bottle makes Towser popular with the ladies. The cost is $1.35 an ounce.
Not all of the pet people's ingenuity has been directed toward improving the lot of dogs, however. Miniature turtles are offered a kidney-shaped swimming pool made of clear polystyrene (below). For the sophisticated turtle there is a palm-shaded island equipped with a diving board. Made by Gould Products, Inc. of Elmont, N.Y., the whole package sells for 69¢.
By December turtles interested in physical fitness will be able to take advantage of an ingenious gymnasium introduced by the K.C Wire Products firm of Chicago. A six-inch bowl is outfitted with a plastic ladder to climb, two rubber-covered wire ramps on which to balance, and seesaw—in case the turtle works out with a partner. It sells for $3.
And now cats. Vo-Toys of The Bronx has developed a unique scratching post for felines called Kitty Go Round. It is a 14-inch-high bark-covered cedar log, and suspended from it are a mouse stuffed with catnip and a ball the cat can poke at. The Kitty Go Round costs $2.50.
Up to now, disposable corrugated cardboard carrying boxes for pets have been available for the use of owners of pet shops only. But the demand for them has been so great that the 8 In 1 Pet Products firm of Long Island City, N.Y. has designed a gaily decorated collapsible cardboard case for the general public. It sells for $1.50.
Except for the turtle gym, these products will be available in pet shops and department stores this fall.