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      PPN’s 2017 Editors’ Choice Award Winners: Dog and Cat Categories

      The pet industry is chockfull of passionate animal lovers who, in most instances, were driven by the love of their own pets to enter the market with a new product or service. In 2017, manufacturers introduced thousands of pet products and, in many cases, the passion behind the development and execution of those products—from vibrant toys to nutritious meals to easy cleanup products and beyond—shines through.

      Every year, with our Editors’ Choice Awards, Pet Product News (PPN) aims to honor innovative products that help make the relationship between pets and people even stronger. This year, we combed through hundreds of product submissions from manufacturers in a variety of animal categories and selected more than 50 finalists, which were featured in our August 2017 issue.

      Since August, the PPN team and our group of trusted pet owners have been hard at work—and play—testing the finalists’ products to determine this year’s list of winners.  After delving through the feedback of our pet-owning testers, we’ve selected 33 products as our top picks.

      We are presenting the winners in two parts online, and began with the aquatics and exotics categories. The dog and cat category winners are listed below.


      The Dog category winners are:

      Aquapaw’s Aquapaw Pet Bathing Tool

      ​Aquapaw’s Aquapaw Pet Bathing Tool is a wearable combination sprayer and scrubber that can be turned on and off by simply making a fist. Its one-size-fits-all design allows owners to better control their pets as well as the flow of water while they are cleaning them. Aquapaw has a button in its center that, when pressed, will toggle the flow of water on and off. Water sprays from the tips of rubber nubs in the center of the palm and is injected deep into the pet’s coat, speeding up the rinsing process and eliminating much of the spraying water that can intimidate most dogs. It quick-connects to either a garden hose or shower using the custom adapters included with every product.


      Ark Naturals Products for Pets’ Sea Mobility Joint Rescue in Sweet Potato and Cranberry

      Ark Naturals Products for Pets’ Sea Mobility Joint Rescue in Sweet Potato and Cranberry solve both joint misery and belly discomfort with the introduction of two meat-free options that contain glucosamine, chondroitin and MSM. The addition of beef, chicken, rabbit, lamb, duck or other meat proteins to supplements for palatability can aggravate pets’ bellies; however, Sea Mobility Joint Rescue in Sweet Potato and Cranberry flavors are intended to eliminate that problem by providing joint relief that is easy on the stomach.


      GoGo USA Wild Stressless Venison Jerky by Artvark Pet Products

      ​GoGo USA Wild Stressless Venison Jerky by Artvark Pet Products is sourced from naturally nourished and unrestricted Axis deer living in Hawaii and aligns with the way Hawaiian officials manage the deer population. Hawaiian Axis deer meat is lean (they do not need to store nourishment as fat), high in energy (high glucose/lactic acid content) and naturally antibiotic, creating superior flavor. The recipe also includes blueberries; non-GMO chia and flax seeds; whole, fresh sweet potatoes; glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate; and a touch of rosemary and vitamin E to keep the treats fresh and ready for pets to enjoy.


      Purely Prime Tender Bacon Strips and Sausage Slices Dog Treats from Emerald Pet Products

      Purely Prime Tender Bacon Strips and Sausage Slices Dog Treats from Emerald Pet Products contain more than 90 percent USA-sourced meat that is fully cooked and ready to eat. The applewood-smoked, soft and pliable bacon strips and sausage slices are free from grains, gluten free, soy and dairy. The all-natural, limited-ingredient turkey meat treats are designed for all ages and sizes of dogs. Turkey slices contain functional ingredients plus superfoods for optimal health. Bacon slices are available in Turkey, Turducky or Turkey & Chicken. Sausage slices are available in Original Turkey, Turkey plus Pumpkin & Whole Chia Seed or Turkey plus Carrot & Quinoa.


      Clyde the Horse from Fluff & Tuff

      Clyde the Horse from Fluff & Tuff is a recent addition to the company’s popular line of plush durable dog toys. Featuring signature ultra-plush outer fabric, thick mesh liner and double-stitched seams, it is a unique combination of quality, appearance and durability. The large toy measures 12 in. from head to tail. With its sturdy shape, the toy holds up to all kinds of play.


      HuggleHounds, a division of Allure Pet Products, offers Cortina dog harnesses and leashes

      In conjunction with Cortina Pet Soul, HuggleHounds, a division of Allure Pet Products, offers Cortina dog harnesses and leashes. The harnesses are made with a flexible, eco-plastic body. They are highly durable and easy to clean. They’re nonallergenic, and the seamless construction eliminates rubbing or irritation, and their reflective finish improves nighttime visibility. The patented Fit&Go locking system, which allows closing and adjusting with a simple click, transforms the harness into a training tool, tightening when the dog pulls and loosening when the pulling stops. When the dog is set free, the harness can be adjusted with loops to ensure perfect wear-ability and free movement. The leashes come in coordinating designs.


      PetLogix EVA Chews from Hyper Pet

      ​PetLogix EVA Chews from Hyper Pet are for dogs of all sizes and life stages. Teeth of all sizes can penetrate the toy, but, ultimately, the high-quality material retains its shape and durable form. The toys float in water, making them fun for any water-loving dog, and they are safe and quiet on hardwood floor surfaces. Each toy style provides dogs with a resilient dental health chew toy. The toys are available in multiple sizes and three designs: the Ridge Ball, Twisty Stick and Shell Disc.


      Nulo Pet Food’s Trainers

      ​Nulo Pet Food’s Trainers are rich in duck, turkey and salmon combined with a superfood boost from cherries and blueberries, so pets will get the protein and antioxidants they need to stay focused when it matters most. With only 2 calories per treat, these guilt-free rewards will make a great addition to any training routine.


      Planet Dog’s Orbee-Tuff Link

      Planet Dog’s Orbee-Tuff Link offers endless options to keep dogs engaged and having fun. The translucent toy can transform into different shapes for different levels of difficulty. Dogs will enjoy both seeing and smelling their treats hidden within the toy. Pet owners can add more pieces to create additional configurations and keep dogs coming back for more. The product comes in royal blue/clear and orange/clear color combinations. It is sold as a four-piece set or an eight-piece set.


      The Jet Stream Cooling Vest from Ruffwear

      The Jet Stream Cooling Vest from Ruffwear is a lightweight, high-performance cooling vest utilizing Ruffwear’s proven Swamp Cooler technology. Shade-providing spandex on top and Swamp Cooler technology on the chest and belly keep dogs cool through evaporation and heat reflection. The vest is designed for fast and light athletic endeavors. It features a zippered closure.


      Stella & Chewy’s Raw Blend and Raw Coated Kibble

      Stella & Chewy’s offers Raw Blend and Raw Coated Kibble. Raw Coated Kibble is coated with freeze-dried raw goodness on every piece in each of the four recipes—Grass-Fed Beef, Cage-Free Chicken, Wild-Caught Whitefish and Small Breed Chicken. Two additional recipes of Raw Blend Kibble, Red Meat and Cage-Free, include the same raw coating, to which has been added freeze-dried pieces of Stella & Chewy’s Meal Mixers to deliver additional freeze-dried raw nutrition in every meal. The products are available in 3.5-lb., 10-lb. and 22-lb. packaging.


      Fruitables Easy Pour Purees from Vetscience

      ​Fruitables Easy Pour Purees from Vetscience are low-calorie, pet-safe vegetable-based purees with vegetable stock providing flavor and hydration in every meal. The addition of all-natural vegetable broth to the canned Pumpkin recipes and the addition of Sweet Potato and Carrot flavors provide variety in flavor and function. The products are available in Tetra Pak cartons of 33.8 oz. in Pumpkin, Sweet Potato and Carrot recipes, plus fortified versions of Pumpkin and Sweet Potato Digestive Supplement in a 16.9-oz. size, and Switch Food Transition and Pumpkin Weight Loss in 33.8-oz. cartons.


      ZippyPaws’ Z-Stitch Grunterz

      ​ZippyPaws’ Z-Stitch Grunterz are the perfect toys for large dogs that love to grab and squeak. Z-Stitch Grunterz are reinforced with multiple layers of mesh and durable lining fabric. The layers of material are cross-stitched together for added toughness, plaid accents add a touch of unique style and character to these tough toys, and a loud grunter squeaker inside makes the perfect squeaking noise for playful dogs. Z-Stitch Grunterz are available in four characters: Donny the Dinosaur, Manny the Mammoth, Ronny the Black Rhino, and Dodo the Dodo Bird.

      The Cat category winners are:

      Honeysuckle/Catnip Pouches from The Cat House

      Honeysuckle/Catnip Pouches from The Cat House contain premium, organic catnip and honeysuckle wood sawdust. They are made with two fabric layers and a hook and loop closure so the toys are refillable. Each durable pouch is about 2.5 in. by 3 in. and holds 10g (about one-quarter cup) of mix.


      The Catit Vesper furniture series from Hagen Group

      The Catit Vesper furniture series from Hagen Group is made out of durable, high-quality materials for maximum enjoyment by cats. All of the models are available in walnut-laminate finish. The Vesper Cubo is a modern lounging cube for cats. The thick memory-foam cushions on the top and inside the cave make the Cubo perfect for relaxing, sleeping and hiding. The Vesper Cubo Tower is an adventure tower fit for lounging, climbing, scratching and hiding.


      Health Extension Pet Care’s Grain Free Diets for Cats

      Health Extension Pet Care’s Grain Free Diets for Cats are created with whole-food ingredients, like real chicken, tuna or tilapia, and quality ingredients like apple cider vinegar and coconut oil to help support optimal health. The recipes are low in carbohydrates and do not contain artificial colors or artificial preservatives. Six flavors are available in convenient 2.8-oz. can sizes: Chicken & Duck Recipe, Chicken & Salmon Recipe, Tuna & Prawns Recipe, Chicken & Tuna Recipe, Chicken & Pumpkin Recipe and Tilapia & Tuna Recipe. A grain-free Turkey & Salmon flavor kibble is also available in both 4-lb. and 15-lb. bag varieties.


      World’s Best Cat Litter Zero Mess from Kent Pet Group

      World’s Best Cat Litter Zero Mess from Kent Pet Group is designed for fast cleanup with two times better clumping and two times more odor control, resulting in less mess with less wasted litter. The litter combines the concentrated power of corn with super-absorbent plant fibers that quickly trap liquids in clumps so pet owners don’t have to chisel and scrape the box, the company reports. It is also available in Pine Scented.


      Poopy Packs for Cats from Metro Paw

      ​Poopy Packs for Cats from Metro Paws are litter bags large enough to hold it all. Available in two chic designs tailored exclusively for cat people, each unit comprises a single roll of 250 strong, reliable and compostable bags. The soft-touch packaging features a large perforated opening for easy, tissuelike dispensing of the bags. Packaging is printed on 100 percent recycled paper and printed with vegetable-based inks.


      The PURRfect Wild Hemp Cat Toy from Vee Enterprises

      The PURRfect Wild Hemp Cat Toy from Vee Enterprises is a USA-made toy that is sure to entice any cat with its colorful natural feathers and natural hemp cords. It is a 24-in. black flex wand with colorful natural feathers and a mix of natural and colored hemp cords. The natural feathers’ scent along with the irresistible hemp cords capture the cat’s attention to the toy and lures the cat into hours of chasing, hunting and attacking.


      The Dog and Cat category winners are:

      Halo Purely For Pets, brand relaunch

      Halo’s new brand launch features OrigiNative, containing humanely sourced proteins and non-GMO vegetables. The formula reflects the brand’s broader mission “to change the way companion animals are fed and farm animals are raised … for the better!” Halo sourcing includes Global Animal Partnership (GAP) certified cage-free poultry, humanely raised turkey and wild-caught fish from MSC-certified sustainable fisheries. The products do not contain growth hormones, antibiotics, or artificial flavors, colors or preservatives. Halo promotes OrigiNative agriculture and animal husbandry with the goal of bringing farming and ranching practices back to a more original and native state.


      Pet Teepees from P.L.A.Y. (Pet Lifestyle And You)

      Pet Teepees from P.L.A.Y. (Pet Lifestyle And You) create a stylish sanctuary for pets to play or curl up for a nap. Pets can relax in their own teepee, constructed of 100 percent natural cotton canvas and pine wood poles, and lounge safely on the ergonomic inner foam cushion with a removable washable cover. The teepees are designed for easy setup and provide a safe space for pets while adding an architectural design element to the home. They are available in one size and four stylish designs.

      The Palm Springs Collection from Primetime Petz

      The Palm Springs Collection from Primetime Petz adds a touch of mid-century modern elegance to any interior. The Palm Springs Designer Gate is available in two heights (27 in. and 36 in.). It features a solid wood frame, versatile 360-degree hinges and a sleek white finish. It includes support feet for extra stability. The coordinating Palm Springs Lounge gives cats and small dogs a luxurious multistory resting spot. Sturdy steel sides with a glossy white finish support two plush cushions with removable, washable micro-suede covers.

      Ziwi Peak Blue Mackerel and Lamb from Ziwi

      ​Ziwi Peak Blue Mackerel and Lamb from Ziwi is a unique blend of wild New Zealand blue mackerel and lamb. Whole blue mackerel is a rich, natural source of omega-3 and -6 fatty acids and sustainably caught in the southern Pacific oceans. The lamb is grass fed its entire life and free from any growth promotants or added hormones. There is also 3 percent New Zealand green mussel and 7 percent cold washed tripe included. The canned foods are free from any artificial binders, using chickpea as a natural, high-protein alternative.

      To view the winners of the Aquatics and Exotics categories, click here

      By Pet Product News Staff


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