Dog Bowls & Dog Toys & Kitty Condos, Oh My!

by Mary Haight on June 24, 2009

It was funny, I was thinking about the dog bowls, dog toys, and kitty condos that are a part of the numbers inside that $45 billion spent on pets this year, while a friend was telling me about her Chocolate Lab and the problems she has keeping him from moving the dog bowl across the floor, splashing his water everywhere.  Seems he is so intent on licking the bowl clean, he ends up creating quite a mess.  As we talked, I realized with a bit of a start that I had changed dog bowls from dog to dog maybe 16 times, probably more, something I would not have thought to be “normal” over the course of having 6 dogs. Time to take a closer look at all this “stuff” inside the numbers, and marketing’s siren song of the new new thing!

I spotted these nifty looking bowls, which look to be a good solution to any dog’s messy bowl-pushing tricks. According to the manufacturer, “the base of every SKID STOP Bowl has a bottom rim of thermoplastic rubber. It’s the most cost effective solution to this very common problem.” Sounds like if this won’t do the job, nothing will.


The same company, JW Pet, has created Tough By NatureTMNatural Rubber Dog Toys, made from 100% natural rubber, which can take a lot of abuse from sharp little teeth of the terrier to pit bull efforts.  JW Pets also makes the well-known Hol-ee Roller, Sphericon, Tanzanian Mountain Ball, the Hol-ee Mol-ee Extreme, the Giggler Ball, Chompion, Cyberbone and CUZ the Walking Ball, all of which come in varying shapes and sizes.


The manufacturer says “These tough rubber toys were developed for and by pet owners in order to provide a superior outlet for interactive fun between dog and owner, as well as for the play and exercise of the dog by itself. Pliable, resilient, natural rubber has proven itself to be the best material to satisfy the dog’s normal craving to chew.” I would caution that experts warn pet parents not leave their dogs alone with chew toys to avoid possible choking.

To find a JW PET distributer in your area, you can call their customer service at 1-(800)-407-7826.

A Cheerful Pet products are designed in America and then handcrafted by artisans in Nepal with the help of an American designer. Each piece is individually handmade with 100% all natural New Zealand wool-a one-of-a-kind piece of art!


By purchasing from A Cheerful Pet, you are helping Nepali women provide for their families and giving them an enriched quality of life. Also, any product purchased from the PUMA collection provides food, shelter and education for the children of the PUMA orphanage. I like doing business with these multi-purpose companies involved with doing good for others–more fun than business as usual!

The website is not contemporary or marketing savvy, so be forewarned, but the mission is a good one, the toys are environmentally friendly and there are plenty of different sizes and designs from which to choose, from octopus, to fish, to footballs, “tennis” balls, tug toys, snakes, bunnies, and more.

And finally we don’t want to sidestep the kitties, and after looking at the very posh designs of Kittiepod, lovely pieces of architecture made of varied materials, cardboard being one (priced at $320 with possible copyrights on their photos), I thought I would take the other direction and show the environmentally sustainable Caboodle, also of cardboard and of a simple completely non-serious design. Still, it looks like kitties would have some cat fun, and find places to have a good scratch, too!

Caboodle says “Corrugated Habitats for Cats are spacious and durable condos that cats love to play, lounge and hide in. Made with thick, heavy gauge corrugated, Caboodles are sturdy three-level condos with playful peek-a-boo holes, customizable interior passageways and contoured grooming edges that are irresistible to cats.”

And then, just in time for lazy summer days, there’s the cat hammock, “SnoozePal” Kitty is off the ground, safely in a box, and all that luxurious privacy will only cost you $34.95.  Cats just take lazing away the day to a high art, don’t they?

Thanks to Brooke Hodge, who writes The Moment Blog at the NY Times, for the tip on a couple of these pet product companies.

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