A visit last fall to the H.H. Backer Pet Industry Christmas Trade Show uncovered dozens of new pet products hitting store shelves. Some are designed to indulge Fido; others are all about making your life easier. Chicago Tribune
Buckarooz: Elk and deer antlers that are shed in the wild get recycled as dog chews. Basically marrow-filled bone, the chews have no added hormones, antibiotics, animal by-products or preservatives. They're sturdy and have no smell . . . and dogs love them (we tested some). They're collected in Rocky Mountain states, shipped to Free Range Dog Chews' headquarters in Michigan, cut to various sizes and packaged. Prices range from $6.79 to $27.99.freerangedogchews.com.
Anti-Lick Strip: Manufactured by Ohio-based Nurtured Pets, the sweet-smelling bandage is laced with several natural ingredients — cayenne pepper being the most active one — that discourage your dog from licking that hot spot. Just place it over a regular bandage, and if the smell doesn't keep your dog in line, one or two licks will get the message across. Comes in three sizes ($25 to $31 for a box of six); the smallest can be used on cats as well. nurturedpets.com.
Arm & Hammer Waste Bags: A recent Editor's Choice Award winner from Pet Product News, these baking soda-infused bags and accompanying dispenser make pet cleanup at home (for both dogs and cats) or on the road a little less odious. The dispenser ($6.99, including 24 reinforced bags) attaches to a leash or belt loop. Refill rolls available. bamboopet.com.
The Illustrated Cat: Johnnie Scoutten has turned her considerable artistic skills and love of cats (she has five) into a series of notecards, prints, pendants, tote bags and more. Even upon close inspection, her drawings appear to be photographic prints. $12 to $80. theillustratedcat.com.
Greet Me-Eat Me: Carol Snowden has a line of 24 edible rawhide treats that come in the shape of greeting cards (Happy Birthday, Spot!) and other holiday items (the Easter Bunny, for example). Priced from about $10 to $18. greetmeeatme.com.
Rainbow Ants: It's a small habitat with five layers of colored sand into which you introduce a colony of ants (mail-in coupon included). As the ants tunnel through a color, they relocate the sand. The next day, sand from the bottom is piled on the surface, so you know what your ants were up to overnight ($24.95). fascinations.com.
Stella & Chewy's dinners: Developed by Marie Moody, this line is made with USDA-inspected meats, with no hormones, antibiotics, grains, fillers, preservatives or artificial color added. Our test got rave reviews from a couple of shepherds. stellaandchewys.com.