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Dogs and Cats Rejoice - Here's the Latest Cool Products for our Four-Legged Friends

By Hector Cisneros

In America, we love our four-legged friends almost as much as our children. Some people say that their pets are their children. I personally love dogs (and to some extent cats). Today, a dog or a cat living in the 21st century has opportunities not available to them a mere decade ago. For example, pet healthcare has advanced significantly. There are even a variety of customized prosthetic devices available for pets today. To make it even more interesting, we have robotic devices that will play with our pets while we are at work. There are pet TV shows, pet trackers, high tech pet clothing and even pet booties to protect their paws in winter. In this episode of Working the Web to Win, we will explore the wonderful world of 21st century pet products, how they are marketed to consumers and what the latest dog or cat fancier is considering for their favorite four-legged friends. So get ready to curl up with your favorite canine or feline as we jump into the world of 21st century pet products.

You may be asking yourself, why is a marketing company writing about pets? Believe it or not, it is our philosophy that we give our audience what they want! During a routine analysis of our Twitter accounts, I noticed that the number one item shared last quarter was information on pets. We post lots of information that we feel is Useful, Relevant, Timely, Autoritative and Entertaining for our followers. Our followers are not looking for sales pitches, advertorials, or other type of sales rhetoric designed to convince them that we care about them. We instead give them what they want. Pets, especially Dogs and Cats, are always trending. It is also an interesting, useful, timely, relevant and entertaining subject of marketing. 

Our Love Affair with Pets Goes Way Back. According to the Smithsonian online, we have been keeping pets for possibly tens of thousands of years. That article goes on to say that Americans own 78 million dogs, 85 million cats, 14 million birds, 12 million small mammals and 9 million reptiles. We love our pets and we have done so a long time. What we haven't  had is  21st century tech to help keep our favorite pets happy and healthy even when we're not there. Let's be clear, I want to make sure you understand that not I, nor anyone in our company is compensated in any way by the companies or products discussed in this article. Being a dog and cat lover, I just wanted to share some of the cool pet products that are out there with our readers. I also wanted to explore some of the new interesting ways these products are marketed as well.

Now, let's look at some of the latest cool pet toys and accessories we have available for our pets that make life easier for us, the pet owner. I am not talking about regular chew toys, ropes, Frisbees, tennis balls or anything old school like that. We're talking about 3D printed chew toys, toys that distribute their own threats, robots that play with our dog and pet TV shows that entertain our pets while we're away. There are even safe lasers that you can use to entertain your dog or cat. They love chasing lights.

Dog TV - Really? There is even a TV show just for pets. I'm not kidding, DOGTV is real!. According to DOGTV's website, it states that "DOGTV is the first television experience created for dogs to relax and entertain them allowing you to leave a little love on when you head out of your home. DOGTV is not just a TV channel; after all, our dogs don’t binge watch their favorite shows like we do. But, they do experience happy stimulation and comfort from the scientifically developed sights and sounds that DOGTV provides." Dogs that stay at home now have it made. Now they not only can be entertained, but the makers of the show also have a captive owner audience as well.

Now if you thought that was cool, how about a VARRAM, and INDIEGOGO product that raised $601,059.00. It was 545% funded at launch. This little robot teases your pet into playing and also offers it a reward when it keeps on moving and playing. The website states that - "VARRAM Pet Fitness Robot solves one of the greatest health challenges of the 21st century with: - Snack reward system to move your pet - Five stimulus artificial intelligence - Automatic obstacle avoidance system - Remote control through the app - FDA- approved material safe for pets - Let your pet have fun while you’re away!" Watch the video, you will be amazed!

Then there is the company that was featured in Mashable that uses 3D printers to produce test products that in turn reduce the time it takes to test and bring to market a new Dog toy. The company is called BarkBox.. According to the mashable article - "BarkBox is a startup focused on creating and selling dog products, toys, and treats. They design and test all their toys in-house using a 3D printer and a squeaker library that they try out on the dogs that roam the office. Serving a market that has long been stale and stagnant, BarkBox is bringing dog toys into the 21st century." One of the most interesting things about this company is their marketing approach. They sell subscriptions for a monthly box of dog goodies. People seem to be enamored with receive boxes, almost like it's present time! Why do you think Amazon is so big on making the deliver process special.  Check out their video below (also on the on the Mashable article) by clicking on the link above.

I found this pet toy product page on Amazon that was loaded with cool dog and cat toys. There are multiple balls that when rolled provide puzzles that when played with dispense treats when the puzzle is solved. Cat hideaways, pet cameras, pet robotic companions and a whole lot more are but a point and click away. Again, as I said earlier, we aren't endorsing any of these products, nor are we receiving any kind of compensation from any company or product mentioned in this article. The information is provided as a fun resource for pet lovers.

Pet Health - Now They Can Live Longer and Happier Lives. - Let's get into pet health.  In the past, if your pet was sick, you took it to the vet and paid through the nose for that cancer treatment or operation your pet needed. Like human healthcare, pet care fees continue to rise. In fact, many pet owners are buying pet insurance. If you do a Google search on the term "Pet Insurance Costs". You will find a dozen articles that show costs vary widely depending on the type of coverage offered. In an article called "Average Cost of Pet Insurance: 2019 Facts and Figures", it states that, "The average monthly cost of pet insurance is $44.66 for dogs and $27.93 for cats for pet insurance plans that cover both accidents and illnesses. After obtaining quotes from eleven of the largest pet insurance companies, we found that the monthly cost of the average pet insurance plan ranges from about $25 to $70 for dogs, and $10 to $40 for cats.With the rising cost of pet care, pet health insurances makes sense if you have an expensive purebred, or just a mutt that your kids can't live without. Not long ago, my dog needed two knee surgeries, of which one failed. I wish I had pet insurance at that time.

Over the past 20 years or so, pet healthcare and food products have evolved from one product fits all to tons of specialty products. This evolution has brought us many improvements for dogs and cat  food and health care products. Today a wide variety an availability of pet vitamins and other supplements are available. This even includes pet specific probiotics and omega 3 essential oils. This is even more true of pet food. We now have a much wider variety of pet food products including true organic food brands and food products that were specially designed for dogs and cats of different ages, sizes and breeds. Speaking of dog treats, the number types and a variety of pet treats has skyrocketed. Walk into any grocery store and there are whole aisles just for dog and cat treats.

Pet Prosthetics come of age. - If for some reason your pet dog or cat loses a limb, they can now get prosthetics, just like humans. If you do a search for "animal prosthetic", you will find a ton of useful information, and a wide variety of products to fit many types of animals, especially dogs and cats. There is a horde of articles about 3D printed animal prosthetics and other devices to help your pet get around. If you're looking to buy one of these medical devices, you have a wide variety of prosthetics,  braces, choices and price ranges to choose from. This makes it so that anyone can afford to help their pet get around again. Watch this video, it will bring happy tears to your eyes.

The pet industry has discovered that people really care about their pets. They are willing to pony up a considerable amount of money every month to keep their favorite feline or canine companion happy and healthy. They even make dog specific hygiene products like doggie diapers and doggie ear wipes to clean their ears. I personally have been using baby wipes on my dog's ears for a long time and my dog seems to like it when I use them to clean his ears.

Pet Clothing goes wild. - Another pet related  industry that has taken off is pet clothing and protective gear. It used to be that your eccentric aunt would knit a sweater for her pooch so that her dog would be warm in the winter. Now, all anyone has to do is head to their favorite pet superstore where they will find the pet clothing isle. There are even dedicated pet clothing stores like the Posh Puppy Boutique, and if you search YouTube, you will find so many pet fashion shows, it will make your eyes pop out. They even make hunting dog booties and dog life vests to protect the dogs when they hunt and swim.

If you haven't noticed, most of these products are highly marketed on the internet. Sure, many are sold in Walmart, Target and pet superstores. But the fact remains that most are found on the web first. There purchasing process evolves later to suit the buyer preferences (for web or brick and mortar purchases).  Most of the cool products I have listed in this article are for dogs and cats. Dogs do seem to get the lion's share of  of the coolest products. Maybe it's because cats are more aloof and independent or maybe it's because dogs are considered man's best friend. Regardless of which four legged friend you love, their world of comfort and care has been upgraded considerably in the last 20 years. It's a shame that there are still hundreds of pets waiting in shelters hoping for a good home. Do yourself a big favor, go to your local pet shelter, pick out a four legged friend to take home and then share in the new pet care economy to help make this pet nation great again. It will even improve your health and well-being.

That's my opinion; I look forward to reading yours.

This article extols the massive evolution that the pet care industry has seen over the last 20 years.
 Pet lovers, especially those who love dogs and cats have seen the supporting pet industry bloom from merely pet food in a can to specialized  gourmet pet food targeted to an animal's specific breed, age, size and weight. Accessories abound from pet prosthetics, to high tech pet toys, to fancy pet clothing, to robotic pet playmates. There are even pet puzzles that provide your pets with treats when the puzzle is solved. This blog also provides many links to dozens of related articles and includes a link to the accompanying BlogTalkRadio show for this episode.
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Hector Cisneros is COO and Director of Social Media Marketing at Working the Web to Win, an award-winning Internet marketing company based in Jacksonville, Florida.  He is also co-host of the weekly Internet radio show, "Working the Web to Win" on, which airs every Tuesday at 4 p.m. Eastern. Hector is a syndicated writer and published author of “60 Seconds to Success” and the co-author along with his business partner Carl Weiss of their hit book also called “Working the Web to Win.”

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