Cool pet gear and toys
If your dog has started snubbing his nose at his tennis ball toy, or your cat just can't face another slumber into her boring old bed, perhaps it's time to shake things up.
Here are some cool new toys, beds, gadgets and more that just might up your pet's activity level and, after a full day, help set up a more comfortable rest.
Pet Links Remote-Controlled Mouse Toy(Credit: Jeremy Bales)
Your cat will love chasing this Pet Links Remote-Controlled Mouse Toy; $14.99, select Bed Bath & Beyond stores.
MixMax puzzle(Credit: Mattias Ermanbrix)
Meant to keep your pet's mind active, the MixMax wooden puzzle from Nina Ottosson lets you hide multiple treats for your pooch to discover. With two difficultly levels, you can ensure an even trickier time by linking one or more games together. Versions for cats are available, too. Info: $36 per puzzle (two are pictured); shop.nina-ottosson.com.
Kittypod mini cardboard scratching post(Credit: All Modern)
Cats need a place to scracth. Ideally, their furniture of choice is a) not your couch and b) a pleasant addition to your decor. Kittypod's mini cardboard scratching post offers a nice nook for your kitty to hang out in as well as a number of sides to sink his claws into. Info: $64.99, allmodern.com.
Wanmock(Credit: Hiroshi Yoda)
From Japan's Torafu Architects and available through Architecture for Dogs, the Wanmock (dogs say "wan" in Japanese) is easy to assemble and finished when you slide a comfy t-shirt over it so your pooch can relax next to his favorite human's scent. ($235, store.architecturefordogs.com)
Step N Strobe Dog Shoes(Credit: petco.com)
Step N Strobe Dog Shoes by Kurgo are lightweight and durable and have L.E.D. side strips allowing your pup to roam freely and safely; see store for price, petco.com.
Drinkwell hy-drate filtration system(Credit: PetSafe)
Turn your pet's water bowl into a good time. The Drinkwell hy-drate filtration system keeps water circulating while keeping it clean, both with with activated carbon and by trapping small particles such as bits of food. It works with most pet bowls and comes in white, light blue and dark blue. $21.99; store.petsafe.net/drinkwell-hydrate.
Tunnel cat toy(Credit: PetSmart)
Your cat will nestle and perhaps even have a ball -- a spherical toy is included -- inside this pop-up tunnel. Available at PetSmart. Info: $16.99, petsmart.com.
Dome small animal hideout(Credit: PetSmart)
A joint between National Geographic and PetSmart has resulted in a line that includes this wood cabin hideaway for hamsters, gerbils and other small critters. Available in two sizes. ($6.99-$13.99, petsmart.com)
Kittyo(Credit: Kittyo )
For the tech-savvy kitty who has it all, Kittyo is a gadget that allows you to let Fluffy know you care when you're not there. Via a smartphone app, cat owners can both interact -- manipulate a laser pointer, talk, open a treat dispenser -- and watch and record their felines. Preorder for $149 at kittyo.com.
Pencil rope toy(Credit: Waggo)
Brooklyn-based Waggo makes plenty of adorable pooch playthings, including this all-cotton, pencil-shaped rope toy. Dapper dogs might be interested in the bow tie version, too, and the studious sort can chomp on the rubber paper clip or push pin toys. Info: $14 for one pencil rope toy, $20 for two; waggo.com.
Slo-Bowl dog feeder(Credit: The Kyjen Company)
Is your dog a Hoover? Help him maintain a more mellow eating pace with Slo-Bowl Slow Feeders from Dog Games. Available in four designs and a variety of colors, the bowls require pooches to navigate crevices for their kibble, slowing them down and providing healthy mind play at the same time. Info: $19.99, kyjen.com.
Cat hammock(Credit: Cat Above Company)
Cats certainly like their hideaways, and the SnoozePal cat hammock lets Fluffy hang out while being tucked away. The fleece-lined hammock can support felines up to 20 pounds. Info: $34.95; catabove.com.
Deluxe Kitty Connection(Credit: Petco)
Your kitten will love climbing along this Deluxe Kitty Connection playground; $29.99, at select Petco stores.
Spoil your dog with a monthly box that offers a mix of toys and treats. Starting at $18 per month (with shipping built in), BarkBox assembles a selection of goodies depending upon the size of your pooch. Details at barkbox.com.
Frosty Bowlz(Credit: Frosty Bowlz)
Keeping your pet's water -- and perishable food -- cool for hours courtesy of a gel core that goes in the freezer, Frosty Bowlz sit on a plate with a non-skid surface. Available in a variety of sizes. (starting at $24.99 for a 14-ounce bowl; frostybowlz.com)
Whistle fitness tracker(Credit: AP / Whistle Labs, Inc.)
With humans able to obsess about their fitness habits via the likes of Jawbone and FitBit, it's only logical that we can now do the same for our four-legged friends. Whistle, which weighs 16 grams, clips to a dog's collar, monitoring Fido's activity (or lack thereof). With data syncing to an app (available for iPhones and Androids) via bluetooth and wireless, you can track your pooch's day whether you're with him or not. Multiple people can access the app, and you can add notations about medications and food, too. Whistle is $129, available at Whistle.com and PetSmart stores.
To Go Bowl(Credit: Keep America)
Keeping pets hydrated is a concern for owners any time of year, but dog moms and dads need to be extra vigilant when the mercury rises. This travel bowl from Fuzzy Travelers fits into your car's cupholder so Fido always has a drink and you don't need to worry about spillage. ($19.99, keepamerica.com)
Coolaroo steel frame pet bed(Credit: Bed Bath & Beyond)
Pros for your dog: The Coolaroo mesh fabric is breathable and resistant to insects. Pros for you: The bed is mildew-resistant and cleanable with a garden hose. In three sizes, the medium bed supports up to 50 pounds. Info: $27.99 (small and medium), $34.99 (large); online only at bedbathandbeyond.com.
Cambria pet bowls and stand(Credit: Pottery Barn)
Glazed stoneware bowls placed in a cast-iron stand mean your pet eats in style and without neck strain. The bronze-finish stand features a dog bone design and is available in small (5 inches high, 14 inches wide) and large (7.75 inches high and 18 inches wide). Info: stand $29.50-$49.50, bowls $19.50-$34.50; available via Pottery Barn catalogs and online at potterybarn.com.
Travel dog bed(Credit: Williams-Sonoma)
Easy to pack -- it rolls right up and has attached ties -- the reversible travel dog bed from Williams-Sonoma ensures your dog will always have a comfortable place to rest. With fleece on one side and quilted cotton on the other, it's machine washable. Info: $55.99 for the medium size (28 by 15 inches); williams-sonoma.com.
'Songs for Sophie'(Credit: amazon.com)
If your animals seem a bit anxious when you leave home, maybe the mellow, piano-based music of George Skaroulis will help your four-legged family members relax. Skaroulis has put out two CDs, "Songs for Sophie" and "The Divinity of Dogs," geared toward soothing Spot, though cats and other critters shouldn't be put off by the dog-centric titles. Info: $16, georgeskaroulis.com.