10 Weird, Wacky & Just Plain Dumb Pet Products
I know there are tons of folks who think most dog and cat products are dumb. After all, dogs and cats have their own fur, so they don't need clothes; and they can fetch sticks, instead of all those gimmicky plastic toys. They can hunt for vermin and fowl, so they don't need stuff that squeeks or rustles. And they can be trained to obey with natural bits of food, instead of people-shaped pet cookies.
Then there are those at the other extreme... those for whom pets are their alter-egos. Fancy beds, clothes closets, diamond-studded jewelry... Just think about it... what does a sexy dog bikini say about a dog compared to what it says about the owner of a dog? What statement does a Madonna-style cat wig make?
While identifying with "both sides of the aisle" when it comes to pet products, there are some that both sides likely agree are awesomely ridiculous!
1. The Dog-O-Matic Dog Washing Machine
Invented and marketed by Frenchman Roman Jarry, there really is a Dog-O-Matic, and Jarry says dogs love it. Just look at these photos and tell me if the dog in the washing machine is loving it....
Your dog's neutered? Surely, he misses his testicles.... He doesn't feel like a man dog any more....
If your German Shepherd gets his (ahem) balls back, does that make him more manly? Or you more manly? Testicle implants (Neuticles) along with face lifts, tummy tucks, and breast reductions, should be out of bounds for pets. (See Beth's blog about Neuticles here.)
3. Bowlingual & Meowlingual, Cat & Dog Translators
From Japan, land of the kookiest creations for dogs and cats, the Bowlingual the Meowlingual, electronic "translators," let you know what your dog and cat really mean when they speak. They are programmed to "understand" the sound of six emotions your dog or cat may feel when he elicits a bark or a meow. These emotions have been codified into the Animal Emotion Analysis System.
These gadgets may work fine; I'm not judging their accuracy. But if you can't figure out if your dog or cat is happy, sad, frustrated, or about to attack you without this $250 gadget... you probably should not own a pet. Maybe you'd better brush up your people skills too.
Have some fun with this video; you'll probably understand the dogs, but the translation's in Japanese...
4. Dog Perfume
If your dog stinks, make sure you are feeding her properly - my bias is towards natural, holistic, and raw foods - no kibble. You can also try bathing her with a natural dog soap and a dog conditioner.
But if she smells like a dog when she's groomed and clean, leave her alone! If you perfume her, she'll repulse other dogs, and you need to get yourself a life!
5. The Poop Tent
Yup, we all know that when it's cold, snowy, or rainy outside, our dogs need... what? Protection? Privacy? The Poop Tent is cute, but c'mon!
6. Kong Stuff'N Pastes
If he likes the smell of the Stuff'N Paste, which is practically guaranteed, it will keep him busy, crazy busy. But how is a dog supposed to get the pasty goo out of the small hole in the Kong? He can't. The 'stuff' just sticks to the inside of the Kong where you can't even wash it out. Leave it sitting around your house or yard, and he'll be greeted with tons of ants, which will not stop him from trying again to get the paste out of the Kong.
And, another thing... Has the Kong Company been hiding in one of its toys this century? As most all other dog food companies are going natural, and making meals and treats that are wholesome and balanced according to the nutritional needs of dogs, the Kong Company is stuck like paste in the junk dog food era.
Although it claims its Kong fillers are all natural, veterinarian approved, etcetera, etcetera, I think that canine nutritionists might disagree. Here, for example, are the contents of the Kong Stuff'N Peanut Butter Paste: Whey, Soybean Oil, Water, Milk, Dextrose Maltodextrin, Modified Corn Starch, Sodium Phosphate, Salt, Carrageenan, Guar Gum, Natural and Artificial Flavors, Lactic Acid, Caramel Color, Annatto Extract (Color), Cheese Cultures, and Rennet.
Notice there is no peanut butter in Kong Stuff'n Peanut Butter Paste.... No, that might be healthy for your dog.
And although protein should be the prime ingredient in a dog's diet, each teaspoon of the Stuff'n Pastes contains only 2-3 percent protein and 20-23 percent fat. The highest proportion of content is "moisture," about 53 percent of the serving.
7. The PooTrap
Otherwise known as the "Magic Poop Collector," the PooTrap is supposed to transfer the responsibility for picking up after your dog from you, the owner, to the dog, the pooper. I won't go into a long spiel here: it's an awkward, cumbersome, humiliating, and totally stupid pet product. (You can buy it here.)
Oh, I know you want to see the PooTrap in use!
8. Sex Toys For Dogs
If sex toys for dogs are anything more than amusing curios, I'd be surprised... But according to the designer of the Doggie Lover Doll®, they are therapeutic. I'm not convinced; I just think they're another way for humans to entertain themselves.
9. Dumb Cat Water Training Sprayer
Dumb Cat is actually the trademark for a line of products aimed at cat spot and marking removal. Dumb Cat is a dumb brand name, and I don't think I need to expand on why.
But the company is selling the Dumb Cat Water Training Sprayer, a 16-ounce bottle upon which is written in bold red letters, "just add water." Add water to what?
Nothing. The bottle is empty. It's an empty spray bottle that's "list price" is $5.99. Number one, you don't need a 16 ounce bottle to spray a cat, even 20 times, and number two, you can buy a spray bottle for at least $4 less at most drug stores.
Though the bottle claims to shoot water across the room, shooting anything at your cat is not, by my training or experience, advisable. Anything shot at your cat, or sprayed, is likely to make your cat fearful of you, and distrusting, two attributes not likely to make her the best pet. Like dogs, cats can be easily trained by consistently and firmly saying "No" and simultaneously moving them to where they should be, or what they should be doing, and praising them.
10. The Dogone Thong
No, the Dogone Thong was not intended to be sexy... although when you see it, you almost wish it was. The thong was created as a "flatulence odor control" product for dogs; so when your dog farts, you don't have to smell it. The full name was "The Dogone - Dog Gas Neutralizing Pad" and it used an activated charcoal cloth to subdue the fart fumes. It came with suspender clips and elastic straps just to make sure you were covered!
"Was" is the active verb here; Flat-D Innovations, Inc., wisely discontinued the Dogone Thong.
There are many more weird, wacky, and just plain dumb products for pets out there ... but they will just have to wait for a future column!
That's the buzz for today!