A Show of Paws

Global Pet Expo will have new exhibits and new items, including many for the grocery channel.



Global Pet Expo gets bigger every year, and that creates opportunities not only for pet specialty stores looking for innovative products, but also for grocery stores that know they need to keep up with trends. Many of the exhibitors will present products and brands that are made specifically for the grocery channel. 

One new show feature is an emphasis on global. Officials from the American Pet Products Association (APPA), which presents Global Pet Expo with the Pet Industry Distributors Association (PIDA), say that this year an international model will replace the International Pavilion—where multiple countries exhibited together in one space. Instead, there will be country-specific pavilions for international exhibitors, and overall booth space is projected to be 25 percent larger than the pavilion in 2016. Officials expect more than 100 additional international exhibitors in the special sections and general show floor, and buyer attendance will represent 76 countries.

Those increases follow a trend of an already growing show. The 2016 Global Pet Expo had more than 320,000 net square feet of exhibit space, 6,170 buyers, more than 3,000 new pet product launches, 1,087 exhibitors and 3,218 booths sold. Overall attendance totaled 15,478 people. 

This year’s Global Pet Expo will take place March 22-24 at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Fla. Here are some of this year’s exhibitors and what they will present.  



Petsport will present several toys this year. Kitty Fun Balls have different styles, textures and sounds that kitties love in one convenient package. Tiny Tots are cute and durable small toys for small dogs or cats in three assorted figures. For dogs there are new plush toys: Prickle Hog, which is a hedgehog; Mop Monster, with thick and durable pile; Billy Bronco, a tough plush; Polly Pig, which has a squeaker; Chucky Cow, made out of a durable corduroy plush, and Rodney Rooster. 

The Pittsburg, Calif.-based company also will show treat-dispensing toys. Quadra Play is a tumbling treat-dispensing toy made of expanded TPR that dogs love to chew. No matter how it lands, there is always a bone pointing up so even little dogs can carry it. Quadra Play comes in two sizes, Quadra Play Regular and Quadra Play Large. Also new is the Kingpin Kibbler, a treat-dispensing toy and slow feeder. The human can fill the interior with kibble or treats, and “bowl” a strike for the dog. 



Worldwise is bringing several items in its SmartyKat and TrustyPup brands. 

SmartyKat Loco Laser Interactive Cat Laser Toy is for cats that love chasing the erratically moving red light that the human controls. The bug-sized spot of light replicates the movement of prey, promoting healthy activity and exercise. The toy includes replaceable batteries. SmartyKat Skitter Critters is a 3-pack of mice with catnip, with fiberfill made from 100 percent recycled plastic. SmartyKat Scratch Up is a corrugated hanging scratcher with 100 percent certified organic catnip. Officials for the Novato, Calif.-based company say the scratcher is long lasting because the back can be removed when worn for double the scratching. The SmartyKat Catnip Lounger cat bed offers comfort, quality and affordability, and features on-trend colors and designs.

TrustyPup Tough ‘n Fun Hens Dog Toys are durable, long lasting soft plush hen toys with Chew Guard Technology. They have super tough chew-resistant lining and reinforced seams to withstand rough play, and are available in two sizes to appeal to small and large dogs, say officials, adding that all TrustyPup toys are backed by the Chew Guard Guarantee. 



Gramercy Products, based in Secaucus, N.J., will be showing its Nerf Dog Compact Blaster, a hand-held Tennis Ball Blaster with high-powered blasting action that launches a tennis ball more than 50 feet in the air. When the dog brings it back, the human places the barrel on the tennis ball and pick it up hands-free. The Nerf Dog blaster’s mechanism is designed to be safe for hands, and the tennis ball is included.

The company will also present toys to be used in the water. Super Soaker Tuff Turtle Squeak Ball and Nerf Dog Super Soaker Tug Ray are made from foam rubber material, and they squeak, tug, float and stand up to chewing. Nerf Dog Super Soaker Puffer Fish Ball, Nerf Dog Super Soaker Shark Football, Nerf Dog Super Soaker Gator Stick and Nerf Dog Super Soaker Crab Ring are made with durable TPR exterior with an extra absorbent sponge interior.



Loving Pets Corp., based in Cranbury, N.J., will present several products. Houndations are bite-sized, soft-chew treats for small dogs or for training. With 100 percent all-natural ingredients, Houndations are grain-, wheat-, gluten-, soy-, and corn-free. Each pack of brightly color-coded Houndations comes with a free carabiner to make it easy to take Houndations on-the-go. Houndations are available in five varieties: Beef, Chicken, Duck, Lamb and Salmon.

ActivPetz are dog treats with therapeutic levels of supplements. They have real meat and fish and are grain-, wheat-, gluten-, soy-, and corn-free. The four formulas are Hip & Joint, Skin & Coat, Digestive Health & Probiotic and Multivitamin & Immune Booster.

Totally Grainless is a grain-, gluten-, wheat-, and corn-free snack available in varieties such as Beef Stew Recipe Sausage Bites, Beef & Sweet Potato Recipe, Chicken & Cranberry Recipe Sausage Bites, Chicken & Peanut Butter Recipe, Chicken & Apple Recipe and Fresh Breath Mint.



The pet products division of Sterling, Ill.-based Wahl Clipper Corp. offers an extensive line of pet grooming products including clipping, trimming, brushing, bathing and combing products for pet owners who want to groom their pets at home. Among the most popular products are Wahl Oatmeal Shampoo, which contains oatmeal, coconut, lime, aloe and lemon verbena to soothe dry, itching, irritated skin, and the Lithium Ion Clipper, which company officials say provides one hour and forty minutes of run time on a full charge.


Nestle Purina PetCare Co. will present Bella foods for small dogs and Beneful Grain Free Dog Food. Small dogs have unique health needs that may require a smaller kibble size, and their higher metabolism and lean muscle mass mean they benefit from more nutrient dense food with higher antioxidant and protein levels. Since these small dogs currently make up 70 percent of the dog population growth, Purina is launching a brand that offers pampered meals inspired by these small dogs. The new Purina Bella is 100 percent complete and balanced for adult dogs, contains a blend of antioxidants to help support their immune system and supports health throughout the longer life expectancy of small dogs. 

Bella Natural Bites Plus Vitamins and Minerals dry dog formulas are a mix of small nutrient dense bites with tender, easy to chew shreds made with real chicken and beef or turkey, and without any artificial colors, flavors or preservatives, say officials for the St. Louis-based company. There are two varieties: Bella Natural Bites Plus Vitamins and Minerals With Real Chicken & Beef and Accents of Sweet Potatoes & Spinach, and Bella Natural Bites Plus Vitamins and Minerals With Real Chicken & Turkey and Accents of Carrots & Green Beans. 

Bella Pate in Savory Juices wet dog varieties deliver essential nutrition to help support overall good health in each 3.5-ounce tray, and come in six varieties, including porterhouse steak flavor, filet mignon flavor and chicken and smoked bacon flavor. 

Also new from Purina is Beneful Grain Free Dog Food. The grain-free recipe is made with wholesome ingredients such as farm-raised chicken as the No. 1 ingredient, accented with blueberries, pumpkin and spinach. It is complete and balanced nutrition that is free of grains and fillers.



Healthy Pet (formerly Absorption Corp.) offers sustainable products that are better for the earth and for pets. In two years, the ökocat brand of natural litter has grown to more than 5,000 doors, which helps to keep tons of clay litter out of landfills. Among the products Healthy Pet will bring to the show are ökocat premium natural cat litters made from reclaimed, sustainable materials without any harmful chemicals. Officials for the Ferndale, Wash.-based company say ökocat offers the brilliance of natural wood and paper to deliver litters that offer amazing absorption, incredible odor control, a subtle natural scent, and are naturally lightweight.

Healthy Pet also offers Crittercare, soft, absorbent pet bedding made from reclaimed, sustainable paper pulp, with a proprietary odor control formula that keeps small pets’ living space smelling fresh for days. Crittercare is available in a variety of colors and is 100 percent safe and colorfast, as well as biodegradable and earth-friendly.



R2P Pet, based in Pleasanton, Calif., will present DentaDish, which company officials say is the only slow feeding bowl that actually cleans teeth while the dog eats. This no-fuss bowl is clinically proven to reduce the formation of plaque, tartar and gingivitis. DentaDish is designed to prevent doggy dental and gum disease, which is the leading cause of bad breath. Soft bristles gently, yet effectively, clean teeth, slow down eating and help keep food in the bowl, add officials. Slowing the pet’s eating helps to reduce excess air intake, improves digestion and prevents bloat. DentaDish is made with food-safe materials and is both BPA- and phthalate-free. The non-skid rubber bottom is designed to keep the bowl in place, prevent spills and create a firm grip on slippery surfaces.



Ethical Products will display more than 150 new items, including line extensions to its stuffing free Skinneeez toys, Emoji dog toys, fashionable beds and dishes and one of the Bloomfield, N.J.-based company’s largest launches of assorted cat toys. One launch is Red Alert, the patent-pending nylon chew toy for dogs. Red Alert, built for aggressive chewers, is all about safety first. The chicken-scented, durable nylon toy features a red core visual safety indicator to warn if the strength of the toy has been compromised. Its virtually indestructible outer layer includes raised nubs that help clean teeth and massage gums. Each toy comes with a customer satisfaction guarantee and is available in bone, ring and Y-bone shapes.



Several of the products that PetMatrix, based in Saddle Brook, N.J., will launch are in its DreamBone brand for grocery. Twist Chews are no-rawhide chews made with real chicken and vegetables and intended to be easy to digest. They are vitamin and mineral enriched and available in two canine recipes, chicken and peanut butter. Kabobz are multi-meat flavored chews consisting of chicken, beef and pork flavors in a no-rawhide formula that is highly digestible and accommodates multiple sizes of dogs. Chicken Wrapped Sticks have real chicken wrapped on the outside, and the no-rawhide formula is also intended to be easy to digest. They are vitamin and mineral enriched and available in chicken and peanut butter recipes in regular and mini stick sizes.



Cardinal Pet Care offers products under several brands. Among them is Full Life for Pets, a dog treat line that includes Omega Chews and Omega Sticks, which contain nutritious Omega 3 and 6 fatty acids, and Trainer’s Choice, which are tiny, 1.5-calorie treats for rewarding dogs during training. Last year Cardinal, based in Azusa, Calif., added Salmon Flavor to the Full Life Trainer’s Choice Mini dog treat line. 



Petmate, based in Arlington, Texas, will present toys in the Fat Cat and Zoobilee collections. Stretchies have elasticity in their limbs, and a squeaker, and are available in Elephant, Giraffe, Cheetah and Monkey. Fall Heggies are quirky fall-themed characters that are soft and cuddly and have a grunting sound. Rubber Twisted Bone is a twist on the classic bone shape in a solid rubber toy. TPR Fish Chew is a solid translucent thermoplastic rubber toy that is a shaped like a fish, and it floats. Firehose Toys are made of a combination of plush, firehose and fleece rope, have a squeaker, and are available in Parrot, Frog or Tiger.



F.M. Brown’s Sons will present 1-pound Brown’s PEE Patch Repair for lawn damage from dog urine and high traffic areas. Dog urine, say officials for the Sinking Spring, Pa.-based company, is like super-concentrated fertilizer that can burn the life out of a lawn. The most successful solution to bringing the lawn back to life is a natural one that involves water, some new soil and a generous sprinkling of the quick-growing premium grass seed mixture. The product is all-natural, chemical-free and easy to use, add officials, and 1-pound covers 250 square feet.



Dexas International is the company that brought the industry Popware for Pets and the Snack-Duo, the combination water and snack holder. The Coppell, Texas-based company also makes adjustable pet feeders and other products, and is now entering the grooming category. Dexas will present the paw washing device MudBuster, which provides quick cleaning of a dog’s dirty or muddy paws. It features an array of soft, gentle, thick silicone bristles inside an easy-to-grip tumbler. The user adds water, guides the muddy paw inside and gently twists it, then dabs the paw dry. MudBuster is available in four colors and three sizes. 



Bissell Homecare will showcase what it calls the next generation of dog-bathing. The Bissell BarkBath is a faster, easier and less messy way to bathe the four-legged family member, say officials for the Grand Rapids, Mich.-based company. The portable bathing system allows the pet owner to bathe the pet practically anywhere and anytime with virtually no mess. Specially designed nozzles get beneath the fur and down to the skin to allow water and shampoo to wash the skin clean while a soft suction pulls dirt and water away into a separate dirty water tank. The system works with any length of fur, short or long, and one tank of water will completely wash an 80-pound dog, while the no-rinse shampoo formula leaves the dog’s coat feeling clean and fresh, officials add.



Lucky Dog will showcase its newest clover-shaped dog treat biscuit and flavor. Lucky Dog offers six healthy and naturally wholesome dog treats, which officials for Lucky Pet Brands, the Harvard, Ill.-based maker of the Lucky Dog Brand, say are 100 percent all-natural and filler-free. The flavors are Cheese & Bacon, Fruit & Veggie, Peanut Butter & Berries, Roast Duck and Pumpkin & Sweet Potato. The newest, Lucky Dog Grain-Free Captain’s Choice, is fish flavor. Manufactured in an FDA-inspected, SQF Level 3 facility, all treats are made without any corn, wheat, soy, artificial ingredients or preservatives.


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