Seattle Times Summer Essentials Include Solvit!

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Gear to Keep Your Pets Safe, Comfortable and Entertained This Summer - And Beyond

Seattle Times - By Kristin Kalning, Special to ShopNW

If the sun is out, Seattleites — and their canine pals — are outside taking full advantage. But dogs need more than a leash and last year’s chew toy to enjoy the hiking trail, a boat ride or your family camping trip.

Here’s some gear to keep your pets safe, comfortable and entertained this summer — and beyond.

On the water

Headed to the beach? Be sure to pack a few floating toys, such as Cycle Dog’s Flat Tire Flyer ($14), made from post-consumer recycled material, or West Paw’s Bumi Tug Toy ($11–$15, both at Mud Bay), which can be used for games of fetch or tug-of-war in or out of the water.

Or bring the beach to your backyard with the Outward Hound Doggy Drencher ($20 at Bed Bath and Beyond and outwardhound.com), a super-fun rotating water-shooting sprinkler that hooks to your hose — and that might be as much fun for the humans as the dogs.

Wherever you are, you can get your wet dog dry in a jiff with the Soggy Doggy Super Shammy ($20 at Eastside Dog, Redmond, or soggydoggydoormat.com). This ultra-thirsty microfiber towel has two hand pockets for belly drying, and sucks up water and dirt like a sponge.

On the trail

Dogs are awesome hiking companions, but they need some trail gear, too. Make sure they stay cool with Ruffwear’s Swamp Cooler Cooling Vest ($55 at All The Best Pet Care), which uses evaporative cooling and heat reflection to keep your pup from overheating, and New Angle’s Gulpy ($9–$10 at Pet Pros), an ingenious water bottle with an attached hinging tray.

Pack Ruffwear’s Bark’n Boots Grip Trex Dog Boots ($70 for four at REI) for dogs that need a little extra traction. The flexible lug sole provides extra control, and adjustable closure straps ensure a good fit.

And don’t forget the little extras. Canine Friendly’s Pocket Pet First Aid Kit ($13 at Pet Pros) includes first-aid tape, gauze pads and bandages, and is small enough to clip on a leash or slip into your pocket. When your dog inevitably does her business, there’s Nite Ize’s Pack-A-Poo Waste Bag ($14 at REI), with a metallic, odor-blocking liner, secure roll top and cargo pockets for bags and hand sanitizer.

At the campground

Before you head to the camp site, pick up the Outward Hound PFAT Bag ($17.50 at Eastside Dog), which can store up to 8 pounds of dog chow, and is pest-free and airtight thanks to its nylon fabric, waterproof lining and roll-down top that converts into a carrying handle.

Your pooch will travel in style and comfort on any road trip with Solvit’s Deluxe Bench Seat Cover ($45 at petco.com), which also protects your backseat from spills, dirt and dander.

Once at camp, give your pup some space to get his wiggles out while keeping him contained. The portable Talos K9 Sky-Trak Dog Tether Kit ($30 at REI) includes 50 feet of nylon rope, a 4-foot leash with pulley, attachment hardware, a carry pouch and more.

When it’s time for some shut-eye, Fido can curl up on the plush, packable Mountainsmith K9 Bed ($60 at mountainsmith.com), which is hexagon-shaped to accommodate medium to large dogs and packs into an included stuff sack.

For the cat people

Outdoor walks are a great way to fight cat obesity and provide stimulation for those complicated kitty brains. The harness on the PetSafe Come With Me Kitty Harness and Bungee Leash ($16 at Pet Pros) gently tightens between the shoulders to guide your cat, putting no pressure on the throat. The bungee leash extends up to 5 feet, giving your cat a little personal space, as well as “give” should she choose to leap with joy during your promenade.

All content is from the July 29, 2015 online edition of The Seattle Times.

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