Champaign, Ill. (WCIA)

Pets bring so much joy into our lives, it’s only right that we spoil them from time to time.

In this week’s BestReviews, Meredith Gallo joins Gary Gelfand to share our picks for new and unique products pets and their families will love. 

Novel pet products your dog and cat will love

By Cody Stewart

Pets have the power to turn a bad day into a good one, so it’s no wonder pet parents love spoiling their furry friends. Every year, new products are released that make life easier for pet owners and more enjoyable for pets. If you’re on the hunt for new and exciting pet products, there are several worth checking out.

Pet products we’ve tested and loved

LED dog collars are ideal for those who walk their dogs after the sun goes down. Through the fall and winter, days become shorter, and it’s more likely that you’ll walk your dog in the dark. The Blazin LED collar is excellent, as it is visible from around 350 yards and comes in numerous high-visibility colors.

When buying an LED dog collar, it’s good to consider its weight and whether it’s rechargeable. Collars that require batteries are likely to be heavier and uncomfortable for your dog.

Vacuums are another essential consideration for pet owners. Dogs and cats typically shed, getting fur on your furniture and trapped in your carpet. Pet hair is also known to get trapped in the brush rolls of vacuums that aren’t explicitly designed for pet owners. The Shark IZ363HT Cordless Stick Vacuum is a lightweight vacuum that’s easy to maneuver and built to handle pet hair. “It’s not as clunky as one of those big, old vacuums that you’ve seen,” Gallo said. “It’s a great option, especially if you have like little messes, fur all over the house that you need to get after.” 

Keeping your pet entertained while you’re away

Many pet owners are returning to their offices for the first time in months or even years. If your pet is used to you being at home, this could be a source of anxiety for them. Luckily, numerous products can make it easier for them to get used to the transition. 

If your cats begin peeing or pooping outside the litter box or fighting, it may be because they’re stressed. Feliway Diffuser Plugins release a solution that mimics a mother cat’s natural nursing pheromones. These diffusers are a great way to de-stress your cats while you’re away from home. We tested this affordable diffuser with a cat that had been using the bathroom on the floor, and it successfully curbed the bad behavior. “I actually have one at home with my cat, and I feel like it’s really helpful, especially if we have kind of environment changes, people are coming to visit, we’re leaving for a little bit,” Gallo said. “It’ll help kind of calm him down so he’s not nervous or anything like that.”

Dogs are particularly vulnerable to getting stressed when their owners return to work. Luckily, the iCalmDog Bluetooth Speaker comes preloaded with three hours of classical music to help relieve your dog’s anxiety. 

Having fun with your pets

Ensuring your pet’s basic needs are met is paramount, but making sure they enjoy themselves is important too. Consider investing in a pet carrier so you can take them on adventures from time to time. When buying a pet carrier, it’s essential to consider its durability, weight and design. Durable carriers will last longer and keep your pet safer, but if it’s too heavy, you’ll likely use it less often. Those that fit like backpacks are easy to tote around and usually have a breathable design that keeps your pets from getting too hot.

If you like taking selfies with your pet, you know it can be hard to keep their attention. The Pooch Selfie helps entice them to look at the phone by letting you clip a tennis ball to the top of your phone. “It works best with a play-motivated dog, but we found that it’s good for selfies or if you just want to take a front-on photo too,” Gallo said. 

Shop this segment

Blazin LED Dog Collar

This collar is available in numerous sizes and colors, including blue, red and green. You can set the light to blink or strobe for added visibility. It’s bright, durable and rechargeable. It can be seen from 350 yards away.

Sold by Amazon

Shark IZ363HT Pet Power Cordless Stick Vacuum

This features powerful suction and around 50 minutes of runtime on a single charge. It is ideal for picking up pet hair and has a detachable multitool for removing hair from furniture. It makes it easy to clean under your couch.

Sold by Amazon

Feliway MultiCat Diffuser

This diffuser is a drug-free way to help reduce your cat’s anxiety. Many pet owners saw positive changes in their cats’ behavior. It is easy to set up and lasts around 30 days.

Sold by Amazon

iCalmDog Bluetooth Speaker

This comes preloaded with hours of classical music to keep your dog calm. It lasts around 24 hours on a single charge and automatically loops the music.

Sold by Amazon

Texsens Pet Backpack Carrier

This backpack is made with durable polyvinyl chloride, or PVC, mesh that keeps your pet from overheating. The shoulder and waist straps are padded and comfortable. It’s available in a few colors, including gray, white and light blue.

Sold by Amazon

Pooch Selfie

This fun tool makes getting the perfect selfie with your dog easier. The tennis ball is removable, meaning you can play fetch with your dog to reward them for taking a photo. The clip fits securely on most smartphones.

Sold by Amazon

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Cody Stewart writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers.

Pullout: Whether you have a dog or cat, it’s important to keep them engaged, happy and comfortable, especially if they spend time home alone.