Unusual Pet Products For Pampered Pets

by Silicon Valley Blogger on 2012-03-2334

Do you spend on your pet? I used to think that it was silly (or even crazy) to spoil a pet like you would a person, until I found a pet that really connected with me. At that point, we fell into the clutches of the pet product industry and bought into toys and trinkets that we thought would make our cat happy. But I’ve also always assumed that perhaps, if your pet could talk, he’ll tell you that he just wants a simple life that consists of basic meals, nice romps in the sunshine and a dry spot on the ground for when he rests.

But then again, this is America, the land of the $40 billion dollar a year pet industry. Here is some eye bugging info about the business of pets (from MSNBC):

Facts About The Pet Industry

  • 63% of U.S. households own a pet.
  • The most popular pets (by population size): cats, dogs, then fish. Followed by ferrets and the rest.
  • Over 60% of pet owners have no kids. Hence, they tend to treat their pets like their own children.
  • Spending on pets have increased because of demographics, better marketing and a more affluent client base.
  • Some 56 percent of dog owners and 42 percent of cat owners buy their pets Christmas presents.
  • 63 percent of cat owners and 42 percent of dog owners sleep with their pets.
  • Veterinarians say obesity is the greatest health threat facing America’s pets, with at least a quarter of the population overweight (that compares with a 30 percent obesity rate in American adults).
  • Be careful with what you feed your pets. Altering their diets with human food can be harmful to their health.
  • Spending figures between 2002 and 2004 show that while household spending on pets increased 18% after inflation, toy sales dropped 25%, spending on day-care centers fell 15%, and spending on children’s clothes was down 15%.

So what makes the pet industry so successful? Let’s take a look at a few products. I’d be very impressed if you can identify what these are:

Pet Eye Implants

Answer: Eye implants for the sight-challenged animals in your life.

and how about these?

Neuticle Natural Neuticle Original Neuticle Ultra

Answer: Implants for your neutered pet.

You can check out more at Neuticles.com, or take a look at the following product listing, where you’ll find unusual products that are pitched to pets and their owners today. Could any of these items be in your pet maintenance budget?

Unusual Pet Products… For The Special Critter In Your Life

  1. Implants and More
    Do you know that you can help out your pet’s self-confidence by replacing its missing private parts after it gets neutered? Yes! Available in various sizes and firmness selections, you can try Neuticles.com for your dog (canine), cat (feline), horse (equine) or even bull! You gotta love their tag-line: it’s like nothing ever changed! Cost: around $100 to $1000 a pair, plus veterinarian’s charges. Additionally, you can also get your small animal or horse a solid silicone eye implant if need be and order scar removing gel for those unsightly post neutering scars.
  2. Pet Hotel
    You can book your pet in a hotel of their own via The Ritzy Canine (ritzycanine.com). It’s a spa or hotel or luxury boarding place for your dogs and cats. There are massages, grooming, gourmet cuisine, training services, entertainment and the gym for your loved one as well. Using their services can set you back $175 for your pet’s Presidential Suite accommodations.
  3. Strollers
    If you’d rather get the exercise while your pet relaxes, then a stroller should be right up your alley. There are quite a lot of models out there to choose from. Some pet stroller sites even warn customers to watch out for “cheap look-a-likes”.
  4. Pet Birthday
    There are some event planners that have branched out into the pet business. They can help you organize your pet’s special birthday event. Amazing, since I don’t even use an event planner for human birthdays.
  5. Pet Wedding
    Help your pet get hitched? There are now specialists who offer a variety of services including helping you organize your pet’s wedding (even hotels get into the act). Wedding Cost: $250 for wedding, more for dress and tuxedo. Perhaps this pet wedding can inspire you?.
  6. Pet Videos
    How about some DVDs and CDs, not for you to enjoy but for your beloved bird, or dog, or cat? With FeatheredPhonics.com, You can have your bird listen to training CDs to bring out his talents. You can start out with simple words and phrases, then move on to songs, tunes and rhymes then graduate to higher studies involving foreign languages. You can keep your furry friends preoccupied while you’re away by having them watch videos and be entertained by their own kind.
  7. Doggie Eyewear
    There’s a company called Doggles.com that sells eyewear for dogs, as well as your more standard fashion harnesses and leads, jewelry and outdoor wear (flotation jackets, backpacks and reflective vests). Not only that, if you really care about your best friend, you’ll need Pet Sunscreen, Hot Spot Cream (heal bug bites and minor cuts and irritations), and the Wearable Pet Ionizer (wonderful for pets with airborne allergies)! They’ve thought of everything.
  8. Pet Cell Phone
    There used to be a company called Petsmobility.com that came up with a waterproof and scratchproof product called PetCell. This device was attached to the collar to help you keep in touch with your pet. It was supposed to help in the remote chance your pet got lost while wearing this thing so that somebody can just easily call back using the “phone”. It was a glorified id charm and one way walkie talkie in one. When it was available for sale, the phone was priced around $300 with a monthly calling plan that cost around $15. Given that it was a strange and expensive product, I’m not surprised that the business went under.
  9. State-of-the-Art Fish Bowl
    Boost your feng-shui with pure water energy and the baby dragons (goldfish) that live in it. If you seek success, good luck and a healthy career, then you may want a fancy aquarium bowl to help make things happen for you. All for: $129.99 at Reef-One.com.
  10. Other Pet Products I’ve Encountered?
    There’s so much more out there, including pet apparel and jewelry, small animal carriers, perfumes of all sorts, fancy water, organic gourmet food and even diet pills!

After seeing all the stuff and services that cater to living things of the non-human kind, I’m both bewildered and impressed by this burgeoning business. The truth is, I don’t even buy the counterparts to most of these products for myself or my kids. But I can see how tempting it is for pet owners to want to indulge their “children”. Now you know how some of us are oiling this economy!

Created July 3, 2007. Updated March 23, 2012. Copyright © 2012 The Digerati Life. All Rights Reserved.

{ 34 comments… read them below or add one }

A Finance Blog July 3, 2007 at 10:58 am

I think today some people do go a little over board when buying things for their pet… but as long as there are people willing to buy, there will always be someone willing to sell.

60 in 3 July 3, 2007 at 12:16 pm

There are a variety of great pet shelters here in the Silicon Valley. You’ll get a pet for a fraction of the price compared to some breeders. Plus you’ll be doing something good for an animal that might otherwise be destroyed.

For people who are emotionally stable and capable of coping with loss, the Humane Society of Silicon Valley has a program where they ask people to adopt old pets that no longer have a home. These are animals that are above ten years old and need a loving family at the end of their lives.

You’ll get a free pet who doesn’t want cell phone, neuticles or pampering. They just need a bit of love.

Gal

Amber Yount July 3, 2007 at 1:08 pm

Oh. My. God. Neuticles. Wow.

Silicon Valley Blogger July 4, 2007 at 8:53 am

@ A Finance Blog – yes, it’s all about supply/demand as the cliche goes! Don’t you just love capitalism at work :).

@ 60 in 3 – thanks for the heads up on the pet shelters. Our readers will appreciate the tips. I’m sure other locales will have similar programs, so do check them out if you’re interested in making a new friend (or two).

@ Amber – LOL!

Jonathan July 5, 2007 at 7:01 pm

LOL @ the fake nuts ;)

My dog is currently staying at a pet hotel that costs $35 per night. Not quite $35, but just as expensive as some of the Motel 6′s I’ve stayed in… It has a pool, and he gets his on 10×10′ area.

Silicon Valley Blogger July 5, 2007 at 7:17 pm

Jonathan, I guess these pet hotels have a going rate we’re all stuck with? I have a close friend who’s sent his dog to obedience school and know a few others who board their pets when they travel. Some things you can’t escape when you have a “best friend”! I’m glad I just have a cat that manages on his own while we’re gone though I’m sure if we leave for longer than a week, he’ll need a sitter or a hotel as well!

Livingalmostlarge July 6, 2007 at 6:57 am

Okay I admit to being a little crazy about my dogs, but not neuticle crazy.

And the smaller the dog, not necessarily is it cheaper. Although it is cheaper to get a dog from a rescue or pound (we did both times) than buying a purebred. That’s one thing that really bugs me, buying a purebred dog.

Jonathan July 6, 2007 at 7:33 am

Oops, I meant to say “Not quite $175 (like the spa mentioned)…”

He doesn’t get any of that other stuff though – stroller, birthday party, etc. I know that he has a better life than most children in even this country though, which is good or sad depending on how you think about it.

Stephanie @ PoorerThanYou July 7, 2007 at 7:27 am

Actually, I’m all for pet health insurance. We just dropped $1600 on our black lab at the vet after she ate an entire package of hot dogs… and suddenly we were wishing we’d taken out insurance on her!

kitty July 8, 2007 at 11:18 am

Money smart, only someone who has pets understand the joy they bring. Pets are also good for health – there are studies that show they lower blood pressure; also the kids that grow with pets have less allergies. Doctors are expensive too.

As to neuticles. I mentioned it in another blog, I see one use for them. Imagine a husband who is dead set against neutering, and is totally obsessed with his cat’s “masculinity”. So the cat is spraying, the wife wants to neuter the cat, but cannot do it because of the husband. Neuticles would allow her to do it and her husband will never know. I’ve met a couple of guys like this, by the way. Had one of them been my boyfriend, I’d have to look into neuticles. One of these guys kept telling me how his cat is making love to the blanket and was totally upset that my female cat is spayed.

Silicon Valley Blogger July 8, 2007 at 12:06 pm

Kitty, fantastic comment. ;) Whether or not you were trying to, you made me laugh heartily. Thank you for your positive views of this Neuticles product. As both a consumer and a business-minded person, I can certainly see NOW how there can be a market for it.

kitty July 10, 2007 at 9:41 am

Thanks. Yes, I thought it was funny. The story about the guy obsessed with his cat’s masculinity is real – he also called his cat “little man”, and claimed the cat wasn’t spraying (“I saw him doing it once, then I had a talk with him and he stopped” -yes, right…) while wondering why his apartment smells and my doesn’t at the same time. He was renting, so I felt very very sorry for his landlord, especially as I was renting out a property at the same time.

stacey August 22, 2007 at 10:45 am

Hi there – AWESOME blog. I love dogs and am involved in Boston Terrier Rescue and really appreciate you telling readers to hit the shelters for thier next pet.

However, in your *facts* section – you have this statement:

“Be careful with what you feed your pets. Altering their diets with human food can be harmful to their health. ”

This is an incorrect statement perpetuated by the large pet food brands (such as Purina) to keep people using thier products.

Feeding your pets “people” food can actually be cheaper, and is certainly healthier than using grocery store brands that produce thier foods using bad ingredients and poor processing methods. Home cooking is gaining popularity as well as raw diets for keeping your pets healthier (less in vet bills). Another alternative are the “premium” foods that you can find at specialty stores. Though they tend to cost significantly MORE than the grocery store brands, they are a more frugal purchase. These foods have more *food* and nutrition and last ALOT longer and go further because you feed less of the good stuff compared to what you can get in the grocery stores.

So if you want to save money in food costs and vet costs – it is a better option to either 1. feed home cooked “people” food or feed raw *people* food or 2. start using a premium brand of food such as Natura, Innova, Canidae etc.

Anyhow – that is my two cents as a person who has 4 dogs, and works with a group that brings in about 4-5 dogs a week into our organization.

Thanks so much for all the great tips on being frugal – I hope you will find mine interesting!

Katie September 14, 2007 at 9:59 am

Neuticles, as ridiculous as they are, actually serve a practical purpose – sort of. Some people want to neuter their show-quality pets for health, behavioral, or convenience reasons, but the alteration makes the animal ineligible for showing. The implants are a way around that.
Not that people who raise and groom pets and farm animals purely for show are necessarily sane or normal, but I don’t think that anyone is dumb enough to actually pay for these implants just to satisfy some weird urge to make their pet look more ‘manly’.

Cozykittens November 12, 2008 at 1:52 pm

i think some people do go a little overboard with buying stuff for there pets but if u love something that much then why not?

Bret March 3, 2009 at 1:06 am

Nice Article. You are correct one way to cut down your expenses is by letting your pets experience a simple life. Don’t over spend for their accessories. also on the insurance. As long as you loved them, give enough food, space where they can sleep and relax. Go walking in the morning or afternoon so that they can exercise. I think pets also like this simple pampering for them.

wishbone April 14, 2009 at 10:49 pm

Good one. But what really a pet really need is your time, care and attention. My dog don’t have much accessories (he also didn’t like those jackets and boots, beside chewing them) but he loves to run and play fetch with anyone. Luxury he got are two yummy meaty bones a week, yummy healthy treats and a liver cake on his birthday.

CDF August 7, 2009 at 10:54 am

Good post. There truly are some extravagant (and even odd) products out there for pets these days. I mean, strollers?? Unless your dog has a medical condition, wouldn’t he or she rather walk? I know mine would. While mine wouldn’t like it if I suddenly started to skimp on the treats, their greatest pleasures in life are quite simple and don’t involve jewelry or clothing.

Kevin@OutOfYourRut August 8, 2009 at 5:48 pm

Food, shelter, water, love, attention and activity are what PETS want and need, the other stuff is for the OWNER. Things don’t impress animals, they’re just yet another symptom of overconsumption.

It’s tragic that people see fit to spend so much on pets when there are human beings doing without even the basics and often in close proximity to pet owners. And I say this as an animal lover, but there has to be a sense of perspective to go along with that.

Raymund @ Pinoy Social Network August 8, 2009 at 8:58 pm

My pet dog is the best example of simple living. Plenty of exercise and good food (rice, fish, and sardines) makes him a happy dog.

Alex B August 9, 2009 at 7:51 pm

For people that have an “only pet” who buy lots of stuff for it, my recommendation would be to stop buying all that stuff and instead go to a shelter and get a playmate for the little guy.

baby hamsters lover August 17, 2009 at 1:55 pm

I think that over pampering pets, especially dogs, does more harm than good…

Feng October 15, 2009 at 2:00 am

I totally agree with you. I am a dog training lover, and so is my whole family. I bought a dog training shock collar yesterday, it is a little expensive for me. But i do not care, because I love my dog. It is worthwhile to spend money on it.

Chris November 2, 2009 at 7:44 pm

Wow! Neuticles, now that’s amazing. I had not heard of those before. : ) I really have to wonder though if a male dog misses anything for long after neutering. I have a lab that will soon undergo that procedure, but I don’t think he’ll be getting a replacement set.

Fred November 28, 2009 at 8:12 am

This is so funny, fake nuts. But you know what, whatever works.

shopping for pet April 8, 2010 at 6:08 am

is very funny.

MissSapphire June 13, 2010 at 8:08 am

Feng, I think you did the right think by buying that book. Your dog is you best friend, but it should learn to be faithful, protective and respectful! ;)

DogBags July 14, 2010 at 3:10 pm

Neuticles are a confidence booster for sure!

Bird Toys August 22, 2010 at 4:16 pm

As an owner of a bird specialty store, there is no end to what owners will do for their pets. I am not saying it’s a bad thing, our pets are a part of our families after all.

Kaiah August 27, 2010 at 8:30 am

Implants for your dog? That is hilarious! Sometimes some people tend to get out of hand for what they buy their pets. I believe there are some necessary things to buy as well as unnecessary. Great post!

catherine turley March 24, 2012 at 10:53 am

You should check first on ebay giving works to see if a rescue is selling something you might like to buy. That way, an otherwise unnecessary purchase can do some good. I must say that some seemingly frivolous items can turn out to be quite practical. My neighbor bought a stroller and she has been able to use it to keep her old, sick dogs safe from big dogs.

Silicon Valley Blogger March 24, 2012 at 11:05 am

@Catherine,
You raise a great point. The amount of joy, fun and love we receive from our feathered and furry friends are beyond priceless, and a lot of the things we get for them may actually be well worth the cost. In fact, I’ve heard of folks who complain that their pets show more appreciation for their stuff (or toys) than anyone they know.

Abigail March 26, 2012 at 8:58 am

Great article, really makes you wonder about the state of the human condition. Let’s not think about the wasted potential charity disposed of on these products. Anyways. As far as pet insurance is concerned, I’ve done a lot of research; and (Consumer Reports agrees with me) it is usually not worth the cost. Most pet owners end up losing on the investment. What I’ve done for my two dogs is I started a savings account, to which I add fifty dollars a month. I also signed them up for a vet discount program (called Pet Assure), upon the advice of my sister. It has proven to be a no-fail plan when it comes to caring for my pets!

Miiockm March 28, 2012 at 10:59 pm

Neuticles sounds like an april fools joke.

Leave a Comment