Ahead of the Curve

Ahead of the Curve: How to Pamper Your Pet

BY March 29, 2016


Pets are extensions of ourselves. When I was young and chic and sported long luscious hair, I wanted an Afghan hound. When I cut my hair and was super-fit, I wanted a boxer. Of course, I never actually got any of those dogs because, thanks to my Persian cat, I remember what it’s like to constantly be lint-rollering fur off of every piece of clothing I own.

But now that I’m entering my elegant middle years, I’m thinking about getting an Airedale. Those dogs have their stuff together. And if I do find a loving puppy to call my own (seriously, that will be its name: “Roll over, My Own. Now heel.”), I plan to pamper it with the latest and greatest pet trends the human race has ever thought of. Feel free to pull up a chew toy and settle in.


Excuse Me, I’ve Got to Take This Call

We are a socially connected society. We feel the need to be in touch 24/7. And you know what? Your pet feels the same way. That is why someone developed PetChatz—a pet cam/treat dispenser that not only allows you to see your pet but also allows your pet to see you. You can even dispense treats while you two are chatting. But the weirdest, most fabulous part of this device is a paw-sized button that sits on the floor; when your pet pushes the button, it calls you to initiate the video chat. That’s right: Your dog can call your cell! (Your cat will never call, so don’t even bother.) petchatz.com


The World’s Smartest Cat Feeder

Does this sound like you? You have two cats. One is called “Laurel.” The other is “Hardy.” (Or they’re “Siskel” and “Ebert.” Frankly, the names are unimportant.) My point is that one is rather chunky and the other is slim. And Hardy keeps hogging all the food, getting bigger and bigger, while poor Laurel is wasting away. Technology to the rescue! CatFi Pro is the world’s most advanced pet feeder and waterer. How advanced? It features cat facial recognition software (hand to God), and when it sees Hardy, it will cut back on the amount of food it dispenses versus when it recognizes Laurel. And precision weight sensors beneath the feeding tray, waterer and weighing scale monitor the diet and weight change whenever they approach the feeder. Every time your cats get hungry, they’ll utilize as much technology as a Mission: Impossible movie. The CatFi is available in June. facebook.com/catfiofficial


A Hot Towel and Some Lemon Water, Please

First and foremost, dogs (and even cats) should have proper grooming on a regular basis. But if you’re going to pamper Rover, it should be anything but regular. Gigi’s Pet Spa in Cape Coral does everything but put the cucumber slices over the eyes of your pet with add-on services that include everything from nail polishing to blueberry facials to hot oil treatments to color accents and even feather extensions. If they offer crimping, your dog will look just like you did in the ’80s. And who wouldn’t like that? gigispetspa.com


Nanny Cam Without the Nanny

So there you are at work or on the golf course or at The Capital Grille waiting for someone to buy you a drink. But your beloved little pet is sitting home all alone. Is he/she bored and looking for the remote? (Why didn’t you leave Animal Planet on?) Is he/she looking to eat your slipper? You really should know what Fido is up to—and, perhaps, do something about it. That’s where Petcube comes in. It’s a stylish Wi-Fi-enabled wide-angle remote camera that gives you live video (and audio) feed of your pet whenever you want, right on your smartphone. If you need to, you can offer words of encouragement (“Who’s a good boy?”) or discipline (“For the last time—get off the couch!”). But what separates this camera from regular security cameras is a built-in laser toy that allows you to make your pets insane while you’re waiting for a shrimp cocktail. petcube.com


Get Your Cat a Gator Cut

We’ve mentioned that a spa day for your furry friend is a wonderful way to make them relaxed and smell like Drakkar Noir, but sometimes a trip to the groomer can be a special treat for everyone involved. Take, for example, Paw-radise dog bakery and pet grooming in Estero. Yes, you can get fancy treats your pets will adore, but what makes this the real place to go is that they have a Certified Feline Master Groomer/Certified Feline Creative Groomer on staff. If you’ve got a long-haired cat, you owe it to everyone in Southwest Florida to go there and order the Gator Cut. It’ll transform Miss Kitty into what appears to be an aloof dragon. In fact, they offer several creative cuts that make your pet so much more than the species it was intended to be. It’s like you are Dr. Moreau, but every animal you create still prefers Fancy Feast. paw-radise.net


LED Smart Collars

They call it the “Apple Watch of dog collars,” and with a tagline like that, who wouldn’t want one? It’s the Squeaker Buddy GPS Illuminating Dog Collar and it instantly turns your dog into Astro from The Jetsons. Almost. This super-cool collar comes in varying sizes and features a built-in GPS tracker, Bluetooth connectivity, LED RGB lighting for a virtually unlimited color display (it’s awesome), an OLED display, a three-axis accelerometer, a temperature sensor, a light sensor, a 14-day battery, a Wi-Fi charging dock and water resistance. That’s just the hardware. The software features activity monitoring, secure geofencing, a food scanner, health statistics, a visual FX library, home automation, cell and email alerts, and app service. I hope you and your dog are smart enough for this. $250. squeakerdogs.com


A Canine Concierge

Naples Canine Concierge is just what every discerning dog needs: a team of experts available for its every whim. They handle everything from training walks and in-home boarding to transportation services and nutrition consultation. Not to mention financial pet trusts and planning services in case your dog is a spring chicken (and you are not). Owner/head trainer Marianne Hepp holds a degree in advanced equine studies but continues studies through The Companion Animal Science Institute and is basically Southwest Florida’s own Dog Whisperer. Her private lessons last five weeks and have a lifetime guarantee. And, in addition to offering in-home massages for your pooch, NCC offers group classes, which teach you how to massage your own dog. naplescanineconcierge.com


Hideaway Dog Beds

If your pooch enjoys a quality night’s sleep on one of those big, bulky dog beds that looks like an L.L. Bean sleeping bag, it might be time to consider upgrading. After all, few things are less elegant to visiting guests than a hair-covered beanbag chair. But what if Fluffy could have all the same comforts with the elegance and space-saving qualities of a Murphy bed? Yep, genius. Clark | Richardson Architects in Austin, Texas, builds the sleekest, furniture-quality Murphy beds for dogs. The large Leo model is made of stained and sealed mahogany and includes the cushion (29 inches by 39 inches) for $1,500. It’s got that Stickley/mission vibe and no one will know what it is when its folded up. murphyspawdesign.com


A Home Away from Home (Well, Just Outside)

Paris Hilton famously has a two-
story dog mansion in her backyard that mimics the style of her Italian villa, replete with air conditioning and a flat-screen TV. Faye Resnick did the décor. You and your best friend deserve the same treatment. Have your architect (Matthew Kragh, Jonathan Kukk, are you listening?) build a copy of your home, but in dog-sized proportions. Beside it, be sure to include a swimming pool shaped like a dog bone. One Dog One Bone has them listed for $399, and that’s a barkain. Bark-ain! Get it? It’s like bargain, but with bark instead. Hello? Are you still reading this? onedogonebone.com


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