Published on AllBusiness.com
1. Fish 'n Flush
This thing should come with a warning label: "May cause painful memories if you spent your childhood watching your mom flush your dead goldfish down the toilet just because you forgot to clean their bowl again." But if that's not a problem, Fish 'n Flush is pretty cool.
Those aren't fake fish in the tank; they're real. For under $200 you get a toilet-shaped aquarium containing a clear inner tank that holds the flush water. The Fish 'n Flush transforms your boring bathroom into a mini SeaWorld, and there are even different motifs to choose from: a winter scene with Santa, a tropical jungle, and more. Just add fish (along with what you normally add).
Our dog wouldn't stand for it. He'd paw them off and gnaw on them. But if you have a more pliant canine, you might give Doggles a try. Because they do seem to serve some function. They're like tinted swim goggles for dogs and they're just the thing if you're out walking Spot in a sandstorm.
Doggles are also good if you own a convertible, says one satisfied customer. "When our dog's riding around in my wife's Mustang he's the epitome of cool." (Whereas you, driving around with a dog dressed as Eddie Rickenbacker: not the epitome of cool.)
3. Kitty Wigs
What kind of hairpiece will $50 get you? Something you wouldn't put on your own head (unless you're Phil Spector). But plenty of people trick out their felines in a $50 toupee. Just ask Julie Jackson, founder of Kitty Wigs.
Jackson says her day job was causing her stress, so after work to unwind she'd turn on some music, put a wig on herself and her cat, and dance around the living room. Later, she decided to let the world in on their little secret. Jackson warns wigs should be worn under human supervision, in case your cat isn't as wild about its new look as you are.
A lot of people neuter their dogs because the dogs are bad-tempered. You'd think after a good neutering they'd be even more bad-tempered, but instead they mellow out. Some get downright glum. To remedy their heartbreak, some inventor spent half a million dollars developing Neuticles, which are testicular implants for dogs (and now cats, horses, and bulls).
According to Neuticles, they "allow your pet to retain his natural look and self-esteem." Just a guess but we think it's the self-esteem of the owner that's at stake. So here's what we'd do: If we neutered our dog, we'd get him some horse Neuticles. Now we're talking self-esteem.
5. K99 Doggy Ice Cream Truck
It's not always a dog-eat-dog world. Sometimes the dog gets ice cream. A new ice cream business in England caters exclusively to man's best friend. The team behind K99 say they've created a pooch-friendly treat that's the perfect combination of temperature, texture, and taste.
K99 isn't giving Baskin-Robbins a run for its money quite yet. It sells just two flavors: Canine Cookie Crunch, a mix of dog biscuits and ice cream, and Dog Eat Hog, a pork-and-chicken sorbet topped with a biscuit and served in a cone. Woof.
6. Pet Airways
If you think economy is bad, try flying cargo. Two million pets travel every year on commercial airlines and most are treated no better than the luggage. That's why more than 150 pets have died in cargo holds over the past five years, says the U.S. Transportation Department.
Pet Airways, a new airline catering to animals, is offering a safer alternative. Pets are treated like first-class passengers. Pet Airways currently flies to and from New York, Washington, D.C., Chicago, Denver, and Los Angeles. Airfares start at $149 each way. (Sorry, dogs only. We humans still have to fly like cattle.)
7. Snuggie for Dogs
Sometimes you're watching TV and you get cold. So you grab a blanket. But then if you want to change the channel you have to stick the remote all the way out from under the blanket. Why does life have to be so hard?
Well, it doesn't. Because there's the Snuggie, which is a blanket with armholes in it. The inventors made millions. But then they got greedy, which is the only way to explain the Snuggie for Dogs. How dumb is that? Dogs don't get cold. They have fur. And they don't use the remote, because all they ever watch is the Food Channel anyway.
8. Hey Buddy
Would a dog pay for food from a vending machine? Ask a dog and the answer would be no. Dogs drink from the toilet. They happily lap up steaming puddles of their own vomit. But dog owners will splurge on almost any indulgence.
Thus Hey Buddy, a company that places vending machines in parks, rest stops, and other locations around the U.S. The machines are filled with treats, vitamin water, poop bags, leashes, even flea collars. Hey Buddy franchises are even available.
We'd stock our machines with drool-soaked, dirt-covered tennis balls, since every dog we've ever known would spend his last dollar for one of those.
9. Rear Gear!
Are animals really ashamed of their rear ends? The people at Rear Gear think so. They created what can only be described as a butt plug for pets.
"Rear Gear is a collection of rear enhancing products developed specifically with your favorite furry friend in mind," says the website. "Rear Gear is a fun and enchanting way of covering your pet's rear while boosting their confidence!"
Company founder and engineering student Lauren Shumaker developed the product as protection against her roommate's cat, which would leap into her lap with a dirty bottom. Shumaker says she created Rear Gear for a laugh and that most people think it's hysterical. Their pets? Not so much.
10. Drinkwell Pet Fountain
Dr. Mary Burns, a licensed veterinarian, once had a finicky cat that would only drink from a dripping faucet. She knew many other house pets exhibited the same neurotic behavior, so she came up with the Drinkwell Pet Fountain.
The Drinkwell is a water bowl with an electric pump that trickles out a gentle stream of charcoal-filtered H2O to satisfy your animal's urge for clear running water. One model even comes with an LED light in the bowl to make it easy for your pet to hydrate when it comes home from a night of drinking Four Loko.