July 21, 2010 / 5:10 PM / in 7 years

Pampered pets and their owners going green

NEW YORK (Reuters Life!) - Whether it is organic coconut chip treats, eco-friendly rope toys, hemp and bamboo collars or beds made from recycled material, pampered pets and their owners are going green.

There are still $3,000 snake-skin and diamond collars, fitness trainers for pudgier pooches and pet hotel suites but more animal lovers are eschewing luxury for green gear.

"In the last year and a half we have seen more eco-friendly products than ever before," Charlotte Reed, a New York-based pet products expert, said in an interview. "More people are leaning in that direction."

And they are realizing that their dog, or cat, can help reduce their carbon footprint.

"We see more products that will make your dog fit and healthy, products that will be natural and good for his/her hair and well being," Reed said.

Stephanie Volo, of Maine-based Planet Dog, has been providing recyclable toys and pet products from sustainable materials for more than a decade. She is convinced that pet owners are more concerned now about the environment and showing it with the types of products they buy.

"We are seeing a growing demand for products that are good for you, good for your dog and good for the earth," she explained. "It is definitely a trend."

But pets need not sacrifice style to go green. Along with grooming products bearing organic labels, doggy water ramps for getting Fido back on the dock and portable potties for traveling canines that were on display at a New York pet product show, there was plenty of bling and stylish outfits for discerning owners and their pets.

If a standard dog collar doesn't suffice, Los Angeles-based Weizhi Inc has several snakeskin and silver and 18K gold varieties. A silver dog chain and silver fox and blue fox chain holder retails for $30,000.

"This is for people who look for something unique," said Yoko Okuaki, a manager with the company.

There was also no shortage of stylish winter coats, comfy sweaters, Halloween costumes and party dresses for all occasions for fashionable canines.

One of New York-based Royal Animals' newest items is a biker jacket, complete with an assortment of zippers.

"It's a different concept, a bit more rugged," a company representative explained.

TORU, which makes T-shirts, tank tops and hoodies for dogs, has launched a new line called Rescue Wear to promote awareness for rescue groups, adoption and spay and neuter programs. It will also publish a calendar in the autumn called Rescues Rock The Runway featuring dogs saved from shelters. Part of the proceeds will be donated to a Miami rescue group.

And to calm an anxious pet during travel, veterinary visits and thunderstorms Pet Acoustics has created what it describes as a "sound world for animals" -- relaxing music for dogs, cats and horses, and what is billed as the world's first pet speaker designed for animal hearing sensitivities.

Along with the pet sound system international pet expert Janet Marlow has composed and recorded music specifically for animals.

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