The Pet Health Expo is one of the few shows dedicated exclusively to helping dogs and cats relieve the physical and emotional pains of day-to-day life. Once opened in full, the pet-friendly expo promises to be an unprecedented experience for dog and cat owners, offering over 125 pop-up stores, pet health experts, and other unique vendors dedicated to helping pet parents better care for their furry friends.
Opening at the brand new Magic Box convention center in Los Angeles, California, the entrance for the preview event was filled with the sight of various pop-up stores featuring all types of pet health products and services. Various pup-influencers walked the floor with their humans, trying out various products and taking selfies at the fun photo-op wall!
The same sentiment was shared throughout the room: it is truly wonderful to have such an amazing resource available in one cumulative space, especially as a pet parent. All of the exhibitors were passionate about their mission, and the energy throughout the expo was infectious. I, along with the other attendees, had the chance to visit the various vendors and get valuable information about pet health, care, and overall well-being. The vendors provided tips on healthy diets, preventative treatments, holistic care, and a wide range of other important topics.
Although the preview did not feature all of the vendors available during the full days, the ones that were present all held pet care close to home. Most of the businesses were single or family owned, local community companies that aim to truly improve the everyday lives for our four-legged best friends. For example, PupLids was one of the first vendors on the show floor – trucker hats for dogs designed to help keep the sun from being bothersome! Started by a husband and wife, PupLids come in a variety of sizes to accommodate all kinds of dogs.
Urban Dog Stars is another community-oriented brand. This woman-owned business creates truly stylish harnesses, leashes, and collars for dogs of all shapes and sizes. Combining innovation in design, fit and function with a modern flair and fashion-forward elements, they have made quality products available to pet parents of any budget. The company’s commitment to stylish, durable pet items is clear in their collections (especially the new Apple Air Tag collar!).
A common thread that tied several of the brands together is the implementation of human-successful treatments to the animals we love. The toys and wraps from CALMR Dog are a good example of this. Created by occupational therapist Mary Beth Evans, CALMR Dog is not only designed to help manage behaviors associated with stress, but also to promote relaxation. Mary Beth, who specializes in neurobehavioral therapies, was inspired to create CALMR Dog after observing her own frustrated dog, Buddy. Realizing that many of the strategies she uses with her work with autistic children to help them process sensory information could also help dogs. By incorporating specially designed toys and wraps, CALMR Dog can be used in everyday life, such as calming down a dog who’s been scared by a loud sound or during grooming and vet visits.
Healthy Paws Herbal Labs is another product that shares the same thought. This innovative pet health brand was founded by experienced (human) herbalist, Dr. Kyle Burton in 2016. Dr. Burton had seen first-hand the transformative effects of herbal extract on his brother’s pet dog Zoey, who had been struggling with intense allergies and itching that had not been remedied with conventional medicines. Through Dr. Burton’s formula, a blend of traditional Chinese medicine, Zoey improved significantly.
Fast-forward to 2019 when Michael and Serge Habicht met Dr. Burton. Impressed with the effectiveness of his formulas, the two teamed up with him to bring these holistic, natural remedies to pet owners all over the world. The three worked together to create an expansive product line of over twelve herbal formulas and packaging for the products, as well as to raise funds for pet charities. To take their commitment to pets even further, Healthy Paws Herbal Labs initiated the “New Pet Parent Kit” program in partnership with dog rescues. For each product purchased, they donate a “New Pet Parent Kit” to rescues in the US, providing even more pets the benefits of natural remedies.
Food brands such as JustFoodForDogs and Ollie also made appearances, encouraging the feeding of fresh food over kibble. Ollie was a rather unique brand to begin with, custom-designing a formula for your pup based on a questionnaire the owner fills out. The formula will change as the dog begins to change (such as an adjustment in the dog’s activity level or their age), accommodating your pet’s changing needs. As a subscription service, Ollie also keeps meal planning a thing of the past as the food is delivered fresh to the front door. Supplement company HAPPYBOND also fits in well with the fresh pet food trend, offering collagen and other important supplements that can be added to any meal. Having won the 2023 Pet Care Innovation award from Purina, this science-backed company is aiming to make a sincere improvement in dogs all over the world.
Some unique vendors were also present during this preview day, including the “Spleash”. Created by Kerry and Katherine, a mother-daughter duo, the Spleash combines the features of a traditional water gun with a leash handle. It easily carries a water reservoir that can be triggered to spray refreshing droplets on your dog, keeping them hydrated during the long walks and providing relief from the sweltering heat, or become a water bowl! Kerry’s idea came about one summer day as she was out for a walk with her beloved dog in the hot California sun.
The Pet Health Expo is an invaluable experience and an excellent reminder of the importance of proper pet health and care. As pet owners, it’s up to us to do our best to ensure the well-being of our beloved animals. I would definitely recommend that anyone who loves their pet to take the opportunity to attend the next Pet Health Expo and get educated about their furry friend’s well-being!