18 May 2004
NUREMBERG – The health craze has reached the world of pets, judging by the accessories on show at this month’s Interzoo 2004, a Nuremberg trade fair devoted to the pet trade.
Healthiness was the key selling point in the huge array of pet foods exhibited.
Gone are the days of eating scraps. Today’s pampered pets can expect organically grown products in their feeding dishes, with vitamin-packed crunchy bars or low-calorie snacks between meals.
Well-bred dogs may soon finish their meals by having their teeth brushed: one toothpaste foreshadowed will be chocolate flavoured to make sure Fido does not snap. Manufacturer Gimborn, based in the German town of Emmerich, says cats are not likely to play along, but can instead be fed chewy pellets that contain toothpaste.
And just in case the lucky pet grows lethargic from all that nourishing chow, fitness programmes are on offer too.
From Scandinavia comes the healthy new pastime of bunny hurdling, in which pet rabbits can exercise clearing various hurdles. Karlie, the German importer, explained Sunday that the sport comes with a leash so that owner and rabbit can hop around the circuit together.
“It’s a fun sport, and it certainly improves bonding between bunny and master,” said Karlie chief executive Eckhard Lindemeier.
Also sighted in the 41,000-square-metre exhibition: ergonomic mini-sofas for pets, generously proportioned to prevent curvature of the spine.
The trade-only four-day fair in the German city attracted more than 1,100 exhibitors, mainly from Germany, the United States, Italy and China.
Fair organizers said world spending on pet food and pet keeping last year amounted to EUR 43.5 billion per year. Klaus Oechsner, president of the German Pet Shop Association ZZF, said European spending of EUR 17 billion slightly out scaled US pet spending of the equivalent of EUR 16.7 billion.
Subject: German news