The Best Pet Products of 2008

Reason: "Heart disease is a big problem, especially for dogs," Becker said. "According to the American Veterinary Medical (AVMA) Association, approximately 3.2 million dogs have some form of acquired heart disease and, unlike people, dogs don't have physical signs like heart attacks. Heart disease in cats can be even more difficult to diagnose. Their disease usually remains unseen until it's progressed to heart failure. So, just like humans, early detection is key to a longer, healthy life."

"Now, the same test a human can receive in an emergency room is available for dogs and cats. Cardiopet proBNP from Idexx Laboratories, Inc. is a simple, minimally invasive blood test that detects heart disease even when clinical signs are absent or nondescript. It's a simple test that will save lives."

Don't Overfeed Fido

Product: Lebistro Portion Control Feeder

Reason: "We've reported a number of times how the obesity rate in pets is rising. The AVMA found that 25 percent of dogs are obese. The Lebistro Portion Control Feeder insures that you'll never overfeed your pet and your pet never misses a meal while you're away. Petmate's new Lebistro Portion Control helps pets live longer, healthier lives by controlling calories and measuring meals. You program it just like an alarm clock and it dispenses pre-set portions of food up to three times a day. Its generous five-pound capacity is just right for households with cats and small dogs," Becker said.

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