"Good Morning America's" veterinary expert, Dr. Marty Becker, has been a practicing vet for 30 years. In that time he has been on the lookout for new products to help pets live a happier, healthier life, and an easier one for their caregivers.
Today, Becker appeared on "GMA" to reveal his picks for the best pet products of 2008 -- the breakthroughs in the care, feeding and cleaning up after your pets.
"I read all the vet journals, go the scoop from the vet conventions and trade shows and tapped into a trusted network of top dogs in the pet care field as well as dedicated team of pet owners," Becker told "GMA." "I polled 129 people and together we came up with a list of the new, truly innovative products in veterinary medicine and the pet industry."
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Getting That Pet Hair Up
Product: Eureka Boss 4-D Pet Fresh Vacuum ($138.88)
Reason: "This vacuum out cleans the leading competitor and costs half as much. It has exclusive technology to pick up hair and eliminate odors at the same time, naturally and safely," Becker said. "It's great on stairs, furniture, as well as the floor. I personally put this one to the test along with other pet owners I polled."
Giving Your Pet the Medicine
Product (High-Tech Version): Convenia
Reason: "There is nothing worse than having a sick pet where the owner needs to give their pet oral meds everyday. Vets know that when they send the owner and their pal home that, even with the best intentions, that pet won't get the full dosage it needs because it's hard for owners to do it," Becker said.
"A new long-acting antibiotic called Covenia comes from Pfizer Animal Health. It is an injectible, broad-range antibiotic that works for a long period of time -- one shot works for two weeks. More than 4 million doses have been given globally, so we know that it's safe and that the pet will get the dosage it needs while freeing owners from the stress of giving pets medication everyday."
Product (Low-Tech Version): Greenie Pill Pockets ($7.99 - $8.99)
"[This is] a breakthrough so simple that it seems amazing that we didn't have this before," Becker said. "These are Greenie Pill Pockets, delectable, edible cups that you put the pet's meds in and viola, the pets will eat the meds and the good-tasting pill pocket right out of your hands. Talk about putting the treat into treatment."
Trimming Your Pet's Nails
Product: Quickfinder Nail Clipper ($24.99 to $54.99)
Reason: "All pet owners know that trimming nails can turn into a workout -- you chase your pal all over the house and have to hold on while it tries to squirm away. And you have to be so careful not to clip into the quick of your pet's nail," Becker explained. "The Quickfinder Clipper is a painless, foolproof way to trim a pet's nails. It uses a sensor to detect the difference between the dead skin of the nail and claw and the live blood in the pet's quick. It uses red, yellow and green lights, just like a traffic signal. A perfect trim with no blood or pain every time."
Detecting Heart Disease
Product: Cardiopet proBNP
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.