ORLANDO, Fla. - More than 82 million Americans own pets, and before the latest leashes, toys and treats appear at your local pet shop, they appear at the Global Pet Expo at the Orange County Convention Center.
Vendors fill more than 30,000 square feet and four miles of exhibit space. More than 900 companies display their latest products.
According to American Pet Product Association President and CEO Bob Vetere, the focus this year is on health and wellness.
"Our pet never had a worse day than us. It never tells us about its bad day. It just gives us that unconditional love," Vetere said.
British animal psychologist Dr. Roger Mugford is showcasing his product line "The Company of Animals."
Dr. Mugford trains the queen's dogs and focuses on enhancing the dog-human relationship, with interactive games and humane training.
He recommends the Pet Corrector for stopping nuisance barking. The sound of a swoosh of air refocuses your dog's attention.
"Why are shock collars so popular in this country?" he said. "That's a real bee in my bonnet. I feel like I'm on a mission."
Other products launching include a Motorola camera that uses a smartphone app via WIFI to let you watch your pet while you're away. You can play music, talk to your pet and pan the camera.
"Most pets chew things up at home because they're bored and lonely. This is your way of knowing," said Sandy Robins.
Solvit offers the first crash-dummy-tested pet safety seat. It retails around $35.
And if your cat is prone to urinary tract infections, Simple Solution offers a powder to detect it. Just sprinkle the powder on any litter, and the granules change color if UTI is present.
The expo runs through Thursday. While it's not open to the public, you can expect to see these products in pet stores this spring.
The Global Pet Expo is set to return to Orlando for the next five years. Show organizers tell Local 6 it pumps more than $7 million into our local economy.
To see dogs featured in Local 6's story up for adoption, click here.
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