In a couple months we'll get to see lots of new products at the Global Pet Expo in Orlando. These products were created by some of the biggest companies in the business, and are expected to help make your pets' lives better.
But if you head to Kickstarter.com right now, you can be part of that process.
Thousands of projects go to Kickstarter to get funding. People can donate to help bring these ideas to life. But the funding phase only lasts a short time.
So here are 5 Kickstarter projects to check out in 2014. Some are on their way toward the next phase, but some could use your help right now.
WAG N GO DOG TRAVEL KIT
This one is a special one for me. Trina Cooper and her beagle Maggie have a blog called Wag the Dog UK. They are world travelers. So they have a good idea of what an efficient, portable travel kit for dogs should look like, called the Wag N Go Dog Travel Kit.
Trina and Maggie need 7000 pounds, and they have 22 days left in the Kickstarter. If you pledge, you have the chance to get a kit for yourself. All the details are on their Kickstarter page.
You may have puzzle balls for your dogs. But can you control yours from your phone?
Foobler is a timed release puzzle ball that you can control from mobile device. You put small treats in one of the six compartments, and you set the time release. A bell tells the dog when it's on.
This project is funded, but there's still time to pledge money and get in on the ground floor.
And here's some of my favorite funded projects to watch for in 2014.
MARVELOUS PET HEROES
Marvelous Pet Heroes are a series of parody comic covers based off Marvel Comics' favorite comics.
The comics covers were designed by a group of artists with a group called PugFrog Productions. These are in production now.
Communicating with your pet from far away is all the rage, and we can expect to see more in 2014. Petcube is one such project, and it's pretty cool.
Petcube has a camera that allows you to see what your pet is doing while you're away. But you can also talk to your pet and even play laser games with them (so it's great for dogs and cats!). And it can all be done with your smartphone. The Petcube team is hoping to have the product out in May.
TRAX MINI GPS TRACKER
We've seen all sorts of tracking devices come down the pipe. This one really intrigues me though because it's small -- streamlined. And it's not just for pets.
Trax is designed to clip onto cloth or a collar. It has a strong GPS signal, so you can use it to track a lost child, or a lost pet. Or perhaps a family member who has a tendency to wander due to age or disability?
The signal can then be tracked with a smartphone. The company that developed Trax hopes to be in production soon, and will ship internationally.
Kickstarter has new projects that need funding all the time, so be sure to check their website periodically.