POOP PAC: It’s true that picking up your dog’s poo isn’t the best thing about owning a pet. What’s worse, however, is stepping in a random dog’s left-behind poo. To help make pick-up more pleasant, Santa Barbaran Susan Davidson has designed a nifty accessory: the PoopPac. Created to alleviate “piles that are never picked up” and “walking paths littered with abandoned packages,” Davidson’s design makes poop collection as civilized as possible. The Pac has two separate zippered compartments: One contains pet bags and space in which to put the retrieved waste (and includes an odor-neutralizing charcoal stick); the other is for things like your cell phone, keys, and cash. The Pac is durable, light weight, machine washable, and offers myriad carrying options—an over-the-shoulder strap, a handle, and a belt clip. For more info and to order a PoopPac, visit pooppac.com.
KITTEN SEASON: When warm weather and longer days overlap with un-spayed female cats’ heat cycles, cats go into heat, and unneutered male cats respond. The American Humane Association estimates that four million cats and kittens end up in shelters every year. So shelters across the nation are currently celebrating Adopt-a-Shelter-Cat Month. Here are some ways you can help ease the burden: Spay or neuter your cat; volunteer to become a foster parent; care for the feral kittens in your neighborhood; or adopt a cat. Shelters are also offering price specials for the month. For more information or for directions to any of the shelters, visit sbcphd.org/as/locations.html.
DO-IT-YOURSELF DOG WASH: No more packing those salty, wet canines into your car after a day of frolicking in the sand and surf at Arroyo Burro, thanks to a self-serve coin-operated pet wash. Developed by Santa Barbara-based Wripples Pet Spa, it offers a big basin for washing, three kinds of shampoos, and blow dryers, among other things. Like do-it-yourself car washes, the cost depends on the amount of time used; big dogs can cost up to $12, while the little guys can get clean and shiny for somewhere in the $3 range. Wripples also has “spas” in Waller County Park in Santa Maria and one coming soon to Elings Park.
AU NATUREL DOG CHEWS: Recycling has gone to the dogs—literally. The latest, greatest in reuse is deer antlers as pooch chews. Each year after mating season, stags shed their antlers. The former head dressings are great for dog noshing for several reasons—the biggest being that their collection doesn’t require hurting wildlife. But they also don’t splinter, they last for ages, they don’t smell funny or leave any sticky residue (the way hide chews do), and they even contain a bit of calcium and minerals. They come in sizes small enough for the wee Chihuahua and large enough for a massive Marmaduke. You can get deer antlers at Montecito Pet Shop (2020 Cliff Dr., 965-6780, montecitopetshop.com).