It is a positive tragedy that Skymall has filed for bankruptcy. As a scientist, flying all over the world, Skymall is sometimes the best distraction you can find – and I have long been fascinated by their products for pets. I love gadgets and I love animals, so I’ve often been compelled to search Skymall for their oddest products, such as . . .



An indoor yard for dogs




A Yard of His Own

A Yard Of His Own

Summary: An astroturf block you can use indoors, complete with fire hydrant and bucket to collect pee.

Animal Welfare Perspective: Well, I wouldn’t recommend it as a substitute for walking, and I wouldn’t recommend allowing your dog to urinate or defecate in your house (it’s your dog’s house too and they don’t like making a mess where they live) but I imagine if you had a very old dog and a very large house and liked cleaning astroturf this could be a bit of a boon for you. Are you going to pay $280 for your dog? Well, we all love our dogs!



A raincoat and hood for a dog

Hood For Your Dog (10 fun colours to choose from!)

Doggy Hood

Summary: What can I say? It’s a raincoat for your dog – with a hood so they don’t get rain on their head. Now as someone who has fostered a greyhound, I am well aware of how sensitive some dog breeds can be to Scottish weather, but it’s well worth reading the stuff Alexandra Horowitz has written about the subject.

Animal Welfare Perspective: If your dog is truly a freak who hates the rain on his ears, he’ll hate having his hearing and vision obstructed even more. Just . . . no. Not even with ten amazing colours.




The Christmas doggy shelf at Pets At Home

The Christmas Section at Pets At Home














Moving On – Pets At Home

Summary: Not long after I’d taken those photos of Skymall, it was time for the Christmas decorations going up. The Christmas aisle at Pets At Home, after I’d got Athena, really surprised me. I’d never noticed them before (never had much cause to go into Pets At Home at Christmas time!). Weirdest of all, I felt the urge to buy Athena presents! And I still do every time I go past a pet aisle.


What does all this mean? Well definitely that there’s some research to be done in the field of consumerism and human-animal bonds! An MSc project for someone perhaps?



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