Best Apparel For Your Fashionable Furry Friend

by Rebecca Braglio

This chapter is a free excerpt from Philly Dog: Why Dogs are Better Than Cats.

Dog Collar Boutique                

In an effort to spice up Dash’s doggie wardrobe, I found a new website store that has a plethora of  dog collar options to choose from – www.dogcollarsboutique.com – not only do they carry hard to find brands (such as Dean and Tyler for you big dog owners) but they also offer flat rate shipping of only $4.95. This is stylish and affordable way to give your dog a collar that sleekly combine form and function.

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Dog Collar Boutique                

In an effort to spice up Dash’s doggie wardrobe, I found a new website store that has a plethora of  dog collar options to choose from – www.dogcollarsboutique.com – not only do they carry hard to find brands (such as Dean and Tyler for you big dog owners) but they also offer flat rate shipping of only $4.95. This is stylish and affordable way to give your dog a collar that sleekly combine form and function.

Leash Locket

Dave Marshall came up with the idea for the LeashLocket in the summer of 2009 while he was camping with family and friends; and, of course, their dogs.  

One of the dogs, while off-leash, wandered into a neighboring campsite, and unfortunately frightened the family that was camping there.  The owner of the dog had to grab her dog by the collar and drag her back to their campsite.

It was then that Dave had an “ah-ha!” moment – why couldn’t a dog have a leash on their collar?  It could retract when needed for “storage” and quickly lengthen or shorten depending upon need.

So, Dave and his wife set to work on making a leash that did just that.  Their kids jumped into the mix and actually used modeling clay to design the initial prototype.

What Dash Tried: The Leash Locket features an ergonomic locket that easily fits into your hand.  I received one from the company to test out on Dash.  At first, I thought it was too big for Dash’s dog collar and yet too small for my hand.  But it fit perfectly into my hand – not as clunky as the traditional retractable leashes.  It also can come with a wrist strap, which made me feel a little more secure about having control over it.

It was simple enough to use – I just fastened the collar attachment around Dash’s collar, making sure that the magnetic button was facing outward.  Then you just simply snap the two parts together and viola!  You have a leash!

What I liked:  You don’t have to worry about a leash.  This would be great at the dog park for when you need to snatch your dog away quickly.  Since Dash is a humper, I’m often having to snatch him up and take him away from the poor victim dog.  I think this would also be great for hiking in the woods.

I also like that Dave Marshall wasn’t just thinking of creating a product to make money – he is also about giving back.  The Marshalls are launching “LeashLocket Animal Shelter, Treatment, Rescue & Outreach” (ASTRO) Foundation, which dedicates a portion of the proceeds from LeashLocket sales to help abused, neglected and lost pets.

What I would change: If possible, I would make the snap on part smaller for the small dogs.  The size I received would fit fine on a medium to large dog, but it was a little too bulky for Dash’s collar.

For more information about LeashLocket and to get one of your own, check out their website at www.LeashLocket.com!

Outdoor Wear: Pawz Boots and Coats

I’m always on the lookout for a cute stocking stuffer for Dash, so you can imagine how excited I was when I stumbled across PAWZ booties.

Each packet comes with 12 disposable (but reusable) boots.  Not only are they reusable, they are 100% biodegradable.  You just slip them on and they stay on – no zippers or laces to worry about.  Fitted like a sock, they are made out of natural rubber and keep your pup’s paws waterproof.  

What Dash Tried: I quickly sent in an inquiry and received a free packet of PAWZ booties and their new “Hot Coat Cool Harness 1Z coat” for Dash to try out.  Dash is very paw-sensitive, so it took a few tries for me to get them on his feet.  Even then, he wouldn’t let me do all four.  But they went easily on and he didn’t seem to mind walking around in them at all.  These will be absolutely perfect when it snows and there is salt on the ground.  

PAWZ boots have so many uses – not just the ice/snow melt – but hot pavements, keeping your house free of muddy paws, and even medical. They come in all sorts of sizes and are not just for the little dogs. I highly recommend them for your pooch!

Everything in between:

The Life Of Ryley

The Life of Ryley was born out of the frustration designer Tracy Stillman experienced while trying to find a collar for her soft-coated wheaten terrier named Ryley.  Despite her best efforts, she just couldn’t find a collar that showcased Ryley’s unique personality while also appealing to her sophisticated style.  So,Tracy created her own collar just for Ryley…and from there The Life of Ryley was born.

The Life of Ryley has a full line of stylish, top-of-the-line quality products for pet owners who understand that sensible accessories can still be fashionable accessories.

I received the butterfly embroidered collar (not very manly, but Dash is in touch with his feminine side) to try out.  I was really struck by the craftsmanship of the collar – from the thick, sturdy fabric to the classy buckle not one detail was overlooked.  

It’s clearly well-made.  I have to say it is one of the best collars I have ever received from a company.  I would definitely purchase one as a gift.  Now I just need to get the matching leash!  You can buy one online, or in Pennsylvania at Sharpe Unique Gifts and Valley Forge Flowers.

And stylish!  From the embroidery design to the butterfly charm, the collar screams high-style.

But Life of Ryley offers more than just collars – there are also leashes and t-shirts of different themed patterns (Rugby, anyone?  Rhinestones, perhaps?).  They even have people stuff!  You can feel confident that if you purchase one of these items that you will receive a product that is of high quality and very well-made.

Etsy: Online Boutiques

Crazy For Collars

I decided that Dash needed a jazzy collar for the holiday season.  I found one that makes him look just dapper at Etsy store Crazy for Collars.  

CrazyforCollars Etsy store owner Suzanne, started making and selling pet collars locally in 2004 after her daughter requested two collars made from some ribbon she had seen. At the time, they had a total of seven dogs in their family at that time, and so the collar making craft immediately took off.

Then in April of 2007, Suzanne opened up a shop on Etsy selling various pet related items and before long, she had 3 shops on Etsy: one for general crafts and supplies, another for vintage items and the third being CrazyforCollars.

CrazyforCollars exploded and Suzanne decided to focus full time on collars.  Check out this link to view the wonderful array of items available: www.etsy.com/shop/crazyforcollars

Recycled Umbrella Dog Raincoats

When it’s pouring outside is your pup protected from the rain?  Taryn Zychal, founder of Etsy store RecyclingZychal, began making cycled umbrella dog rain coats while she was in design school.  She had just gotten her first Pug, named Jake, and was working as a denim specialist at Old Navy, where she had purchased a collar with whales on it for him.  

One day she was in a thrift store back in her hometown of Scranton when she came upon a umbrella with whales on it. Even though the umbrella was broken, deep down she felt that she could come up with something useful with it.

After searching for a coat to match Jake’s whale collar, it dawned on Taryn that she should just make him a coat out of the broken whale umbrella.  She imagined something streamlined, modern and clean, and not too fancy.  A product was born!

As a budding project designer at the time, it was Jake’s umbrella raincoat that steered her career in the direction of soft goods design.  She liked that it was functional, upcycled, and the dog owners were loving them (as were the dogs, too!).  She launched her Etsy store on Earth Day of 2009 and she is currently developing new products to add to the upcycled umbrella products.

So if you have a broken umbrella laying around, be sure to contact Taryn at her Etsy store!

You can also get one of her coats at Just Dogs! Gourmet, located at 1804 Chestnut Street near Rittenhouse Square.
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