Products for your pampered pet
In a word association quiz, many people might respond to the word “family” with words like “mother,” “father,” “sister” or “brother.” However, dog and cat owners typically include their pampered pets as part of the family and close to the heart, so it’s not surprising, then, that they decorate their homes with all of the necessities and accessories their furry friends might need — from beds, bedding, bowls, and blankets to pooch pajamas, bathrobes, booties, and high quality food. What is surprising is that pet products for the home have now reached the high-end level of haute décor.
Neiman Marcus and Horchow, for example, offer a “Haute House — Isabella Dog Bed,” which costs over $1,000 and resembles a mini-sofa featuring crystal tacks and two matching pillows. Other websites also carry extravagant dog accessories, including everything from a porcelain Royal Crown Derby Old Imari dog bowl rimmed with 22-carat gold retailing for $858, or a “Bone Appetit doggie high chair” for $980. Horchow also features a Harlow Cuddle Pet Bed, which is a round bed with jeweled nail head trim in beige or sage that sells for $1,699. The White Thebes Bench, which looks like it was made for a king’s or queen’s dog, is $6,999, not including shipping. One website even sold a Louis XV Pet Pavilion for $23,990 (nothing but the best for Fido or Fluffy!).
While this may seem extravagant if not outrageous, it does have a trickle-down effect for everyday dog and cat owners who like to decorate their homes without ignoring their cherished pet.
Tapping into coordinating pet goods with home goods, Ridgefield Pet in Ridgefield carries Fiesta Petware porcelain food bowls, according to William Greene, store manager. He also notes that dog owners come in to the shop for corner-shaped dog beds that come in many colors and designs and fit snugly into a corner of a room. “High-end dog accessories are very big,” he says, adding that the store also carries high-end lines of dog and cat food, as well as natural cleaning products, such as laundry detergent and stain remover from Puracy.
H3 Pet Supply in Stratford carries a wide variety of high quality wet, dry, and raw/frozen foods and treats for dogs and cats, according to Mike McCutcheon, who co-owns the store with Karen Harlow. “We bought the store two years ago, and it had an established clientele who expected the highest quality pet foods,” Mike says. “The original owners named the store H3, which stands for ‘Happy, healthy and humane,’ and Karen and I have been committed to continuing that tradition.”
The store has 14 freezers for its frozen/raw foods, with brands for dogs including Fromm, Canine Caviar, Merrick, and Legend; for cats, the store carries Dave’s, Weruva, Rawz, Earthborn, Grandma Mae’s, and Koha, among others. “It’s set up similarly to a grocery store, and is not unlike coming into Whole Foods to shop for your pets,” McCutcheon states. High quality aluminum, wood, and plastic food bowls are also available, and the store offers free delivery.
Jennifer Scott, owner of The Pawprint Market in Darien, says, “When you walk into our store, it’s like walking into a home … we have a fireplace, wooden bookcases, and cozy Oriental rugs on the floor.” Even the exterior of the shop looks like a house, and inside, wooden bins, baskets, and glass jars hold an assortment of treats, collars, and other dog-related items while the bookcases display our assortment of quality dry and canned foods. “We also have two full-size freezers for the raw frozen foods we carry,” Scott says.
The Pawprint Market specializes in dog nutrition and other quality dog products, and staff members bring their dogs to work with them, making pet-owning patrons and their pooches feel right at home.
Cynthia Fox, creative director for Pet Pantry Warehouse with locations in Fairfield, New Canaan, Wilton, and Riverside, says the store carries high-quality products: “The days of Paris Hilton’s $500 dog collars are gone. At Pet Pantry, the focus is on quality bedding for dogs that will make the dog most comfortable.” Fox observes that residents in this area have beautiful homes and like to decorate them beautifully. “We have quality items for your canine, including attractive bowls for dog food,” she says. “The emphasis is on products that are more pragmatic and high quality.” Pet Pantry Warehouse also carries high quality foods for dogs and cats, including frozen and alternative diet products.
According to Per Trellevik, owner of Pet Supplies Plus in Shelton, homeowners should consider starting with a crate when introducing a puppy to the home. “It’s the best, safest way to housetrain your dog, and it keeps your puppy from chewing on things they shouldn’t when you’re away,” he says.
“Once your dog is ready for a dog bed, we offer different size beds in a variety of fabrics, colors, and patterns,” Trellevik notes. “We tend to sell neutrals, like beige and off-white, that can blend into almost any room decor.” The store also carries dog and cat food and treats, decorative bowls, raised feeding stands, and placemats to go under the bowls, large plastic storage containers for dry food, cat trees and perches, dog and cat toys, and pet coats and sweaters.
There is much to consider when decorating a home when you have a pet. Dogs love the outdoors, and when they come inside, they’re often covered in mud, dirt, and leaves, all of which they try to shake off. If you have a mud room, you’re ahead of the game. However, no matter what kind of entry way you have, it’s helpful to have some sort of cabinet or chest nearby with old towels and cloths to wipe up the mess quickly.
Choosing furniture is the next step. Leather is a good option: It’s easy to clean, and dog and cat hair and fur won’t stick to it, like it does with upholstered fabrics. If you prefer fabric, however, consider a patterned style where small stains will be less noticeable.
What about the walls? Ashford House Dog’s Life wallpaper sells for $25.75 per single roll and is sold in packs of two rolls. The design is simple and classic and features various dogs including poodles and dalmatians. You might also want to consider wall art featuring personalized dog or cat drawings or paintings of your pet. Prices for custom art can range from $69 line drawings to commissioned oil and/or acrylic paintings at various prices.
When it comes to flooring, people with dogs who shed should keep in mind that neutral colors and/or shades close to the color of the dog’s hair work well for carpeting and rugs. The darker the color, the more likely the dog hair will show. Hard surface floors, such as tile, wood, or laminate, are a good option as they are easier to keep clean than carpet.
Decorating your home doesn’t have to break the bank, but it’s fun to coordinate dog and cat products with the rest of the house, and it’s easier than ever to make your pet feel right at home.