Best in the Northwest - Gear
We work hard. We play hard. And we have great gear!
When you live in the Pacific Northwest, you have to be ready for anything the weather can dish out. And people in the NW love their pets. Spot recently searched out pet stores in the area and their customers for what is top-selling and most popular, from apparel to beds, bowls to food and toys. The good news is we found several companies providing extraordinary products are based right here at home.
Nylon Turnout Coat — Foggy Mountain Dog Coats
A nice parka/ski jacket-style coat originally designed for horses. These coats will have your dog toasty warm in even the most severe weather. “This is our top-selling ‘go for broke’ coat,” says Suzanne Losch, owner of Urban Fauna pet supply and doggie daycare in NW Portland. The coats are made with tough water- and wind-repellent nylon, insulated with warm polyfil, and lined with plush fleece. Because of its unique design, it stays put on even the most rambunctious dogs. Machine washable in sizes to fit all dogs in plaids and solid colors. Available at Urban Fauna or www.dogcoat.com.
Ruff Wear Bark’n Boots
Of course your dog must go hiking with you! Ruff Wear has revolutionized canine paw protection. Bark’n Boots Grip Tex enhances traction and stability and gives pups protection from a range of temperatures, surfaces and hazards, and can improve mobility in older dogs. Grip cuffs hug the legs so they stay in place, and the air mesh upper is comfortable, breathable and drainable for all-season wear. Available in red or black, in seven sizes. And because dogs get dirty, they’re sold in sets of four. Available at REI or www.ruffwear.com.
Reversible Coats & Soft Harnesses by Dog Paws Only (formerly Four Paws Only)
You’ve got to check out these fashionable reversible coats, handmade in Gresham. Winter coats come in a variety of faux leather and stylish fleece, with Velcro straps to ensure a comfortable and secure fit. “For the spring coats, there will be a lot of taffeta,” says proprietor and creator Nancy Perry-Dale. Bone appliqués, cute buckles and even bling make each customized coat unique. Dog Paws’ soft harnesses are another must-have, designed with your dog’s comfort in mind. Great for pullers & tuggers, the harnesses direct pressure to the chest not the neck. Available in winter and summer styles, five different sizes and several colors (all with reflective detail for visibility). www.dogpawsonly.com or www.customfitdogclothing.com
Cycle Dog Collars & Leashes
Leading the nation in cycling as a lifestyle means a lot of flat tires and old inner tubes. Cycle Dog, a Portland, OR-based company, designs and manufactures dog leashes, collars and accessories from reclaimed bike inner tubes that would otherwise end up in landfills. Not only are Cycle Dog’s products good for the environment, they look great thanks to loads of colorful patterns. Each handmade collar is super smooth and comfy on your dog’s neck, with soft cushy handles for you. They are also non-fraying, quick-drying, and best of all: stink-resistant. Available at many pet retailers and specialty bike stores and cycledog.com.
Top of the Food Chain Recycled Collars
Another local eco-friendly pet collar company, Top of the Food Chain is touted by Chip Sammons of Holistic Pet Center. These dapper collars are handmade with 100% hemp webbing and reclaimed vintage neckties, making each unique. They come in a wide range of sizes to suit the canine masses. And don’t forget the felines! Adjustable, breakaway cat collars are made from reclaimed leather and lined with soft buckskin, loved by the most finicky of felines. These fabulous collars are currently stocked at Holistic Pet Center, Healthy Pets Northwest, LexiDog, Green Dog, Furever Pets, Hip Hound and other Northwest locations.
The Northwest is filled with talented folks with the entrepreneurial spirit, and none more so than 16-year old Bradley Larios. Bradley the businessman stands out not only for his tender age, but for the fact that he’s succeeding while coping with the affects of Autism. Fed up with leads that lacked functionality and were made from cheap materials, Bradley decided to design and make his own to hold up to his dogs’ tough standards. The results are extraordinary. The Dual-Function Tie Out Lead features a special handle design and incorporates a clasp that allows you to tie out your dog without disconnecting his lead. The Multi-Function Tandem Lead has all the same benefits plus a special “O” ring that can be configured for hands-free walking or for a tandem leash. A portion of every sale goes to programs benefitting autistic kids. Check it out at www.BigBullyDogs.com.
Orvis Dog Beds — Ultimate Fleece Wraparound Bed
The average dog sleeps up to 13 hours a day, so his bed is one of his most important accommodations. With so many in different styles, colors and materials, it’s hard to decide. When several people were polled on their favorites, one company’s name kept popping up: Orvis. This family-owned retail business specializes in high-end fishing and sporting goods and is the oldest mail-order retailer in the United States. The Ultimate Fleece Wraparound Bed, one of their best-selling, is an attractive oval-shaped bolster bed offering the ultimate in luxury and comfort. The superbly designed bed is made to last, with super-plush Berber fleece inside, high-quality microfiber outside. Wonderfully cozy, the only bed he’ll love more is yours! Three sizes and various colors with removable, washable covers are available at Orvis.com.
Woodin’ U Dog Bowl Feeders
As with beds, there is a ton of options for dog and cat feeders. How about a beautiful, elevated pet feeder made right here in the Northwest? Woodin’ U is proud to be a family-owned and operated business committed to creating affordable high-quality handcrafted products. Many are made from recycled materials, and the folks at Woodin’ U strive to find ways to be “green.” Their signature patented bone-shaped feeder stations are made of pine and finished with three protective coats for longevity and easy care. These products are ergonomically designed for the pets, aesthetically pleasing for your home. Woodin’ U offers these and many other great products at various retailers, pet events including the Vancouver Farmers Market, and www.woodinu.com.
Vent Car Window Guard
Highly recommended and a top-seller to boot, Chip Sammons of Holistic Pets Center says the Vent Car Window Guard is great for road trips. Easy to install and remove, it fits most car windows, keeping pets well-ventilated and safe. Pups get the fresh air they love without extending their head out the window. Intended for use while driving not parked; please do not leave your pet unattended in the car for more than a few minutes, even on overcast days. Available at Holistic Pet Center or holisticpetcenter.com.
Busy Buddy Toys
Another favorite from Chip at Holistic Pets Center is the Busy Buddy line of treat-dispensing chew toys. Safe, long-lasting, non-toxic and tough, these chew toys are designed to keep your pet busy and help re-direct destructive chewing behavior into positive playtime. Your dog will see, hear and smell the treats and will have a great time figuring out how to get them! The textured rubber wrap also helps clean teeth. Available in several designs at pet retailers and at busybuddytoys.com.
Hide A Bee (Busy Bee)
Another endlessly entertaining and just plain cute toy that’s a fav among local pet retailers is the Hide-A-Bee, perhaps better known as the Busy Bee from the movie, Best In Show. Containing three squeaker bees pets can repeatedly remove, the Hide-A-Bee helps develop eye-paw coordination, satisfies the natural instinct to search, and eliminates boredom. For additional fun and variety your pet’s favorite treats or other toys can be placed inside. Made by Kyjen with machine-washable fabric. If bees aren’t your dog’s thing, check out the Hide-A-Squirrel and Hide-A-Bird. Voted one of the best purchases you can make for your dog’s bottomless toy box. Available at local pet retailers or online.