Pampering the pooch

The battle lines were clearly drawn. It was Diane Widrich versus her dog Roxie in the war over the family furniture. But, refusing to succumb to her faithful companion, Wildrich came to a simple solution – build the dog furniture of its own.

So, Wildrich built a futon complete with a wooden frame, canvas material and comfortable cushions. Roxie soon accepted her new futon-style bed and left her owner’s furniture alone. When this happened, Wildrich knew she had stumbled on something big.

Ontario-based Pet Futons, a designer bed company for pets is just one of the many businesses catering to dogs and cats across the nation. With costs ranging from $99.99 to $159.99, these futons come in all sorts of colours and designs.

“They’re great for the pets and the owners,” says Widrich. “They’re special for the pet and owners can match them with their own personal decor.”

Doggie futons are just one item in the billion-dollar business of pet paraphernalia. Others include:

  • The ultimate dog dish
    Bringing out the fine china isn’t just reserved for the guests anymore. England’s prestigious Wedgwood company has designed the ultimate dinneare for pets — the Nick Munro dog bowl.

    Award-winning Munro designed this 22cm diameter bowl, cast from black jasper and matte ceramic material. Embossed with a subtle dog bone on its side, this gourmet doggie-dish sells for around $145.

  • Gourmet delights
    But once you get this extravagant dish, you can’t fill it with just plain old dog food. Pets 4 Life produces home made delights made special for your dog.

    Made with only the freshest ingredients, this food comes in four different varieties:

    • Lamb
    • Beef
    • Rabbit
    • Chicken

    The ingredients are human-grade and are personally inspected for freshness and quality to ensure your pet receives optimal nutrition. But it’s not what’s in the food that makes it so good – it’s what’s not in it. This all-natural food boasts to have no preservatives, additives, chemicals, sugars or fillers.

  • If your pooch finds it a bit dry, you can always coat it with their Good Gravy – a nutritious energy supplement also produced by Pets 4 Life.

  • Feline fun
    Cats, being the independent creatures they are, like to have their own space. That’s why Woodruff for Pets developed a variety of playpens perfect for any cat. These “cat condominiums” include comfortable nooks and crannies to sleep in and stand as high as three levels. Some include:
    • A pagoda style post complete with double barrel roof, allows two cats to share the same level. It’s two metres tall and sells for $445.
    • The three level house with holes for both play and access. It has a low angle roof for extra perching on top and costs $329.

    Why we do it
    Although these pet accessories may seem extreme to some, they come as no surprise to Dr. Michael Thomas, president of the American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA).

  • “For years we have known about the growing importance that people place on their pets,” he says. “For most people, a pet is much more than just a pet. They are full-fledged members of the family who play a critical role in today’s society.”

    Holding true, this final pet accessory makes sense.

  • Saying goodbye
    Losing an animal is extremely hard as many pet owners struggle over the decision to put their pet to sleep. Once the pet is put down, there’s the decision about what to do with the body. Some owners have funerals for their pets and bury them in a pet cemetery. To bury a dog or cat, a pet casket may be required. 

  • Woodruff for Pets sells beautiful hand-crafted caskets made to accommodate any size of animal. Complete with satin pillow, these caskets are made in cedar or white pine and range from $149 to $260.

    It’s the ultimate in saying goodbye to a faithful and pampered companion.