Photographs of Silly Squeakers courtesy of Leerburg.com
Jeff Higgins of the Dog Park, a shop in Old Town, says one of the best parts of his job is interacting with people who love to spoil their pets. Higgins would rather spend money on his miniature dachshunds than himself, and his customers often feel the same.
Take a woman who bought one of the Clapper Hollow Designs drawings sold at the shop for $120. Each features a different dog breed and can be customized with a pet’s name. She picked out an image of a bulldog—not for herself but to give to her own bulldog. The woman had Higgins wrap the present so as not to ruin the surprise.
The American Pet Products Association expects pet-industry spending for 2011 to reach more than $50 billion. For dogs and cats used to being pampered, there are more gift options than ever.
1. Louis Vuitton Monogram-print Carriers, $1,920 to $2,490
Smaller pets can travel in high style with Louis Vuitton monogram-print carriers. Available at Louis Vuitton 5481-C Wisconsin Ave., Chevy Chase, 301-654-1101; 8075 Leesburg Pike, Vienna, 703-506-9507), and Neiman Marcus at Tysons Galleria (703-883-8927).
2. DenHaus Dog Houses, $449 to $599
DenHaus makes dog hideaways for a variety of architectural tastes. The wooden TownHaus features a classic design, the fiberglass ZenHaus is sleek and modern, and the powder-coated-steel BowHaus has an industrial feel.
3. Squeaker Toys, $12.99
Dog Park (705 King St., Alexandria; 703-888-2818)
Silly Squeakers rubber wine and Champagne bottles for dogs—with labels such as Kennel-Relax’n (like Kendall-Jackson, get it?). Available at Alexandria's Dog Park (705 King St., Alexandria; 703-888-2818).
4. Molly Mutt Duvet Covers, $24.99 to $44.99
For a more down-to-earth gift, Molly Mutt dog and cat duvet covers come in bright colors and prints, and they’re a good way to recycle: Stuff them with old clothes, towels, or linens to create a comfy bed. Available at Big Bad Woof (117 Carroll St., NW, 202-291-2404; 5501 Baltimore Ave., Suite 106, Hyattsville, 301-403-8957).
5. Bejeweled Dog Collar
Nylon dog collars by UltraMouse get the bling treatment. They’re $80 to $200 depending on size and the number of rhinestones. Available at the Dog Shop in Georgetown (1625 Wisconsin Ave., NW; 202-337-3647).
6. Modern Cat Designs Litter Box Hider, $249.95
With laminate and chrome finishes, the Litter Box Hider by Modern Cat Designs looks almost like a piece of furniture; $249.95 at
For the cat who loves the finer things, try pairing Kitty Kaviar ($6.99 to $10.79), made of shaved bonito fish, with a Cosmic Catnip Cigar ($5.99); both are at Capitol Hill’s Chateau-Animaux (733 Eighth St., SE; 800-354-8710).
Juicy Couture’s luxe doggywear has a big fan base—the Georgetown store has a wall of photos showing local pooches in velour hoodies ($45) and other outfits. Available at juicycouture.com and Juicy boutiques in Georgetown (3034 M St., NW, 202-337-4131) and Tysons Galleria (571-633-1751). To see photos of a customer’s dog wearing Juicy outfits, go to washingtonian.com/pet-outfits.
This article appears in the December 2011 issue of The Washingtonian.