Obsessions | Obsessions http://www.dogster.com/obsessions Obsessions en-us Wed, 24 Sep 2014 13:30:00 -0700 Wed, 24 Sep 2014 13:30:00 -0700 http://blogs.law.harvard.edu/tech/rss Orion <![CDATA[Editor's Picks: Custom Paco Collars and Scarves That Benefit Dog Rescue]]> http://www.dogster.com/doggie-style/paco-dog-collars-bows-n-ties-scarves-modcloth-shoes-editors-picks This month's picks are for the canine and human fashionistas in the house. If your dog has more collar options than you have necklaces, or if you've ever purchased anything with a dog pattern, this is for you.  

Pick 1: Paco's Custom Collars

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Paco Collars has long been a Bay Area favorite, and with good reason. Each is crafted by hand with long-lasting latigo leather in Berkeley, and the brand's mission is to create high-quality pieces that last. The price range is all over the place (starting in the $50s from what we can tell), depending on how custom you want to get. We dare not ask what the collar you see above (which we came across on Paco's Facebook page) wound up costing, but that is a piece of art.

I'm actually more excited about the image you see below, which the brand teased on its Instagram page. I am always looking for tag collars that don't jingle, and Paco's take on it is just so pretty. The design isn't yet available on its website, but it's high on my wish list.

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Pick 2: Dogs-N-Ties

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Tie purveyor Bows-N-Ties doesn't usually go to the dogs, but every year it picks a charitable cause and comes up with a scarf and tie line for it. This year, the lucky recipient of this treatment is the SF SPCA, for which Bows-N-Ties has come up with a spinoff called Dogs-N-Ties. The collection features ties and scarves in silk twill, priced at $39 and $59 respectively, and the profits from each item sold goes entirely to the shelter. The brand hopes to raise $30,000 in time for the holidays, so if you have some major dog lovers on your list, definitely go have a look. My favorites include the French Bulldog print and the Dachshund pattern, but several other breeds make an appearance, too.

Pick 3: Dogs Who Love Modern Design

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Last month, Dwell Magazine did an interiors roundup that illustrated how no home -- no matter how impeccably appointed -- is complete without a dog. Yes, we already knew that, but it's nice to be verified in a major design publication. See all the pups lounging in their humans' fancy digs over here.

Pick 4: Ridiculously Cute Dog Offerings from ModCloth

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If you visit ModCloth and type "dog" into the search box, you and your credit card could be in a lot of trouble very quickly. It has many things including Cavalier King Charles Spaniel sweaters and Corgi socks. My favorite from the lot is the "Tyke a Chance" flat (pictured above), which looks like the perfect way to wear your dog lover pride to the office without looking completely loony. The shoes are priced at $44.99.

Pick 5: Your New September Desktop Wallpaper

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If you follow the Editor's Picks column, you know I am a fan of Pretty Fluffy's dog-centric computer wallpaper. Its September edition is about as Dogster as it gets. Download it free over here.

What dog products are you crushing on this month?

See More of Janine's Favorite Things:

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Wed, 24 Sep 2014 13:30:00 -0700 /doggie-style/paco-dog-collars-bows-n-ties-scarves-modcloth-shoes-editors-picks
<![CDATA[Editor's Picks: Dogs of SkyMall Edition]]> http://www.dogster.com/doggie-style/editors-picks-dog-products-skymall-pet-stairs-gate-safety-kit-raincoat-diaper-bag
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Me, reading Skymall on the plane.

Recently, Dogster Community Manager Lori Malm, Managing Editor Vicky Walker and I found ourselves on a plane to Las Vegas for the SuperZoo conference. There we found a large selection of awesome and not-so-awesome pet products to share with you, but our brains were already in full idea mode as we boarded.

I picked up the latest edition of SkyMall once we were seated, and Lori (who is always full of great story ideas) asked me if we'd ever done a roundup of SkyMall dog products for Dogster Mag. We hadn't. So, here, for your amusement, are five products that caught my eye.

Do note that I've never purchased anything from SkyMall, so whether the quality of the items lives up to the hype on the glossy pages is beyond me. But if you've purchased something from there and loved -- or hated -- it, I'd love to hear about it. (Please leave me a note below.)

The Push Pushi Dog Raincoat

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My brother, an industrial design major in college, once told me he wanted to come up with a design concept for an umbrella that attaches to people at the shoulders. Well, it looks like SkyMall beat him to the dog edition. The catalog is stocked with dog raincoats by Push Pushi, which are nylon on the outside and lined with fleece on the inside. Sizes range from "teacup" to XXL, so you can walk your Chi and your Dane in matching rain gear if you wish. (And if you do live with a Chi and a Dane, please send us a picture immediately!) $39.95 - $49.95.

Dog Safety Kit by Relief Pod International

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At SuperZoo we ran into the folks from Relief Pod International and were able to see their products in person, so this is one item on the list whose quality we can vouch for. Relief Pod makes several versions of its dog safety kit listed on its own website, including a smaller "on the road" edition containing 36 items. SkyMall has the largest version (93 items) available and sells it for $99.95. But here's a pro tip: Relief Pod sells the same kit for half the price right now.

Aside from your regular canine first aid items, it includes an emergency reflective collar and leash, a reflective dog bandana, a crank flashlight, and a collapsible pet bowl. We recently had a noteworthy earthquake here in Northern California, so I'm considering investing in one of these myself while it's top of mind.

Pet JetSetter Doggie "Diaper" Bag

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If you've ever told anyone that your dog is your kid, here's a way to step up your game. Now, your fur kid too can have a diaper bag. (Hopefully sans diapers, but that's not unusual if you have a little senior on your hands.) The Pet JetSetter bag features six labeled exterior pockets for your dog food and water bowls (pictured and included), a water bottle, dog brush, treats and "bones," (though I hope you're not actually lugging bones). Inside there's room for a blanket, food, toys, and so on, and the shoulder strap doubles as an emergency leash. $49.99 - $64.99.

Retractable Pet Gate

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I am not a big fan of retractables when it comes to leashes, but a retractable gate? Seems smart. I am currently juggling two rabbits and one dog at home (long story; post to come), and we're using a board to separate the animals. Believe it or not, it's the rabbits who can't be together; the dog loves them both! We've thought about getting a pet gate, but they seem so bulky, so this retractable mesh edition seems like a better choice. $99.99.

PupSTEP Plus Pet Stairs

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My dog, Mr. Moxie, was an athlete -- springing up into my bed, or couch, or even a table if he wanted to -- up until earlier this year when he broke one of his pretty legs. I didn't think I'd be looking into pet steps until he was a senior (he's barely six), and as I was investigating the options, this collapsible version from Solvit did come up. I liked the carpeted steps, safety side rails and easy storage. Skymall has it for $39.99.

That's it for today. Again, if you've ordered any dog products from SkyMall and loved or detested them, I want to hear about it!

See More of Janine's Favorite Things:

About the Author: Janine is your typical annoying Aries overachiever with nine human siblings and a soft spot for sighthounds. She is a tattoo collector, tea drinker, and unabashedly into marshmallows and cheesy musicals. Janine believes responsible breeders exist -- her dog is from one. She runs the show as editor-in-chief of Dogster and Catster.

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Fri, 29 Aug 2014 12:00:00 -0700 /doggie-style/editors-picks-dog-products-skymall-pet-stairs-gate-safety-kit-raincoat-diaper-bag
<![CDATA[Editor's Picks: Sunny Spots, Underwater Dog Treadmills, and Your New Computer Wallpaper]]> http://www.dogster.com/doggie-style/editors-picks-pack-pretty-fluffy-madzag-rex-center-dog-collars-pictures-photos-harness I have a lot of new favorite dog products right now, having just gotten back from the SuperZoo conference and being exposed to the latest from hundreds of pet retailers. But those will have to trickle into later editions of the Editor's Picks column. Most of the items in this week's roundup were waiting for me in my inbox (gleaned from newsletters and Facebook wall messages) when I arrived home -- some things the Internet gives you are too good not to share.

1. Pretty Fluffy's August Wallpaper

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Every month, our friends at Australian dog and design blog Pretty Fluffy come up with an elegant and fairly minimalist computer wallpaper that can be downloaded for free. Their aesthetic caters to the typography-obsessed dog mom, and because I identify with that camp (geez, what a hipster!), I eagerly await the beginning of each month so I can slap their latest backdrop on my screen. You can get August's dogs vs. diamonds wallpaper yonder, and browse the Pretty Fluffy archive for alternatives here.

2. The Greyhound Collar By MADZAG

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My friend, Dog Milk Managing Editor Capree Kimball, shared this collar with me recently, knowing I am a huge sighthound nerd. It's part of the Bauhaus Collection of Melinda Molnar, a Budapest-based designer with an affinity for dogs. Prices aren't listed on Molnar's site (usually an indicator that everything is out of our league, $$$-wise), but we can still drool from a distance. Damn, that's pretty.

3. A Well Adjusted Pet at the Rex Center in Pacifica, California

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Dr. Ilana makes sure Ramona stays on track on the underwater treadmill. Photo courtesy Julie Stiefel of A Well Adjusted Pet.

This new favorite is not brought to you by the Internet -- it's brought to you by my emergency vet. For those of you who don't know, my Italian Greyhound, Mr. Moxie, has been recovering from a freak accident that happened in May, and has been a regular at the AIMSS emergency clinic once a week since then. But about a week ago, his broken leg was pronounced stable, and it was recommended that we take him to Dr. Ilana Strubel at the Rex Center for rehab. "Egads!" I thought (because, in my head I sound like Mr. Lodge), lamenting the fact that I still face enormous vet bills.

But Moxie is doing so well in rehab, and Illana is a complete doll. We've decided he's too much of a scaredy cat for the underwater treadmill on the premises (pictured above with a braver dog), but a combination of stretches and daily exercises at home, and weekly laser appointments have made a world of difference. I was recently able to post a video on Moxie's Facebook page showing him using both front paws on his first walk outside in months. We have a few more weeks of treatment to go, but I am so grateful the AIMSS vets sent us to the Rex Center. If you live in Northern California, I definitely recommend checking it out.  

4. Pack's #SUNNYSPOT Photo Roundup

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Our friends at Pack, an instagram-centric social network for dogs, are always doing something cool. Their latest contest encouraged members of the site's community to share their best #sunnyspot photos, and the resulting roundup will give you that taste of summer you've been missing. Check out all the beautiful photos over here.

5. The Walk In Sync Harness

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Can I confess something? I've never been a harness aficionado. In fact, I sometimes give dogs in harnesses the side eye, because they always appear to be poorly trained and yanking away from the other end of the lead. But I might have to start eating my words. As part of Moxie's treatment, Illana has me using the Walk in Sync harness designed by dog trainer Alecia Evans, which is structured so that the leash attaches at the front instead of the rear. It's been encouraging Mox to put weight on the leg we're retraining him to use, and it has made him such a delight to walk with. It might become a regular part of our lives post-treatment.

Do any of you prefer harnesses over the collar and leash combo in general? What brands do you recommend?

Thanks for reading, and as always, feel free to send me any and all dog product recs: I'm at janine (at) dogster (dot) com.

See More of Janine's Favorite Things:

About the Author: Janine is your typical annoying Aries overachiever with nine human siblings and a soft spot for sighthounds. She is a tattoo collector, tea drinker, and unabashedly into marshmallows and cheesy musicals. Janine believes responsible breeders exist -- her dog is from one. She runs the show as editor-in-chief of Dogster and Catster.

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Wed, 13 Aug 2014 12:45:00 -0700 /doggie-style/editors-picks-pack-pretty-fluffy-madzag-rex-center-dog-collars-pictures-photos-harness
<![CDATA[Editor's Picks: Coffee for Dog Nuts, Christmas in July, and the Ultimate Treat Pouch]]> http://www.dogster.com/doggie-style/dogster-editors-picks-grounds-hounds-wildebeest-mr-dog-christmas-austin-texas-aspca-app Dogs, man, dogs. We may be a wee bit obsessed with them here at Dogster HQ, and if you are too, then you've come to the right place. Every week, we'll choose our five favorite things from the Kingdom of Pooch and will feature them right here. So if you have a pup-centric product you're crazy about, send me a tip at janine-at-dogster-dot-com. Here's this week's round of awesome:

1. The Precita Treat Pouch by Wildebeest

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I bought this pretty little thing just before my dog, Mr. Moxie, broke his leg in fairly dramatic fashion two months back. He's still on the mend, and hasn't been to the park since that fateful day, so I sadly lack a field test to share. But I can tell you that I love the design of this product and how it fits a good number of bells and whistles (look at that ChuckIt attachment!) into what looks like a fairly simple pouch from the outside. I've been a longtime fan of Wildebeest -- my favorite product so far is the Starter Kit for new dog parents, which we did a little video feature about some time ago -- but I have to say that this item is a close second.

The Precita Treat Pouch is $39 from Wildebeest.com, with an optional $7 for a shoulder/belt strap add-on.

2. Christmas in July with Mr. Dog

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In Betsy Cordes' family, at least three generations have enjoyed the story of Christmas at the Hollow Tree Inn, which was written by Albert Bigelow Paine in 1898. The book features a mischievous but kind character named Mr. Dog, who plays santa for his woodland friends. Cordes' family has made reading the tale out loud a longstanding Christmas tradition, and this year they have made the book (which lives in the public domain) available to anyone who wants a copy. The family commissioned artist Adam McCauley to lend an Edward Gorey-esque vibe to the tale, and the excellent drawings alone make the book worth pre-ordering for your own holiday fete. 

Mr. Dog's Christmas at the Hollow Tree Inn is available for pre-order on Kickstarter.

3. Austin, Texas

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Photo via Banger's, home of Mutt Monday.

The editors of our sister publication, Dog Fancy, have deemed Austin the top city in the country for dog lovers this year. Their criteria? The presence of dog-centered activities, dog-friendly businesses, dog parks, veterinarian specialists, pro-dog legislation, and rescue programs, among other things.

“Thanks to innovative programs and dedicated animal lovers in public and private organizations, the Austin community saves the lives of more than 90 percent of the animals who enter shelters, making Austin the largest metropolitan city to sustain a No-Kill goal,” says Fancy Ernie Slone. Now that is pretty cool, in our books.

4. The ASPCA's New App

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Our friends at the ASPCA just launched their first mobile app for pet owners, and it's a good one. It does a number of things related to pet safety, but our favorite feature is the ability to build a digital lost pet flyer and quickly push it to your social media channels. If you live in areas prone to storms or other natural disasters, we recommend getting it on your phone for that alone -- there's an Apple and Android version, and hey, it's free. The app also lets you store all your pet's information (think vaccination history and dietary info) so you have it handy.

5. Grounds and Hounds

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Coffee? Mmm. Dogs? Love. Coffee that saves dogs and just happens to have ridiculously cute packaging and blends with names like "Paper & Slippers Blend" and "Morning Walk Breakfast Blend"? Yes, please. Grounds and Hounds donates 20 percent of its earnings to local dog rescue efforts, and it operates under the tagline "Every pound saves a hound." Easiest addition to an editors' favorites list ever.

Grounds and Hounds coffee starts at $8.50.

About the Author: Janine is your typical annoying Aries overachiever with nine human siblings and a soft spot for sighthounds. She is a tattoo collector, tea drinker, and unabashedly into marshmallows and cheesy musicals. Janine believes responsible breeders exist -- her dog is from one. She runs the show as editor-in-chief of Dogster and Catster.

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Wed, 16 Jul 2014 09:15:00 -0700 /doggie-style/dogster-editors-picks-grounds-hounds-wildebeest-mr-dog-christmas-austin-texas-aspca-app
<![CDATA[Dogster Obsessions: Kenneth Moore's Batik Paintings of Dogs]]> http://www.dogster.com/lifestyle/kenneth-moore-watercolor-batik-dog-paintings When you've been at Dogster as long as I have (almost five years as of this writing), you get a lot of things in your inbox. I get two dozen pitches from marketers pushing pet-focused products a day, and not all of them are worth a mention on the site or are even a remotely entertaining read. Everyone's selling something, but no one outright asks you if you're open to bribery, so I did a literal laugh-out-loud a few weeks back when I opened a note that started: "Hi, Janine, my name is Ken and I hope you are open to bribes."

In my head, Jon Stewart's voice drawled "Go on..."

"I am a 65-year-old old guy who has been an artist for at least 55 years. I do all kinds of art ... contemporary, abstract, I sculpt in clay, cast in glass and throw pottery on the wheel. For the past year I have been doing pet portraits using water color batik on rice paper. I love dogs and have had dogs all my life although right now the only dogs I have are the ones I paint. They are like grandchildren (of which I also don't have any) but I get to love my dogs without the responsibility of having to take care of them. I've set up an Internet business where people can see what I do. I'm retired and it gives me some extra money to buy supplies and take my wife of 44 years out to eat every now and then. My son who is 40 tells me I sell my work much too cheaply. My objective is to do pet portraits, not make a million. I'd bribe [Dogster's Social Media Manager] Liz Acosta who seems to do most of your stories about pet artists but she doesn't have a pet, so I've done a portrait of Moxie for you. Send me an address where I can send it and it is yours ... without obligation unless you were raised Catholic and then guilt should take over."

Like anyone else raised in Manila, I do carry a sizable dose of Catholic guilt. But bribery isn't something editors like me can entertain. I was prepared to click over to the next thing in my inbox, when I noticed Ken had attached an image of his painting. And it was beautiful, set in a style I hadn't seen in the wild before:

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The damn thing actually put tears in my eyes because I came so close to losing my little guy, Moxie, mere weeks before. I navigated to Ken's page and found his work to be consistently awesome. Seriously, man, no bribery required. Have a look:

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Above: Brandy, a Great Dane

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Above: Dachshunds Abigail and Amanda

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Above: A Corgi named Princess

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Above: A Blue Heeler named Baby

Plus, the guy is just such a firecracker. He introduces himself on his site's bio page this way: 

"My mother always described me as an interesting child. That’s because I was always into everything. I know now that I had attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, but back then you were just called 'interesting.'

"As I rapidly approach the retirement age of 65 with no thought of actually retiring, I have considered what retirement is ... doing what you love. After taking a class in watercolor batiking on rice paper I edged closer to making that discovery. After doing several pet portraits for friends I realize this is what I want to do. The thrill of seeing one’s pet immortalized is infectious, and the joy my clients experience on seeing their original art is extremely satisfying. Plus, I can do this art from anywhere in the world for anyone in the world."

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I shared Moxie's story with Ken (short version: dog leaped from three-story window onto the concrete; broke a leg but miraculously survived ... $8,200 in emergency vet bills later), telling him I was taking a hiatus from writing (at the time) to care for my little guy. And he insisted on sending me his portrait anyway, alongside a note that read "I hope Mr. Mox is mending and has decided to stick with running and stop flying forever!" Hey, that's my hope too.

Check out more cuteness on Dogster:

About the Author: Janine is your typical annoying Aries overachiever with nine human siblings and a soft spot for sighthounds. She is a tattoo collector, tea drinker, and unabashedly into marshmallows and cheesy musicals. Janine believes responsible breeders exist -- her dog is from one. She runs the show as editor-in-chief of Dogster and Catster.

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Wed, 09 Jul 2014 06:00:00 -0700 /lifestyle/kenneth-moore-watercolor-batik-dog-paintings
<![CDATA[7 Weirdly Wonderful Dog-Themed Finds on Etsy]]> http://www.dogster.com/lifestyle/etsy-dog-theme-finds-dogs-weird-wonderful-poop-soap-toilet-seat-purse-poster-tights It's been about a year since April Winchell closed down her famous blog, Regretsy. Whether you loved the site or hated it, Regretsy always shone a spotlight on some of the most unique and extraordinary handcrafts found on Etsy.

While it’s easy to find beautiful dog beds and gorgeous puppy collars on Etsy, we thought it would be fun to do some digging for some of the more unique items. Our efforts were rewarded with weirdly wonderful finds of the canine kind. Here are seven of our favorites:

1. Custom Dog Portrait on Toilet Seat

Ever have a great idea come to you while sitting on the loo? With your very own custom dog portrait painted on a wooden toilet seat, you’ll be popping out ideas like ... um ... use your imagination to finish the sentence.

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Keep the inspiration and creativity flowing with this unique way to decorate your toilet. All you need to do is send in a photo of your dog to get your very own custom pet portrait ready to greet you each time you go to the bathroom.

2. Handmade Dog Poo Soap

If you invite guests over and your pet portrait toilet seat doesn’t get your guests talking, then you might want to add this bathroom accent to set tongues wagging.

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This handmade dog poo soap is made from an organic soap base with organic natural perfume and organic dye. Don’t worry, it doesn’t smell like what it looks like! 



3. Merpug Limited Edition Poster

If you love mermaids and you love Pugs, then you’ll love this cheeky limited edition merpug (mermaid/Pug) print. Simply look into this little Pug’s soulful eyes and you’ll be mesmerized to get your own illustrated print. You’ll have to act quickly because there are only 40 available.

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Each print is numbered and signed on the back. Maybe you’ll even hang it in your bathroom.

4. Dog Wraparound Skirt

Turn heads with this daring and unique wraparound skirt. You’ll be the envy of the catwalk when you sashay down the runway wearing this bold dog print. The skirt is handmade from a combination of fine fabrics including classic tweed and cotton jacquard. Make a one-of-a-kind statement with this hand-numbered limited-edition skirt.

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5. Dog Tattoo Tights

If you’re going to be showing off your style as a dog lover, Etsy has the perfect accessory for you to complete the look. You’ll definitely be turning heads when you’re out walking the dog if you wear these dog tattoo tights.

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The bright mustard color will catch the eye, but the real showstopper is the dog face printed on each of the legs. The tights are seamless and made from a soft and comfortable microfiber. One size fits all, from S to XXL.


6. Golden Retriever Dog Purse

Speaking of accessories, here’s the final touch for your dog-inspired ensemble. This Golden Retriever dog purse gives new meaning to the phrase “doggy bag.” The purse is also eco-friendly. It’s made from up-cycled feed sacks, which have been transformed into a shoulder bag.

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Feed sacks also have the added benefit of being extremely durable and waterproof. The purse easily wipes clean with a damp cloth, making this sack a practical and handy tote for all of your day-to-day needs.

7. Dog Underwear

If you don’t feel the need to make a bold fashion statement to proclaim your love of dogs, Etsy’s got something for you to wear under your clothes. These dog briefs fit the bill for yourself or your favorite guy. Featuring a dog’s face printed on the front, these shorts give new meaning to the phrase “hot dog”!

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Now, if they only came in boxers ...

What sorts of weird dog things have you found on Etsy? Let us know in the comments!

Check out these adorable stories on Dogster:

About Holly Tse: Holly Tse is a green cat expert and lifelong environmentalist. Practicing Taoist and Dragon Spirit Guide who has experienced more than nine past lives and can bend reality at will.  Totally into alternative healing, but her Achilles' heel is reality TV cooking shows. As a Canadian expat, she uses an American spell checker for her Catster articles.

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Fri, 11 Apr 2014 04:00:00 -0700 /lifestyle/etsy-dog-theme-finds-dogs-weird-wonderful-poop-soap-toilet-seat-purse-poster-tights
<![CDATA[Our Top 7 Finds from the 2014 Chicagoland Pet Expo]]> http://www.dogster.com/lifestyle/chicagoland-pet-expo-2014-picks

I took a day off from work to drop into the Chicagoland Pet Expo at the Arlington Racetrack before the weekend crowds hit. And I have to say it is bark-a-rama in there—very dog focused with a smattering of cat, horse, snake and bird-related stalls. I saw several entrants in the Saint Patrick’s day contest go by and took in a educational show about parrots. Here are a few of my favorite finds from this year’s show.

1) Best Toy: The NeedleNoz Toy

Okay, I am biased. I adopted my pup, Vera, from Greyhounds Only.  Bur this dog toy is generously sized, fleecy, has three squeakers and is greyhound approved.  As demonstrated by this picture of me trying to show how the toy resembles Vera, and Vera trying to take it away from me.

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I also saw quite a few humane groups selling rope toys made by braiding strips of fleece blankets in inventive way. And all kinds of variations on the usual toy designs in exciting colors and textures.

2) Best Crafty Marketing: The Happy Meal

Annie’s Pooch Pops had a range of treats including three types of cunningly packaged “happy meals” complete with a burger or hotdog, fries and a desert all made in the form of a dog treat. It may look like junk food, but it made with all natural ingredients.

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Although my dogs personal favorites seem to be the peanut butter squirrels from Lovin Tails of Berwyn IL.

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3) Best Free Giveaway

The Chicago Veterinary Emergency and Specialty Center gave me one of these cute bone-shaped pill boxes to help me remember to give Avon his Pepcid and everyone their glucosamine… and whatever else they might need at any given time.

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This stall was staffed by people who looked happy, engaged the public, and promoted their veterinary center in a way that was not pushy.  By contrast I have to say that many of the stalls for veterinary services and associations were sparsely decorated and staffed by people who looked awkward and already bored with being there despite being only a few hours into a two and a half day long expo. Some essentially ignored me even as I edged around them to look at their brochures.

4) Best New Product: PupLight

“NekLight” is going after the dog market with a bright collar mounted light that helps your dog find his way, and if necessary will help you find your dog. I liked the idea but the stall was unstaffed both times that I went past it--so I was unable to purchase one. No matter how good your product is, it cannot literally sell itself

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 Also of note was an artificial grass turf designed for dogs from Perfect Turf, and the beautiful pet photography of Kramer Photography.

 5) Best Overall Purchase: A & S Goody Bag

A & S offered a $10 goody bag that turned out to contain twenty different items, and multiples of many of them.  A generous amounts of samples and full size items including treats, food and supplements as well as shampoo, measuring cup and all sorts of things. Definitely value for money and kudos to the companies that donated towards it. My only tip would be to not buy an item like this early in your visit unless you are afraid they will run out--it is heavy!

 

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6) Notable Canines (from left to right):

At the stall for Hope Pets Rescue, Inc I met Francesca (that’s the puppy) and siblings who were taking turns in the public and private areas of the booth to make sure they didn’t get too tired from the constant adoration of passers by. In fact most of the dogs on display seemed well chosen and well managed to avoid them becoming stressed. Although I did see a few who looked well under eight weeks of age, which struck me as perhaps unwise?

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Also of note were two stalls side-by-side were showcasing the “Mi-Ki” a promoting a new toy breed developed by a breeder in Milwaukee. And Houndsong Rescue had an adorable inmate  (convicted of "stealing hearts") trying to raise bail via donations. Who could resist?

There were breed groups and rescues with adorable ambassadogs including bulldogs, Old English Sheepdogs, Rottweilers, Golden Retrievers and many more.

7) Good Cause: Canine and Human Cancer Research and Prevention

2 Million Dogs was there to raise awareness of canine cancer and links between canine and human cancer.  If you could guess two symptoms of canine cancer you got a snazzy “puppy up” bandanna.

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There were so many great rescues there that it would be impossible to pick just one to highlight. But it is great to see so many people doing such good work, and I put money in quite a few collection jars.  And  many had some versions of a raffle where  you pay a dollar to get a small novelty gift. One was As Good as Gold (Golden Retriever Rescue of Illinois) where you picked out a circling rubber duckies to determine your prize.

If you also had a chance to checkout the Chicagoland Pet Expo please let me know what your highlights were!

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Mon, 17 Mar 2014 08:00:00 -0700 /lifestyle/chicagoland-pet-expo-2014-picks
<![CDATA[Dogster Reviews: Cloud 7's Collection for TUMI Luggage]]> http://www.dogster.com/doggie-style/cloud7-tumi-luggage-dog-carrier-travel-blanket-review Here at Dogster, we always root for the underdog, and we love seeing small mom-and-pop pet brands succeed. So we were excited to learn that our friends Todd and Petra Jungebluth, the husband-wife team behind tiny pet lifestyle brand Cloud 7, had scored a deal with luxury luggage giant TUMI.

Petra is a Berlin-based design maven with roots in the fashion industry (names like Tommy Hilfiger and Liz Claiborne dot her resume), and an eye for clean lines and product shapes that blend seamlessly with the modern home. So when she and Todd visited our San Francisco HQ last year and hinted that a collaboration with TUMI might be in the works, we weren't terribly surprised. The travel brand honestly couldn't have found a more complementary aesthetic. Observe:

"The story behind it is that the TUMI CEO Jerome Griffith had gotten in touch with Petra last year asking if she would be interested to design a special dog travel line for the brand. Petra then designed a full range of various products and TUMI chose three of them to go in production," Todd tells us in an email.

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Their final picks included a flight carrier for small dogs, a folding travel bed, and a water-resistant travel bowl for the road. TUMI was nice enough to send the first two items along for us to play with, and Beasley (Community Manager Lori Malm's pup) and my own Mr. Moxie got to put them to the test.

Todd and Petra had forwarded many fine product photos, but we thought it would be fun to stage our own little photo shoot, because our Social Media Manager Liz Acosta has a background as a pro photographer, and we like to utilize all her skills when we can. (Check out her photography site over here.)

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We set up shop in Lori's living room and let Beasley inspect the carrier. Let me just say that there's something poetic about seeing a rescued, one-eyed, senior Pekingese in a $375 dog bag. She was a big fan of the plush lining (a removable feature), and we liked the way we could unzip the front end of the bag to make more room. Beasley is built like a small tank, and she fit nicely (with room to spare) when the piece was all zipped up.

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The carrier has a detachable shoulder strap that doubles as an emergency leash, which we thought was a neat addition. We also found it to be well ventilated, with four air vents as well as mesh panels on the top, front, and back. There's even a little pop-up feature, in case your pup feels like sneaking in a vertical stretch.

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Aesthetically, my favorite aspect was the roll-down shade at the front, held up by two leather straps. Petra knows how to make things functional yet pretty darn easy on the eyes.

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TUMI also sent its medium-size travel bed (it also comes in large) for Moxie to lounge on, and it didn't take much coaxing to get him to sprawl out on its wool lining. 

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It's fairly compact folded up. See?

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Dogster Scorecard for Cloud 7 + Tumi's Collection

  • Quality: Above and beyond most things we've encountered on the market, and that's saying something. These are pieces that have been designed to last.
  • Style: A+, a study in timeless taste and minimalism. This is really not a surprise considering who designed it.
  • Function: You can tell Petra put a lot of thought into how useful these items would be. The beauty of this collection is in the details, and many marry form and function seamlessly (small leather upgrades double as a slot for documents, and then there's the detachable leash option on the carrier, as mentioned earlier on). 
  • Creativity: The collection is creative without being over-designed, and that's high praise in the pet market.
  • Value: Definitely on the pricier side of the spectrum. But hey, this is TUMI, so that's not a surprise either.

Anyway, because you've read this far, here's an outtake from our little shoot. Don't Lori, Beasley, Moxie, and I make the best fake couple and furmily?

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More stories by Janine Kahn:

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Wed, 05 Mar 2014 10:00:00 -0800 /doggie-style/cloud7-tumi-luggage-dog-carrier-travel-blanket-review
<![CDATA[10 Stocking Stuffers for Dogs and Their People]]> http://www.dogster.com/doggie-style/stocking-stuffers-dogs-people Stocking stuffers may be small and inexpensive, but like my dog Ace, they are mighty, cute, whimsical, and often a delightful surprise. Stocking stuffers go a long way in spreading good cheer to anyone on your list, either by themselves, in combination, or as an accent to a larger gift. Finding the perfect stocking stuffer can be challenging, but luckily you’ve come to Dogster, where we’ve scoured the bounty of the Internet to bring you the top 10 greatest stocking stuffers for dogs and their people.

1. Temporary Dog Tattoos by Tattly ($5)

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Give the gift of regret-free fashion and fun with these artistically driven, non-toxic temporary tattoos. Artist Ann Boyajian’s German Shepherd, Poodle, and Pug tats will put a smile on your dog-loving friends. Packaged in sets of two, the price includes shipping.

2. Orbee-Tuff Coal Chew Toy by Planet Dog ($9.95)

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Know a dog who has been bad but adorable this year? Put a chewy lump of coal in her stocking! This chew toy was rated five out of five chompers, meaning it’s built to accommodate the biggest chewers on your shopping list. Non-toxic and made in the U.S.A.

3. Musher’s Secret Wax Paw Protection ($8.57 for 2.1 ounces via Amazon)

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This wax balm builds a barrier between a dog’s paws and the environment. It is free of petroleum and contains vitamin E to soften paws as it protects them. Good for salted, snow-covered pavement, Musher’s is also great for hot surfaces like sand and asphalt.

4. Dog Felt Keychain by Crate & Barrel ($9.95)

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This keychain is simple, iconic, and a cheerful holiday red. It would stand guard over a set of keys or could accent a backpack’s zipper pull. Made in the U.S.A. of merino wool.

5. All Natural Licorice Scotties by Gibmals ($4.29 for an 11.5 ounce bag)

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Candy is always a welcome gift, especially when it’s free of the eight most common allergens and gluten. These licorice candies are the real deal, made with licorice root and anise for the ultimate licorice candy flavor. They’re also shaped like Scottie dogs!

6. iClick Clicker by Karen Pryor ($1.85)

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A clicker makes a great stocking stuffer because it’s small, inexpensive, and encourages the creation of good habits and mental stimulation. I like this particular clicker because it is easy to use, not too loud, and comes in fun colors. Grab a package of five for $8.25 and check a few dog lovers off your list.

7. Pawdicure Polish Pen by Warren London ($8.95 via wag.com)

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If the idea of painting a dog’s nails frightens you, Warren London will put those fears to rest. Their dog nail polish is easy to apply, non-toxic, quick drying, and removable with non-acetone nail polish remover. Festive!

8. Love Your Breed Luggage Tags by foufou ($9.99)

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These sturdy PVC tags come in a variety of different breeds, all adorable and ready to attach to luggage, a backpack, a dog carrier, or anything that needs to carry your name and a little extra cuteness.

9. Dog-Themed Magnets by Three Dog Bakery ($4.99 each)

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These sassy, colorful magnets measure 2.5 x 3.25 inches.

10. Homemade Dog Treats (almost free)

Nothing will please your favorite dog more than a stocking full of treats. Make them yourself for an added personal touch, and to avoid any doggie allergens or intolerances. In my experience, many dog treat recipes are easier than boiling water. You can find plenty of recipes free online. Ace’s favorite comes from 3mbakery, banana oat cookies. We make them with gluten free oats, and the humans enjoy them as much as Ace does (seriously, these things are addictive, especially for breakfast)!

Read more Dogster Gift Guides:

About the Author: This East Coast transplant enjoys the bounty of San Francisco, including its microclimates, farmers' markets, and secret stairway walks. When she's not walking with, talking about, or kissing the face of her Boston Terrier, Ace, she blogs about Ace's adventures. Product reviews writer and guinea pig at Dogster.

Top image: Christmas Dog - Miniature Dachshund with Head Inside Stocking by Shutterstock

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Thu, 19 Dec 2013 08:00:00 -0800 /doggie-style/stocking-stuffers-dogs-people
<![CDATA[10 Gifts for Pets and People Under $25]]> http://www.dogster.com/doggie-style/dog-gifts-under-25 Whether you’ve got shopping list full of dog people (trainer, walker, groomer, that dog mom from the dog park), or you’re shopping for dogs and their humans on a budget (really, aren’t we all?), finding unique dog-related gifts at affordable prices can be tricky. Here’s a list of 10 fabulously doggy gifts under $25 for the dog or dog lover you want to recognize during the holidays.

1. Flex Fleece Dog Zip Hoodie by American Apparel ($20 to $24)

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Keep your favorite pup snuggly warm in a stylish, American-made hoodie. American Apparel reimagined their iconic hoodie for dogs up to 80 pounds. These cotton-polyester zippered hoodies come in a variety of bright bold colors.

2. Dog Shaming (2013) by Pascale Lemire ($15)

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Dog lovers with a sense of humor will be entertained by this recently released book, which is based on images from the popular website dogshaming.com. Dog owners photograph their dogs wearing signs that tell of the dogs’ most shameful acts (eating, destroying, or humping, mostly).

3. My Pet Likes Treats Pet Jar by Oré Pet ($18)

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See dog run ... towards this whimsical treat jar. It is dishwasher-safe and holds five cups of delicious doggy snacks.

4. Work Out Dog Vegan Leather Wallet by Lavishly ($16)

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Someone on your shopping list would like a freakishly adorable dog-themed wallet that’s biodegradable and animal-friendly, right? This wallet includes a coin purse, clear identification slot, and space for six cards. Lavishly offers other dog-themed wallets, so check out their website for different colors and designs.

5. Personalized Photo Ornaments by Walgreens (most are $19.99)

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Some companies might not be able to ship personalized photo gifts in time for Christmas. However, Walgreens can overnight an ornament to you as late as 12/19! They have several options for turning a digital photo into a unique holiday keepsake.

6. Bone-Shaped Biscuit Cutters by Martha Stewart Pets ($8.99 via PetSmart)

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Holiday baking for human or canine companions is more fun with cookie cutters. This set of three stainless steel cutters includes a small (3-inch), medium (4-inch), and large (5-inch) bone. Plus, they’re from Martha Stewart, so you know they’re good!

7. Women's Boston Terrier Footie Pajamas by Nick & Nora ($24.99 via Target)

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I own these, and they are as wonderful as your memories of the footie pajamas of your childhood. They are made of fleece with a zipper down the front. The best parts are the Boston-head footies, with their button eyes and colorful little faces. 

8. Inside of a Dog (2009) by Alexandra Horowitz ($16)

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This book completely blew my mind. The author is a cognitive scientist and presents the existing research on what we know about dogs’ inner world, including sensation, perception, and emotions. Her enthralling storytelling style makes this a rich and engaging read for any dog lover.

9. Buddy Dog Photo Display by Umbra ($8)

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This sleek, chrome-plated dog is a unique way to display a photo. It is part of a line of family-themed photo displays, including mom ($10), dad ($10), girl ($8), and boy ($8).

10. Donation to Your Favorite Dog-Related Charity

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For the dog or human who has everything, why not make a donation in his or her name? My favorite charity is Pets are Wonderful Support (PAWS), which helps low-income seniors and people with disabilities keep their pets by providing a pet food bank, veterinary care, and in-home services. Many charities, including PAWS, also accept donations of food or used pet supplies.

Read more Dogster Gift Guides:

About the Author: This East Coast transplant enjoys the bounty of San Francisco, including its microclimates, farmers' markets, and secret stairway walks. When she's not walking with, talking about, or kissing the face of her Boston Terrier, Ace, she blogs about Ace's adventures. Product reviews writer and guinea pig at Dogster.

Top image: Christmas Dog by shutterstock.com

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Wed, 18 Dec 2013 12:00:00 -0800 /doggie-style/dog-gifts-under-25
<![CDATA[Editor's Picks: My 10 Favorite Things for Pets and People This Season]]> http://www.dogster.com/doggie-style/dog-editor-picks-holiday-edition If you've been reading Dogster a while, you're well aware I'm a little over the top when it comes to decorating myself and my home with all things dog. Count 'em: Four tattoo tributes to my dog. More framed dog prints than I have fingers. Antique canine collectibles dot my bookshelf, and then there's my license plate.

If you're more excited to see smiling dog faces on your Facebook feed than human children, this list is for you. I apologize in advance if your wallet takes a hit, but take solace in the fact that mine took a hit first -- more than half the items on this list I picked up in advance! 

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1. Canine-Centric Tea Towels by Gingiber

I recently picked up this trio of towels on Etsy, and love seeing them hanging in my kitchen. They are ridiculously cheerful and the linework on each is so clean and pleasing to the eye. The set is priced at $45 and includes a screenprint rendition of a Poodle, Boston Terrier, and Dalmatian. (I bugged the shop owner for a Greyhound, but it doesn't sound like those have made the cut for production just yet.) If you're only in the market for a single tea towel, they sell them individually, too.

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2. Pet Portraits by Carter Kustera

My favorite portrait of my dog, Moxie, is a simple black silhouette pencil and paint piece by Carter Kustera. It features his striking side profile with the words "Moxie: The Mayor of Lafayette Park" below it. Kustera is well known for his silhouette paintings of people and pets, and his art has been featured in high-end stores like Jonathan Adler and Barney's Co-op. A 9-by-7-inch portrait runs $110. (I suggest signing up for his mailing list -- he sometimes does deals for subscribers, or will mention when he's doing a Groupon or other coupon.)

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3. Personalized Print Products from Minted

If you're like me and are more interested in having your dog represent your family than any two-legger, check out Minted's selection of personalized holiday cards. For the truly obsessed (and here I will raise my paw), they also have wrapping paper you can personalize with your pup's smiling visage. Prices vary.

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4. The Petalonia Tote from Crypton

If you're not familiar with Crypton, go check out their website immediately. They make incredible fabrics that feature in equally incredible dog beds, and the best part is that they're a cakewalk to clean. My dog isn't the messiest, but if you have the kind of pup who loves taking a dip in the ocean or pool, it's worth your while.

Anyway, Crypton partnered with artist William Wegman to create a collection, and my favorite piece of it is the tote you see above. It's spun from the same solid fabric as Crypton's pet beds and throws, and features durable leather handles. $120. 

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5. A Poopbuddy Gift Subscription

Poopbuddy has been one of my favorite finds this year. Indeed, I was recently crowing about them on an interview I did with Fern of The Great Dog Adventure. There are so many pet subscription boxes out there, and this one is on the lower end of the scale at $10 a month, which has made it my go-to for new pet parents I wish to give a "puppy warming" present to. Each shipment comes with an assortment of poop bag rolls in seasonally appropriate colors, as well as some fun surprises. 

When the gals at Poopbuddy learned I was including them in my annual roundup, they were so thrilled they want to give our readers 15 percent off their order. You can claim that with the promo code DOGSTER until Dec. 14. [Note: We are in no way affiliated with this product, I'm just an honest-to-dog fan.] 

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6. Holiday Treats from Bone-Bons

When these arrived in the mail at Dogster HQ, we initially thought they were for humans. It was almost disappointing to learn they were for dogs! Bone-bons crafts a variety of grain-free treats with pups in mind, and their holiday assortment is almost too cute to consume. My favorite of the lot are the edible ornaments. The holiday assortment is $16.99.

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7. The Dyson DC50 Pet Vacuum 

If you've been vacuuming after your pet as long as I have, you know you need a serious device to get the job done. I've been a longtime Dyson fan and have gone through several of their vacuums. My new favorite is the DC50, which features their "tangle-free turbine tool," and is a must for homes shared with creatures who shed. Ironically, I shed more than my dog does, and it's not unusual to see long dark strands mixed in with the short red ones he produces. Dysons are pricey (mine is priced at $499.99) but they last forever and are completely worth the investment.

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8. Tiny Dog Charms from Silhoupette

Silhoupette's charms are so dainty -- perfect for the dog lover on the downlow as opposed to people like me who have a license plate that reads DOGLADY. They come in sterling silver or gold-dipped sterling silver, and a variety of breeds are represented. If yours isn't, you can also inquire about a custom charm modeled after your pet. Prices vary.

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9. Nach Porcelain Rings

I fell in love with Nach while visiting a boutique called Brooklyn Fox in New York last week. The jewelry is created by the daughters of miniature-porcelain-animal-maker Christian Koch, and features a variety of dog breeds including the Boston you see above. Prices vary.

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10. Cloud 7's Dog Travel Bed

It's no secret that Cloud 7 is my favorite Berlin-based brand. Everything they produce is a piece of art, and made to last. Their travel dog beds, lined with sheep's wool, are my pick for dog families with many miles to travel this chilly holiday season. High on my wish list is their latest color option -- the pleasing rose you see above. It's priced at $145 on Petswag

Read more of our Dogster holiday gift guides here.

About Janine Kahn: Your typical annoying Aries overachiever with nine human siblings and a soft spot for sighthounds. Tattoo collector, tea drinker, unabashedly into marshmallows and cheesy musicals. Believes responsible breeders exist because her dog is from one. Top Bitch at Dogster and Catster. 

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Fri, 13 Dec 2013 02:00:00 -0800 /doggie-style/dog-editor-picks-holiday-edition
<![CDATA[A New Gallery of Dog-Shaming Photos Has More Hounds Confessing to the Unthinkable]]> http://www.dogster.com/the-scoop/dog-shaming-photos-new-gallery-confessions-unthinkable The Internet has allowed us to explore great new frontiers of shame and embarrassment. Whether it's drunken antics at the office party, a really bad haircut, or extremely misguided political views, it can all be preserved, discovered, and paraded before millions of people who don't even know you. Someone with excellent search skills on Google, for instance, could still uncover certain rants that I made on Usenet back in 1994.

This has real potential for pet owners, and its name is dog-shaming. The follies and foibles of your pets are now of global concern. For some excellent examples, check out this gallery of more than 35 dogs confessing their crimes (via signs written or printed by their owners) to the Internet. It's on a site whose domain name is "Sarcasm Because Beating the Hell Out of People Is Illegal" dot-com. From pooping in inappropriate places to disrupting religious gestures, it's all there. Here's a few of the high -- or low -- points, just to give you an idea. ("Visitors with no sense of humor are advised to turn back now," says the site, so we'll reiterate it.)

The first one puts a whole new spin on those heartbreakingly cute pups who use wheels to supplement or replace their legs. How many of us see one of those and think "instrument of vengeance" instead of "mobility?"

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"I like to run over the big dog with my cart."

This is poignant and adorable at the same time. That's one vet who'll be more careful with their terminal diagnoses. And of course, wearing the octopus on his head just is the perfect final touch.

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"The Vet said I wouldn't live to see 3. Today I turned 7, so I pooped on my Vet's lawn. P.S. I'm wearing an octopus on my head because I can. That's why."

Um, no. Not cute. Not adorable. Bad dog! Bad, BAD DOG! Ouch.

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"When I'm on Mommy and Daddy's bed, I bite at the lumps under the blankets. Sometimes it's a hand. Sometimes it's a testicle."

I don't know much about Buddhism, but somehow this sounds like something that Buddha might think is okay.

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"I sneak into the house of our Buddhist neighbors, and eat their food offerings to Buddha."

Some mornings, this job would be so, so much easier if I could just poop the articles right into the system. On the other hand, I've read more than a few bloggers who seemed to have a permanent case of the Alphabet Poops. It is not a pretty sight, especially since they don't seem to realize their condition.

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"I ate 13 keys off my Dad's Laptop. Now I have the Alphabet Poops!"

Actually, if you know any aspiring artists or art critics, this is a lot more common than you might think.

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Dog 1: "I ate a whole box of coloured chalk and pooped Rainbows." Dog 2: "I ate the rainbows."

Not being Catholic, I don't have any particular objection to this on religious grounds. After flipping through Butler's Lives of the Saints a couple of times, it seems like mutilation and torture just does that much more to confirm a saint's holiness. But as a longtime resident of San Francisco, I do object. Representatives of Emperor Norton's court shall be around promptly to levy the proper fines.

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"I decapitated the patron saint of animals. --Dexter"

That's only seven of 35 self-indictments from the family dogs and their collaborators (which is to say, cats, hedgehogs, and other critters). What crimes would your dogs confess to, if you just happened to be there with a camera and a very large sign?

More dog-shaming photos:

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Tue, 10 Dec 2013 13:41:59 -0800 /the-scoop/dog-shaming-photos-new-gallery-confessions-unthinkable
<![CDATA[10 Outrageously Expensive Gifts for the Pampered Pooch]]> http://www.dogster.com/lifestyle/holiday-gift-guide-expensive-pampered-pooch-luxury-dog Do you think your pet is pampered? Well, you ain't seen nothing! If you're looking for some outrageously over-the-top expensive bling this holiday season, here's our gift guide for dogs enjoying luxury and living in a high income bracket.

1. Amour de la Mer Dog Collar

This decadent dog collar features an 8.5-carat sapphire as its centerpiece. If that’s not enough bling for your dog, then surely the 600 handset diamonds will sparkle brilliantly to frame your dog’s visage. With a sturdy yet fashionable ostrich leather band, the Amour de la Mer fastens comfortably around your dog’s exquisite neck.

At only $899,000, this “jewel of the sea” is actually a bargain compared to the Amour, Amour collar from the same jewelry collection. That one retails for more than $3 million and has been called the “Bugatti of dog collars.”

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2. Mink Hoodie

When you’ve got a pooch who has everything, what do you do? Well, you’ll just have to get her something she already has. In this case, you can pick up a mink fur hoodie. Custom colors are available on request to ensure that the mink hoodie doesn’t clash with her current coat. While I personally wouldn’t wear a mink coat even if you paid me a million dollars, this hoodie costs a mere $1,259.

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3. Louis Vuitton Pet Carrier

Nothing says understated like traveling in style with a Louis Vuitton monogram canvas dog carrier. This designer bag features leather handles, a washable lining, and golden brass accents. You can also get it monogrammed with your pet’s initials. Such high fashion is a steal at only $2,780.

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4. Custom Pet Ornament

We know you love your dog, so why not immortalize her on a holiday ornament? And do you know what’s better (i.e., more expensive) than a cheap plastic frame with your dog’s photo? The answer is her custom portrait painted onto a Christmas ball ornament for only $625. Of course, you can’t decorate your 10-foot tree with just a single ornament. Order a set of 12 for only $7,500.

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5. Dog Treadmill

If your dog indulges in too many treats over the holidays, he can work off the extra calories with his own doggy treadmill. The Extra Large Pro Dog Tread is perfect for large dogs, but can also be used for smaller dogs too. Talk about getting value for your dollar! The treadmill has an LCD console and a whisper-quiet motor and comes with a training video and 30-day exercise program. With this treadmill in the home, your dog is sure to have buns of steel. The extra-large dog treadmill sells for only $1,399. Smaller sizes are also available.

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6. CUBE Leather Dog Bed

The CUBE dog bed will fit in beautifully with any modern minimalist decor. Place it right next to your Mies van der Rohe Barcelona chair so that you and your dog can luxuriate in classic modern design. The CUBE features quality leather on a solid wood frame. It’s available in a minimalist palette with four flattering neutrals to choose from. This stylish dog bed can be yours for only $1,585. Plus, it comes with free shipping!

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7. Gold and Diamond Paw Print Cufflinks

For the dog lover who has everything, we're betting he probably doesn't have gold and diamond paw print cufflinks. While they’re made with only 14K gold, the sparkling diamonds that complement the design have a total weight of one full carat. These puppies are available in two color combinations: yellow gold with brown enamel or white gold with black enamel. If your schedule is filled with holiday parties, you might want to get both. A single set will set you back $2,895.

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8. Motorcycle Trike Pet Carrier

Every dog loves riding in a car while sticking his head out the window. Give your pooch the ultimate driving experience with this motorcycle trike pet carrier. While it's designed specifically for trikes (three-wheel motorcycles), it can also be used with regular motorcycles, scooters and golf carts. Made from fiberglass, it’s both strong and lightweight and can also be custom painted to match your bike. At only $750, it’s a drop in the bucket compared to the price of pimping out your Harley-Davidson trike.

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9. Weekly Dog Massages

Life in the fast lane can be pretty stressful for a millionaire dog. That's why the perfect gift is a year’s worth of dog massages. A single session is only $85, but you can save by buying a 10-pack of sessions for only $700. That makes your dog's weekly massages total less than $4,000 for an entire year. Of course, if you want to include a few extras like cold stone massage, yoga ball exercise, or aromatherapy, the additional services will add up. Plan on spending $5K to keep your pet pampered and happy for the year.

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A senior pup gets a hands-on massage. Ahhhh.

10. Wagyu Kobe Strip Steaks for a Year

Forget the run-of-the-mill dog treats when you can indulge your pet with Wagyu American Kobe strip steaks. They’re aged for up to 28 days and are the perfect blend of robust flavor and tender goodness. It's only $359.95 for eight 10-ounce strip steaks. That's less than $3,000 a year to treat your pet to a Kobe-style steak each and every week.

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This is not the time to skimp on treats for your dog. Haute Cuisine by Shutterstock.

About Holly Tse: Holly Tse is a lifelong environmentalist, practicing Taoist, Dragon Spirit Guide and Chinese Reflexologist who can bend reality at will. She's totally into alternative healing, but her Achilles' heel is reality TV cooking shows. As a Canadian expat, she uses an American spell checker for her Dogster articles. Check her out at her Chinese reflexology website.

Read more Dogster Gift Guides:

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Thu, 05 Dec 2013 02:00:00 -0800 /lifestyle/holiday-gift-guide-expensive-pampered-pooch-luxury-dog
<![CDATA[10 Holiday Gifts for the New Dog Parent]]> http://www.dogster.com/doggie-style/holiday-gift-guide-adopt-a-dog-new-parent My first Christmas with Ace was very special, because Christmas is special to my family. Ace was part of the festivities and got to meet her many new human relatives. She was included in Santa Claus’s gift giving, and her new family couldn’t help but treat her, too.

If you have new pet parents on your shopping list this Christmas, it might be hard to choose a gift –- you’d have to think waaay back to when you were a new dog mama or papa. Fortunately for you, I’ve compiled a list of perfect gifts that new dog parents might not even realize they need!

1. Orbee-Tuff Bulb and Lil’ Bulb by Planet Dog ($8.45 to $10.95)

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Puppies love to chew, and chewing is a great way for adult dogs to relieve stress and clean their teeth. Planet Dog makes a whole line of nontoxic chew toys, many of which are made in the U.S.A. (including the Bulb).

To encourage chewing, add a tasty treat inside the Bulb (Ace recommends natural peanut butter).

2. Eco Nap Dog Mat by West Paw Design ($29.99 to $99.99)

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Every dog needs a place to snooze, especially in a new home. These soft, padded mats come in a rainbow of colors. New pet parents will be happy that these beds are made in the U.S.A. of recycled materials, and they’ll be even happier that you can throw the whole bed in the washing machine.

3. Smarter Toys IQ Treat Ball by OurPet’s ($7.99 to $11.99)

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Treat-dispensing toys get two jobs done at once: They feed a dog while exercising it (instead of treats, try filling the ball with part of the dog’s kibble meal). This toy has an adjustable insert that allows a new dog parent to gradually increase the challenge of the game, so it keeps holding the dog’s attention. 

4. Aloe Vera Grooming Product Special by Organic Oscar ($29.99)

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This grooming kit includes shampoo, conditioner, and pet wipes to help a new dog parent keep a new dog clean through all his misadventures. Organic Oscar offers a range of grooming products for various fur and skin needs, but what makes them special is that their products are mostly organic and made in the U.S.A.

5. Hide-A-Squirrel by Kyjen ($12.99 to $29.99)

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The bee version of this toy was one of Ace’s favorites when we brought her home as a puppy. This engaging puzzle toy includes a stuffed tree with three squeaky squirrels to hide inside. New dog parents will be relieved to take a break while their dog figures out how to get to the squirrels.

6. Getting Started: Clicker Training for Dogs by Karen Pryor ($16.95)

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Show off your infinite dog wisdom to your new dog parent friends –- introduce them to easy and awesomely effective clicker training. This seminal manual includes step-by-step instructions for basic commands and useful behaviors like walking on a loose leash. Pair it with the i-Click Clicker ($8.95 for a five-pack) –- Ace and I use this model because it’s easy to press and makes a clear yet quiet click.

7. Pawprints Ornament by Pearhead ($14.95)

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What a great way to remember a new dog’s first Christmas! This kit includes all the materials a new pet parent will need to create a unique tree ornament from the impression of the dog’s paw. I reviewed Pearhead’s Pawprint Frame and found it easy to use for even artistically limited dog mamas like myself.

8. Stuffed Toys by Fluff & Tuff ($8 to $26.95)

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New dog parents don’t yet know the dark secret about stuffed toys -– most of them last about five minutes if you’re lucky. Introduce them to Fluff & Tuff’s line of magically durable stuffed toys in a variety of unique shapes and sizes. Since I wrote a review of these toys in August, Ace has played almost daily with Rocket the Raccoon ($19.99), and though it’s missing some fur it is still whole and squeaking.

9. Crate Covers by Molly Mutt ($40 to $80)

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Many new dog parents use a crate for potty training and to help the dog get acclimated to a new home comfortably. Unfortunately, most crates are unattractive metal cages. Your new dog parent friend will be delighted by these covers, which come in a variety of sizes and modern prints.

10. The Organic Dog Biscuit Cookbook Kit by Bubba Rose Biscuit Company ($14.95)

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For the new dog parent who already has everything, this unique kit is sure to please. It includes three cookie cutters and 25 of Bubba Rose’s favorite recipes, so new dogs can be included in holiday baking and cookie batter tasting.

Dogster readers, will you be shopping for a new dog parent this year? Add to this list with your own ideas in the comments section.

Top image: Basenji with Christmas Tree Decorations by Shutterstock.com

About Ace's Mama: This East Coast transplant enjoys the bounty of San Francisco, including its micro-climates, farmers' markets, and secret stairway walks. When she's not walking with, talking about, or kissing the face of her Boston Terrier, Ace, she blogs about Ace's adventures. Product reviews writer and guinea pig at Dogster.

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Wed, 04 Dec 2013 04:00:00 -0800 /doggie-style/holiday-gift-guide-adopt-a-dog-new-parent
<![CDATA[Our 15 Favorite Dog Calendars for 2014]]> http://www.dogster.com/lifestyle/2014-dog-calendar-photos-pictures-favorite Even though most of us keep track of appointments and special events electronically these days, a paper calendar still hangs somewhere in the house. Some families use them as a central organizer everyone can quickly check, while others simply like the subject matter on display each month.

Dogs are the focus of these calendars for 2014. Give one to a fellow dog lover -- or yourself! -- this holiday season.

1. Yoga Puppies

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Downward-facing dog, indeed. And, yes, these pups had a little digital help getting into position.

2. French Bulldog Calendar

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Fans of Frenchies will love this beautifully illustrated calendar available from the Nice Mice for You Etsy shop.

3. Underwater Dogs

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We can't get enough of Seth Casteel's underwater photography of diving dogs, whether in book or calendar form. 

4. Doxie Love

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For the Doxie lover on your holiday shopping list, this handmade desk calendar from the PickleDogDesign Etsy shop comes with its own display case. 

5. Menswear Dog

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Bodhi, the star of the popular Menswear Dog blog, gets his own calendar this year, complete with the fashion tips for which he has become famous.

6. Dogs & Furniture Classics

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Another Etsy find, this one features Dale Coykendall's charming illustrations of dogs making themselves comfy on classic pieces of furniture -- perfect for a pet parent who also has an eye for interior design.

7. Little Darling's Pinups for Pit Bulls

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The North Carolina nonprofit group provides education about Pit Bulls and rallies against breed-specific legislation. Support its efforts with the purchase of this gorgeous calendar featuring photo illustrations by Celeste Guiliano.

8. Dogs

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This calendar by Lydia & Pugs features beautiful watercolors of different breeds in seasonal outfits. The studio also has a whimsical pug calendar, of course, for 2014.

9. Tiny Dog

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Photographer Teresa Berg creates special pet portraits, including those of adoptable dogs looking for a forever home in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. Proceeds from this calendar benefit the Collin County Humane Society.

10. Hipster Dogs

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For the hipster on your holiday shopping list, this calendar features various breeds sporting beanies, glasses, and various neckwear. Not to worry, though, illustrator Gus and Abby skipped the skinny jeans.

11. Boo

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A roundup of calendar offerings would not be complete without Boo the Pomeranian on the list. Give a year's worth of the adorable pup.

12. S.N.O.R.T.

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This Northeast rescue group, the name of which stands for "short noses only rescue team," pulls mostly French Bulldogs, Boston Terriers, Pugs and English Bulldogs from shelters and also accepts owner surrenders. Help them rehome these snorty dogs by buying its annual calendar featuring success stories.

13. Pawparazzi

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Photographer Javier Retales Botijero has fun with his own French Bulldog, Chula, as well as other playful pups in this fun calendar. 

14. Dog Shaming

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DogShaming.com put more than 40 of its favorite entries into calendar form. Perhaps hanging this one in your home will inspire your pups to be on their best behavior.

15. For the Love of Pit Bulls

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Dog Park Publishing sells Pit Bull-centric items and donates a portion of its profits to various Pit Bull rescue groups. This calendar features rescued dogs enjoying their new lives.

Like anything you see, readers? Please share your favorites in the comments -- as well as any other dog calendars you've discovered while shopping this holiday season!

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Wed, 04 Dec 2013 02:00:00 -0800 /lifestyle/2014-dog-calendar-photos-pictures-favorite
<![CDATA[10 Gifts for Dog Lovers Who Also Love the Outdoors]]> http://www.dogster.com/the-scoop/holiday-gift-guide-dogs-dog-lovers-outdoors There's nothing like the great outdoors: New sights to see, new smells to smell, new things to pee on, and interesting places to poop. You don't need to leave your pup at home when you go on your outdoor adventure, but having the right gear is essential. Even though the backpacker, hiker or boater in your life probably has the basics for their canine companions, these gifts can enhance their experience, lessen their worry and make their journeys even more pleasant and fun than they already are.

1. World's Best Biodegradable Poop Bag Starter Kit

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Some bags, such as these from Earth Rated, are biodegradable and scented, so there's no worry about stink when you haul out your dog's poop.

Every outdoors-person knows the adage "leave nothing but footprints, take nothing but memories." While it's fine to bury your own leavings, dog poop can wreak havoc on the ecosystem and can give other dog owners pause as they hike the same trails as you -- after all, you can never be sure if the dog who pooped in that spot last was vaccinated or not. These biodegradable poop bags come in a handy little holder and decompose in as few as 24 months -- a much shorter time than other poop bags. They're also lavender scented, so you don't have to cringe at the thought of hauling your dog's scat out of the great outdoors with you, no matter how long your hike may be.

2. Ruffwear Beacon Clip on Safety Light

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It reflects light, and it blinks for high visibility in low light or darkness.

Even if you don't plan to be out after dark, nighttime can sneak up on you when you're enjoying time in your favorite nature spot. This clip-on beacon acts as a reflector and also has a blinking light so that you can easily locate your dog after nightfall. It also alerts others to your dog's presence -- a courtesy if you're hiking popular trails.

3. Field Guide to Dog First Aid

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Be prepared. Your dog will thank you.

Accidents happen and we rarely think about them until we have to. Do you know what to do if your dog chokes on a branch, twists his ankle on the trail or swallows too much water while swimming? This handy field guide to canine first aid teaches you the basics of emergency dog care and more, affording you precious knowledge to patch up your pet until you can reach a vet in the event of an emergency. Read it before you hit the trails and keep it in your first aid kit just in case -- this book is a must for every outdoor enthusiast with a beloved furry friend.

4. Super Sqwuggie Fire Hose Dog Fetch Toy

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It squeaks, it floats, it's lightweight yet durable enough for even the most intrepid chewers. When you're away from home, you and Fido can unwind with these toys made from pre-consumer firehose material. They'll stand up to any weather, and if your pooch isn't too tired out from a day of outdoor activities, he'll be glad for the distraction as you set up camp.

5. Rad Dog Pocket Bowl 

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Two legs or four, we all have to eat and drink. These waterproof food and water bowls fold up smaller than your palm and flat enough to fit in your pocket. The heavy duty nylon bowls weigh less than one ounce and hold up to one pound of food or 16 ounces of water. They're inexpensive enough to make a great stocking stuffer -- get one for food and one for water, or buy a whole handful to keep sprinkled throughout your home, car, and backpack.

6. The Tick Key 

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Unless you're a lucky outdoors-person, your dog probably attracts ticks in the summer like a lightbulb attracts moths. Ticks are vectors for disease and are pretty uncomfortable to have on you -- if your dog could talk, she'd surely agree. Save yourself the trouble of fumbling with fingernails or tweezers by getting this handy little gadget to remove all sizes of ticks -- it attaches to your key ring, so you'll never be without it. Simply scrape it across your dog's skin to remove the tick, head and all. No mess, no muss, no fuss and most of all, no ticks!

7. Singing Dog Designs Hydropack I

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Why should you carry all your dog's outdoor gear?

Has the outdoors-person in your life been extra nice this year? Splurge and get them this nifty backpack so their dog can carry her own weight on hikes. The Singing Dog Hydropack I is made of lightweight nylon webbing and has pockets deep enough to carry water bottles (for both human and canine hydration), as well as any extra necessities like poop bags, food bowls and toys. 

8. Musher's Secret

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Sore feet and sore paws can ruin a hike before it even starts. Musher's secret is a protective salve that forms a semi-permeable coating that prevents irritation and cracking for sensitive paws. Protecting against salt, sand, hot asphalt and more, it's non-toxic, non-allergenic and non-staining, and isn't just useful for paws. It also provides relief for fly bites, sores and anything else that might bother your pooch in the great outdoors. Get two tins, because you may end up using it yourself!

9. Mountainsmith K9 Pet Bed

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Unless you're a super-light hiker or prefer to really rough it, chances are you carry a pad to put under your sleeping bag. Why not afford your best friend the same courtesy? This pet bed folds up into its very own stuff sack that you can attach to your backpack and will give your dog a good night's sleep on even the rockiest, roughest terrain.

10. Ruffwear K-9 Float Coat

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Even the best swimmers benefit from a life jacket.

Even if your dog can swim well and loves the water, a life jacket is a must-have item for avid boaters. Even the most experienced swimmer can get caught up in a rough current or pulled off course by attractive distractions (is that a duck?). This life jacket is made to keep your dog afloat but allow freedom of movement. There are minimal straps or buckles for a decreased chance of snagging or catching debris or hazards.

Read more Dogster Gift Guides:

About Caitlin Seida: Owned by three cats and two dogs, she never met an animal she didn't like. A Jill-of-All-Trades, she splits her workday as a writer, humane society advocate and on-call vet tech. What little free time she has goes into pinup modeling, advocating for self-acceptance, knitting and trying to maintain her haunted house (really!).

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Tue, 03 Dec 2013 08:00:00 -0800 /the-scoop/holiday-gift-guide-dogs-dog-lovers-outdoors
<![CDATA[10 Holiday Gifts for Dogs and Dog Lovers We Found on Etsy]]> http://www.dogster.com/lifestyle/holiday-gift-guide-10-etsy-gifts-dogs-dog-lovers The year has flown by, Chanukkah is at hand, and Christmas will be at our door in a month! This means holiday shopping is in crunch time and what are you going to get for the dog lover on your list, AND what are you telling everyone is on your wish list? If you’re tired of the usual trip to the mall and want something a little more personal that supports an independent artist, try turning to Etsy the online marketplace. To help with your holiday shopping I’ve scoured Etsy to find my top 10 picks for holiday gifts this year that won't cost a ton.

1. Pinups with Dogs Vinyl Stickers

These adorable stickers come in a wide array of breeds and dog shapes. DangerJones’ stickers are reasonably priced and would make a great addition to any stocking or even to tuck into a holiday card for a special dog-loving friend. I’m imagining these stickers on cars, but also water bottles and other dog training gear.

2. Personalized Fingerless Gloves with Pockets

BZfingers makes fingerless gloves featuring paw prints or several different breeds (they will even make custom ones for you!) that are warm, stylish, and even have little pockets that can be filled with treats so you have them at fingertip for your chilly winter walks.

3. Handmade Dog Pendent with Heart

Available in an array of breeds these beautiful handmade necklaces from JustPlainSimple are a great way to showcase the love shared between dog and guardian. Made of sterling silver, this necklace is sure to draw attention at the dog park and be cherished by whoever receives it.

4. Whimsical Boston Terrier Art

I don’t have a Boston but Brian Rubenacker’s art is so much fun, and so whimsical that I would hang just about every one of these prints in my house. From doggie Darth Vader to seasonal designs these fun and reasonably priced pieces are ideal gifts for any dog lover looking to add a little fun to their decor.

5. Don’t Judge My Pit Bull

Shopping for a Pit Bull lover? Don’t pass up this tote bag from Pet Studio Art that tells the world how it is. This recycled cotton bag is ideal as a casual purse to carry to the dog park, or training class or makes a bold statement and conversation starter day-to-day.

6. Custom Keychain

Want something really personalized? PoochTags will take a photo of your dog and turn it into a keychain made from rivets, copper, aluminum, brass, and bronze. Reasonably priced, these would make fantastic stocking stuffers, or great thoughtful and unique gifts for your favorite trainer or dog walker.

7. Rings from BadChihuahuaDesign

Available in a few different breeds this acrylic laser cut ring set from BadChihuahuaDesign features a dog, a bone, and a doghouse. Fun and quirky, these stacking rings can be worn separately or together. Aleksandra Radovac of BadChihuahuaDesign offers Dogster readers a 15 percent discount. She says readers should enter the coupon code THANKS15OFF when making a purchase.

8. Leather Skull Crystal Dog Collar

For the lucky dog on your list how about a new leather collar? The handcrafted collars of DogGoneNice have something to fit every pup’s taste. Featuring four color choices and dozens of embellishment combinations including crystals and nameplates, you can really come up with a collar (almost) as unique as your dog.

9. Nail Decals

These are super cute and very inexpensive. The nail decals from iMagicDesigns are available as Beagles, German Shepherds, Dachshunds, or Dobermans and would make a fun little extra to slip into a holiday card, or to wear to a dog-friendly holiday party.

10. Upcycled Dog Beds and Feeders

Looking for a gift with vintage flair? Atomic Attic has you covered with pet beds upcycled from vintage suitcases, televisions, and computer monitors. The seller also upcycles train cases into retro dog feeders. Ideal for travel, or for adding some vintage fun in your kitchen.

About the author: Sassafras Lowrey is a dog-obsessed author based in Brooklyn. She is the winner of the 2013 Berzon Emerging Writer Award from the Lambda Literary Foundation, and the editor of two anthologies and one novel. Sassafras is a Certified Trick Dog Instructor, and she assists with dog agility classes. She lives with her partner, two dogs of dramatically different sizes, and two bossy cats. She is always on the lookout for adventures with her canine pack. Learn more at her website.

Read more Dogster Gift Guides:

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Tue, 26 Nov 2013 06:00:00 -0800 /lifestyle/holiday-gift-guide-10-etsy-gifts-dogs-dog-lovers
<![CDATA[And Now, the Story Behind the Popular "Street Style Dogs" Blog]]> http://www.dogster.com/lifestyle/street-style-dogs-photos-fashion-clothes We're sisters and best friends who have always shared a passion for dogs and fashion. We grew up with dogs: Smokey the black Labrador and Lucky the Collie. They were our best friends and we loved them so much, but they unfortunately passed away while we were in college. Neither of us has dogs right now because we live in tiny apartments: Scarlett in Manhattan, and Lee Anne in Austin. We just don't think it would be fair to the dogs to keep them in such small space while we work most of the day.

One day we were Skypeing and looking at street style blogs together online. We got to talking about dogs, and a light bulb went off: why not make a fashion blog for dogs? We came up with a cute and simple name -- Street Style Dogs -- and got to work right away. 

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We can't have dogs at the moment, so we channel our passion into our blog.

Our stepdad, Bruce, is a web developer, so we asked him to create our website for us. The website launched with a few photos from other websites of stylish dogs. This lasted only a few days before people from all over the world began sending us photos of their stylish pups. 

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Romeo the Boston is incredibly stylin' in spectacles.

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Bella the Beagle is rocking her Burberry jumpsuit.

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Winston the Yorkie is rocking his fall outfit.

We've been so excited to get all of the adorable and sometimes hilarious photos. As we started posting more and more photos, a little community built up around our site. People started liking and sharing our photos. They were laughing and smiling because of the photos we were uploading. We knew we were on to something wonderful!

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We totally love this Frenchie's spiked collar and pink hoodie.

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Bella the Toy Poodle matched her hair accessory to her shoes.

We have added a few fun features to our site, like monthly contests sponsored by a dog clothing company who supplies prizes for the pup who gets the most votes. We have had a Football Furbaby Contest, a Halloween Costume Contest, a Labor Day Photo Contest, and recently ended the Sweater Weather Contest. 

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Billy Boy Newman is a Maltese skater boi.

We also added our Style Crush of the Week, which is where we feature the story of a lucky dog on our website for one week. So far we have had Manny, the famous Frenchie, and Surf Dog Ricochet, the therapy dog who surfs with special needs children.

We truly feel like dogs are part of the family, and that style isn’t just for humans. There are a lot of diva pups out there, and we can’t wait to meet all of you and share your style with the world. After all, every dog deserves a day of fame. We now feel so much joy just receiving adorable dog photos every day. Until we both can move to bigger apartments and have our own dogs, we will enjoy the world's diva pups that are sent to our site.

And of course we'd love to see photos of your dogs -- it's really easy to submit them through our site. Please follow us on Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, and Twitter. 

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Mon, 18 Nov 2013 06:00:00 -0800 /lifestyle/street-style-dogs-photos-fashion-clothes
<![CDATA[Dogster Obsessions: Meet Bravery, A Portland-Based Purveyor of Dog Adventure Gear]]> http://www.dogster.com/doggie-style/dog-outdoor-gear-products-bravery Imagine you could create the perfect dog product. You could dream up a design that would eliminate all the little problems that are obvious with the existing products. You could source the best materials in colors you love. Your perfect dog product would be easy to use, durable, attractive, and totally innovative. In this perfect world, other like-minded dog owners would come together to help you realize this dream by chipping in a little cash and receiving the first production of the fruits of your labor.

Want to help make this dream a reality for two dog-loving, adventure-seeking entrepreneurs in Portland? Introducing Bravery, the brainchild of Summer and Patrick, who are raising money to start their company through a Kickstarter campaign. They love sharing the out-of-doors with their active dogs, but they don’t love the existing options for active dog gear.

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For those of you who aren’t familiar with Kickstarter, it allows regular people to raise money to fund creative projects. Bravery has until Sunday, November 10 to raise its goal of $45,000, and although it has already raised over $10,000, if it doesn’t reach its goal, the company receives none of the money. Depending upon how much you pledge to its fund, you are essentially pre-ordering one of its dog adventure products.

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Bravery’s feature product is a completely reimagined dog backpack called the PCT Adventure Pack. It buckles on the top for the human’s convenience, and it uses elasticized straps for a custom, snug, yet comfortable fit that moves with your active dog.

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The base of the pack is a harness you can use alone by easily removing the packs. You can attach different items to the base harness, like lights or a poop bag holder, depending upon your day’s activities. The PCT Adventure Pack comes in three sizes for dogs with chest girths between 15-38 inches, with plans to introduce additional sizes in the future.

 

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Bravery also has redesigned the standard collar and leash to address the pitfalls of typical products. Both are made of elastic material with a special claw fastener. Instead of a traditional buckle, the collar closes by simply slipping the fastener into one of the loops for a custom, comfortable fit.

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The leash is even more incredible: You can adjust the length of the leash easily in the same manner as the collar, and you can even loop it around your waist for hands-free walking. The loops along the length of the leash are perfect for fastening lights, bag holders, keys, or any small objects you like to keep close during walks.

 

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The PCT Adventure Pack, collar, and leash come in a stylish color palette of blacks and grays with bright accent colors of your choice. They are reminiscent of the look of quality outdoor gear for humans -- very refreshing.

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Other nifty Bravery offerings include a quartet of colorful bandanas with outdoor scenes, perfect to adorn you or your dog. Bravery also created an Adventure Log for taking notes on the places you’ve sniffed or plan to sniff in your travels.

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If you needed one more reason to consider contributing to Bravery’s Kickstarter campaign, the first 10 Dogster readers to contribute to the campaign will receive a 10 percent refund on the amount of their contribution. Here’s how: After you make your contribution, click on the “contact me” link on Bravery’s Kickstarter page to tell Summer and Patrick that Dogster sent you. You’ll get your rebate when your reward ships in the spring of 2014, just in time to fill your new PCT Adventure Pack with the makings of a great day outdoors with your dog.

Dogster readers, have I piqued your curiosity and adventurous spirit? What do you think of Bravery’s brave new dog products? What are some of your own favorite products for active dogs? Let us know in the comments.

About Ace's Mama: This East Coast transplant enjoys the bounty of San Francisco, including its microclimates, farmer's'markets, and secret stairway walks. When she's not walking with, talking about, or kissing the face of her Boston Terrier, Ace, she blogs about Ace's adventures. Product reviews writer and guinea pig at Dogster.

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Thu, 31 Oct 2013 08:00:00 -0700 /doggie-style/dog-outdoor-gear-products-bravery
<![CDATA[Editor's Picks: Four Halloween Favorites for Dogs ]]> http://www.dogster.com/doggie-style/editors-picks-halloween-dog-favorites
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Halloween is my favorite commercial holiday. You don't see me throwing a fit when Walgreens stocks up on orange-and-black treats in early September; it just gets me excited for the awesome weather that accompanies the -ber months here in San Francisco. And even though much fun has been made about pumpkin-flavored everything (indeed, even Zukes sent me pumpkin dog treats the other day), I'm a sucker for all of it.

On most years, my team at Dogster HQ can count on me to put up the vintage Halloween banner I bought on Etsy some Halloweens back, and fill a plastic jack-o-lantern with KitKat bars. But it hasn't exactly been a typical year from where I'm sitting, much to the relief of every waistline with proximity to my desk.

Anyway, to help get me in the spirit, I've rounded up my favorite Halloween-centric items for pups and their people. And I reached out to some of my favorite retailers to see if they would give Dogster readers a special discount on their Halloween-themed wares. 

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1. Poopbuddy's October Delivery

When people ask me what my go-to gift is for people with new pups, I often recommend one of several dog gift subscriptions out there. Lately, my favorite has been PoopBuddy, a monthly poop bag subscription, which delivers seriously cute baggies and poop-related accessories to your door. They kill it with the seasonal themes, and this month was spot-on with poop bags in Halloween colors. And this month's accessory, a poop bag holder with a flashlight attachment, is both smart and completely in the trick-or-treating spirit. 

Exclusive Discount: PoopBuddy subscriptions start at $8 a month, but with the coupon code DOGSTER (in all caps), you can get the first month for $1 (including shipping and handling). Definitely get in on the October haul if you can!

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2. West Paw Design's Halloween Dog Toys

It's long been known that West Paw is one of my favorite small brands. My own dog, Mr. Moxie, has their Eco Drop bed from three years back, and it's still his favorite thing in the world. West Paw also makes seriously sturdy dog toys, and the ones they release around Halloween are ridiculously adorable. Pictured above is another one of Moxie's loves, their Halloween edition of classic West Paw toy, Boogie. It contains two squeakers and is tough enough for many a game of tug.

Discount Alert: According to the West Paw newsletter, you can get 10% off sitewide through Oct. 30 with the code SPOOKY10.

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3. P.L.A.Y. SF's Pumpkin Toy and Garden Set

P.L.A.Y. is another longtime Dogster favorite. Last year, they sent Mox their garden set, and most of it is intact today by some miracle (like West Paw, these guys churn out some sturdy toys and beds). Their toys contain the all-important squeaker, alongside eco-friendly PlanetFill filler, which is spun from recycled plastic bottles.

Exclusive Discount: Through November 1, get 10% off the P.L.A.Y. pumpkin plush toy with the code DOGSTERPUMPKIN, and 10% off the garden fresh plush toy set with DOGSTERGARDEN.

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4. The All-Weather Jacket from Wildebeest

No coupon code for this one, alas, but how smart would your dog look in the All-Weather Jacket from Wildebeest? This one, in black, orange, and gray, would be my pick for pet parents who aren't into putting their pet in costumes but still want to hint at Halloween. These run from XS to XL and $40-$48.

About the Author: Janine is your typical annoying Aries overachiever with nine human siblings and a soft spot for sighthounds. She is a tattoo collector, tea drinker, and unabashedly into marshmallows and cheesy musicals. Janine believes responsible breeders exist -- her dog is from one. She runs the show as editor-in-chief of Dogster and Catster

More stories by Janine:

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Fri, 25 Oct 2013 12:15:00 -0700 /doggie-style/editors-picks-halloween-dog-favorites