It’s happened: I’ve become a dog person. Back in September of 2019 I welcomes an Egyptian Baladi foster pup into my home. By Thanksgiving weekend, I made it official that she was never leaving. Meet my new pup, Gamila.
I realize it’s probably not the coolest lifestyle magazine editor thing to do, write an article entirely dedicated to the dog parent life. But as I delved deeper into the insanity of pet parenthood, I’ve learned that there are many of us out there: people who are seemingly cool, with interesting jobs and lives, who, deep down, are just giant suckers for their pets, and would do anything to give them the best life possible. Yes, I’m addicted to animal rescue, and my menagerie of pets proves it. So I’m writing this piece for the other cool pet parents out there, who are looking for ways to make the dog life more lifestyle, for themselves and their pets.
Here are the cool start ups and necessary accessories to make you and your dogs life cooler, simpler, more comfortable all at the same time. And you’re supporting cool local businesses and animal rescue efforts while you’re at it.
Doggy food delivery
Lesson #1 of Pet ownership: you’ve got to feed them, and regularly. If this is a surprise or an annoyance to you, kindly get yourself a cactus called Spike. Otherwise, make this aspect of embracing your dog parent life super simple, affordable and convenient with Kibble. Based right here in Toronto, Kibble is a pet food subscription service. You simply create a profile for your pet, select one of the many great quality brands they offer, in a wide range of prices, and your pet’s food will be delivered right to your door on a regular basis for FREE. The app will suggest a replenishment schedule based on your dog’s weight but you can also set this yourself to whatever time frame works for you. And for my fellow cat people (yes, you can be both) Kibble offers a variety of cat foods as well using the exact same system. It’s the set it and forget it app to keep help you follow Lesson #1 and be the best pet parent you can be. Click here to give Kibble a try and save some money while you’re at it.
A cooler than average crate
Downtown Toronto living usually means smaller spaces, and making maximum use of the space we have. If you’re planning on crate training your new pup like I did, consider getting a crate that isn’t so crate like. This way your pup has a comfortable place to call her own, and your home doesn’t scream dog parent to every one who walks in. I bought a fancy dog prison (basically a wood looking cabinet with silver bars) on thebay.com but if I had the available budget, I would have splurged on a custom crate like one of these from Canadian custom crate makers Lucky Kennel.
A chic pet Bed
Need your pet’s bed to look like it belongs in your overpriced, undersized but impeccably decorated Toronto apartment? Look no further than Casper’s new line of pet beds. That’s right, the OG mattress in a box makers have taken their human mattress knowledge and applied it to create a comfortable and stylish bed for our furry companions. These beds come in a variety of sizes, and a few colors to integrate with any décor scheme. And they’re specially designed with our pets in mind, creating a comfortable lounging experience that’s ergonomically safe and correct for their furry little bodies.
Stylish Leash and Collar
Your dog’s leash and collar are absolutely essential items to your new dog life. They will be used daily, so they may as well be stylish. And hey, if said stylish essentials can also support a local start up that also supports animal rescue efforts, then you and your dog are winning. Check out Gamila in her leash and collar from Team Plover.
Team Plover is Toronto company making stylish, safe and sturdy leashes and collars. Company founder Christian Marcello volunteered as a rescue animal transporter, saving animals from high kill shelters in Quebec and driving them to rescue organizations in Toronto. Having seen firsthand the vital importance of animal rescue, and the transportation work required, Christian integrated support for these efforts right into his business model. For every Team Plover dog collar or leash sold, they commit to transporting one pet in need, on one leg of their freedom ride towards a better life. And with every purchase, buyers receive a short video showing the pet they helped to rescue. Check out their leashes and collars here, or consider purchasing a gift certificate to support this start up.
A Great Harness for safety and style
If your pup is an anxious walker like mine, you may need to add a harness to your accessory collection. It used to be that our walks were a huge sour of anxiety for both me and the dog, especially around noisy traffic and on busy streets. My dog would pull, and attempt to bolt, making walks anxiety inducing for us both. Then we tried out the Easy Walk harness from PetSafe. I never thought a harness could make such a difference but it HAS. It’s like a trainer came in and taught her to walk properly while I wasn’t looking, truly. If you have a strong puller of a dog, I highly recommend trying this harness out.
Bonus – Doggy Daycare on demand
Less of a thing and more of a necessary service, whether you’re a pup parent with a busy schedule, or in need of someone to watch your dog for a few hours or days depending on what you have going on, a dog daycare/boarding facility is a great resource. Choosing the right daycare can be a challenge, as there are tons out there so I recommend doing your research and visiting locations with your pup to pick the one that’s right for you. Dogtopia, the well-known American chain of dog daycare, grooming and boarding facilities, has made its way up to Canada and are slowly expanding to most of the major markets across the country. Toronto has a couple of locations, including Bloor West Village. I recently took my pup there for a visit and we loved how welcoming, diligent and mindful the staff were, as well as how beautiful the facility was. They have multiple rooms for dog to play, and stringent practices in place to insure the health and safety of every pet that walks through the doors, and every staff member is a dog lover through and through so you know they’re giving your pup the best possible care.
I’m sure I’ll write more about my dog, my cats and all the animals in my life, but until I do, feel free to share your pet ownership hacks with us on twitter @weraddicted!