You deserve nothing but the finest for your furry friend. Deck out your dogs in handmade threads, treat them to locally sourced eats and buy them some artisan jewelry — yes, artisanal dog jewelry. These are a few makers around town ready to help you pamper your pooch.
These aren't your generic straight-from-the-bag treats. Think of Sunny's Tasty Treats (440-320-3945, sunnystastytreats.com) as the Willy Wonka of pet confections, and Lori Riegel-Kapalin's cookie recipes as the golden tickets.
Bacon and peanut butter treats are the best sellers, but a mint and parsley that combats puppy breath is close behind. The crispy and crunchy treats are preservative free and use no corn, wheat or soy.
For a cooler treat, Riegel-Kapalin mashes fruit, Greek yogurt and a little vanilla or honey into little paw trays. "When it's hot out, it's the perfect small bite," she says.
If you're in the doghouse for forgetting your adopt-iversary, it's not too late to pick up a cake. We recommend "The Hound Dog," an Elvis-inspired variety with peanut butter, fruit and bananas.
A friend of man's best friend is a friend at this locally sourced canine bistro. Order up one of the Grateful Dog Bakery's (31966 Center Ridge Rd., 440-353-1990, gratefuldogbakery.com) personal pan pizzas for pups made with tomato paste, Parmesan cheese, oregano and gluten-free flour, to go.
Have a picky dog? Top off their meal with bone broth. Not only does it make food more palatable, it's great for their joints, skin and coats.
Of course, you can finish it all with treats that come in shapes for all seasons. "There's no reason your dog shouldn't be able to celebrate the holidays too," says co-owner Jennifer Baker.
On the road
This spring, the K-9 Cafe Dog Treat Food Truck (facebook.com/k9cafetruck) hits the streets. Owner Michelle Spehar knew she wanted to make healthy treats, but the challenge was getting them out to pet owners. "Then it dawned on me to combine the food truck craze and all the dog events around town," she says.
Expect street food trends turned into doggy small plates, like chicken tacos, sushi and Italian meatballs. She'll also sell the traditional all-natural and organic biscuits in fun flavors like pizza and Blue Hawaiian. Expect them to pack a punch of superfoods with coconut oil, flax and chia on the ingredient list.
Your dog is ready to chow down, but you're short on silver platters. Brick Ceramic and Design Studio (420 East 161st St., 216-744-4689, brickceramics.com) creates custom dog bowls with their name and favorite color scheme.
"We have various types of clay and glazes so, depending on what the customer is interested in, we can choose either earthenware with bright colors or stoneware for earthier colors," says owner Valerie Grossman.
Bandanas, ties and bow-ties
Dapper dogs clean up nice in PawKids (facebook.com/PawKidsbyTatica) ties and bow-ties. For the more casual pup, bandanas come in superheroes prints like Star Wars and whimsical prints like owls and cupcakes.
"People really know their dogs," says owner Elizabeth Brandt. "They always have to buy to match their personality."
The most popular designs are characters like Super Dog and Batman and sport prints. Locals can pick up her products this summer at Cleveland Bazaar's Retail Lab at Legacy Village. Made from 100-percent cotton, they're breathable and cool for even the hottest dog days of summer.
Bundle up your pup in a double-thick, reversible coat from Fargo Fleece (fargofleece.com). "Cleveland's a cold-weather climate and dogs can use the extra layers," says owner Jennifer August.
She uses no-pill fleece, which washes and wears much better. August's vet oversees the patterns to ensure safety and comfort. They're designed to be adjustable in length and girth around the ribcage and come in prints like zebra, plaid and argyle.
She also makes leashes and splitters using Atwood Paracord and more boutique-style microcord beaded show leads.
"I get to spend my workday surrounded by a lot of color and a lot of puppies; I don't think life gets much better than that," she says.
The team behind Chagrin Valley Soap and Salve (440-248-7627, chagrinvalleysoapandsalve.com) creates organic cleaning products for pets. "They have skin and hair. If we care about what we put in and on our bodies, it's just the same with our dogs," says brand director Sam Friedman.
Their chemical- and pesticide-free line is made from plant-based material like roots, petals and leaves. Their paw salve softens skins and deals with cracked paws. They also created soap bars for repelling insects and itchy and dry skin. Furry friends can get fresh and clean without having to wrangle them into the tub with dog fur powder dry shampoo.
All three items are part of their popular Pooch Pouch gift bag, which was recently picked up by the national Free People line.
All dogs should have tags, but that doesn't mean they can't be fashionable. Kimberly Monaco Handcrafted Jewelry (monaco.etsy.com) makes individually stamped, customizable artisan charms in copper and aluminum.
"Since they're stamped one letter at a time, they're never going to be perfect and exactly the same," Monaco says. "They can be personalized and more quirky."
Layered and rectangular designs stand out among the traditional engraved varieties. One side has fun sayings such as "Cold nose, warm heart," and the back has contact information. "It's a perfect gift for friends who've recently adopted a dog," she says.
You want to take Scrappy out to the Cleveland Softball game, but he hasn't a thing to wear. APE Made's (1667 East 40th St., apemadeohio.com) baseball tees for dogs come to the rescue. They're hand-printed in AsiaTown on American Apparel brand poly-cotton fabric blend using only water-based, non-toxic inks.
"They come in larger sizes, which I've found difficult to find in many other brands," says owner April Bleakney. "They accommodate teacup dogs who are only a few pounds, all the way up to dogs that are about 75 pounds."
Along with Bleakney's full line of human threads, she also has dog tees bearing the city seal and Ohio hoodies.
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