It may be costly to ship a dog across the country to compete in the Westminster Kennel Club dog show, which was being staged this week in New York. But the owners clearly don't mind.
For many, their pets enjoy a status equal to that of their own children, as was the case with hotelier Leona Helmsley, who left $12 million to her dog when she died in 2007.
Indeed, when pets are involved, many owners are happy to part with sums of cash they might balk at in other circumstances. As a result, high-end pet product businesses have been established to meet these demands.
What follows is a list of products for the pet who has everything, and the owner who gives it to him. From clothing to furniture and everything in between, these products offer everything that the most pampered pet demands to keep living in the lap of luxury.
Read ahead to see what they are.
By Daniel Bukszpan
Posted 12 Feb. 2013
Cat owners may be a devoted bunch, but there is still considerable dread associated with cleaning the litter box. Fortunately, they need no longer subject themselves to this unpleasant chore on a daily basis, thanks to the Litter-Robot II.
Billed as "a litter box that you can brag about," the Litter-Robot II comes fully assembled, and it's compatible with biodegradable litters for the environmentally conscious. And don't forget to throw in the three-year extended warranty for $49.99.
Dog owners always keep lots of plastic bags handy when they take their charges outside to do their business. But if the pet deserves something more luxurious, the owner can now keep those bags in the Blue Bone Crystal Poop Bag Holder, a dispenser encrusted with Swarovski crystals.
The dispenser is made to order, and every crystal is positioned by hand. According to the product's website, it can be worn on one's hip during dog walking, relieving the owner of the burden of carrying a plastic Walgreen's bag in anticipation of the dog's moment of truth.
Just because dogs already have fur doesn't mean they should be denied the opportunity to sport glamorous winter wear. This is what the luxury goods company Hartman & Rose believes, and it has created a chinchilla fur coat for dogs to prove it.
The coat is made of genuine fur from farm-raised in Canadian chinchillas and lined with flannel-backed satin. The company website describes it as "the softest and finest fur in the world," and this made-to-order item is available to dogs sized extra-small to medium, with larger variations made by request.
Most dogs are happy to plop themselves down for a nap on any flat surface. A rug or a blanket is a bonus. But some dogs insist on only the finest accommodations, and for them, there's the "Le Chocolate" Designer Dog Bed.
Described by its website as "simply DECADENT," the bed uses light chocolate silk velvet and gold finish nail heads, and features a yellow-gold broach at its center. The pillow can receive personal embroidering, and the legs can be customized with Swarovski crystals.
The Louis Vuitton brand has a value of $26 billion, earning it the title of the world's most valuable luxury brand for seven-straight years. The company has branched out from clothes and handbags by introducing the Dog Carrier 40.
The dog carrier is canvas and comes with a zip-around enclosure, as well as the all-important mesh window to provide the dog with oxygen. The bag is designed for small dogs only, so high-net worth individuals with Great Danes are out of luck.
Even the most devoted owner will concede that dogs smell, and it's not always pleasant. Anyone who's ever tried giving a dog a bath knows that option is out of the question, so most owners end up just getting used to the odors.
Luckily, the Les Poochs company has addressed this problem by creating the V.I.P. fragrance for dogs, which its website claims "energizes then soothes the olfactory senses for those lucky enough to smell it." The fragrance is distilled from the Osmanthus flower and sells for $3,000 for a 4-ounce bottle.
Emma Rose Design is a Rhode Island business that creates "designs for the discriminating pooch." It's called "Pooch Couture" and includes coats, sweaters, accessories and even a garment for a dog's most special occasion, her wedding day.
Yes, dog weddings are a reality in these United States, and even if they're not legally binding, the bride will want to look enchanting for her canine groom anyway. The Emma Rose Designs bridal gown can range from $150 to $10,000, according to their website, and the company will even coordinate ensembles for the bridesmaids, groomsmen, flower girl and ring bearer.
Price: $3.2 million
I Love Dogs Inc. is a business that makes a diamond dog collar line called "La Collection de Bijoux." The lowest-priced collar in this line, La Jeune Tulipe, is offered for $150,000. But as the late journalist Hunter S. Thompson was fond of saying, anything worth doing is worth doing right.
For believers in this credo, nothing less than the most expensive collar will do. For them, I Love Dogs Inc. offers the 52-carat Amour, Amour collar for $3.2 million, making it the most expensive in the world.
Price: $4.7 million
One of the most expensive pet products available is the Aquavista Dinosaur Gold Aquarium, created by British designer Stuart Hughes. It's priced at $4.7 million, and there are only three in existence.
Dubbed "the only Aquarium with a 65 million year old history," its side veneers are made from the tusk of a mammoth and has a piece of Tyrannosaurus rex bone shaved into it. Solid 24 carat gold is also incorporated into the design, which the site describes as "low maintenance."