Playthings for Pooches: Must-Haves for Every Pup
San Francisco International Gift Fair

By Kathy Chin Leong

Today’s pets are more than man’s best friend; with the advent of the burgeoning population of empty-nesters, dogs are are practically man’s "best child." This multimillion industry dedicated to our furry companions is so humongous that the recent San Francisco International Gift Fair opened a new section devoted to pet products. Next time you go shopping for Fido, you’ll find more than dog chow on the shelves. Here’s the hottest in animal accessories:

* Pouches for Pooches : Got dog purses? Kicky bags to show off Bowzer are all the rage since Reese Witherspoon showed off her little scamp in the movie Legally Blonde . Here’s an image of Zulu in the Orange Paisley Tami by West Hollywood company, PuchiBag Inc. The purse is part of the company’s Fall/Winter collection, and retails for $385. Give yourself a howling good time on www.puchibag.com . Dial 232-822-0849 to order one of your own.

* Spa Collections : June’s Garden, featuring the brand Pal Dog, has unleashed a series of natural shampoos, bath sprays and healing blends for pets. You’ll find a Dogwalker’s Kit, and various spa goodies for anti-bacterial fun, the natural way. Remember: a clean dog is a happy dog. See www.paldog.com or call 1-888-738-8390.

* Haute Diggity Dog : This line of squeaky toys is so plush and elegant you may think that you should be buying this stuff for your newborn baby. Cute knockoff designer names such as Chewy Vuitton, Chewnel #5, Sniffany and Co, are the hilarious embroidered labels on stuffed toys in the shape of purses, perfume bottles, designer shoes, etc. Call 702/257-0213 or look up www.hautediggitydog.com .

* Woof’s Greetings : Paper Russells of Belmont introduces additions to its Woof’s line of whimsical cards featuring illustrations of dogs such as chihuahuas, pugs, boxers, poodles, schauzers, and many more. One the back of every greeting card thare is a story about the artists’s visit with the pet. To get your paws on more information, check out www.paperrussells.com or call 650/654-7738.

* Organic Yummies : Robbie Dawg of Brooklyn sells handcrafted organic dog biscuits designed for everyone’s favorite pooch. Flavors include turkey sausage and romano cheese, beef barley biscuits, bacon and cheddar biscuits, peanut butter, carrot and what germ biscuits, four-cheese oatmeal biscuits. Dig into www.robbiedawg.com or contact 718/855-1552.

* Oh, Good Fortune : Fortunate Dog cookies, bought to you by Rocky Mountain Labs Inc. are vet-approved fortune cookies with paper fortunes tailored to your dog. You mean, YOUR dog can’t read? The seven cookies come in a Chinese takeout box, displaying the Chinese symbol for dog. Suggested retail is price $9.95. Try your luck at www.fortunatedogcookies.com or call 208/726-5611.

* Doggie Style Designs : If your pet didn’t have his own Swarovski crystal collar, what would all the neighbors think? Doggy Style Designs of Providence, Rhode Island will come to your puppy’s rescue with crystal collars, doggy angel wings, feather boa leashes, tiaras and more. Billed as "excellent gift items for any beloved pet," the company manufactures doggy fashions including doggy t-shirts designed to fit beagles to dalmations. Take a chance at www.doggystyledesigns.com or phone 800/421-6646.

* Party Hardy : Halloween is just around the corner. Have you decided what Rover is going to be yet? Other than a dog? How about a clown dog, a bat dog, or something else equally embarrassing? Charming Pet Products offers a huge selection of party collars to accommodate every social occastion as well as blankets, baskets, and more. Call 808/865-1503 for the latest scoop or log onto to www.charmingpetproducts.com .

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