canine design
August 14, 2013 7:34 PM   Subscribe

I'm going to get a pembroke corgi dog within the next year. Unfortunately, so many of the necessary supplies of dog ownership are just plain ugly. My apartment and my clothes reflect to me my love of all things beautiful and aesthetically pleasing. I love clean, sleek modern design AND ornate, vintage, antique things. Please show me the most beautiful dog related merchandise available! Crates, food/water bowls, leashes, anything and everything related to (beautifully) owning a dog.
posted by skjønn to Pets & Animals (30 answers total) 11 users marked this as a favorite
My dog has this striped collar, which I think he looks quite (wait for it) fetching in.

You will also most certainly want to get your pup some toys. The wooden dog puzzles can get really expensive, but they're very pretty and are good thinking exercises.

You can feed/water a dog out of real dishes.

Instead of a regular dog bed and having money in your pocket, it might be cute to find a wing chair or something that fits with your aesthetic sized for a child, and have that be the dog's bed.

But I would also like to suggest a healthy dose of get over it. I used to be a bit of a germophobe. Now every night I sleep mere inches away from my dog's butthole. They will shed all over everything. They will vomit all over everything. Sometimes they will chew up your oh so modern and beautiful things. (My dog has never chewed up anything of value, thankfully...but he did eat my voter ID card in late October.) So just don't get your feelings too hurt if your little furball doesn't jive with your impeccably maintained lifestyle.
posted by phunniemee at 8:30 PM on August 14, 2013 [23 favorites]

Try for some chic accessories, if you don't like the inventory there you can look at the artists/suppliers who provide to them. alessi is one. Nice design, sleek.
posted by sweetkid at 9:14 PM on August 14, 2013 [1 favorite]

If I was prepared to spend $120 on a dog bowl I'd get this. The dog doesn't earn his own money though so he just got plain aluminium bowls which aren't ugly at least (if you think dog stuff is bad you should see the stuff my baby has).
posted by Wantok at 9:16 PM on August 14, 2013

I like these classic rolled leather collars, the rounded design doesn't give the dog 'collar neck' (think "hat head") and the flat name plate eliminates noise from dangling dog tags.

So when I got my first dog, he was a 4 month old puppy and I had this vision of him peacefully sleeping in a beautiful woven wicker bed nestled in a plump cushion. It was a very compelling vision but after he chewed his third wicker bed into toothpicks and his fourth plump cushion into a snowstorm of foam fragments, he happily slept on a carpet remnant for the 5 years it took him to mellow the heck out. My current dog doesn't understand dog beds at all (he pees on them), he now sleeps on one of those cheap rubber backed acrylic bathmats because it is easily machine washable. Dog stuff tends toward the utilitarian because dogs tend to be utilitarian.
posted by jamaro at 9:20 PM on August 14, 2013 [4 favorites]

Do you have one of those "local, organic pet" shops that basically seems like an, erm, hipster boutique type of "curated collection" clothing/furniture type store but for pets? There's at least a couple of those in my town, and there used to be even more.

The last time i was in one of those places they had a lot of really stylish handmade leather collars, badass handmade leashes, etc. Really like "1950s man hiking through the woods with his hunting dog" type stuff fading in to just generally stylish. A lot of it was locally made stuff too that i'm not even sure you could get online, although quite a bit of it was ordered-in stuff. Quite a bit of it was european and german brands, i remember that.

I'd check out as many of those types of places in your town as you can. Lube up your asshole though, because this kind of shit is expensive. I remember a really nice leather collar(which my pembroke corgi had for years!) was like $60-80 or some shit like that.

I would say look around for meatspace stores though, and not online. Both to support your local shop, and because they'll have already done the hunting for you and found brands that might be super prevalent online(at least in US online retail) that you can dig in to more for their products.

Oh, and all crates look dumb and plasticy and ugly unless you want to make it in to some kind of woodworking or furniture repurposing project. I searched in vain on that one.
posted by emptythought at 9:21 PM on August 14, 2013

There's a website called 'hard to find' ( that does some pretty spiffy* Alessi dog bowls, Jonathan Adler leashes, etc. It's Australian, but would probably ship to the US (or, at least, give you some ideas for products you could source locally).

(*Note: as judged by a person who got her dog a wooden crate from the rubbish dump, cut clumsy dog-shaped holes in it with a hacksaw as 'decoration', and lined it with old baby blankets, so YMMV ;)
posted by Salamander at 9:27 PM on August 14, 2013

Not ALL crates look dumb and plasticky and ugly.

But I also agree with the "get over it" sentiment. My dog basically took over my apartment.
posted by dithmer at 9:30 PM on August 14, 2013 [2 favorites]

FWIW a lot of the time dogs can use the same basic stuff as humans. Your dog can eat out of a human bowl. You can store his treats and such in cookie or dry goods jars, and his toys in a cupboard or cool looking bin/chest/box. My dog's bedding is an old quilt from a thrift store. His crate is draped with a vintage bedspread that is decent enough to look at and also machine washable.

Leashes are... leashes. You can find fancy ones, but they're still leashes. My dog just has a regular leash, which is neither ugly nor beautiful, just a utilitarian object that exists in our lives. Which is as it should be for an item your dog will pee on at least once a week.

Along the lines of the utilitarian leash, I found that a lot of the stuff at pet stores is simple and useful in a minimalist way. My dog eats and drinks from stainless steel bowls that might as well be kitchen or medical supplies. You can get garish crap, of course, if that's what you want, but there's plenty that's not.

In terms of things like collars and harnesses and such, I wouldn't buy anything until you already have the dog and know more about what its needs are. You will have years and years to buy $200 leather collars, I promise.
posted by Sara C. at 9:46 PM on August 14, 2013 [1 favorite]

Yeah, don't worry about it too much. Even the finest of dogs are pretty gross on a regular basis.
posted by scottymac at 11:01 PM on August 14, 2013

Hauspanther is a site that collates designer products for cats, but things like the food bowls, beds, etc would also work for smaller dogs.
posted by lollusc at 1:02 AM on August 15, 2013

I like these dog beds, which are actually "duvets" that you stuff with blankets or pillows or whatever. I was thrilled to discover this company because its hard to find dog beds that don't look tacky. Except it turns out my puppy will only sleep on this one grubby old bed pillow. Oh well.

There's also some good stuff on etsy.
posted by lunasol at 1:31 AM on August 15, 2013

i hear ya. here's the dog collar i got. they have lots of designs and their products are really well made with lifetime guarantees. i have the collar, harness, & leash all in this design.

here are my dog bowls. i was pleasantly surprised to find that it only has the paw prints on the design and not the outline of the bone which i wasn't crazy about.

i looked at dog beds on amazon but the floor pillow ones never sounded very comfortable from customer reviews. i went with this one which screams "dog bed" but i can't tell you how much my dog loves it so in this instance my dog's comfort strongly outweighed looks.

maybe check out places like the moma store and muji to see if by chance they have any dog merch.
posted by wildflower at 3:43 AM on August 15, 2013

Not a derail but a sideways answer. We had an amazingly smart Corgi, Winifred Tigerliy, who we got as a rescue over 16 years ago. She passed away only 2 nights ago.

And what kept Winnie healthy and happy for so many years was agility training. Because she was able to get outside and run and use her incredible smarts to navigate courses, she was as calm and peaceful at home as a goldfish. Seriously. We had her run her paces every day and when she was in the house, she just ate food scraps off the floor and then slept or tried to get cuddles. She never chewed anything up or destroyed things.

Something to consider to maintain your home. A Corgi with a job is a happy and well-behaved Corgi.
posted by kinetic at 3:45 AM on August 15, 2013 [5 favorites]

Fab gets new pet stuff every week, here's their dog stuff, here's their pet section and here's a general link to their main page for when they change their website and all these inevitably break.

The stuff this week doesn't seem to be super amazing, but maybe something will strike your fancy, and it's worth keeping an eye on.
posted by NoraReed at 4:11 AM on August 15, 2013

Denhaus makes gorgeous dog-crate-furniture pieces. Alternately, you can DIY a great dog bed from an old console TV.

The advertisers in The Bark often feature thoughtfully-designed, tasteful dog accessories. The link I just posted is broken but I posted it anyway, assuming they'll fix it eventually.
posted by workerant at 6:28 AM on August 15, 2013

Of course taste is entirely subjective, but I think Two Pitties in the City do a nice job of equipping their house with tasteful dog-friendly stuff.
posted by Squeak Attack at 7:22 AM on August 15, 2013

Fido's Fashion Collars are cute and handmade. I had one for my Corgi a while ago. I wish I had waterproofed it or something first as the fabric got kinda gross (less so than her current nylon collar).

I would be wary of spending too much on doggie things until you find out how much s/he will destroy them. I was really glad I only spent $6 at Marshalls on my terrier's bed because he tore it to bits in a week. Now I buy him baby blankets at Marshalls/Ross and I don't care if he destroys them (and it's less messy than the stuffing from a proper bed).

Also if you have a Corgi and want to attempt to keep your nice place looking nice, you'll want a Furminator. My Corgi is not particularly destructive but her hair is freakin everywhere.
posted by radioamy at 7:23 AM on August 15, 2013 [1 favorite]

Oh also definitely agree that you can use a lot of people stuff for dogs - bowls treat containers, blankets, etc.

The only ugly dog thing that really bothers me in our place is the crates. I am in no position to fork over a couple hundred bucks each for new crates (and I don't have anywhere to store their current ones, which are good for traveling) but the big plastic crates are pretty ugly in our bedroom.
posted by radioamy at 7:27 AM on August 15, 2013

Joss & Main features stylish pet products with some regularity. It's kinda like Fab in that they change their curated deals every day, but they do require a free subscription. Pro-tip, they don't usually (possibly, ever?) have the cheapest options, and almost all of their products can also be found elsewhere with a bit of digging. They're owned by Wayfair, so that's usually a good place to start checking if you want to find the actual product name, and Wayfair has plenty of stuff for a stylish pooch too.
posted by Diagonalize at 8:52 AM on August 15, 2013

The Eicrate is gorgeous (but pricey). I'd resist the temptation to get a wooden crate until you are past the puppy stage and have a better sense about how destructive your dog is. I will not bore you with the incredible feats of my mini dachshund, but even a corgi could easily chew through the bars if it was motivated. Really.

Etsy is great for pretty toys and collars and such, but again, I'd advise you to hold off until puppy is past the chewing stage. They go though them so quick! That said, I think antlers are fairly chic-looking chew toys.

Before any of this though, I'd actually prioritize getting a Dyson Animal and washable cover throws for beds and couches. Both will really help you if aesthetics are important.
posted by susanvance at 8:59 AM on August 15, 2013

I'm a bit late to the party.
I love some of the stuff at -- some are too cutesy but they have some classy stuff as well.
I have seen some fancy dog items on One Kings Lane as well.
You can also use ingenuity :)
Our trainer had us put away all of our rescue dog's toys. She is not allowed to "own" those toys -- she has to get them from us. Our old cute open top box (from our previous pup) won't work. We looked at using storage ottomans or benches. We ended up making space on our backroom/office shelving. We then got soft fabric drawers that you can get from K-mart/Target/Bed Bath and Beyond/lots of places. It lets us keep her toys/chews/etc neat and out of sight.
posted by Librarygeek at 9:44 AM on August 15, 2013

You should splurge on a mid-century Eames-looking dog bed.
posted by subtle-t at 12:35 PM on August 15, 2013

I don't know about Pems, but Cardigans can't jump down when they are young because it damages their bones. Some of the recommended beds look too high to me. Ask your breeder.
posted by SandiBeech at 12:51 PM on August 15, 2013

I hate to be a downer, but dogs do to your elegant home aesthetic what children do to your elegant home aesthetic…and then it's all okay, because you'll be a dog person by then and it won't matter that your dog's favorite toy is a ruined Mrs. Beasley doll or a knot of gross rope, slobber, and accumulated fur which they will delightedly present to your visitors.

You can vacuum forever, and you will still be swimming in fur (for the record, I have a Dyson DC39 Animal and it's the best vacuum I've had for dog mitigation). Eventually, your dog will get old and will leak, and you will not care. Edina Monsoon will look at you in horror like you're Miranda Richardson with a baby, but it's all a shrug.

Whatever you're shopping for, imagine it slightly chewed, and if you think it'll still look okay, it's a go. Also consider a little DIY along the lines of an Ikea hack.
posted by sonascope at 3:43 PM on August 15, 2013 [1 favorite]

My friend maintains a beautiful condo with the same aesthetic, so I can share her tips as I dog-sit and stay over frequently. (I'm a mess, so I take credit for none of this - i just have careful mental notes because i am fascinated by neat people with nice homes)

Whole-heartedly second the advice of using some human things for dog things. Like, a quilt you don't want for the bed anymore for dog bedding, and human bowls for dog bowls. Dog treats are in a human cookie jar on the counter.

Dog toys: pick the more subdued looking ones out of your run of the mill pet store. For her pooch and most pooches i'd imagine, it's the squeaky/rubbery/crunchy aspects that are the good stuff anyway. and at her home dog toys are kept in a wicker basket. The well-kept canine dutifully scatters the toys throughout the apartment during the day when she is at work, but they get put away regularly.

She has a leather couch, and only the cheap shabby chic chenille pillows and blankets get hair-ified. She has a leathed roller collar like the ones linked above, and a nice sturdy leather leash which feels great to the dog walker -- a lot better control and grip than the plasticky ones. (Said dog is very very large and once in a while gets very squirrel-happy, so control is good.). We've used a walking harness like this sometimes though, like during one particularly.squirrel happy period).

Definitely agree with not getting attached to your things... my friend has awesome taste and style, but she's also practical cost-wise about her stylish housewares (buying second hand, vintage, etc), and so not uptight when, say, pee happens... which it definitely does!

(congrats, btw!)
posted by NikitaNikita at 7:22 PM on August 15, 2013

Sleek and modern? If you can drop three figures on dog bowls, get them molded from concrete.
posted by oceanjesse at 7:49 PM on August 15, 2013

Jonathan Adler has some cool dog accessories:

I especially like the collars. Both of my dogs have JA collars and they look great.
posted by parakeetdog at 10:24 AM on August 16, 2013

You might try poking through the Pets category on Design*Sponge to see if any of the items under the Human/House/Harvey posts pique your interest.
posted by meggan at 5:03 PM on August 16, 2013

The website has plenty of cool links to modern dog things.
posted by jmd97 at 12:06 AM on August 17, 2013

Seriously, the worst thing about trying to buy doggy things is that people insist on putting paw designs or bone designs on them. Ugh. Also? Plaid. Lots and lots of plaid.

There are a number of beds and cushions from Doctors Foster and Smith with non-paw, non-bone, non-plaid options, several of which allow you to choose from different pretty nice patterns,and many of which are non-patterned. If I lived on the right continent, I would definitely try some of these out.
posted by taz at 11:26 AM on August 17, 2013

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