Where to Sniff Out a Present for the Pooch
Travelling to New York, Pittsburgh, Montreal or Toronto? Check out these boutique pet stores
When I walk through the door after a trip away from home, I find myself being lunged at and dodging a tongue trying to force its way down my throat.
(If this greeting sounds familiar to you, and you’re not imagining a dog, leave that relationship. Now.)
If, however, you’re like me and secretly love a slobbery hero’s welcome home from your dog, or are subjected to the silent treatment, your pet deserves a souvenir from your travels. How else will you explain your absence? Here’s how to smooth things over: When you see your dog or cat sniffing around the carry-on, pull out a surprise from one of these unique pet boutiques.
Montreal: Bailey Blu Animalerie
For the pet foodie, Bailey Blu Animalerie is like the Schwartz's Deli for dogs and cats. Located in Montreal’s NDG neighbourhood, the shop endorses the raw food diet and even offers its own in-house, hormone-free raw food blend for dogs and cats. But what makes Bailey Blu truly resemble a delicatessen are the 23 jars of dehydrated snack food set up by the cash.
“Customers can pick and choose whatever they like, and the quantities are then measured out by gram. We have everything from kangaroo jerky to rabbit ears, to bison hooves,” says store manager Quinn McIllwaine, adding that the entire store is grain-free. “People seem to really like this concept as it’s ideal for pets who suffer from intolerances or allergies.”
6152 Sherbrooke St. W., 514-507-4526
Bailey Blu Animalerie
New York: Canine Styles
Canine Styles is an all-American shop that has been grooming the furry elites of Manhattan’s Upper East Side since 1959. The store carries dog items that are comparable to the Ralph Lauren and Kate Spade shoes and bags your pup filed its teeth on, only unlike your fine leather goods, the store stocks items that are obviously designed for dogs (there’s a small cat section, too).
“Canine Styles is not trendy or preppy, it’s classic and cool,” says Carissa Bodden, manager of the Upper East Side location (over the years, the store has expanded to West Side and Uptown locations)
For the posh pet, check out the hand-cut, made-in-France Leather “H” Collar, which echoes Hermès but with a Tory Burch price tag. If you don’t want to break the bank but want something that screams howls New York City, the robin’s egg blue Sniffany Box soft toy will do the trick.
But seriously, this is New York, bitches. This shop has absolutely everything.
830 Lexington Ave., 212-838-2064
2231 Broadway, 212-799-9799
1195 Lexington Ave., 212-472-9440
Canine Styles Leather H Collar
I refuse to pooh-pooh Pittsburgh, because it is home to Petagogy. The name of the store is a play on the word pedagogy and its mantra is to teach pet owners about healthy, natural food options for their four-legged family.
The winner of numerous “best of” local pet supply store rankings, the Shadyside shop carries locally-made items like Doggie Delights treats (that will guarantee a tail wag) and whimsical Scout Dog collars (that will guarantee a compliment from another pet parent).
If you don’t mind checking baggage, pick up a Reclaimed Things pet feeder. The Pittsburgh-made eating trays and tables are made from recycled materials and look like they crawled straight out of an Anthropologie catalogue.
5880 Ellsworth Ave., 412-362-7387
Toronto: Timmie Doggie Outfitters
If you remain undecided about whether your pooch's look is lumbersexual or metrosexual, it doesn’t matter, because Timmie Doggie Outfitters will probably carry what you're after. With twin locations in Toronto’s east and west ends, Timmie is known for its heritage style for the hairy. Think plaid, tweed and houndstooth dog beds, coats, bandanas and bow ties for your furry one.
The original Queen Street West boutique and wellness spa is conveniently located across from Trinity Bellwoods Park, home of the mystical white squirrel that is doggedly pursued by canines and cameras alike. For any rodent-obsessed pal who won’t be joining you in Toronto to chase the famous white squirrel, Timmie offers a store-designed toy rope version of the majestic legend.
And if you have time to kill and miss your pooch, a premiere dog watching spot is Trinity’s “dog bowl,” a pit where dogs romp day and night. Trust me, you wouldn’t be the only adoring spectator.
867 Queen St. W., 416-203-6789
1178 Queen St. E., 416-406-4999