The Hippo


May 31, 2020








Emma, a Short Coat Wheaten Terrier, in her tutu dress, faux-fur coat and stylish pearl necklace. Photo courtesy The Dazzling Dog.

 Dog clothing vendors and stores

• Cozy Companions (20 Braun Bay Road, Moultonborough, 455-9373,
• Critter Gear (519 Corning Road, Manchester, 738-2844,
• Custom Coats for Critters (36 Garland Road, Strafford, 397-9359,
• The Dazzling Dog & More (9 Main St., Nashua, 459-3060,
• DogLand Experience (800 Islington St., Portsmouth, 294-0095,
• Petco (1049 S. Willow St., Manchester, 666-7387; 123 Route 101, Amherst, 577-4583; 92 Cluff Crossing Road, Salem, 890-6922; 35 Fort Eddy Road, Concord, 225-7355; 7 E. Desilvio Drive, Nashua, 897-7387;
• PetSmart (777 S. Willow St., Manchester, 668-9848; 4 Cellu Drive, Nashua, 595-6460; 213 Daniel Webster Hwy., Nashua, 888-7599; 290 S. Broadway, Salem, 898-8232; 299 Loudon Road, Concord, 224-1028;
• Pet Snap-Scarves (PO Box 208, Barrington, 978-7142,

Posh pup
Canine clothing can be protective and expressive


 It might sound like something out of Beverly Hills, but consider canine fashion a new Granite State institution. It’s not just for small dogs either. Steve Mailhot, owner of DogLand in Portsmouth, said he’s had customers of all sizes, even a Saint Bernard, sporting doggie apparel.

There are different styles, too. Try a simple bandana or bedazzled collar and matching leash for a touch of personality. If your pup is more practical, there are doggie raincoats, snow gear and even T-shirts that repel insects like ticks and mosquitos. Some owners save dress-up time for the holidays (think funny Halloween costumes or cozy Christmas sweaters), and others prefer more glamorous attire year-round to keep tails wagging.
Practical pooch-wear
Whether it’s rain, wind, sleet or snow, it can’t be comfortable braving the elements as a pup. Canine pals can bundle up in protective gear to make a morning stroll or bathroom break more comfortable.
“Most popular is definitely the waterproof covering, which isn’t just for the rain but for the elements,” Cozy Companions owner Deb Joyce said. 
Joyce sells her products online and at craft fairs. She started making canine coats when her own Chihuahua needed some protective wear. Her first winter with her Chihuahua, Nina, was one of the state’s coldest. Nina weighed only two pounds and was shivering, so Joyce made Nina her own fleece sweater and a “Pet Puff” bed to lay in to stay warm. Meanwhile, Joyce’s other canine companion, Kira, a Belgian sheepdog, would collect layers of snow on her coat when she went outside that were difficult to remove with a towel alone. So Joyce made outerwear coats for Kira and Nina, plus snow gear and booties.
“Then my dad’s dog needed a coat,” Joyce said. “[Cozy Companions grew] by word of mouth and seeing our dogs wearing the coats out walking.”
The coats need to fit the dog right, Joyce said. Before she makes them, she asks for the dog’s breed, weight and measurements to custom fit the coat. She’s designed the outerwear jackets so that a leash can attach to the coat, no collars or harnesses needed, and there’s a hood to go over Fido’s head. 
Bedazzle your dog
“People do put coats on just to be fashionable, not necessarily just because it’s raining,” Joyce said. “You’d be surprised how many people have an expensive wardrobe for their dog.”
Emma, a soft coat wheaten terrier, loves to sport a tutu and a pearl collar, although she doesn’t care for bows, said her owner, Tracey Bennett-Collins. 
Bennett-Collins owns The Dazzling Dog & More in Nashua, a specialty shop inside Collins Flowers. The store carries outfits like Emma’s, as well as accessories (like pearl necklaces, bows, bedazzled collars and leashes), dog beds, carriers, dishes and specialty foods and treats.
Bennett-Collins said she first noticed the dress-up trend when she was visiting her son in California.
“When I was out there, I realized … people really do think of their dog as an extension of their family,” she said, comparing it to what you see on shows like The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills. “You really do see the dogs dressed up.”
“The smaller the animal the more they tend to dress it up. The bigger dogs not so much,” she said. “It’s for the girl and boy [dog], but people usually dress up their girls a little bit more.”
Bennett-Collins orders a lot of her inventory wholesale from Wooflink to fit small and medium-sized dogs. There’s male apparel, like denim jackets or jean shorts, as well as dresses, shorts, tutus, lace collars, bows, faux-fur coats and even dog-friendly nail polish.
“Really, from head to toe they can be bedazzled,” Bennett-Collins said.
But like Joyce’s products, Bennett-Collins’ are not all about glamour. The rain slickers, snow suits and booties (which help protect pads from the salt) are also popular. Her son owns a golden doodle, and when they go hiking, the dog wears an insect repellant T-shirt to keep ticks and mosquitos at bay. 
As seen in the February 27, 2014 issue of the Hippo.

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