Steppin’ Out in Style
Comfort and safety are top considerations for pet owners searching
for collars, leashes and harnesses. THIS ARTICLE IS BROUGHT
TO YOU IN PART BY
“It’s important to keep pets comfortable with long-lasting accessories that are
breathable, affordable and made of top-quality materials.”
—Leah Angelos of ZippyPaws
BY LIZETT BOND
It’s no secret that today’s canine is ensconced at the family hearth. However, dogs also adore gadding about town and relishing a holiday retreat. For these reasons, industry insiders report that pet
owners are insisting that collars, harnesses and leashes be activity
appropriate, stylish, comfortable, safe and durable.
“Consumers take a lot into consideration when buying collars,
leashes and harnesses and want to make sure that they are picking
the best product for their pet and their lifestyle,” said Carol Erisman, communications and marketing manager for MiracleCorp in
Comfort is also an important factor in this product category.
“It’s important to keep pets comfortable with long-lasting accessories that are breathable, affordable and made of top-quality
materials,” said Leah Angelos, sales representative for ZippyPaws
in Chino, Calif.
Toni Shelaske, owner of Healthy Pet Products, which has two retail locations and a grooming operation in the Pittsburgh area, noted
that pet owners are often looking for problem-solving products that
are also comfortable for the pet, and for this, they require a retailers’
“Our customers want their dogs comfortable but secure and real-
ize that a flat collar can put undue stress on the neck and trachea, and
are asking for assistance in choosing a harness, especially items that
help with pulling,” she said. “We highly recommend the [2 Hounds
Design] Freedom No-Pull Harness, particularly because it is made in
Nylon collars, leashes and harnesses are in high demand, as are
waterproof materials, said Sara Schrekenhofer, advertising manager
and graphic designer for Leather Brothers in Conway, Ark.
Other considerations run the gamut from ease of cleaning to style.
“For instance, one owner may participate in a lot of outdoor activ-
ities with their dog, which can often mean dirt—[so] are they able to
scrub the collar and leash easily?” Erisman said. “Another is simply
interested in having the cutest collar for their pet.”
At Dog Krazy, which has locations in Virginia, owner and presi-
dent Nancy Guinn noted a strong demand for martingales.
“I have a lot of requests for the thicker greyhound martingales,”
she said. “The harness lead is my absolute favorite. I love it because
the dog is not able to pull out of it; it tightens with their body.”
Customized collars are also in the mix at Dog Krazy.
“I carry a line called Moose Pet Wear,” Guinn said. “One side has
the print, and my logo is on the inside. They are gorgeous.”
The call for canine fashion is hot at Dog Krazy.
“We get a lot of people that want the really nice leather collar with
a lot of bling,” she said.
“Made in the USA” is a designation that has gone mainstream,
“Many consumers are saying they want to see more American-made-and-sourced collars and leashes,” she said. “Additionally, sales
in organic and ‘green’ items remain strong and steady as consumers
want to know the ‘ingredients’ in the product they are purchasing.”
Safety is another factor, and normal wear and tear over time requires that collars, leads and harnesses be replaced periodically for
the safety of the pet, she added.