9 Ways Pets Can Live A Designed Life in L.A.

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Pets + design. What more do you need?

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As  household pets outnumber children , we are seeing a burgeoning industry of goods, services and accessories tailored to our increasingly pampered pooches and kitties. DnA takes a look at the trend, to coincide with KCRW’s launch of Dogs Of LA: a map of the region’s most popular dogs and canine names.

Last week, a study confirmed a long-held suspicion that dogs look like their owners; below are nine items that demonstrate that your pets can live like their owners. 

kennels after 1. Adopt & Shop

This week’s L.A. Designer is the twosome responsible for the boutique look of Adopt & Shop, a one-stop adoption, pet accessory store, and doggie grooming, training and daycare center headquartered in Culver City. Pam Juba and Carlie Campesi literally put doggie in a window. To break from the cold, forlorn quality of regular caged shelters, they created spacious kennel areas and framed them with colorful windows to entice potential adopters.

Pussy & Pooch DTLA Pawbar (1)
Image courtesy of Pussy & Pooch Pawbar (The original image is no longer available, please contact KCRW if you need access to the original image.)

2. Pussy & Pooch Pethouse and Pawbar 

“You live a stylish and progressive lifestyle, and your pet companion should too,” declares the website of Pussy & Pooch Pethouse and Pawbar, a boutique, pawbar and bathhouse all rolled into one. A “paw bar,” by the way, is a riff on trendy raw bars where uncooked foods like oysters and other shellfish are served. “Modern” canines and cats might enjoy the “raw meat meals, simmered stews and meaty bones” at Pussy & Pooch. And after they’re done, they can prance around on a patch of k9 grass (grass designed for dogs) and tinkle on a fake fire hydrant. Plus, one Yelper says their grooming service is “TOP SHELF.” Pussy & Pooch has four locations, all within Southern California, with their largest and most elaborate, 12,000 square foot “pet lifestyle center,” in Beverly Hills.

Image courtesy of BlueCollar Working Dog

3. BlueCollar Working Dog

With graphics that recall a time when the regular worker was honored as the backbone of society, the Echo Park-based shop BlueCollar Working Dog celebrates the working class pooch: service, police, rescue and other working (and outdoor) dogs. According to their website, “dogs love to learn and are happiest when given a job to do.” Their products, mostly dog food, focus on nutrition so they can best perform in their canine careers; and, they also run obedience classes.

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Photo: Hiroshi YODA (The original image is no longer available, please contact KCRW if you need access to the original image.)

4. Architecture for Dogs

The Long Beach Museum of Art attracted crowds last year with its exhibition of “architecture for dogs,” mostly by top-flight Japanese designers. Shigeru Ban, the Japan-born, SCI-Arc-educated designer of the flexible maze above, made of paper tube and wires (you can find instructions to make your own, here), went on to win the 2014 Pritzker Prize for his work in designing temporary structures for refugees and victims of natural disasters. Could this adorable pooch picture have helped swing the jury? On the other hand, could these freestanding cardboard structures withstand Fido in a boisterous mood?
Note: Pussy & Pooch Pethouse and Pawbar (above) were the “exclusive pet retail sponsor for Architecture for Dogs’s installation at the LBMA.” You can find a few pieces from the exhibit at Pussy & Pooch Pet Lifestyle Center in Beverly Hills.Screen Shot 2014-09-03 at 4.16.11 PM5. Pet Suites in Private Homes Angelenos are increasingly designing and remodeling their homes to accommodate their four-legged friends. Shown above, the “pet suite” is available to purchasers of a luxury Standard Pacific Home in the Southland. The LA Times reported that more dog owners are asking designers for pooch-friendly spaces, ordering specialized cabinets for pet bowls and food, and adding canine-only showers and tubs.” Jennifer Wolch, dean of the College of Environmental Design at UC Berkeley, told the Times, “Such inclusive designs range from apartment complexes with dog-washing facilities, cat-friendly interior design, dog runs, trails and parks, and entire communities oriented toward living with companion and other animals.” 
Charlie Renico dog and dog with yellow ball

6. Private Dog Park in West Hollywood

The capital of dogdom just might be the City of West Hollywood where dog owners are referred to as “guardians” and dogs sometimes attend council meetings. But there is a lack of dog park space, prompting Mayor John d’Amico to disparage plans for a showplace new park with three children‘s play areas as proof of the “institutional fetishization of kids.” At Westview Towers’ condo owners took matters into their own hands, creating a residents dog park (above, in photo by dog “guardian” Charlie Renico; Daphne, the cute little terrior, is his). Daphne and others enjoy mature trees, a small cement patio area, artificial grass, loose pebbles, some stone benches, and small table and chairs, and a dog waste station (pretty much the same kind that you’d find on a city street in West Hollywood).


7. Dogipot Stands 

Another feature of dog living in West Hollywood is the ubiquitous “Dogipot.” That is the pet station invented a decade ago that incorporates in one green-painted post: a pet sign reminding dog owners to dispose of dog waste; a dispenser of litter pick up bags and a trash receptacle. The one shown above in a photo by Weho dog owner Charlie Renico is in the dog park at Westview Towers (see previous item).

Image courtesy of Linus Bike (The original image is no longer available, please contact KCRW if you need access to the original image.)
8. Pet Cushion by Linus Bike
Venice-based Linus Bike is known for their stylish two-wheelers that evoke romantic images of pedaling around European cities. They also design accessories in line with the Linus look, and one of their products is designed with our furry companions in mind: the pet cushion. It costs $19.
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Image courtesy of Eco Pet Handbags (The original image is no longer available, please contact KCRW if you need access to the original image.)

9. Eco Pet Handbags

This one is for the dog and kitty “guardians.” Los Angeles-based designer Laura Ambrosio Shnitzer takes Fancy Feast to a new level with her line of totes, cosmetic bags and clutches constructed from salvaged pet food containers and other recycled materials. Her line is called “Eco Pet Handbags,” and they range in price from $34-$160 with a portion of the proceeds going to animal shelters and other charities.

Admittedly we focused on dogs and cats for this piece. If you know of any interesting ways people are designing for their fish, snake, hamster, iguana or other critters, let us know in the comments.