"Splurging on my pet is an understatement," pet owner Chevy Donato said.
For starters, Donato’s Maltese, Hurley, is the owner of a Burberry dog house, four drawers full of clothes and a tiny closet filled with jackets and coats.
"His outfits, collars, harnesses and snow booties always have to match -- no exceptions," Donato said. "I wouldn’t go out of the house not looking my best, so why should he? He must have 40 different matching sets.
According to Donato, her friends and family tease her about her doggy obsession. She even goes so far as to reserve the front passenger seat for her four-legged friend. "If you’re riding in the car with Hurley and me, you better expect to sit in the backseat, because he’s sitting shotgun!"
Donato has no trouble pampering her pooch because, as she says, "He’s my best friend, so he deserves it."
Proud owner of rescue mutt-pup mix Pepperoni Pizza (or Pepper, for short) Amber Hauptman treats her canine as another member of her family. In fact, she hates to leave Pepper alone, so she makes an effort to only embark on outings that are dog-friendly. When she and Pepper head out for the day, Hauptman is sure to pack all the comforts of home.
"I take her outing bag, which is filled with her water bottle, travel bowls, dog food, three to five toys and of course, lots of treats," she said.
When it comes to treats, there’s never a shortage. "Each time I come home with bags, she’s looking for her treat, and typically there’s one in every bag." Once a month, Pepper is spoiled with homemade dog treats too.
Hauptman even bought a child’s bike trailer, complete with a covered mesh top, to carry Pepper on weekend bike rides. "It adds about 70 pounds to the bike, but the weight is totally worth it."
And her dog devotion doesn’t end there. When Hauptman marries her fiance, she plans to include Pepper in her wedding and all wedding photos.
When it comes to her two dogs, pet owner Nancy Dewar spares no expense. Moose-Muffin (Miniature Sheepdog mix) and Flip-Flop (Bearded Collie) are treated to bi-monthly trips to M The Dog Spa for their nails, bathing, brushing and cuts. Dewar estimates that she spends at least $1,500 a year on her pooches, about double what she spends on herself.
Moose-Muffin and Flip-Flop also receive the royal treatment at home. Dewar prepares one or two batches of dog-friendly homemade chicken soup (which she refers to as "Moose-Muffin soup") which she pours over their dog food to "jazz meals up a bit."
Dewar’s pet pampering has even turned into an online upscale pet goods business.
"I actually created Snazzy Jazzy Pet for crazy pet lovers who also love to splurge on their pets and discover new, unique boutique products!"
Amanda Rumore’s Boston Terrier, Gigi, is a true fashionista. According to Rumore, Gigi adores being spoiled. In fact, the first time Rumore took Gigi to Oh My Dog, a local upscale boutique, she swears she became a different dog.
"I joke that she was Cleopatra in a past life," Rumore said. "She loves getting new clothes and being pampered."
Not only does Gigi have her nails painted, but she also wears stick-on earrings and owns several designer dresses, leashes and collars. Gigi’s hot-to-trot looks have earned her appearances in fashion shows and on local news segments.
"Most people think I’m crazy for all the special attention and money I spend on her," Rumore said. "But I love her so much and it really seems like she loves the extra attention. I don’t have children, so Gi has become my little baby girl."
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