Top pet accessories
Owning a pet isn't what it used to be. Our society has promoted man's best friend to an even higher status -- one that's bestowed with all sorts of accouterments. Simple outdoor doghouses have given way to miniature mansions (a la Paris Hilton's dogs' house, which is a mini replica of her own posh pad). The cat scratching posts of yesterday have evolved into elaborate tree houses. Accessories, gadgets and even jewelry are available for our beloved four-legged friends. Here we share with you some of the coolest pet products around.
Dress 'em in diamonds
You don't have a truly pampered pooch unless she's decorated in diamonds. Enter I Love Dogs, Inc., a company that employs master jewelers to create unique diamond-encrusted accessories and collars for our furry friends. Check out this piece, called Amour Amour, a 52-carat one-of-a-kind dog collar that is said to be the most expensive dog collar in the world -- valued at $1.8 million. But don't worry if you don't have that kind of cash; the company offers other pieces for just some pocket change -- between $280,000 and $480,000.
The ultimate place for a catnap
Forget lounging at your feet! Your dog or cat would rather sit back in style on this Durango settee, available at Barron's House of Treasures for a mere $791.50. This solid wood, nonskid piece is hand-upholstered, can withstand up to 300 pounds, features a curved back and upholstery-grade trim, and comes complete with two throw pillows.
Pearls for pup
Coco Palenque, designer and dog owner, founded Bijoux Four Paws Jewelry for Dogs out of gratitude for her pets' love and loyalty. The company's signature piece is a pearl necklace with heart pendant and toggle clasp, which can be ordered with handpicked genuine pink or white pearls and in 8-, 10- or 12-inch lengths. The sterling silver heart pendant is ideal for engraving. Prices range from $60 to $120, depending on necklace length.
Scratching posts are for the birds! Give your cat the coolest thing since catnip: His very own forest! Hidden Hollow cat trees are handcrafted with a 100 percent wood frame and they can be created to blend with your own home décor. These are ideal for cats that love to climb, leap, lounge and nestle. Custom additions such as a castle door, sisal scratching post or scratch patch can be added as well. The cat trees start at $399.
If you love Juicy Couture, don't you think your pet might, too? The brand's line for pets includes classy carriers, bath products and, of course, cute clothes! We love this pink Queen Bee terry bowler-style pet carrier, ($298) with built-in security leash, zip-top closure with chain and logo charm detail, interior wall pocket, removable pillow and two mesh windows (one of which is heart shaped!).
The golden crate
Plastic and metal crates are a thing of the past! Check out this unbelievable critter crate made of gilded 22.5-carat gold! Designed by Peter Pracilio for design GO! Brooklyn, New York, this crate folds down for easy storage and mobility and has two secure locks to keep your pet from escaping. According to Gopetdesign.com, it retails for $11,000. [Photo: Gopetdesign.com]
Fur for your fur baby
These Hartman & Rose chinchilla coats for your canine are the ultimate in four-legged luxury. Even the company's website admits it: "Chinchilla coats can top the $100,000 range, so get out your Black American Express Card for this one. The price tag is not for the faint of heart." The site also claims that chinchilla is the most prestigious of all furs. So if you really want to impress your pet, you might want to start saving -- or sell your home.