Category Archives: Retail Therapy

Prevent Dog Theft With The Safespot Locking Leash

SafeSpot Image

As a dog owner, one of the most frightening things that can happen is the disappearance of our furry friends. More dogs are stolen per year than bicycles (2 million dogs vs. 1.5 million bikes). We’ve even started to see headlines about Brooklyn dogs being held for ransom. To help keep our pets safe, Michael Friedland, a Brooklyn inventor has created the Safespot Locking Leash.

The steel cable reinforced leash was designed for pet owners who run errands with their dogs. I cringe each time I see dogs tied to poles while their humans run into stores. This may seem normal to some people but it’s when dogs are in most danger of being stolen.  While you can’t get people to change their ways, you can hopefully get them to use a theft-proof leash for those times Fido must remain outside.

The Safespot Locking Leash is a fully adjustable collar and lead with a steel cabled core. This gives pet owners peace-of-mind on those short occasions they need to leave their dog unattended. The patented design securely locks canines to an immovable object when necessary or can be used as a daily walking leash without using the lock feature. Check out this video to see the leash in action.

leash

To learn more about the SafeSpot Locking Leash we spoke with Michael Friedland.

Q: What inspired you to create the SafeSpot Locking Leash? 

 A: We’ve been selling our popular Pawz dog boots now for 7 plus years. The success of our disposable, rubber dog boots inspired us to look for other innovative product ideas that would make a difference to dogs and their humans. All dogs need at least one leash. So we started thinking about leashes. Since we don’t do ‘me too’ products, retractable were out of the question and there are many leashes available for all types of dogs and people. We came upon the idea of a locking leash from simple observation of the need here in Brooklyn. We have seen other product offerings that were bulky, impractical and often unsafe. These products never gained any traction. 

 Q: Have you personally been affected by pet theft? 

A: I have personally never had a dog stolen but almost everyone I know has a connection to stolen dog story.

 Q: Are there similar products on the market? If so, what makes SafeSpot different?

A: As far as I know, there are not any locking leashes on the market. There was one that I am aware of but the collar needed to be removed from the dog during the locking process, which was a very inelegant design. The Safespot Locking Leash on the other hand never has to be removed to lock, is adjustable to all neck sizes, and has a steel security cable running from handle to collar, which are lockable.

Q: What has consumer response been like to the product?  

A: The consumer response has been extraordinary. The Safespot won’t be available in stores until next month but me and others in the office are getting stopped on street about the leash. The truth is our dogs are pretty cute. My short hair Border Collie recsue, Wyatt, is the friendliest dog so he is a natural model and sales dog. His favorite spot in Brooklyn is swimming spot known as the Peninsula in Prospect Park. To see him diving into the lake is a picture of pure joy.

 Q: What does it take to get a product on the market from concept to execution? 

A: The Safespot was definitely the most complex product I have ever done. Conceived in house and designed in collaboration with our friends at A2 Design here in New York.  The entire process always takes longer than you expect but the guys at A2 are real pros and worked with us to create the perfect blend of form and function. It was important to  us that the product didn’t just work well but also that it be a simple and elegant design that people would want to use.

Q: What Brooklyn retailers carry the Safespot locking leash?

 A: In Brooklyn the Safespot will be available September 1st at Pawzdogboots.com and many independent pet shops. 

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Filed under Dog Safety, Retail Therapy

Dog Fashion Shows at Wag Club and D Pet Hotels Chelsea

Now that winter is in full effect and you’ve dug out your hats and scarves from the closet, don’t forget to also keep your furry babies warm in style. In case you need  inspiration when it comes to outfitting Fido this winter, Wag Club and D Pet Hotels Chelsea are hosting dog fashion and trunk shows next week. Both events are dog-friendly and should be an evening of fun. See you there and don’t forget to RSVP!

Wag Club and Gooseneck Vineyards proudly present FASHION FOR PAWS on Tuesday, December 4th. The dog trunk and fashion show will feature designs by students and alumni of the FIT Pet Product Design & Marketing Program. Bring your dogs and enjoy a fun night out of fashion and entertainment! You’ll even be able to take pictures with Santa while there. Designs by: Sam & Tasha, American Dog Apparel, Turtlebacks by LMB Designs, Les Pets en Voyage, Naughty Pet, Luxury Pets and LIU LIU.

Tuesday, December 4th  8-10pm 

362 Furman Street

Hosted by: Jonathan Powley, Comedian, Storyteller & Writer  and spirits by Gooseneck Vineyards

RSVP: liu.irene@yahoo.com

WagClubInvite-1

On December 5th, D Pet Hotels Chelsea is hosting the launch of the Icons Collection from Couture by Sophie.  Meet designer Jody Miller and check out her designs that pay homage to music fashion icons, from Elvis to Cher. Hope you can make it and enjoy a night of doggie fashion, shopping, cocktails and hors d’oeuvres!

Wednesday, December 5th   7-9pm

D Pet Hotels Chelsea

104 W. 27th Street 

RSVP: chelsea.nyc@dpethotels.com

Couture by Sophie - Final

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Filed under Events, Retail Therapy

Support Brooklyn Pet Stores on Small Business Saturday

While the thought of Black Friday and the commercialism that goes with it makes us cringe, we’re supporters of Small Business Saturday. If you’re making your holiday shopping rounds today or just feel like spoiling your dog, here’s a list of fun pet stores in Brooklyn. Let us know if we’re missing any of your favorites.

Wag Club in Brooklyn Heights, is a doggie day care and groomer with a small but curated retail section stocked with fine treats, toiletries and trendy pooch wear.

Love Thy Pet in Carroll Gardens is a neighborhood favorite. This family owned and community minded pet store is known for hosting events and annual dog and Santa photo sessions.


Rocco and Jezebel in Brooklyn Heights is a boutique shop with unique pet supplies that are functional, fashionable and fun. We love their cool dog bowls and subway map themed doggie raincoats.

PS9 Pet Supplies in Williamsburg is another great boutique shop with an emphasis on design. In addition to carrying super-premium and organic pet foods, they have a wide selection of toys, collars, outdoor gear and training aids.

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Mr. Chewy Delivers Pet Happiness

The way to Laly’s heart is through treats. Lots of them at all times of day. Keeping this in mind, Mr. Chewy seems to have won her over. Mr. Chewy is a new online pet store that carries 70 plus brands of dog food, treats, and some supplies. We recently received a $50 credit to shop on Mr. Chewy and in turn provide an honest review of the site and service.

Using the site’s “grain free” search feature we set out on a quest for yummy treats. We were  happy to find our favorite Stella & Chewy treats otherwise known as doggie crack for a reasonable $9.99. The new chain pet store that opened in our neighborhood doesn’t carry these and the ma and pa stores charge anywhere between $10 and $13 for them. We spent the rest of our credit on Greenies, a massive Merrick bone and Wellness treats.  Check-out was hassle-free and  to Laly’s delight our package arrived in one business day

Laly enjoying her messy bone! Yes, she uses a placemat to not make too much of a mess.

Overall, we give Mr. Chewy three out of fours paws for having a well designed and searchable site with a great selection of food and treats. I’ll save that fourth paw for when they carry  a wider range of products such as dog toys and gear to truly make it a one-stop-shopping experience.

Here’s what we like the most about Mr. Chewy:

  • Subscription based ordering for hassle free delivery of your favorite products. The site lets you set up a monthly shipment of your pet’s food and forget about it.
  • Referral program-Friends get 10 percent off their first order and Mr. Chewy donates $10 to an animal charity of your choice for each referral.  Use referral code MILE 6114 (I don’t receive any incentives from this)
  • Free shipping for orders over $49
  • Fast shipping-our order came within 2 days

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Filed under Puppy Chow, Retail Therapy, Uncategorized

Laly’s Holiday Gift Guide

In case you find yourself scrambling to finish holiday shopping this week, here are a few of our favorite things for the furry friends on your list.


Nothing says cute like matching dog and baby outfits from BabawowoLaly and Penny are proud owners of the Big Sister,Little Sister and Team Stinky ensembles. Stay tuned for pictures.

If your dog loves to eat grass (I know Laly does) you can now grow organic barley grass at home. We discovered the Dog Grass Bowl at A&G Merch, the Brooklyn home furnishing store that’s one-stop shopping for dog and design lovers.

The Ammo Box Feeder from GO! Pet Design is a vintage styled pet bowl handmade in the collective’s Brooklyn studio using reclaimed lumber scraps. A chalkboard finish let’s you write your pet’s name or message for your dog walker.

Get your dog their very own six pack of Bowser Beer. This non-alcoholic malt barley brew comes in chicken and beef flavor and is safe for dogs. The best part is you can design your own label.

When you’re ready to wrap all your gifts, check out dog-themed paper and gift cards from Papergirl Designs.


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Filed under Dogs and Babies, Hooch With My Pooch, Retail Therapy

Dogs Love Dekalb Market

Dogs love Dekalb Market and you will too. We can’t get enough of this dog friendly, shopping and food oasis in Fort Greene. The space is made up of colorful shipping containers converted into shops that feature jewelry, crafts, housewares and lots more. You’ll even stumble upon an urban garden and art installations as you explore.

Meet Dewey the shop dog at the Boutique featuring Etsy artists. Dewey's the boss at Dekalb Market.
Dekalb Market is the perfect place to bundle up and enjoy an outdoor lunch with your pooch. Food vendors surround an open space filled with picnic benches, making the market one of the few places left to eat outside this winter. Our favorite bites so far have been from Arancini Bros., Dub Pies and the Filipino BBQ joint. Dekalb Market is open through January, making it easy to support Brooklyn small business during the holiday shopping season. When you visit be sure to take your dog’s picture in the Sant-A-Box.

Lly waiting for someone to drop their meat pie.
Dekalb Market   

Flatbush Avenue Extension and Willoughby

Open seven days a week 8am till 10pm

The market on a whole is dog friendly but do ask individual shops if furry friends are welcome. 

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Filed under Dining with Your Dog, Dog Friendly Brooklyn, Rediscover Brooklyn With Your Dog, Retail Therapy

PetSmart Grand Opening

PetSmart on Atlantic Avenue officially opened this week and is celebrating its grand opening on Saturday, November 12. The first 50 people to visit the store starting at 9:00am will receive gift cards containing mystery amounts. You can also enter your dog in the “Hottest Dog” contest sponsored by the on-site Banfield Pet Hospital. Joey Chesnut will serve as a contest judge and hot dogs are on the house. The winning pooch will receive a year’s worth of vet care at Banfield.

Curious to see what PetSmart had in store, we took a field trip to the retail giant. Just before noon on a weekday, the store had a decent number of human and canine customers. I was surprised by the number of people making grooming appointments. It made sense after learning their prices, which are considerably less than the going rate in the neighborhood. PetSmart even has a “Look Great Guarantee” providing free grooming if you’re not happy with their service.

Pet Smart also features an adoption center that was made up of all cats from what we could tell and a training center. The location boasts a Banfield Pet Hospital that bases care around health plans starting at $299 a year and include routine vaccines and unlimited office visits. Going to a chain store for training, grooming, and veterinary care seems rather impersonal to us. I worry we’d run the risk of a revolving door of personnel making it difficult to develop relationships and become a regular. When I brought this up to a technician at Banfield, she assured me the hospital had two permanent vets on staff. We weren’t able to learn if this was the case for training and grooming.

As for the shopping experience, it’s all about convenience and some savings. PetSmart carries most brands and allows you to save money by signing up for their rewards card. That said, it’s a rather bland retail experience. The location lacked quirky and innovative pet gear. The closest we came to this was the line of Martha Stewart pet products and Rock n Retro doggie tees.

PetSmart
238 Atlantic Ave
Brooklyn, NY 11201
718-852-2519
Store Hours
Monday-Saturday: 9:00 a.m. – 9:00p.m.
Sunday: 10:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.

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Filed under Dog Services, Dog Training, Events, Retail Therapy