Shopping for your dog in Sarasota is as good as it gets anywhere in the world. From designer fashion to luxury beds, collars and toys, we scouted the best of creature comforts. The big news is a move to organic and raw foods—now allocated more shelf space in local boutiques than ever before.
America’s Top Model? Pet photographer Kim Butler loves animals, and it shows in the star quality of her extraordinary portraits. Sessions are $100, and the printing options are limitless, from Christmas cards to coffee table books. Simply Spotted Photography, simplyspottedphoto.com, (941) 323-1400.
Brain Games You exercise your pet’s body, why not his mind? With the Dog Brick ($44.99) by Nina Ottoson of Sweden, just hide treats under the sliding discs and your cat or dog improves his IQ as he finds them. Holistic for Pets, 713 Honore Ave., (941) 378-4367.
Lucky Dog! Pampered pets are safe and secure with car seats, bike packs and the Outward Hound hands-free Sling-Go, a new pet carrier Mom slips on and off like a handbag ($37.49). Bone Appetite, 7630 N. Lockwood Ridge Road, (941) 359-1010.
Life is Ruff So let sleeping dogs lie in the ultimate luxury of a cuddly faux fur bed ($55). This one converts from a nest bed to a sac, or opens into a mat. Pink leopard and chinchilla are best sellers at Pawprint Essentials, 1512 U.S. 41 Bypass S., Venice, (941) 497-6161.
Toy Story Sarasota’s original dog bakery lets your pooch have his cake and eat it too with the eco-friendly Bumi tug toy ($10). Stuff a fresh squirrel cookie ($3 for four) into the Tux toss toy ($14.95) and watch him go. Max’s Dog Bakery, 1375 Main St., (941) 330-0330.
Puttin’ on the Ritz Canine guests (under 20 pounds) can sign up for the Privileged Pup program ($130), including a 60-minute massage, gourmet dog biscuit, souvenir photo and pet massage lesson for the owner at The Members Spa Club, Ritz-Carlton Sarasota, 111 Ritz-Carlton Drive, (941) 309-2090.
If she has “nothing to wear” check out the leopard trimmed velvet skirt coat ($55) from I See Spot, a fashion leader in everything from bridal to evening frocks. Wet Noses, 472 John Ringling Blvd., (941) 388-3647.
Wet and Waggin’ Relax and enjoy sailing with a pet protected by Paws Aboard, a great line of life preservers in solid colors and prints from polka dots to a nautical take on Louis Vuitton (medium, $36.99). Animals by Nature, 1215 Mango Ave., (941) 953-2983.
Celebrity Shades The first sunglasses made just for dogs, Doggles are shatter-proof and super-chic in fashion colors (from $13). Woof Gang Bakery, 8314 Market St., Lakewood Ranch, (941) 907-9111; 1809 S. Osprey Ave., Sarasota, (941) 312-5233.
don’t forget to…
Treat your pet to Mageeze Freeze, a 100 percent organic ice cream-less treat ($10.99 per six-pack) created by Donna-Marie O’Brien for her dog, Molly Magee. Go to mageezefreeze.com for a local retailer.
Soothe furry friends with Margo Park’s Nature Embrace organic skin treatments (Natural Shine Shampoo, $18.95 for 16 ounces). They’re made in Sarasota and available at pet salons like Canine Utopia, 325 Brown Ave., (941) 924-3331 or at naturesembracearomatherapy.net
Indulge Fido’s fantasies: He can dine with you alfresco on grilled chicken breast ($1.25) with a complimentary bowl of water at Ophelia’s Fish and Pasta House, 1097 N. Tamiami Trail, Nokomis, (941) 485-6818.
“Yappy Hour” is every Sunday afternoon at the Holiday Inn. Enjoy drink specials on the Sporting News Grill’s patio as dogs munch free treats and meet new friends. Holiday Inn Sarasota Bradenton Airport, 5009 15th St., (941) 355-9000.