LA's best pet stores
Drape your dapper dog in designer duds from Yana Syrkin’s lush Fifi & Romeo pet boutique on Beverly Boulevard. Yana is known throughout the industry as the “Coco Chanel of pet couture” and the title is thoroughly apropos. Her trendsetting clientele includes Oprah Winfrey, Cameron Diaz, Ellen DeGeneres, Robert Downey, Jr., Angelina Jolie, Betty White, Jennifer Lawrence, Christina Aguilera and HRH Prince Charles, to name just a few. The opulent little shop features handmade, one-of-a-kind cashmere clothes and custom Italian leather accessories. There’s also a luxury home line featuring cashmere pillows, bed throws and travel blankets. For all you proud parents who love to dress your fur-babies in froufrou finery, Fifi & Romeo is your paradise. And if you happen to find yourself in Tokyo and are in need of a Fifi & Romeo fix, the Tokyo flagship opened on Valentine’s Day 2014.
Blue Collar Working Dog is a pet store that caters specifically to a frequently overlooked segment of the canine world—the active dog. The brainchild of husband and wife team Barry Hewitt and Michelle van Arendonk, Blue Collar Working Dog services every type of active canine—police, security, service, therapy and sporting dogs are all covered here (as are regular ol' energetic, run-around pups). Products run the gamut from bite suits and service vests to hunting and camping gear. Blue Collar Working Dog recently relocated to more spacious digs—a 5600 square-foot storefront on Glendale Boulevard. It's also the very first interactive dog store in the country. Dogs can make use of the store’s agility equipment (weave poles, A-frames, pause tables, tug ropes, tunnels), which has all been integrated into a remarkable shopping experience. The store sells a wide variety of healthy foods, treats and chews to suit the needs of every dog, no matter their activity level. Blue Collar Working Dog has also pioneered the very first dog food bank in Los Angeles. Two weeks worth of nutritious, free dog food is available to anyone who needs it, no questions asked.
Created and curated by Guy Miracle and Lance Castro and located on Abbot Kinney, the Modern Dog is all about blending pet accessories with your home’s interior style. It’s no accident that the store occupies a cute and cozy 1920s bungalow. Living and entertaining products are in the living room, beds and sleeping accessories are in the bedroom, gourmet foods and treats are in the kitchen, and there’s much more to see throughout. Quality (and many local) brands are featured in the store including Bella Bean Couture, Decaf Plush, Dirty Laundry, Everyday Studio, Holden Bowls, Monkey Daze, Milla, Otis and Claude, Paul Frank, Chrome Bones and Walteria Living. Want to immortalize your pet for posterity? Pet photography, animal blueprints (styled like an architect’s blueprint rendering of your dog), and SilhouPETtes (vintage silhouette images, complete with a customizable background to match any decor) are also part of the Modern Dog experience.
Tailwaggers prides itself on keeping pets healthy and happy with a large stock of natural, high-quality products that take a holistic approach to pet health. The store hosts pet adoptions, dental cleaning services and dog training classes. Tailwashers, the grooming counterpart of Tailwaggers, is right next door and features some of LA’s top-notch groomers. If groomers aren't your thing, there’s also a DIY-wash facility. Fun fact: You may not know it, but Tailwaggers has its roots firmly planted in old Hollywood philanthropy. Owner Todd Warner tells us the Tailwaggers name itself is an homage to the Tail-waggers Club, which was created in 1915 in England as a charity designed for the advancement of dog welfare. In 1929, Bette Davis put the organization on the map in the US when she was elected as President of Southern California's branch. Tailwaggers continues to work closely with several rescue organizations and free clinics to save the lives of animals in need. A percentage of the store’s sales each month is donated to animal charities.
Ada Zhang & Jacob Gonzalez created WOOF as a way to provide all-natural foods and whimsical, unique items for pets at reasonable prices and with high-quality service for their human friends. Holistic kibble, delicious treats and even organic baked goods for your best friend’s birthday can be found at WOOF, but canine couture is really the store’s main draw. Everything from formal wear to rock star tees (a hound in Hendrix, perhaps?) can be found here. Also, be sure to check out WOOF’s SOAK grooming service, which provides your furry friend with a luxurious spa experience. SOAK uses all natural, organic, soap-free products while shampooing your pets. A mud conditioning treatment follows, which leaves them feeling soft, supple and especially snuggle-able.
Everything from nutrition consultations to pet portraits can be found at any one of The Healthy Spot’s six locations in the LA area. Customer care is the name of the game here — the staff goes out of its way to give patrons more than just a shopping experience. It’s all about community and lasting relationships, and nowhere is that more evident than in the store’s obedience classes and daycare facilities. At most pup day camps, there are anywhere from 50-100 dogs in residence for the day. Healthy Spot cares for about 20 dogs a day, with one handler for every eight to ten dogs, for a more personalized experience, more one-on-one time and walks every two hours. The Healthy Spot has also taken the “doggie in the window” concept to heart—the store’s daycare area faces the street.
Owner Lynne Crosby opened Maxwell Dog in 2002, and it’s been a charming Studio City mainstay ever since. Located on Ventura Boulevard, Maxwell Dog features a huge assortment of fun toys, comfy beds, stylish collars, cool accessories and healthy all-natural food and treats. Jax & Bones, Luca, Rosie Bunnybean, Gold Paw Series and RN Design are just some of the quality brands found here, and it's a place you can shop local even for your pet—everything the store sells is made in the US or Canada. Maxwell Dog also prides itself on giving back to the community; adoption fairs are frequently held here, and the store works with local rescues and other animal welfare organizations to find good homes for dogs in need.
Pussy & Pooch is the Whole Foods of pet stores. It not only features distinctive, high quality products and services with a focus on healthy nutrition and green living for pets, it has something completely new to us—Pawbar, the store’s signature in-store pet cafe. With custom seating for up to three dogs or cats at once, a daily selection of raw meat meals, simmered stews and meaty bones are prepared fresh to order for your peckish pet, in addition to gourmet treats, snacks and more. (There’s even a beer formulated just for pets!) No time to eat in? Doggie bags are also available. Each of the store’s retail outlets feature a pet boutique and a Pawbar, but some, like the Beverly Hills location, also include a raw meat counter, and a wellness spa with a vet on staff for exams, vaccination management and diagnostic tests.