By Adrienne Perron
Photographed by Michael D. Wilson
From our April 2023 Animals issue
Maine Street Bee Paw Protector
Coconut oil is a key ingredient in this all-natural salve from Freeport’s beeswax body-care line, preventing paws from cracking in the cold and picking up balls of ice. The beeswax, meanwhile, prevents (or treats) burns from hot pavement. Maine Street Bee owner Melissa Dupuis chose ingredients that wouldn’t stain floors and rugs — a lesson she and her pug, Pinto, learned from experience. $18.
In 2020, while volunteering at the Greater Androscoggin Humane Society, Auburn’s Jacquelyn Mansfield started sewing catnip toys in oddball shapes: burgers, coffins, corncobs, etc. Stuffing them full of Dr. Pussum’s Catnip and using fabrics like wool-blend felt and reinforced cotton, she’s found hers last much longer than mass-market toys at the shelter. These days, she’s turning out as many as 100 a week. $4–$30.
Dogs, rabbits, rodents, and pigs will root around to find hidden treats within the felt folds of these colorful mats, keeping energetic pets busy and slowing down speedy eaters. Designed by Tanya Schaub, of Livermore — who, well, mainly makes quilts — the mats exercise foraging instincts and provide mental stimulation for pets. $12.50.
Wagamuffin Plant-Based Dog Treats
Puppy num-nums in flavors like peanut-butter ginger and pumpkin spice, baked with whole grains, vegetables, and fruits, instead of meat. “Dogs are omnivores,” owner Kristin Michelle says. “Fruits and veggies are important for their health.” Each treat is soft-baked in Kennebunk — great for breaking into pieces for training or for dogs with sensitive teeth. $15.
When Beth Herriman was fostering two basset hounds, her hands were full enough on walks without having to carry dog poop, so she created an ingenious little plastic ring that clips to a leash and holds poop bags. Now, the Dooloop is constructed from recycled plastic at Kennebunk’s G&G Products and sold internationally. No excuses for leaving that baggie on the side of the trail. $9.
Her own fondness for wearing hair bows inspired Portland artist Selina Chan to make mini-bows for pets, in sizes that fit dogs, cats, and rabbits. Velcro fastens them onto a collar. Chan designs some of the patterns herself, including her cute buoy, anchor, and lobster-bake prints. Bows, she says, “emphasize pets’ personalities.” $10–$14.
Springfield’s Alyss Revae sews breakaway, buckle, and no-slip collars, in cat and dog sizes, using corduroy or canvas made from recycled plastic. Compared to factory-made collars, she says, Wild Juniper’s last longer, are easier to clean, and are smell-resistant. Many of the prints Revae designs are inspired by her adventures with her pets. “Dogs keep us wild,” she says. $25–$45.