When these entrepreneurs applied Yankee ingenuity to their canine dilemmas, the pet products they came up with created a whole new premium pet market.
2. As with most of the other products on our list, this one was created by a pet owner–Cheryl Pedersen–with a problem to solve: namely, the way her dog scratched and barked to be let outside. Her solution is simple: Hang “PoochieBells” (from $17.99) by your door, train your pet to ring them, and spare your hearing and your woodwork. Poochie-Pets, Simsbury, CT. 877-688-3647; poochie-pets.net
3. Michele Diodati first started making soaps and lotions to treat her new baby’s diaper rash. Her hobby grew into a flourishing business, and she expanded her line to include remedies for her beloved dog, Chugga, and his sensitive skin. “Chugga’s Choice” ($12.75) tea-tree/lavender blend is soothing and great-smelling. Plum Island Soap, Newburyport, MA. 978-465-0238; plumislandsoap.com
4. Tired of hiding his pet’s bedding every time he had guests to his house, Ray Pare began dreaming about a better bed. With a background in information technology, he understood systems and operations, and with the help of some interior designers, he created a line of pet products that could actually enhance home decor. “Dofaehn” beds (from $99) come with coordinated throw pillows for your sofa and are made exclusively in Maine. Dofaehn, North Yarmouth, ME. 207-956-8893; dofahn.com
5. These waxed-cotton raincoats (from $70) are more than just fashionable. For dogs who need it–think small, short-haired, or toy breeds–they offer valuable weather protection and warmth. Multiple snap adjustments let you customize the fit for your pooch. Handsome Hounds, Duxbury, MA. 866-885-7149; handsomehounds.com