Happy Year of the Ox! As a Chinese American dog mom, I’ve always loved celebrating Lunar New Year with Artemis—and not just during the Year of the Dog (which was most recently 2018)! Lunar New Year is an opportunity to eat a large feast with family, clean the home to welcome good spirits, and wear red. Last year, we published a guide to celebrating Lunar New Year with your dog. This year, we want to reaffirm our commitment and celebration of BIPOC-owned pet care brands every day—not just during holiday seasons. Gradually replacing your regular shopping list for your dog with BIPOC-owned pet care brands is one of the easiest things you can do as a pup parent to support other pet parents! There is a rise of anti-Asian hate crimes in the United States, and Chinatowns around the world have been devastated especially by the combination of pandemic-reduced foot traffic and xenophobia. We want to share some of our favorite Asian-founded pet care brands in the United States and United Kingdom that you can shop the next time you want treats, toys, or accessories for your dog. As an Asian-owned and -founded company ourselves, we are heartened by the Asian diaspora’s love for dogs. Here are some of our favorite brands that are openly led by Asian dog parents. Support them year round and spread prosperity and puppy love to everyone!
Founded by Seattle-based designer Jay Sae Jung, Boo Oh is our favorite dog accessories brand of all time. Everything is functional, sturdy, and yet incredibly chic (it’s hard to do everything, but Jay does it all so well!). We love the the Toto Bag, which is a luxurious poop bag holder made of a single piece of leather. We also love the Ray Harness, which is made of carabiner rope in the most gorgeous colors, and is designed to slip onto your dog easily. It’s great for dogs that tug (like Artemis, when she sees a squirrel…).
No need to feed your dog a probiotic supplement, as this kibble startup incorporates gut-friendly ingredients into the whole meal for you (and also makes fun toppings to shake things up). Co-founders Melanie Han and Rei Kawano met in business school and sought out to help your dog poop perfectly—a passion and mission that every dog parent who has ever tried to pick up mushy droppings knows all too well. Artemis is a picky eater, and we’ve discarded half-empty bags of kibble all too many times. But she finished the entire bag of Heed, which means her mouth is as happy as her tummy.
For the best onesies and jumpers, you have to make a stop at Little Beast, whose cozy dog knits have been featured in Vogue! Co-founded by art market professional Jisu Kim and illustrator Lys Bui, this e-commerce shop features cold weather outerwear that are comfortable for your dog, too, and can be worn indoors for the family portraits.
Dogs in London have it real good with this posh Chelsea-based pet shop and grooming salon, which curates an incredibly rarified selection of products for the most discerning dogs (and their discerning humans). Even the grooming salon downstairs features a crèche with dog-sized armchairs so that your sweet pup can wait in crate-free style for pickup. Founder Jenny Matthews used to be a designer in Hong Kong and London before she became a dog mum (and you know how the rest of the story goes). You can also shop via e-commerce to give your dog a taste of the good life.
Mei-i Zien is the dog world equivalent of Dominique Ansel. Sure, humans can have cronuts, but at Maison de PawZ, your dog can have apple peanut butter croissants and puptarts (a personal favorite of Artemis’!) For Lunar New Year, Mei-i is making Lucky Dumplings, which are homemade beef jerky mixed with peanut butter and chia seeds, wrapped in a gluten-free sweet potato dumpling wrapper. Dumplings are traditionally eaten on Lunar New Year because they look like gold ingots for prosperity. For humans, we’d eat as many as possible for as much prosperity as possible. For dogs, we recommend sticking to one a day.
Do you follow adorable Miso the Shih Tzu on Instagram? Well, if you do, you’ll want everything she’s wearing. And luckily, you can shop her carefully curated toy cabinet and wardrobe! If you’ve been looking for that perfect denim jacket or Breton shirt for your (small) dog, this is the shop for you. But even if your dog doesn’t wear clothes or doesn’t fit in them (most dog clothes tend to run very small, and even Artemis who is considered a small dog doesn’t fit in them!), there are unique toys you can buy instead, like this Ramen Nosework toy.
Founded by Mariko Miyake, this apparel and accessories brand went viral for their Dogs for Biden Harris shirt for dogs (now, you can buy the Bernie meme on a shirt, too). But Pawmiscuous offers way more than political memes. For example, they sell the most adorable dog bandanas with matching face masks in sets. It’s a great shop to find gifts for your favorite dog parents who wear their heart on their sleeves.
This California-based company, founded by veterinarian Kate Mezan, BVSc, and Nayoung Susie Kim, who worked in animal drug manufacturing in South Korea, hopes to make pet supplements affordable to everyone. Currently, they sell supplements for gut health, joint health, and coat health. The supplements are meant to be mixed or sprinkled into food (unless your dog is exceptionally good at swallowing pills), and are reportedly up to 60 percent cheaper than competitive brands with the same formula.
Other photographs courtesy of the brands