Reader Frank recently wrote:
“Hey Brad, got any recs for US-made dog stuff? Collars, leashes, the whole (ca-)nine.”
Indeed I do Frank, indeed I do.
Truth be told, I could just write about Mendota, and skip all of the other brands covered below. The company nails it on every front – looks, durability and price. Their leashes, slip-leads and collars – available in both leather and nylon – are made in the USA, and almost all of them cost less than $20. I recently picked up one of their braided nylon slip-leads for my pitbull and it works great. Highly, highly recommended.
Krebs Recycle and Mountain Dogs
For something a bit sportier, check out the climbing rope leashes from Krebs Recycle and Mountain Dog. Both brands make in the USA, and each has a nice assortment of colors and hardware. Prices vary between the two, with Krebs being the cheaper and Mountain Dog the more expensive, but in this case, “more expensive” means $37.50, so still pretty doable.
MJ Lessard Leatherwork
MJ Lessard is a Canadian leatherworker who primarily makes canine & equestrian accessories. His stuff is a bit pricier than Mendota, but the designs are nicer and most of the items are custom-made-to-order. Some of my personal favorites include the combination ID tag dog collar / slip-snap and the round leather dog leash.
a tail we could wag
a tail we could wag uses fair-trade Gautemalan fabrics to make collars, leashes and belts in the USA (we’ve covered the belts before). All of the fabrics are backed with hard-wearing nylon webbing, and finished with solid brass hardware, so they’re as tough as they are good looking. These will go perfectly with your Jed & Marne shorts.
Did you know that Filson has a whole line of canine products? Well, they do, and they’re pretty great. Along with heavy-duty leather collars and leashes, the company also makes some seriously handsome jackets and dog beds. Of course, as with all Filson goods, the prices are a bit higher, but you’ll only have to buy them once.
If you’re looking to spend as little money as possible, but still buy US-made, check out the nylon leashes and collars from Anwo which are all $1.99 (you read that right). Pennsylvania’s Equinox makes a very nice and very affordable cordura nylon travel bowl. Wagwear’s US-made, quilted-Barbour-style dog jacket is pretty slick. If you’ve got a high-energy pup, do yourself a favor and get them one of these US-made backpacks from Doodie Pack. The US-made, organic cotton dog beds from West Paw Design are expensive, but comfortable enough to sleep on yourself (slightly cheaper here). And finally, no dog owner (especially those on the east coast) should be without a Tick Key.
Got a question you want answered? Send an email to brad[at]well-spent[dot]com.