Toto showing off his Stars & Stripes
We were so excited that we had to let all our furry readers and their hoomans know all about these incredible onesies, especially as presie season is fast approaching and these are such an unique gift.
The onesies are pawfect for all weather conditions. They are stylish and made to measure. They would also be pawfect for those who go to shows as they will keep your fur clean and dry until it’s time to strut your stuff. They are great for our furry friends who run through mud hence avoiding having to have a bath, too many of which are not good for us. There are so many uses for these onesies and to add that extra touch, they are stylish as well.
It would have been nice to have met Toto and his hooman mum, but due to distance, we did the next best thing and communicated via e-tail.
Being brothers we both feel our questions are the best, but for once we worked as a team and pawwed out some good questions.
We woofed to Toto:-
How did your hooman mum come up with the idea for K9 CleanCoats?
Due to my long, white American Cocker Spaniel hair, I was the inspiration behind K9 CleanCoats, even if I woof so myself! There is nothing I like better than running around free in our nearby country lanes and woods. However, my hooman mummy and I eventually got fed up of the daily bath routine, sometimes twice a day and often ironically on the mornings when she leaves me to go to work.
I often had to suffer the indignity (and cold) of being hosed down in the garden on a wintry morning, carried through into the bathroom and given the full bath and blow-dry treatment. Apparently she got into trouble where she worked for being two hours late to earn the pennies to keep me in the fashion to which I am accustomed.
We couldn’t afford her losing that job, so something had to be done. Mummy bought lots of coats for me to try out, but they were never the correct length along my little body, didn’t cover my very hairy tummy, didn’t have a snood for my long, hairy spaniel ears and were usually too short on my hairy legs – so I still required bathing after walks. My mummy is meticulous to all of my little wants and needs, but I have to say that after these daily bath and blow dries I often felt chilled & struggled to maintain my bodyweight.
Desperate measures were required, so she purchased a second-hand sewing machine and learned to use it at the night-school. I have expensive tastes and she couldn’t afford fancy materials so she bought remnants to experiment with. Most weekends I was lifted on and off the grooming table and had the various prototypes pinned (often quite literally) to me! Then, of course, I had to product-test them. As if I had no pride, I used to have to trot around on my doggy walks wearing bodysuits made in up to 4 different colours and types of fabric. However, my mummy was determined to keep going and eventually we found a design that not only covered me up, but it also allowed me to perform all my little doggy functions as well as tear around the park and stubble fields staying clean and dry. We were both a little concerned that people would laugh at us, but the main thing is I was going home clean and dry and avoiding all those horrible baths!
Because I am a generous, spirited little dog I got my mummy to make them for my little friends we used to see at the doggy shows to keep them warm, clean and dry too. Eventually one of their mummies said to my mummy that she should sell them. Always conscious of the gap in my pension fund, I encouraged her to have a go at the next big Gundog show we went to. I strutted around all day in my special “Stars & Stripes” K9 CleanCoat and by the end of the day we had a whole lot of orders from all manner of gundog types. She got herself awfully worried because she only really knew about Spanish dogs at that time, but I pointed out that she had taken all their measurements and she had already proven herself to be very enterprising. With all of my dozens of little toes crossed, we walked up to the Post Office and sent these coats off to our first doggy customers. No-one was more surprised than me – well, maybe my mummy was – that they fitted and all the doggy mummies were delighted to have their lives made easier too.
The next thing was mummy received a telephone call one day from a lady who writes for the Daily Mail, and she wanted to do a story on the little dog who created this new design of dog coat and his mummy. This led to me getting a two page colour spread in this hooman newspaper and my mummy not having to go out and leave me five days a week. Now we work together, usually seven days per week, although I do sometimes reminisce about the days when I used to spend entire mornings on-guard (asleep) in the sun in the conservatory.
Since then, with my assistance & encouragement my mummy has created made-to-measure K9 CleanCoats for over 70 different breeds of dogs – then of course there are all the poodle crosses! I often go off to big doggy shows like Crufts with my pawrents and on other promotional trips where I have had to measure up some of the most beautiful lady dogs in the world. Not bad for a wee dog who was dragged out of Bristol! My pawrents often go off on foreign trips now to promote the business at things like the World Dog Show in Milan. I choose not to go on those long, long journeys, preferring to stay with my friends, “the Pointer sisters”, outside Inverness.
Are they easy to put on, especially with our 4 legs?
Yes, they pull over the head, like a hooman jumper. Then your right leg goes down the right sleeve and then the mummy pulls the elastic wide to allow your paw to pop through the cuff. Same then with the left leg – then the mummy pulls it along the body and the same procedure with the two back legs. Your K9 CleanCoat is secured by a wide belt that comes under the tummy and secures high up on the rib with a thick piece of industrial velcro. There is a video on the K9 CleanCoats’ website in which I star, demonstrating how to put it on and remove it. They are so soft and comfy when you have them on and they are light and breathable.
What were the smallest and largest breeds of furry friends you have made?
My smallest doggy customer thus far was Quinn, a Chihuahua x Chinese Crested, and the largest is probably one of the Newfoundlands (Ruby) or the Leonbergers.
Would you be able to give us a rough price range?
My made-to-measure K9 CleanCoats start at £58 and go up to £118.
What makes the K9 CleanCoat better than other canine onesies?
They are totally made-to-measure because, just like hoomans, we are all different shapes and sizes. For lady dogs the belt comes right along to the back leg, keeping the entire tummy clean and dry. For us boy dogs it is obviously that much narrower. My unique and patented design has the hood/snood, which is great for those of us with great, hairy ears or top-knots and those who get awfully cold ears. All four legs are full-length with elasticated cuffs to prevent the wet and dirt getting up inside. In the three years I have been running the business with my mummy we have increased our colour choice to the extent that we now have a selection of over 60 different colours, including tartans, and we can even have your name or kennel affix embroidered on. They are made of a soft, breathable polar fleece fabric.
We saw you make motorcycle onesies for our ruff rider friends. What protection do they give?
Following a request from Black Labrador Biker, Renee, I sourced a very tough fabric used in hooman motorbike gear, called Kevlar, and designed a protective undersuit. It is almost impossible to tear (and cut!), which is good to know should the worst happen when they are out biking. There is a video of Renee and her Dad on the Home page of the K9 CleanCoats’ website, showing them out on the open road and explaining why they asked me to develop this product. On top of the Kevlar bodysuit we wear a made-to-measure K9 CleanCoat to keep us cosy and “Doggles” to protect our eyes.
Biker dogs: Renee & Wilson
Would you say your onesies are designer and do you add anything special to make them more unique?
They are totally designer – they are custom-made to meet each of my little clients’ needs. My mummy draws out a pattern for each dog and they select their very own colour-scheme. The hood is a unique feature, which is why we decided to patent the bodysuit. Unlike most dog coats on the market, they are made in the UK by a mummy who knows about dogs.
How many different pattern designs are there?
Over 60, from the weird and wonderful to brown! My second favourite to Stars & Stripes is the Elephants. If we have to go out in the cold and wet we may as well bring a smile to the peoples’ faces.
Is there anything else you would like our readers to know?
When I helped my mummy create the K9 CleanCoat I had only my own little needs and comforts in mind, but the most rewarding thing has been developing the lightweight micro-fleece K9 CleanCoats to cover up all my poor little doggy mates who suffer from airborne allergens. Many of them have been on steroids for a very long time and are able to come off them with something so simple as a bodysuit to cover them up! I had one little Bichon client in Malta who had three as he had to wear them 24/7.
I do spend a lot of time lying under the TV with my eyes shut, strategically planning. My latest project over the summer has been to develop the K9 CleanCoat Bath in microfibre towelling, to help speed up our drying if we’ve been working or playing in the wet or had a bath. It is lovely to curl up inside one in bed or run around the house with it on until we are dry. The mummies like them too as they don’t seem to like wet dogs in the house.
Thanks Toto and Mum for taking the time to reply to our questions with great answers. We think you have a great product for the furry friends and we wish you all the best in the future. It has been a pleasure woofing to you via e-tail.
Well pals, it’s now time to get your pawrents to buy you that custom-made onesie, with the Howliday season approaching – what a fangtastic gift to be sat under the tree!
As usual, The Border Collie Bruvz woofing for The Barking Bugle
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