“Let’s face it; anything a human can wear, a dog can wear, too.”
Or so claims an up-and-coming canine clothing company called Walkee Paws, and from the looks of it — from bad weather gear, to pup pajamas, to doggy haute couture and just about everything else — founder Lisa Baronoff is right on the money. Walkee Paws, which touts itself as a new athleisure line for fidos, specializes in fashion-forward dog leggings.
The company just introduced “innovative leggings” that not only make a “serious doggy fashion statement,” but also provide pups with “maximum comfort and paw protection,” all while keeping your home free of dirt and germs. Invented out of practicality — many dogs don’t like having their paws touched and snow booties tend to fall off — Walkee Paws’ leggings are stretchy and less restrictive (traditional boots tend to squeeze a dog’s ankles and restrict blood flow), fitting securely around your pup’s back, which allows them to run and play more easily.
Baronoff tells PEOPLE that her beloved 14-year-old Cocker Spaniel, Toffee, was the inspiration behind the product. “I love my dog and treat him as part of our family. He sleeps in our bed every night! I live in Manhattan and have been concerned about the dirt and germs Toffee tracks into our home after outdoor walks on the dirty pavements … and I’m concerned with him ingesting dangerous street chemicals by licking his paws, [so] to protect him and our home, I embarked on a mission to find a workable solution.”
Baronoff’s product development and marketing background (she worked at Sarah Lee Hosiery in South Africa and Fisher Price toys, working on Disney and Sesame Street licensed properties) helped her invent a better option.
“Inspired by the versatility of pantyhose, my team developed a 4-way stretch fabric and patent-pending tightening tool designed for maximum comfort for Toffee. Walkee Paws is the only dog legging brand on the market,” she declares.
Although photos of dogs in the leggings may be comical, Baronoff says that Walkee Paws are designed with safety and cleanliness as a priority. (The paw pockets are also waterproof and specially designed to protect paw pads from hot pavement, lawn chemicals, pesticides, allergens, ticks, snow, ice and salt.) Still, she really wanted to create a product that would make a fashion statement and reflect various styles and personalities. This is why the leggings come in a variety of prints, including black-and-white checkered, confetti and camouflage.
Baronoff tells PEOPLE that she has owned about 15 dogs in her lifetime and is a passionate pet parent. In addition to Toffee, her family also recently adopted a golden doodle puppy named Stir Fry who gets excited about wearing his “walkees” while going out. Meanwhile, her daughter, Natasha, loves wearing her camo leggings that match Stir Fry’s.
“We may launch a ‘doggie and me’ line – with leggings to match for dogs and girls,” says Baronoff.
So, what’s next — dog rompers? Maternity wear? Matching cat couture? Baronoff says that seasonal leggings (hearts for Valentine’s Day, etc.) and licensing for sports team brands and logos isn’t far off. She’s also hoping to collaborate with human designers for their new runway collections.
Walkee Paws makes leggings available in small ($19.99) medium ($24.99) and large ($29.99), but right now the company does not cater to tiny teacup breeds or extra large dogs like Bernese mountain dogs and Great Danes.
Learn more and purchase Walkee Paws on Amazon, plus you can check out all the adorable pup models on Facebook or Instagram. And don’t forget to let Santa know whether your very good boy or girl made the “nice list” this year! Hint, hint.