Dog Beds and Dog Feeders Review - A Merryvaluation
by Angie McKaig
Are you sitting comfortably? Trust me when I say you're going to want to sit comfortably for this. It may be the longest, gushiest Merryvaluation dog product review you've ever read. Because when I fall in love, I don't do it halfway. Heck, I rarely do anything halfway, much less falling in love.
It may be wrong to love things, objects, as much as this... but it feels so right, I just can't bring myself to care.
Here's the scoop: the folks over at Fun Dog Fred teamed up with one of their favorite designers, Unleashed Life, and the two companies put together a couple of products for us to review. And from the moment I opened the box, it was love.
The Makati dog bed from Unleashed Life is, hands down, the most stunning dog bed I've ever reviewed.
Crafted from gorgeous wood with a distressed walnut finish, the bed features absolutely incredible scrollwork all around the bottom third of the bed. Other routered bits live above and below the scroll work, aiming up towards a solid piece that runs all four sides with gently and elegantly tapered edges.
The wood isn't just any wood. I don't know how they've finished it, but it feels incredibly smooth and touchable; this is not a quick sand and a paint job, folks, but real honest to God workmanship. The kind of workmanship that will make you want to touch it. And then make you want to call up Unleashed Life and Fun Dog Fred and beg them to make you a matching set for your dining room or bedroom. The little distressed bits are fabulous and give the piece character - sure, I know it's not really made from reclaimed wood but I don't care. It's still charming.
But wait! There's more!
The matching Makati dog feeder is absolutely as stunning as its bedded partner. Distressed walnut finish. Incredible scrollwork. This alone should make you grab your credit card to buy it as we speak. SO not kidding.
But the thing I loved the most about this feeder was the bowls. Two things, actually. One, the size: so many feeders have one-size-fits all bowls which means your smaller pet may be chomping down from great big enormous bowls, so large that their portion may only lightly cover the bottom of the bowl. Not so with this dog feeder. The bowls are smaller in the smaller Makati (they go up in size with the feeders - so smart) so that it's a more reasonable portion size inside.
Two: the rubber. It seems silly, it seems slight, but this kind of attention to detail is what sets products like this apart. If you've ever owned a feeder with stainless steel bowls before, you quickly learn that where the feeder starts to break down first is where the bowl meets the feeder. Let's face it - most of us aren't gently crouching down and ever-so-gently placing the stainless steel bowl back into the feeder. We're leaning over and placing it in there - not tossing it, but there's always a bit of a clang as it resettles into its space.
That clang is the thing that starts to mark up, break down or otherwise mess up your feeder, over time. But that's where Unleashed Life was brilliant again, because they've added a rubber lip around the entire bowl, ensuring a smooth fit and less wear on the feeder itself.
I would expect no less from a designer making wood of this quality available to pets and their owners.
If I had one thing to change about this set, it would be the dog pillow in the bed. The pillow is inset by a few inches and is a solid piece of foam covered by a neutral fabric - feels and looks like twill. Which is fine. But it's not luxurious, nor is it very plush (the foam is actually quite firm). It's surprising, really - I asked Fun Dog Fred and Unleashed Life about this, because it was so jarring to the rest of the experience of the dog bed and feeder. They replied that the fill and the material were both chosen for longevity. Fair enough.
But it just seems to me that with this kind of luxurious quality (for the owner - it's not like the dog's going to enjoy all that wood), that you'd want the same degree of luxury and panache for the dog herself. Something like brocade or velvet or tapestry, or at the least microsuede or thick, rich fur. And a pillow that would support but would still allow the pet to sink in and get comfy. However, it's not a deal killer for me: the bed frame is gorgeous enough on its own merits to be more than worth it. I will, in all likelihood, pick up a different pillow at some point for the frame, something with a little more give and swank. (Maybe this impassioned plea to the designer will change their minds on this?)
I'll tell you this: if you touch the Makati bed or feeder, you're going to want it. I wish I could say the photos do the set justice, but they just don't. In person, it's the most lovely bed or feeder I've seen for dogs. It's stunning, and if you were only going to buy one feeder or one dog bed, ever, for your pet... this is the one you've been looking for. Unleashed Life and Fun Dog Fred have an amazing winner on their hands.
Fun Dog Fred is a licensed reseller of Unleashed Life products. You can find out more or purchase from their web site at www.fundogfred.com.