Lisa Vanderpump with her dog, Giggy. Photo: Courtesy
Like a true Beverly Hills socialite, Lisa Vanderpump dresses to the nines, piles on the jewels, and sports flawless hair, but while her fashions rotate, there is one accessory that the Real Housewives of Beverly Hills star is rarely seen without, her tuxedo-bearing pooch, Giggy. When the three-pound dog, who has his own website, publicist, and a better wardrobe than most A-list stars in Hollywood, developed alopecia, Vanderpump began designing outfits to protect the fur of the pocket sized pup. This led to the creation of her own collection of pampered dog accessories, Vanderpump Pets.
Dressing her dogs up in fancy jewels isn’t the only way that the famed restaurateur spoils her dog pack. Vanderpump takes her pooches on private planes, feeds them a diet of chicken and vegetables, and provides them with two-acres of decadent landscape to romp through. “They just have a beautiful life. They have the life that every dog should be entitled to,” she tells Yahoo Style. “Giggy has a massage all the time. He sleeps in bed with me along with my potbellied pig [aka her husband Ken Todd].”
Yahoo Style caught up with Vanderpump to discuss wildest pet trends, the DIY method to dying your pup pink, and how to have a lasting marriage in Beverly Hills.
Yahoo Style: What was the inspiration behind Vanderpump Pets?
Lisa Vanderpump: Everybody knows I’m a dog lover so having had Giggy front and center for the last six years, people kept saying to me, “When are you going to do a pet line? When are you going to do clothes?” Because Giggy has to wear clothes for his alopecia, he’s always dressed up and he has to sleep in clothes as well. He’s got very delicate skin and can’t go out without clothes. So we’ve started getting involved with designing sexy little outfits for him. He needs pajamas with trousers in them as well, which most dogs don’t. So we started to get involved with that and then when he was awarded the Golden Collar Award for Best Dog in Reality, we thought wouldn’t it be fun to do collars and leashes? And then we started looking around and everything was so expensive. We wanted to bring in something that was more affordable. And then we got into these blinged out dog bowls inspired by some things that were $1,700 and ridiculous prices like that and we did our collection. Then I wanted pet carriers but to look like handbags you could carry around with you. We really had a lot of fun making this collection. It’s an exiting thing for me!
Why do dogs need fun accessories?
I think pets are obviously meant to be loved and they are beneficial to us. They are incredible animals. As a dog lover I love to put a pretty leash or collar on my lovely furry little person. I’ve got seven dogs. Most of them kind of roam in the backyard. I’ve got a big property and they are not so dressed up. But still when I put the collars on them, they are so beautiful and it’s a way of spoiling myself to have them looking lovely.
Can dogs and owners share jewels?
Well I’m not in the habit of wearing a dog collar to bed and if I was, I wouldn’t tell you!
People joke that Giggy has the life that everybody wants. What’s a typical day for Giggy like?
Well Giggy is a bit more spoiled, but all my dogs are well looked after. But Giggy is pretty demanding! He’s always happiest when he’s next to me. He’s that little man. He honestly doesn’t know he’s a dog. And I’m actually his mistress, ‘Giggalo the sex monster!’ We have a romantic relationship. He’s happier when he’s with me. He doesn’t even really want to walk, if I’m honest. We make him go on a walk with the other dogs for 45 minutes a day. He rides with us, he travels with us, he sleeps in my bed, and he’s got a better wardrobe than me!
Where are some of the more extravagant places that Giggy has been?
Well Giggy has been everywhere. He was the first dog on Dancing With the Stars. What I find so unbelievable is that he’s become so well known that if I check into a hotel, like I check into a hotel in New York, there is a dog bed and bowl waiting for me. Or I check into Vegas and there is a picture frame of Giggy there. People know him so well.
Who gets pampered more? Ken or your pets?
Oh my pets! Don’t be silly! Ken can look after himself! I think that people can see that from the way we live and the way we entertain, but my little four-legged furry friends are very important and I’m lucky I’m with someone who feels the same way. I’m actually organizing a march on October 4 from the La Brea Tar Pits to the Chinese Embassy in Los Angeles to protest the Yulin Dog Meat Festival. Ken has been very active in promoting that as well so it’s nice we share that vision. We would love if people would come out with their dogs and join with my celebrity friends. Check out StopYulinForever.org to sign up and support us!
What are some of the crazier trends you’ve seen with dogs in your Beverly Hills circle?
I see it all having restaurants and stuff. And I’ll admit we can get caught up in that. We wash and groom all our dogs ourselves. In the final wash, we put a little bit of food coloring in with one of our dogs so she comes out as a pink dog but she doesn’t even know. A little pink wash or putting a little bit of pink coloring on the ears of a white dog is cute. I think anybody that loves and indulges their pet, as long as it’s not at the pet’s expense. The wildest trend I’ve seen is a Chow Chow dyed as a panda. They put the black ears and the spots on them. That is pretty funny. I’ve also seen a dog’s fur shaved where they are made to look like lions.
What’s the most extravagant thing that you’ve ever done for your pets?
I suppose that’s the most extravagant thing, when we’ve gone to Europe, we could have gone just commercial ourselves but when we used to go for three months, we would fly privately and take them all with us. And no, they don’t get jetlag. They are seasoned travelers!
You and Ken are the most adorable couple. What’s the secret to a lasting marriage, especially in Beverly Hills?
Well I’m lucky that I married somebody when I was 21 who didn’t try to stunt my growth. He’s always included me and we’ve become business partners over 33 years, but I think it’s about humor. I think it’s about putting each other first. We both do that and that’s the key to a successful relationship and respect. If you lose that respect, it’s very difficult to get it back. I always say that to people even when they first get married, you start off this way but if you go down that path of treating each other poorly, it’s hard to come back from that.
And the fact that you guys work so well together without killing each other is a testament to the marriage!
Yeah! I mean I try to win the battles, but sometimes I give in.