Paws In The Hood – What Every Toronto Dog Should Be Wearing

Do your woofers run through the six with their woes? Cop them a hoodie!

By Justyne Yuen-Lee


Toronto life can be described with a few phrases and words that mostly come from Mr. Champagne Papi, AKA Drake himself, these include: 6God, running through the six with my woes, views, We the North and Toronto VS Everyone. Plus a number of references to do with TTC (Toronto Transit Commission) delays that I could talk about to no end, but don’t get me started. As Torontonians, we love our city – we’ll rep the Raptors, Blue Jays, and possibly the Maple Leafs no matter how many L’s we take, we’re proud of our “6Dad” @NormKelly, and take the transit because we have no other choice.

But what runs through our blood at Get Leashed is the dog community of Toronto. You’ll always see a dog on your morning trip to work or the coffee shop or school. The dog park is where you’re going to make your new doggie friends to invite to your doggie birthdays! But what brings us, pups and humans of Toronto, closer together most of all? The winter – most loathed of all seasons.

Paws In The Hood is a brand new Etsy shop based in (where else?) Toronto, which sells hoodies for the 6Dogs of Toronto. The founders, Justin and Jennifer are dog parents to the cutest Maltese/Shih Tzu mix named Tuko! In the winter, they would dress Tuko in sweaters that made him uncomfortable. As any dog parent would want, Justin thought that there should be a dog hoodie that was both stylish, comfortable and capable of keeping their pup warm during winter months.

Thus, Paws In The Hood was born with its first original design: paws “through the six”. Of course, they decided on hoodies because who isn’t comfortable in a hoodie???

We were interested in these amazingly cute and ultra local pet attire brand, so we decided to get to know the minds behind hood. I got to sit down with Justin, Jennifer, and of course Tuko and learn their story.

According to Justin, Jennifer technically came first. Tuko, it seems, was an engagement gift! (awwww). They had visited Tuko a few weeks beforehand while touring breeders and Justin picked him up earlier to surprise Jen as part of his purposal, back in 2015!

The couple chose Tuko because Jen wanted a Maltese/Shih Tzu (which are hypoallergenic) and she began to research reputable breeders that were expecting puppies. When they met the litter, they asked to see the male dogs. The first boy puppy was shy and hid from Jen and Justin. So, they moved on to the second pup and met their future fur-ever friend. Tuko showed no shyness and was an energetic floof ball from the start.

Based upon his great personality, the couple decided to adopt him. As they recounted the story, their only regret was that they didn’t adopt the other puppy too, who Jen affectionately named Bruno.

But Tuko doesn’t regret not bringing his brother home to join his family. Tuko loves being the “only child” and only tolerates other dogs. When Jen works from home, Tuko prepares himself for a long day of napping alone on the couch. The couple believe that if they have a baby, Tuko may become quite jealous at first!

With their fur baby completely satisfied with the family dynamics, we started talking about Toronto dog life – what it needs and what it has! To Jen and Justin, the Toronto dog market is pretty stacked when it comes to treats and accessories. But the biggest market that they feel is underserved is that of big dogs.

Most pet stores have clothes for dogs no bigger than Tuko, but with Toronto’s cold winters,  Justin and Jen have heard from their customers that there is a need for clothes for bigger dogs. They believe that most people think that big dogs don’t need clothes since they already have the extra fluff (we’re looking at you Malamutes!). But when presented with the option, most dog parents want cute outfits for their dogs – no matter the size!

And that brought us to the important question: matching human hoodies? According to their costumers, people would definitely pay for matching clothes. Jen says that they never thought to do that, but it’s definitely not off the table.

In the next year the pair hope to target the summer market (raincoats, anyone?) and hopefully expand into different products like treats.

They are a fairly new company so don’t hold your breath for the matching people hoodies quite yet! But definitely check out their Etsy shop and Instagram for their new designs like “Woof The North” that Tuko very graciously modeled for us!

We’d like to thank Justin, Jen and Tuko for being so awesome and letting us get the scoop on their amazing hoodies! Show them your support and as an extra treat for our readers – use GETLEASHED15 to save 15% OFF your first purchase!!