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Goodies for Your Pet

Just this last November a new pet boutique named Cheengoo opened on Nob Hill at the corner of Clay Street and Mason Street. Oh wow, really, another overpriced pet boutique, you say? Don’t we have a bunch of them already? Well, we do, but here’s the thing. This place is not just chock full of cute stuff for your pet, it’s actually affordable.

In case you don’t already know, Cheengoo is a Korean word meaning "friend" or "companion,” very fitting for a pet, and of course, very fitting for a pet store where you can find things to spoil your pet. After the thousands of hours of camaraderie that you share with your pet, it only seems fitting you should pamper them, but it’s much better when you can do it at a fair price.

Owner Liz Paik is not only is the day-to-day manager of the store, but she is also the designer of the many hand-crafted dog and cat collars, leads and harnesses that you’ll find here, which are actually made in house. Liz’s background is in graphic and web design and some of the great patterns are even created by her. Simple yet playful designs like “Autumn,” “Carousel,” or “Candy Dots” come in dog ($30-$40) and cat collars ($15), or leashes with convenient hooks that make it easy to loop around your waist or to a pole ($40-$46). They even carry hard-to-find gentle collars for narrow-headed dogs like whippets ($34). Not just Liz’s creations, but the majority of items available for sale in the store are locally designed and produced.

As I mentioned, there are many affordable, cute and stylish items that can be found throughout the store. Puppy toys include a pink bear from Jax & Bones ($15), a Simply Fido non-toxic sheep ($18) or a boiled wool tug toy from A Cheerful Pet ($17). When your little buddy needs a place to rest its head, there’s a Bowser Eco-Futon (runs from $59 for small up to $86 for large). What’s special about these beds are that they are super soft, yet actually made of an “Eco-tech” fleece fabric, which is constructed from polyester fibers made from recycled plastic (PET) pop bottles.

Tiny pets that like being carried or need to be kept in a safe place in public can be snuggly secured in the Pawpoose ($39), which comes in a range of styles, including pretty pink flowers or rough-and-tumble military camouflage. If you feel the need to outfit your dog further, you can choose from a range of options, including the Hip Doggie Urban Ski Vest with furry hood ($43 for small up to $46 for large) or the Camo Skull Mohawk Hoodie ($33 for small).

A little more expensive but great for those who tire of ugly cat scratch posts are the very sleek and stylish Marmalade Pet Care: Modern Cat Cardboard Furniture in various geometric shapes and sizes ($42-$130). Other unique items include the Life Celebration, a tribute to the passing of a pet ($29) or the specially designed Cheengoo Bird Bowl from Lollipop Potter ($38).

There is also a selection of food tucked away in the back, such as the raw food made by local company Small Batch which provides a 1 lb batch diet for either cats or dogs ($5) or chicken necks ($4).

Animal causes are near and dear to Liz’s heart. In the past she’s been a foster kitten parent volunteer at the San Francisco Department of Animal Care and Control (ACC), an organization responsible for the city’s stray, injured, abandoned, neglected, and mistreated animals, as well as for the enforcement of all state and local Animal Control and Welfare laws. One percent of all sales at Cheengoo go to Animals Asia, a Hong Kong-based charity dedicated to ending cruelty and restoring respect for all animals in Asia. And of course Liz has her own little furry companion. On my visit to the shop I got to meet her very protective Abi, a Chihuahua/Yorkie mix who let out a feisty “grrruff!” whenever any stranger came near the store.

Every month Cheengoo hosts a Bark and Wine event at the store on the last Friday of the month. Coming up in February are pet portraits and in March, a possible adoption event. Contact the store for more details.

If you don’t live in the neighborhood, I recommend public transportation as parking is almost impossible. But if you can’t make it there, you can still shop at Cheengoo online at