Bret Michaels' new pet project: Rockin' pet accessories

May 1, 2012 at 9:51 AM ET

PetSmart /
Bret Michaels, with some help from his German shepherd, tests out his new PetSmart Bret Michaels Pets Rock Collection.

Bret Michaels has earned rock fans, his own VH1 dating reality show, and even a "Celebrity Apprentice" victory (Donald Trump called him “a little flaky” and “very brave”). But he’s about to tackle his ruffest audience yet: the American pet.

The Poison singer, 49, has released his own line of PetSmart accessories, with over 50 themed products “to rock your pet world.” The collection is remarkably extensive, with everything from a studded plush bed to cross-and-skull accented pleather vests to yes, even squeaky plush toys in bandannas. (The hedgehog looks like he means outdoor business.)

“They all have the Bret Michaels signature touch,” the singer told TODAY.com. “Even the cat products have got a rocker vibe. But all of it is useable, fun.”

(By the way, this isn’t PetSmart's first celebrity line. In 2010, the retailer launched a Martha Stewart Pets collection that featured more feminine-looking products – a baby blue bath towel, for example, rather than a skull-patterned sundress.)

Christopher Ray for TODAY.com /
Bret Michaels' Pets Rock Outlaw Tee ($15.99 - $17.99) modeled by Abigail, a Parson Russell terrier, and her infant companion.
Christopher Ray for TODAY.com /
Bret Michaels Pets Rock Plush Toy Animals ($9.99 - $11.99) bear a slight resemblance to the rocker himself.
Christopher Ray for TODAY.com /
Abigail the terrier and Loki, a Shiba Inu, modeling canine accessories from the Bret Michaels Pets Rock Collection.

As you might expect, Michaels took a rocker approach to the line, on which he collaborated with PetSmart designers: “What I live for is to be creative in general … and [PetSmart] just really got my ideas.” He told us he sat down with his favorite music for inspiration, then tested early models on his own pooches, which include big, sturdy breeds like German shepherds and Siberian huskies.

“Doing stuff like this is like having kids – I love all my kids the same, so I treat all with the same amount of respect,” Michaels said. “But personally, as an owner of bigger animals, I love the toys that you can throw.” Those include a rubber ball with a bandanna on it  (“you can whip it, and the dogs will go crazy chewing on it”), a chewable tour bus, and Rocco the Road Dog and Punk Skunk stuffed animals, which can also please smaller and mid-size furry friends as well.

Christopher Ray for TODAY.com /
A bandanna from the Bret Michaels Pets Rock Collection, sported by Abigail the terrier.
Christopher Ray for TODAY.com /
A dog bandanna from the Bret Michaels Pets Rock Collection, sported by Loki the Shiba Inu (who feels that pink really isn't his color).
Christopher Ray for TODAY.com /
A dog garment from the Bret Michaels Pets Rock Collection, begrudgingly modeled by Abigail.

The animal lover’s one regret? That he couldn’t extend his creativity to his other favorite creature – the rat. “I’m going public: the way we have made rats look in movies is a complete lie,” Michaels said in mock indignation. “Rats are the cleanest, friendliest, easiest animal I’ve ever experienced. It’s like the wolves – they’ve got a bad rap.”

But until the world is ready for rocker rodent fashion, Michaels is content dressing his own dogs in his collection. Still, even that has its limits: “I’m pretty sure than none of my shepherds or any of my dogs will be wearing any of the pink tutus (editor's note: specific item will be available in stores July 2012),” he said.  “I don’t think Diesel, my guard dog, would want to wear that.”

Modeled by Maggy, a 12-year-old Shih Tzu, the Bret Michaels Pets Rock Cuddler Bed ($49.99 - $79.99) also has a textured bottom to reduce sliding.
PetSmart /
Bret Michaels Pets Rock™ Tour Bus w/Hide & Seek Toys ($19.99) comes with band crew figures for hide and seek games with your dog.
PetSmart /
Modeled by Coco, a 2-year-old Staffordshire Terrier and Pit Bull Mix, the Bret Michaels Pets Rock Cuddler Bed ($49.99 - $79.99) comes with a with black and white barbwire/tattoo art motif.

Bret Michaels Pets Rock™ Collection will be available June 18 at PetSmart stores and PetSmart.com

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