"I wanted them," he tells PEOPLE, "but realized very quickly, not very safe, so got rid of them."
The rocker-by-day is speaking as a designer of pet accessories. It's an endeavor he took on with PetSmart this year, and one that's resulted in the firstPets Rock Collection, a line of toys, apparel and beds that are exactly what you might expect from Michaels.
There are doo-rags, vinyl boots, a toy that looks like a guitar, and even a food bowl that alludes to Poison's hit song, "Every Rose Has Its Thorn," but Michaels's personal favorite is the tour bus toy, which features a security guard and a fan.
"I'm a drealist," he says. "I'm a dreamer with a creative brain, but I'm also a realist. One idea may sound great, but let's try to get this on the dog. It's all meant to be a lot of fun."
Michaels says that the collection "is all stuff I created from my brain," and he tested the products on his own two German shepherds, Diesel and Phoenix. The collaboration feels completely organic to the entrepreneurial star, who has cultivated a love of animals since his childhood.
"In life, they bring me a certain peace of mind," he says. "There's a sense of unconditional love I get from my dogs – or, as crazy as it sounds, my rats – being around me."
During his health scare in 2010, when he suffered a brain hemorrhage and underwent heart surgery, Michaels felt comforted by his pets, and he's further encouraged by the fact that they're so great with his two young daughters, Raine and Jorja. All that's left is to get a cowboy hat into the next Pets Rock line.
"It's in the making right now!" he promises. "I just have to figure out how to get it around the ears. The cowboy hat is a comin'!"
Courtesy Bret Michaels