Mike Kelly had a sore back, not to mention torn-down shower curtains, a decimated bathroom, and clogged drains, all courtesy of his 160-pound newfoundland, Gordo. He decided to start a self-service dog-wash business, not simply for his own sake but for other sore, slobber-riddled dog owners as well.
And so In n Out Self Serve Dog Wash was born. There, pet owners find a series of green-walled semiprivate stations that house walkup tubs for a variety of dog sizes, including a couple of extra-large sizes to accommodate massive pups or several small dogs that became stuck together after an ill-fated jelly-sandwich incident. Equipped with washing hoses and shampoos, dog owners can disrupt muddy paws and fur before rinsing and styling their pooch's pompadour with a high-velocity, no-heat blow dryer. Or they can seek out the help of the shop's professional grooming services, which include nail trimming, ear cleaning, and packages with breed-standard trims.
Beastie Besties Dog Walking and Pet Care Services owner Tina Marie Mayo-McGovern cares for dogs and cats while owners are away. Her services range from 15- and 30-minute dog walks to home visits for cats that include playtime, serving fresh food and water, and scooping the litter box. Along the way, she documents for owners the time she spends with pets, taking photos, shooting video, and recording songbirds' classic doo-wop hits.
VIPuppy Spa treats canines to human-grade comfort and amenities. During daycare, staffers separate dogs into groups based on age, size, and disposition for outdoor playtime, then supervise the play area to ensure none of the pups gets cheated out of his or her poker winnings. After a full day of play, dogs go home with their owners or drift off to sleep in a climate-controlled room as soothing music plays. The facility stays open 24 hours a day every day of the year, so owners can find a happy home for their dogs even during holidays or mass feline revolutions.
VIPuppy also beautifies furry friends with grooming services ranging from a hydro-massaging bath and coat conditioning to nail trimming and tooth brushing. Some of the services even deliver the pampering you might expect at a day spa—aromatherapy shampoos, facial scrubs, and applications of OPI’s special dogs-only nail product, Pawlish. Cats tired of barking for attention can also benefit from VIPuppy's grooming services; a cat groomer with 30 years of experience trims coats and clips nails for felines as well.
It's rarely a good idea to indulge dogs with cookies and cakes—unless those cookies and cakes are made specifically for them. That's exactly the case at The Paws of Nature, where owner Kirsten bakes homemade treats for pups. Kirsten and her friend, Michele, had the idea to create a neighborhood pet store with a twist. Today, the twist they envisioned comes in several forms, such as community education programs, conveniently designed self-serve washing stations, and a stock of healthier food choices for pets—including, of course, baked goodies.
Matt Caranante?s journey to becoming a dog trainer started, oddly enough, with bed bugs. While working as a handler for a bed-bug-sniffing beagle, he realized how powerful the relationship between dog and owner could be. He went on to rescue another dog, this time an abused beagle from a high-kill shelter, and the reward he felt from rehabilitating his pet made his next step clear: He enrolled in Animal Behavior College?s dog-training certificate program and founded Let's Play!
As a positive-reinforcement dog trainer, Matt brings out canines? best behavior by mixing work with fun activities that help channel their energy. He offers private, in-home sessions to disengage pups from remote controls, as well as group classes to work on basic obedience and manners. Matt also works on behavioral modification to solve common issues such as separation anxiety, dog aggression, and excessive barking.