Like many other only children, Saran longed for a little brother or sister when she was growing up. She never got a sibling, but when she was 15, her mother did surprise her with a dog, Kiki. Kiki quickly became the sibling Saran never had, and even when she left her native country of Guyana to attend college in Florida, she never forgot the bond she'd built with her dog. Saran went on to earn an MBA, later ditching her corporate career to start her own business—a pet grooming and boarding facility named in honor of her now late canine companion.
Kiki's Pet Spa & Boutique hasn't just been a comfort to Saran's animal-loving spirit, but also to other pet owners dealing with socially or physically challenged pets. That's because the compassionate staff isn't simply grooming and minding animals. During boarding and daycare sessions, they're encouraging the pets' social development and helping both owners and pets adapt to the setbacks of injuries or degenerative conditions. Staffers can also come to your home for dog walking and cat visits, and they can arrange photo shoots or portrait sittings for when your animal is having a good fur day.
Pets roam free in Unleash: Brooklyn's entirely cage-less facility, which features 3,500 square feet of daycare runs and a trained staff that keeps watch 24 hours a day. Dogs play in packs separated by size, temperament, and SAT scores, and at night, they snuggle within private dens or deluxe suites. Cats also get pampered during overnight stays. They leap across whimsical climbing structures that resemble apple trees or koi ponds and curl up next to siblings within spacious condos.
The pet professionals at Sutton Dog Parlour comfort away-from-home critters with boarding and animal services for dogs, cats, and birds. Inside the facility, dogs enjoy their own private quarters in a run or corral, taking catnaps on a raised bed or discussing the Dog Food and Drug Administration's latest ruling on chicken bones with nearby canines. Cats hunker down in their own quarters, and birds with the proper health certificates lounge about while nibbling on fruits, veggies, seeds, and Nutri-Berries. During doggy playcare, Spots and Rovers romp through a private 2,500-square-foot park enclosed by tall fences. In the summertime, wade pools keep paws cool and clean. A supply shop helps owners feed and entertain furry or feathered friends once they are back at home.
Doggie day care or boarding spares you the guilt of keeping your pawed protégé in a cage while you're working overtime, flying away on business trips and vacations, or staring at your dog while he's in a cage. During the day, NY Dog Spa dogs gambol freely with their fellow hounds in group play. Each boarded dog gets a private run or cage (depending on size) for sleeping and eating, and boarding rates include one individual walk every day (a dog weighing less than 20 pounds costs $54 a night for five nights or more). Facilities are healthy, happy environments where only fully vaccinated and spayed/neutered dogs are accepted. Playgroups for dog day care are formed based on size, age, and temperament (no aggressive dogs are allowed for boarding or day care). Day-care rates also depend on size (a dog that weighs 21 to 49 pounds costs $37 from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m).
In 1990, John Ziegler hired a dog walker to take his 8-month-old yellow lab Merembe out on regular walks. The plan was to escort the rambunctious pup to Central Park, where she could enjoy fresh air and social time around other dogs and people. Just to make sure he was getting what he paid for, John followed the dog walker—and discovered that Merembe spent the entire hour cooped up in a tiny apartment while the walker went on errands. The indignation that any dog owner would feel at this discovery is what prompted John to found Biscuits & Bath, an all-encompassing dog-care company that strives for transparency, knowledge, and compassion in all they do.
A bounty of doggy knowledge backs every service at Biscuits & Bath, whether it's grouping dogs by size and temperament at daycare to balance safety and fun, or pairing groomers' image-enhancing brush-outs with checks for ticks, ear infections, and unusual basketball ability. True to the company's roots, each dog walker is bonded, insured, and thoroughly trained to take beloved friends on a daily romp. Dogs are kept safe from big-city hazards by donning two slip collars, a climb-spec harness, and a reinforced nylon leash, allowing the company to boast nearly one million incident-free walks in 2011. On-site veterinarian services give pups a checkup incentive with the center's play-filled environment, and overnight boarding services keep timid dogs at ease with constant supervision and flexibility with special requirements.
The folks at New York’s Playground Pups like to describe their store as a neighborhood hangout for dogs. Indeed, it seems that canines are as fond of the establishment as Playground Pups is of them; framed dog pictures line the walls, and the Upper West Side shop offers all sorts of day care, training, grooming and crateless boarding options for your special pooch. Behavior experts and trainers will even evaluate dogs on the basis of age, size and temperament before assigning them to a socializing group or class. The small store also stocks dog apparel including rain coats, sweaters, and jackets. Dog carrying cases, leashes, harnesses, dog beds and treats are also available.