Kimberly Garsed founded Urban Dog Playcare to provide dog owners with a place to put their pets when they were otherwise engaged with work or play, thus making it possible for more people to welcome dogs into their families. Kimberly has more than 20 years of experience training dogs, and her core staff draws on more than 10 years of experience when attending to the health and happiness of their clients? canines. During playcare, four-legged friends roam around a 5,000-square-foot facility with five distinct play areas, two of which have a rubber surface to cushion dogs? feet and better facilitate their self-directed gymnastics competitions. Owners can keep tabs on their pooches through the facility's webcam, unless the staff and their charges have embarked on one of the frequent custom field trips to exotic, pet-friendly locales such as the Santa Monica Mountains.
Boarders visiting the hospitable facility eat nutritious meals and tire themselves out during vigorous walks before being escorted to slumberland by a skilled dog wrangler who continues to watch pets into the wee hours. Dogs sleep atop beds or blankets in kennel runs or crates with housemates. Because the dog wrangler stays with the doggies all night, the animals are never alone.
Black and bubblegum hues flow in retro pinstripe patterns throughout Bow Wow Beauty Shoppe, where dedicated groomers carefully cleanse and style dogs of all breeds and sizes. The team treat their canine clients with upscale products such as Apple & Oats conditioner and South Bark blueberry facials. In addition to full-service and do-it-yourself cleansing stations, Bow Wow Beauty Shoppe has an in-store boutique and a pet hotel for small dogs. The boutique features accessories by Juicy Couture, Fluff, Puppia, Merrick, and Gooby, and the pet hotel indulges miniature guests with 400-thread-count pillow beds, a large, fenced backyard, and room service that delivers breakfast along with the morning squeaky newspaper.
Young Yorkies inevitably become runaway runway models after wrapping their canine curves in boutique charm from Touleh. Prep a pug for fashion combat with a green camo jacket ($18), or give Lassie something to brag about besides her subterranean rescue skills with a happy-birthday-to-me dress ($54). Likewise, make every day a celebration with a City Girl pet carrier ($105). Edible accessories such as dog treats ($6–$12) and organic catnip leaf (starting at $3) are also available. Take your Groupon out for a walk around the boutique and give your pet a thrill comparable to chasing cars, tails, and ever-elusive fire hydrants.
Unable to find a nearby shop to supply their Frankie and Cheeko—a chihuahua and a chihuahua-terrier mix, respectively—with accessories, dog owners Kattya and Patrick took matters into their own hands—they opened their own pet boutique in Union Square. At Cheeko B Pet Boutique, they shelve food and treats alongside gear such as collars, leashes, and grooming supplies, outfitting dog and cat caretakers with tools that rarely sacrifice style for function. For example, designer dog outerwear from brands such as Ruff Ruff Couture and Urban Hund shield pooches from the elements and the judgmental stares of style-savvy squirrels. DailyCandy praised the store in 2008 for its sophisticated tastes in four-legged fashion, deeming it a "Trendynob pet hub" where you can "class up your canine."
"I like to say that I traded four wheels for four paws," says Pamela, who left behind a career in the auto industry to found Launder Dog. She made the decision after her german shepherd developed health problems and she found a vitamin regimen that successfully treated the dog's condition. Focusing on healthy and natural products, Pamela assembled a supply of specialty foods and medications for cats and dogs to fill her new shop.
The addition of self-service washtubs has helped the pet haven build a loyal cast of regulars since its founding in 1996. "We are like Cheers, but for cats and dogs," Pamela says. Owners come in to socialize, chat with staff members about proper pet care, and exchange fashion tips with the shop's resident cat, Ben. His eyes cruise lazily across the shop as Pamela and her team stay close by to assist patrons as they check out supplies ranging from colorful doggie bags to canine arthritis medication. Staff can also custom-order products and rare colognes that smell like the mailman.