Shady Acres Pet Ranch is more like a farm than a typical boarding facility. On three acres of land, lush, green grass awaits hounds who can frolic in three play yards dappled with sunlight thanks to the property's 100-year-old oak trees. Pups spend their daylight hours playing with similarly-sized friends under the watchful eyes of pet-friendly staff members. Then, as the sun sets, they can hunker down in heated and air-conditioned closed-door suites that offer privacy for dogs who keep diaries. Though farm-like in many ways, the ranch does boast a number of modern amenities where it counts, including having a CPR– and First Aid–certified caretaker.
At this four-facility network of locally owned animal hospitals, veterinarians—including Dr. Jill Urofsky and Dr. Raymond P. Bouloy—shower clients' animal pals with the same care and attention they give their own pets. Each clinic's team sees to its furry, four-legged clientele with general practices ranging from checkups to teeth cleaning, as well as more specialized services such as microchipping. Some locations boast boarding and grooming facilities, and each practice's staff either offers or can coordinate emergency care.
Behind the glass-paneled bakery case at Doggie Deli & Spa, baked bones and confections get canines salivating in the grand tradition of Pavlov's bell. Natural treats from Bark Stix, Whole Life, and Stella & Chewy's share shop space with collars, leashes, and toys, as well as a carefully curated selection of dog food so delicious pups will have to teach their humans not to beg. The spa half of the shop welcomes pooches and their owners for self-service washes powered by an assortment of shampoos, sprayers, and a high-velocity dryer.
Papa G’s menu of pizza and Italian fare packs more hearty goodness onto each page than Abe Lincoln had money packed into his top hat. Preheat your mouth oven with mozzarella sticks ($3.99 for a half order) before letting it decoct the Big Papa pizza, which is stacked with pepperoni, Italian sausage, mushrooms, ripe olives, onions, and green peppers ($19.99 for a large). For those who would rather choose their own pie toppers, Papa G’s has a list of more than 10 options, which includes zucchini, spinach, anchovies, and Canadian bacon—the bacon that only grows above the border. Classic Italian delights include lasagna ($10.49), eggplant parmesan ($8.99), and fettuccini alfredo ($9.99 with breaded chicken).
A love of animals and a desire to help them live long, healthy lives drove each of the veterinarians at Central Texas Animal Hospital into the veterinary field. Together, they provide vaccines, dental care, and spaying/neutering services to both cats and dogs. They also offer laser therapy that can help alleviate pain from arthritis. Groomer Janice Francis is on hand to bathe, trim, and style pets' hair into classic mohawks.
The trained and certified specialists at Camp Bow Wow tend to tail-waggers at their 10,000-square-foot, log-cabin-themed facility. It's equipped with three indoor play yards that are accessible to fenced outdoor play areas. Dogs staying overnight get tucked into individual cabins with a fleece blanket and a treat. Humans can keep tabs on their pups via an app that connects to Camp Bow Wow's live webcams. When staff members aren't keeping pooches company, they're involved in charitable endeavors, such as helping foster pets find permanent homes.