Though lifelong animal lovers, owners Jennifer and Chris Stavrianos' passion for dogs and cats reached a new level of dedication when they began caring for strays around their Westside Chicago neighborhood. The experience inspired them to open Pet Care Plus in 1998. In the 13,000-square-foot facility, pups can scamper across an expansive rubber-surface playground, enjoy training and grooming services, and, in the summer months, head outdoors to frolic in the in-ground swimming pool. Some dogs stay only during the day while their people are at work, but Pet Care Plus also hosts overnight guests of both canine and feline persuasions. Training classes for dogs of all ages are available to keep behavior in check when pets return home. Grooming packages range from simple baths with brushing to a full-service mane makeover complete with nail polish or custom conditioners.
Wild Birds Unlimited promotes the health of avian species at more than 275 locations throughout the country. Rockford owners Robert and Carol Bailey supply customers with the products and advice they need to transform outdoor spaces into chirp-filled habitats. Nutritious bird foods attract flying locals with seed blends that are formulated to the tastes of area species. Bird feeders can draw specific types of feathered friends, such as the Dinner Bell, which is known to lure cardinals, mockingbirds, and baby pterodactyls to lawns. Rockford's Wild Birds Unlimited promotes environmental responsibility with high-efficiency light bulbs, a high-efficiency rooftop, and extensive recycling practices.
At Follow Your Nose, pets experience the equivalent of a combination department store, upscale eatery, and spa made just for them. When it comes to snack time, the crew that runs the shop bakes housemade, gluten-free cookies for pets and stocks savory treats made with free-range, grass-fed, and hormone-free meats. As customers shop, they encounter useful pet wares that include gentle, coconut-based shampoos, hand-knit sweaters, and memory-foam beds that combine stain-resistant fabrics with fashionable patterns. Sitters are also available to come to pets' homes to care for them while their owners are away. As a mark of their dedication, Follow Your Nose provides services every day of the year, even when their storefront is closed on major holidays such as Pet Thanksgiving.
Since 1988, Pet Supplies Plus has welcomed millions of furry critters of every stripe?from llamas and monkeys to potbellied pigs?into their animal-friendly stores. The shop is designed so that both pets and their owners can easily navigate the inventory of more than 10,000 items. Wide aisles give leashed pups enough room to roam, colorful signage keeps shoppers moving in the right direction, and low shelves allow dogs to sniff out their preferred brand of rawhide chew.
Owner Lindsay Rapp surrounds herself with a staff of canine-whisperers who employ both human and animal psychology to help owners and pets live long, happy lives together. Agility training equips dogs for high-intensity play or auditions for basketball movies, and other courses tailored to families with children keep the peace by preparing dogs for a new baby or preparing families for a new dog.