Dr. Thomas Jackson has a special facility for answering the questions of pet owners. The seasoned veterinarian and veterinary neurosurgeon honed his ability to supply simple, understandable answers as longtime author of a newspaper column called "Ask the Vet." Practicing in the Fort Myers area since 1987, the animal doc with the amiable pet-side manner has treated innumerable critters at Best Friends Animal Hospital, where he serves as senior vet and belly rubber. The facility also boasts two other vets and a friendly staff that emphasizes the importance of preventative health care in addition to surgical, emergency and therapeutic treatments, and vaccinations. The hospital's medical services offer health care for nearly any pet, including exotics and birds, and recently expanded to include professional grooming.
In her spare time, Pets First Animal Hospital's Dr. Jessica Rowell enjoys outdoor activities, such as kayaking and horseback riding. Some might say that spending so much time communing with nature keeps her in tune with her veterinary practice, where she helps keep her clients' animals healthy. She's had one-on-one sessions with many four-legged friends, ranging from dogs, cats, and horses to kangaroos, koalas, and roombas. An in-house lab and pharmacy help Dr. Rowell and her staff care for animals efficiently. Moreover, with preventive wellness plans, they work to keep serious problems at bay.
Dr. Nina Krajewski went from spiking a volleyball to making sure Spike the bulldog is healthy. A member of an NCAA Division II championship team on the court, she went on to veterinary school. In 2007, the Sarasota native founded Dr. Nina’s Animal Hospital. The veterinary office offers a wide range of animal care, from checkups and dental cleanings to emergency care and dog and cat boarding.
The Gigi in Gigi’s Pet Spa comes from owner Collette Ritums’ mother, who taught her everything she knows about grooming. Collette channeled that knowledge into her own full-service pet spa, where she and staffer Christina Sexton revivify all breeds of dogs with traditional or sassy cuts—including colorful mohawks. In addition to baths and haircuts, they dole out pampering extras such as blueberry facials, mud wraps, and hot oil treatments.
Four Paws Salon and Spa pampers four-legged family members with a range of services including baths, fur trims, daycare, and overnight stays. Caring staff members scrub pooches with shampoos and conditioners to make fur coats shine and remove any traces of pets' graffiti exploits. When pup parents are busy during the day or overnight, Fours Paws' attentive watchers keep canines busy with fun activities and a variety of toys, and match them with dogs of similar sizes for play time, saving owners the hassle of having to teach pets to play solitaire.
A specialty pet boutique committed to wholesome foods, For Footed Friends supplies pooches and tomcats with natural grub as well as toys and accessories. The shop boasts an extensive stock of natural foods made with high-quality ingredients and minimal processing. A variety of pet-indulging products range from Primal raw venison marrow bones ($19.99) to all-natural Love Bites dog biscuits ($7.99), made in the U.S. without wheat or corn. Canine foodies can also dine on Fromm grain-free surf and turf dog food, available in 4-pound bags ($17.99), or pick up 12-inch Red Barn braided bully sticks ($13.99) to leisurely gnaw during Rin Tin Tin marathons.