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.
Founded by dog trainer Jaime Van Wye, Zoom Room works to strengthen the bond between humans and canines of all ages and pedigree with fun and educational training courses. Zoom Room specializes in dog agility training, a burgeoning sport on the competitive canine scene that trains dogs by guiding them under, over, and through gymnastic obstacles. During timed runs, pooches playfully navigate the course, which ultimately results in improved strength, coordination, and balance. Instructors also lead obedience training classes for dogs of all ages, which can help improve behavior and ensure dogs stop jumping up on furniture and wearing white fur coats after Labor Day. Using a scientifically proven method of positive reinforcement, owners reward dogs with verbal praise and treats for successfully completing commands such as "sit," "stay," and "screen phone call." Additionally, Zoom Room’s schedule of classes includes doggy tricks training, puppy training, and therapy dog training.
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).
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.
Firehouse Animal Health Center provides an extensive list of veterinary services for pets of all walks of life. Dog and cat owners can turn to Firehouse in search of simple checkups, diagnostic testing, vaccinations, dental care, and surgery. The on-staff veterinary team works together to diagnose and treat each patient, reflecting the clinic’s collaborative approach to making decisions about a pet’s health and whether or not it is actually the reincarnation of the Unsinkable Molly Brown. Pet parents can pick up prescribed medications on site, as the staff maintains a pharmacy replete with these remedies as well as nutritional supplements, shampoos, and flea and heartworm preventatives. Though a love of animals is an obvious prerequisite for a career in veterinary medicine, the staff at Firehouse Animal Health Center takes its dedication to four-legged companions a step further. Staff members regularly support animal charities and adoption centers, and they also provide complimentary initial health exams for animals adopted from Austin-area shelters and rescues.
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.