A.P.A.W. Veterinary Hospital and Wellness Center has been privately owned since 1998, when Drs. Patricia Peynado-Boyce and Lizel Salmon took the reins. Their three-pronged approach to animal health?compassion, innovation, and education?promotes a warm and well-informed venue for furry companions.
To exceed the demands of the credo's three facets, the staff invests in highly customized care. Many of their tools are typically seen only at specialty practices, such as endoscopy gear and spider-flavored lollipops for cooperative ferrets. Though their emphasis on preventive care can help stave off many illnesses, their hospitalization services remain at the ready: the team issues daily progress reports to owners and oversees patients kept onsite with late-night through early-morning monitoring. Heated kennels, outdoor play areas, and sunlit cat-only perches decorate their daycare and boarding space. The facility is located less than three miles from both the 495 Capitol Beltway and Baltimore-Washington Parkway.
Colleen Seely, a horse trainer and judge for local equestrian shows, channels her love for the gentle creatures into Fox Pointe Farm, L.L.C., which she opened in 2005. The 27-acre expanse houses two arenas—one lighted with professional footing and the other sandier than a hermit crab's beach house—as well as two barns' worth of stables, grassy pastures, trails, and a swimming pool. Within the tranquil setting, Colleen and her staff train and board steeds for showing at local venues or the farm's own school. Focus shifts from horses to riders during lessons for all ages and abilities, in addition to summer camps for avid athletes. Some overnight camps span an entire week, during which 10 girls bunk in the air-conditioned Fox Den cabin after a day of riding.
Even after dropping their dogs off at LIttle Rascals, owners are never truly separated from their pups—they can always check in on them through a live webcam feed. That's just one of the amenities that elevate the grooming, boarding, and day care center to feeling more like a dog resort. While at the facility, dogs play with a range of toys that include balls, tug-of-war ropes, and Frisbees. Pups who stay overnight snooze in a choice of quarters that range from a simple crate to a cageless suite complete with a child-size human bed.
When it comes to keeping pets looking good, the grooming technicians at Little Rascals transform dog fur into chic, clean coats with their washes and deshedding services. A slew of training classes also teach pups fundamental skills for living in the human world, such as how to fetch a newspaper without swallowing a single bite of it. Even cats have a place here, with grooming services created just for them.
ThankDog! Bootcamp's team boasts a personal trainer and nutritionist, as an exerciser would expect, but there's also one unusual staffer: a dog trainer. That's because the boot camps don't just focus on the fitness of owners, they also tend to the physical and behavioral health of pooches. While humans work out under the leadership of the personal trainer, furry friends follow along with guidance from the dog trainer, which results in tighter bodies for owners and better behaviors for pets.
The crew at Claws & Paws knows that grooming not only makes pups look better, but feel better, too. During a typical session, a groomer gives the dog a full bath and blowout, then trims nails and cleans ears, leaving pets walking tall and ready for a hard day of smelling every possible tree. To keep pets happy and healthy Claws & Paws also carries organic food and treats for their canine charges.
Jonathan Bohbot was raised by a dog—or at least he likes to tell people that. The owner of Silver City K9, he says that his parents' german shepherd was partially responsible for his upbringing. His early rapport with the canine species helped him blossom into a true dog lover. Today, he's a certified dog trainer, and he guides his clients' pups in learning basic behavior skills, as well as reversing bad behaviors, such as overt aggression and raiding the fridge for chocolate. Jonathan also welcomes overnight charges into his own home, up to six at a time to maintain a small-pack atmosphere. Together, he and his charges go on hikes and scamper around the backyard.