During his time as a zookeeper, My Pet Garden owner Joel Tatom learned firsthand that the best way to improve an animal’s life is through nutrition. Because of this, his dog grooming and daycare center offers premium foods in grain-free, organic, or raw varieties. That’s one of the reasons why the center was named the Best Place to Treat Your Pet Like a Prince by LA Weekly in 2011. The other reason is the center’s gentle cleaning sessions, during which staffers de-mat fur with a soft touch and clean teeth without making fun of the dog’s braces. Additionally, the groomers of My Pet Garden run a program in which they work with shelters to groom dogs who lack homes in the hopes that the pooches will find new owners.
Nestled amidst the Arroyo Seco and San Gabriel mountains, San Pascual Stables enchants visitors with natural beauty and an enthusiastic crew of trainers continuing a 34-year tradition of equine education. During an expertly guided horsemanship class, trainees learn the basics under the wing of a trainer well versed in hunter and jumper riding. After a series of three lessons, clients are likely to feel more at home on horseback, and can swiftly opt into future lessons, in which they can learn how to further care for their creature and how to properly parallel park it in front of a crowded saloon.
For more than 15 years, Marshall Canyon Equestrian Center has welcomed horse enthusiasts for riding lessons and gallops across its sylvan expanse. Guided trail rides require no previous horseback experience, leading as many as 10 riders to witness area wildlife, rumble past clear babbling streams, and admire flowers left by spurned centaur lovers. The center’s instructors, Jennifer and Donna, lead lessons in the riding disciplines of Western and English, specializing in teaching new riders proper horsemanship essentials in the well-lit arena. Marshall Canyon also boards horses in fully covered 16’x16’ stalls, where they enjoy daily cleaning and healthy portions of alfalfa.
Sitter4Paws reliably dispatches fully bonded, insured, and American Red Cross–certified dog walkers to homes for brisk, 30-minute jaunts around the neighborhood. After an initial consultation, during which the dog walker becomes familiar with the patron's pet, home, and routine, he or she arrives promptly at an appointed time for each walk, allowing a camaraderie to develop between man and pet and between man and the space-time continuum. Upon arrival, the caretaker retrieves house keys left in a lock box at the owner's home for safe entry and departure. Postpromenade, owners can arrange for the walker to continue their pet's daily routine, including filling its water bowl, brushing its hair, and painting its portrait. When tenants are away for an extended period, Sitter4Paws' staff can deter potential intruders by bringing in the newspaper and mail, turning lights on and off, and opening and closing the blinds. When the owner returns, he or she will receive an email from the sitter detailing their time spent with the dog.
Gable Equestrian’s leafy facility may be peaceful, but that doesn’t mean it’s not host to plenty of activity. The stable specializes in teaching dressage, an equestrian event that showcases a horse’s natural athletic ability and demonstrates its willingness to perform—its only outlet for that impulse since horses were banned from the 100-meter dash. Of course, the center is also adept at caring for horses, feeding, bathing, and exercising the noble beasts that take up residence there.