Dog owners let out a sigh of relief when they leave their pups in the capable hands of licensed staffers at Harlem Doggie Day Spa. They can rest assured knowing the staff never puts boarding charges in a crate overnight, unless it's by request. Instead, dogs enjoy perks such as multiple trips out in the fresh air and some cuddling while watching TV. Daycare charges spend their time scampering in the indoor or outdoor yards, playing with other dogs and staff members.
And when owners pick up pups and kitties after their grooming sessions, they find pets looking as fresh as they did when they first came of the assembly line—complete with bows, painted nails, and mohawks.
In 1990, John Ziegler hired a dog walker to take his 8-month-old yellow lab Merembe out on regular walks. The plan was to escort the rambunctious pup to Central Park, where she could enjoy fresh air and social time around other dogs and people. Just to make sure he was getting what he paid for, John followed the dog walker—and discovered that Merembe spent the entire hour cooped up in a tiny apartment while the walker went on errands. The indignation that any dog owner would feel at this discovery is what prompted John to found Biscuits & Bath, an all-encompassing dog-care company that strives for transparency, knowledge, and compassion in all they do.
A bounty of doggy knowledge backs every service at Biscuits & Bath, whether it's grouping dogs by size and temperament at daycare to balance safety and fun, or pairing groomers' image-enhancing brush-outs with checks for ticks, ear infections, and unusual basketball ability. True to the company's roots, each dog walker is bonded, insured, and thoroughly trained to take beloved friends on a daily romp. Dogs are kept safe from big-city hazards by donning two slip collars, a climb-spec harness, and a reinforced nylon leash, allowing the company to boast nearly one million incident-free walks in 2011. On-site veterinarian services give pups a checkup incentive with the center's play-filled environment, and overnight boarding services keep timid dogs at ease with constant supervision and flexibility with special requirements.
Deep-cleansing facials. Relaxing massages. Feather hair extensions. These are just three of the treatments that await Luxury Pet Spa & Boutique's canine and feline visitors. The spa staff believes that pets deserve the same luxury afforded to their human counterparts, and this is reflected in everything from its hypoallergenic products, to its holistic pet food, to its decor: chocolate-colored walls, cushy armchairs, and the stained wood table Lassie used to write her memoirs. Chandeliers spill light across the treatment rooms, where groomers shampoo fur, trim nails, and cleanse ears. However, these are just the preliminary steps to an animal makeover. The groomers also style fur with the finesse of hairdressers and use airbrushes to paint fur with colorful accents.
Pets roam free in Unleash: Brooklyn's entirely cage-less facility, which features 3,500 square feet of daycare runs and a trained staff that keeps watch 24 hours a day. Dogs play in packs separated by size, temperament, and SAT scores, and at night, they snuggle within private dens or deluxe suites. Cats also get pampered during overnight stays. They leap across whimsical climbing structures that resemble apple trees or koi ponds and curl up next to siblings within spacious condos.
As a pioneer of the alternative pet-care movement for more than 20 years, Whiskers offers organic and chemically cleared goods to city-dwelling critters and their conscientious keepers. Begin your pet’s lifestyle overhaul with phytonutrient-rich vitamins from Udo's, which contain whole food concentrates for healthy coats, increased energy, and keener squirrel radar ($15.99 for cats, $25.99 for dogs). Or, upgrade treat time with high-protein, low-fat buffalo strips from Rosie’s Rewards, which satisfy snack-cravers who lack the opposable thumbs necessary for hitchhiking to Denny’s ($13.99). Herbal aids for pet cough ($17.99 for 2 oz.), dirty ears ($9.99 for 0.5 oz.), and upset tummies ($45 for 8 oz.) make up Whiskers’ own line of natural remedies. Less-than-lustrous locks get love from Dr. Shawn’s organic, all-in-one shampoo, infused with tea tree oils, aloe vera, and coconut ($22.99 for 16 oz.).