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.
From the outside, Queens Animal Hospital might look like it was recently converted from a family home. In fact, it's been an animal hospital since 1955, and the humble design scheme was deliberate: what pet wouldn't want to climb the steps of a friendly-looking house filled with friendly people? Inside, they'll find a staff headed by Dr. Beshoy Rafla, who specializes in dogs and cats but also welcomes birds, reptiles, and other small exotic pets. He and his veterinary techs perform a wide array of services: in addition to standard checkups, there are facilities for surgery, dental care, grooming, and, for dogs, even boarding in quarters that include indoor and outdoor runs. Pets also don't need to leave the grounds for x-rays, ultrasounds, or EKGs, and their humans can even opt for microchipping to keep them safe if they ever get lost in a funhouse's hall of mirrors.
A practicing veterinarian since graduating from the University of Pennsylvania's School of Veterinary Medicine in 1984, Dr. Keith Niesenbaum cares for four-legged friends as the owner and medical director at Crawford Dog & Cat Hospital. Alongside senior associate vet Dr. Brian Spar, Dr. Niesenbaum and his staff treat ailing pets in three facilities that offer inpatient and outpatient care and also make house calls.
Stamford Veterinary Center & Pet Lodge seeks to create a 360-degree pet-care experience with an onsite veterinary facility, pet lodge, and spa. Dogs can spend the day frolicking in indoor and outdoor play areas with fellow pups or visit the spa for thorough grooming. While boarding, dogs receive attentive and affectionate care from trained professionals, and veterinarians keep pets in top shape with a slew of health-care and dentistry services.
The professional-bathing staff at Paw Seasons Hotel & Day Spa cleanses furry friends of all shapes and sizes in deep, stainless-steel washbasins. Their specialized hydro-surge system drenches pets in pleasantly warm streams of water, whereas rich shampoos expunge dirt, dander, and prior bone-stealing convictions from coats. Canine coddlers pay extra attention to details such as the ears and anal glands and create a spa-style experience for pets with a back-and-head massage that melts away doggie tension. Lingering moisture evaporates into thin air under room-temperature wafts from a blow dryer, whereas a nail trimming halts late-night tap-dancing sessions across wooden floors. Pulchritudinous pups strut out of their cleansing refreshed, odor free, and sporting a dapper bow or bandana to accentuate their newly spiffy coat.