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.
36th Street Animal Clinic might be small, but its clients like it that way. The staff is attentive and thorough, welcoming pets and their parents with an intimate and cozy waiting room. In addition to providing regular wellness visits, the clinic houses a surgery center and pharmacy for ailing animals and performs high-tech services such as ultrasound for painless diagnostics and microchipping to help locate animals that are lost or have gone away to "find themselves." The clinic also partners with NYC Pet Services to provide cage-free boarding and daycare for dogs, cats, and other pets.
Doggie day care or boarding spares you the guilt of keeping your pawed protégé in a cage while you're working overtime, flying away on business trips and vacations, or staring at your dog while he's in a cage. During the day, NY Dog Spa dogs gambol freely with their fellow hounds in group play. Each boarded dog gets a private run or cage (depending on size) for sleeping and eating, and boarding rates include one individual walk every day (a dog weighing less than 20 pounds costs $54 a night for five nights or more). Facilities are healthy, happy environments where only fully vaccinated and spayed/neutered dogs are accepted. Playgroups for dog day care are formed based on size, age, and temperament (no aggressive dogs are allowed for boarding or day care). Day-care rates also depend on size (a dog that weighs 21 to 49 pounds costs $37 from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m).
The folks at New York’s Playground Pups like to describe their store as a neighborhood hangout for dogs. Indeed, it seems that canines are as fond of the establishment as Playground Pups is of them; framed dog pictures line the walls, and the Upper West Side shop offers all sorts of day care, training, grooming and crateless boarding options for your special pooch. Behavior experts and trainers will even evaluate dogs on the basis of age, size and temperament before assigning them to a socializing group or class. The small store also stocks dog apparel including rain coats, sweaters, and jackets. Dog carrying cases, leashes, harnesses, dog beds and treats are also available.
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.