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.
Since dog is man's best friend, then dog (and possibly cat) deserves man's best grooming, toys, apparel, ink cartridges, 3D glasses, and more. Today's Groupon gets you $75 worth of premier pet-pampering, hairstyling (dye your puppy screaming pink if you like), toys, and pet accessories at The Salty Paw, located in the Financial District. The downtown pet center, featured in Time Out New York and New York magazine, is a luxury oasis for the stress-ridden pet worried about the college application process or an impending marriage.
The DoggyDASH facilities boast grooming stations where dogs receive the full pampering experience: haircuts, baths, brushing, nail clipping, and ear cleaning. And, to make the styling process as smooth as possible, pet-loving groomers maintain a calm, welcoming disposition during each appointment. This dedication to canine comfort is standard of all services at the pet boutique. The staff accommodates dogs for daycare visits as well as longer boarding stays, both of which entail three walks a day for every pup, a more fun workout than playing fetch with a sandbag. Even canines that aren't checked in can still benefit from dog walking services around the city—30-minute "fun walks" and 60-minute "park walks" depart from owner's homes, with complimentary pick-up and drop-off for any residence below 90th street.
Word of Jesse Brezina's dog walking prowess spread quickly, and soon Jesse found himself with a viable business on his hands. He's pulled together a passionate staff of dog lovers to take clients' four-legged friends on neighborhood jaunts. Staffers walk just one dog at a time, so owners rest assured that their pups' leashes aren't being tangled with a stranger's. The dog-walking staff stay overnight if needed, or escort pets to appointments with the groomer, vet, or interior decorator. Afterward, walkers text owners with an update on their pets' well-being.
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.).