Like air and food, dogs have always been a part of K9 to 5 owner Meghan Leavy’s life. She was brought up with dogs, currently owns a golden retriever and a dachshund, volunteers with animal organizations, and takes care of other people’s beloved pets on a daily basis. Every pooch that Leavy and her staff care for is treated like one of the family, whether it needs a walk, a feeding, or just some special attention. Cats get their share of the love too: the team provides cat-sitting services that include feeding, dispensing medicine, and litter scooping. They can also bring in mail for owners who are on vacation.
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.
The many varieties of exotic fish at Pacific Aquarium and Planet, in the Lower East Side, are the focus of the stock and attention of the staff. It’s not unheard of for sales to customers to be denied for lacking the proper equipment to support some of the very sensitive, exotic species. Both fresh and salt water fish are available, including Japanese koi, cichlids, arowanas, praecox rainbows, cardinals and even stingrays. Believing environment is just as important as water quality and filtration systems, the shop sells live coral and aquatic plants like Riccia, Java Moss and Glossostigma. The regular maintenance service is also strongly recommended to newbies of exotic fish collecting.
Signature service: Full Baths and Grooming
Staff Size: 2?10 people
Average Duration of Services: 2?4 hours
Brands Used: Les Poochs, Isle of Dogs, B3, and Aroma Paws
Pro Tip: We want your pet groomed to pawfection. Please don't hesitate to be specific or to bring pictures.
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.).