The owners of Barker Street Gourmet Dog Bakery and Boutique first found they loved helping canines while volunteering at a local animal shelter. That experience led them to create their own nonprofit dog rescue and later a bakery specifically serving their four-legged comrades. At Barker Street, they use only human-grade ingredients, such as real eggs and peanut butter, and eschew the use of preservatives and processed sugars. Veterinarians also approve of the natural recipes on their menu, which includes wheat-free, vegetarian, and vegan treats for dogs with specific needs.
Barker Street's storefront is often filled with the smells of chicken, bacon, banana, or carob wafting from the treats baked fresh there each day. The bakers also build custom dog cakes by sculpting round, square, and bone-shaped desserts into layers of banana-carob chip, apple cinnamon, or carrot ginger. They then coat their cakes in frostings such as cinnamon or peanut butter cream cheese, which can be tinted in nine bright colors. The bakers supply their desserts through pickup or shipping, and they also bring treats to appearances at local pet festivals and pet-related events.
Since 1980, family pets have flocked to Man's Best Friend, where they’re cared for all day and night. After passing a behavior evaluation, doggies can check in for daycare to run and frolic in exercise yards or sit perfectly still to feel the rotation of the Earth. During overnight stays borders sleep in private and climate-controlled kennels and can enjoy grooming sessions such as haircuts and nail trimmings. While pets enjoy their furry companions, their owners can attend training programs to learn how to teach pooches obedience or home-protection skills.
The inspiration behind the doggy-sitting business For The Love of Dogs lies, simply, in its name. Its owners always owned and cared for dogs, discussing the shortcomings or successes of other pet-care services. Finally, they decided to do dog-sitting right, so they got their own facility and haven’t stopped having friends over to play since.
The owners outfit their play space with rubber floors—easy on joints young and old—and provide nontoxic toys for the pups to chew on. They watch over canines in owners’ stead from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily, even sitting from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturdays. They reward well-mannered visitors with treats from The Barkery, a line of dog treats made from organic ingredients. Each visit includes grooming—a service that the staff offers separately—along with training services and professional waste removal for yards and doghouses due to be rented out to misbehaving spouses.
A low-cost clinic for cats, dogs, and rabbits, Spay/Houston promotes animal wellness by spaying or neutering animals and administering vaccinations and other medical treatments. Veterinarians and volunteers work together to ensure the comfort of the pet patients, separating the kennels to keep stress down, operating quickly––as many as 50 spay or neuter services a day––to lower anesthesia risks, and closely monitoring animals' recovery. The clinic also strives toward improving the well-being of the feral-cat population through low-cost total-treatment packages and arrangements with sanctuaries for cats unfit for wild living. Although the not-for-profit's services are already low-cost, it also works with pet owners to help make the price of services as affordable as possible.
Though Willow Creek Ranch of Tomball is a tranquil pet resort and boarding facility, the calm atmosphere is occasionally shaken up by the sounds of enthusiastic instruction. Rail fences run throughout the private ranch, designating areas for both horses and dogs. Near the central onsite pond, hounds can often be seen leaping off the dock, paddling, and playfully yapping at the mailmen of their daydreams.
Just a bone’s throw from the pond, trainers assist guests with such equine and canine skill sets as grooming, tacking, and riding. Resident behaviorist Amber—who holds a certification from the National K9 School for Dog Trainers—helps students navigate all manner of caring endeavors. For instance, she can help owners as they prepare for the arrival of a new baby or elegantly explain to dogs how to retrieve news stories online.
The scene is a familiar one: hotel guests lounge beside the outdoor pool as staff members filter around, offering refreshments or collecting clients for a spa treatment. However, at Pet Paradise, the pool is bone shaped and all the guests are dogs. This luxurious scene is one cat and dog owners can find at this boarding and daycare facility that has been owner Fred Goldsmith's pride and joy for a decade. The animal lover was inspired to start his own pet hotel when he simply couldn’t find a place he was comfortable leaving his bichon frise when he went on vacation.
Fred made Pet Paradise to his exact specifications, and the pet hotel's amenities reflect the loving care he lavishes on his own beloved pup. Dogs and cats can luxuriate in spa-quality grooming treatments or burn off some energy during group playtime. In the evening, pets can settle into plush bedding and feel safe knowing that the dedicated live-in staff resides just a bark away. Nocturnal kitties spend the night exploring their own private six-level cat condos while gentle spa music fills the air to keep them entertained. In case of any emergencies, Pet Paradise keeps veterinarians on-call, and in the event of a snack emergency, each staff member is a certified bacon cook.