A mechanic opens the hood of a car, inspects vital fluid levels, and carefully removes a four-week old kitten. Now known as Mercedes—named after her former automotive residence—she is a permanent resident of South Tampa Puppy Palace. Pet owners, dogs, and cats may spot 2-year-old Mercedes wandering throughout parts of the large facility, whose webcam-equipped boarding suites (for cats and dogs), dog runs, and play yards have the capacity for more than 150 animals. The facility's custom-built saltwater pool gives pups a 20'x30' tub to splash around in without their owners worrying about chlorine's potentially harmful effects on coats, skin, and tails' wagging patterns. The play yards also feature canopies under which dogs can cool off with fans and misters.
Led by manager Tiffanie Ivins, a former veterinary technician, South Tampa Puppy Palace's personnel include a retired veterinarian and a handful of experienced groomers. All the staffers use their extensive training in canine CPR and interpreting body language to carefully supervise dogs' playtime and prevent unwanted ear nibbling. In an effort to help dogs without permanent homes, South Tampa Puppy Palace also assists three area rescue groups by offering foster care to pups still waiting to find loving families.
The professional staff at Central Bark Doggy Day Care draws on extensive training in animal behavior and doggy first aid to entertain, pamper, and groom canine companions. Skilled groomers primp and pamper the worn-out furscapes of canines with shed-reducing Furminator treatments and Barkley Works all-inclusive grooming baths (prices vary based on the dog; call the desired location for pricing). Thorough ear cleanings ($10) and teeth brushings ($10) keep pups in shipshape hygienic fashion and prepare pooches for cuddling or job interviews.
Some customers choose from a colorful array of cookies, donuts, and other delectables on a tiered and crystal-encrusted dessert tray, while others relax and enjoy floor-to-ceiling murals of a picturesque countryside in the indoor dog park. None of them, however, happen to be human—such is the focus on luxury at Royal Pets Market & Resort, where boarding, grooming, training, and adoption services are overseen by an experienced staff. After pampering treatments such as aromatherapy baths or moisture-therapy wraps, dogs and cats can be outfitted from the wide selection of collars, foods, toys, and apparel in the expansive store.
The Urban Farming Company dispatches its garden gurus to local residences and businesses in an effort to help them grow their own food. When it arrives at work sites, the TUF team eagerly handles the challenges of planting a garden?the sweating, the digging, and the assembling of found dinosaur bones?leaving behind plots that are ready to harvest. Customers can choose to have their new gardens packed with different types of seeds, or upgrade to plants to get a head start on growing. They can also have the TUF team install other important garden accessories, such as drip irrigation and compost systems.
Since 1988, the staffers at Pet Supplies Plus have welcomed millions of furry critters of every stripe—from llamas and monkeys to potbellied pigs—into their animal-friendly stores in Pinellas Park and Clearwater. They design their shop so that both pets and their owners can easily navigate the inventory of more than 10,000 items. Wide aisles give leashed pups enough room to roam, colorful signage keeps shoppers moving in the right direction, and low shelves allow dogs to sniff out their preferred brand of rawhide chew. A self-serve dog wash enables guests to scrub their canine companions' coats to a youthful, puppy-like shine, whereas grooming services enlist professionals to tackle tougher jobs, such as brushing out matted fur or convincing dalmatians to stop mixing white and black after Labor Day.