Best pet stores in New York

Forget Petco: These indie boutiques offer personalized service and one-of-a-kind goods for four-legged friends

Photograph: Courtesy Kevin Sweeney
Wagwear

If there’s one thing New Yorkers love most, it’s our pets. Although we enjoy chugging back a few beers at dog-friendly bars and sipping a brew at the cat café, we feel guilty leaving our four-legged friends cooped up inside our apartment all day long. Our furry companions deserve the best, and luckily there’s no shortage of niche offerings for pets in NYC. From adorable duds, tasty treats and shops that offer pet adoption, we’ve mapped out the best stores for pets by neighborhood, so you can keep your adorable critter happy, healthy and stylish.

RECOMMENDED: Pets' guide to NYC

The best pet stores in Manhattan

The Barking Zoo

The shelves at this 12-year-old pet-supply shop are full of natural and holistic foods ($10–$25) that would please any veterinarian, such as Nature’s Recipe, which targets concerns like allergies and intestinal health. But the comestibles aren’t the only treasures: Rifle through the chests of Barking Zoo’s own wool and cotton knit sweaters ($35–$75) for sophisticated argyle, stripe and Fair Isle prints that will make your hound look Harvard-bound.

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Chelsea

Canine Styles

This upscale chainlet appeals to those guilty of treating their dogs like humans (you know who you are), stocking superfluous goods like chunky-knit argyle and stripe sweaters ($65–$100), and a pet driver's-license ID tag kit ($21) available for all 50 states. In addition to a wide-ranging selection of collars ($18–$450) in animal prints, braided leather and luxe alligator skin, Canine Styles specializes in designer look-alike dog clothes and accessories such as imitation Lacoste tennis dresses ($38) and Burberry-plaid rain slickers ($45–$55).

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West Village

DoggyStyle NYC

This refreshingly noncutesy pet-supply store will have your canine cruising down the sidewalk in high-quality, understated gear. The store’s spacious second location (the first is in Soho) features colorful goodies like collars, bowls and toys. Bring your pooch in to peruse the enormous and tasteful collection of collars ($35–$175), leashes ($30–$100), travel bags ($100–$275), beds ($115–$260) and bowls ($23–$185). Also get your paws on handmade sterling-silver name tags in charming shapes such as cupcakes and crowns ($60–$110).

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Greenwich Village

The New York Dog Shop

This small shop is stocked to the brim with everything a dog could need, want or—more accurately—dread. Terrifying discoveries include pink dog goggles ($19) and mini ladybug backpacks from Pampet ($18), but you’ll quickly block those out of your mind when you spot delightful finds like Paws Aboard life jackets ($32) and shampoo by Pet Head ($18), a spin-off of human hair-care line Bed Head. The racks along the perimeter are bursting with fashion-forward dresses, tuxedoes, sweatshirts, polo shirts, jumpsuits and puffy jackets in sizes all the way up to XXL ($15–$80).

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Upper West Side

Precious Pets

For the seriously posh pooch who wouldn’t be caught dead without her rhinestone collar, Precious Pets is the source for all things haute. Bejeweled water bowls ($45), low- or no-alcohol Parisian dog perfume ($40) and Limoges porcelain boxes ($200) for bipeds are just a few of the upscale offerings illuminated by the store’s crystal chandeliers. Transform the sidewalk into a runway with frothy confections by labels such as Soleil China Ltd. and Fairy Tale Couture ($75–$125), and Swarovski-crystal-studded leather leash and collar sets in a rainbow of colors ($30–$100).

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Midtown East

The Salty Paw

This rustic shop is a South Street Seaport gem: Catering to mutts both large and small, owner Amanda Zink holds events like "Puppy Proms" and has "Santa Paws" visits at Christmastime. Among the boutique's amusing offerings are L.A. label Shabby Dog T-shirts, emblazoned with cheeky sayings like MY OTHER LEASH IS A GUCCI and TOO CUTE TO FETCH ($26), and thirst-quenching Bowser beer ($4) made with beef broth for the dog days of summer. Collars range from simple rope styles ($18) to design-your-own leather pieces ($100), though customers go barking mad for the tough nylon all-weather coats ($40–$65), which can be custom-fitted for every size and are inspired by racing horses.

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Financial District

Trixie + Peanut

From the diva dachshund who loves the limelight to the level-headed lab in need of a solid weatherproof coat, this chichi pet mecca has something for all breeds. Ridiculous guilty pleasures like doggie sneakers ($59) and pearl necklaces ($28) are shelved alongside items that will make you contemplate calling the ASPCA, such as mullet wigs ($40), rooster caps ($12) and holiday antlers ($15). Fashionistas will get a kick out of the tongue-in-cheek plush squeaky toys ($12 each) such as “Estee Doglar” lipstick tubes, “Chewnel No. 5” perfume bottles and “Jimmy Chew” shoes—and rejoice when it keeps Fido from destroying the real thing. For felines, there’s the Kitty Korner, which stocks catnip-filled felt toys shaped like fruit, turtles and birds ($5–$10), and rhinestone tiaras ($25–$69) for when Muffin’s acting really catty.

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Midtown East

Wagwear

For the preppy canine, this tiny boutique offers its own line of J.Crew-style gear of the finest quality, including hand-knit merino-wool sweaters ($80–$100), lightweight nylon windbreakers ($44–$56) and delectably soft cotton hoodies ($70) you’ll wish you could wear. Spare your four-legged friend the rhinestones and pearls and pick up a classic collar like the fisherman’s braided cord ($22) or one in rolled leather with a brass bone-shaped toggle ($114). Even Great Danes can get in on the goods: Owner Amy Kizer caters to larger breeds, customizing apparel for dogs of any size or shape free of charge.

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Greenwich Village

Zoomies

This colorful and inviting boutique is all about pampering your pooch with frivolous—yet irresistible—offerings such as a scrumptious biscuit bar featuring all-natural ginger and blueberry-flavored treats ($13 per pound), fancifully illustrated children’s books with tales of canine antics ($10) and evil-eye charms for collars ($6–$10). But what Zoomies is best known for is its sleek house line of apparel. “We make the clothes for the dog, not the human,” says co-owner Angelique Graux. Translation: If you want to humiliate your pup with a frilly tutu, you’ll have to pick one up elsewhere. Zoomies also makes leashes and collars made of leather or nylon ($18–$45), lush fleece blankets ($50) and a small selection of cotton kitty collars ($16) for feline friends.

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West Village

The best pet stores in Brookyln

Animal Fare

Co-owner Barbara Librowski offers advice, recommendations and a wide range of products at this 20-year-old shop, where you’ll find top-shelf healthy food brands at competitive prices, like Grandma Mae’s Country Naturals dry formula for puppies and adult dogs ($10–$40) and New Zealand’s ZiwiPeak canned lamb and venison for felines ($26). Interspersed among the cluttered displays are pet care and training books, plush Petstages pillows ($18) with heartbeat sounds to help soothe anxious pets and a deeper selection of cat toys than any area competitor. 

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Prospect Heights

BARC Shelter & BQE Pet Supply

You’ll leave this straightforward supply store feeling good that your purchase helped animals in need: All proceeds fund the adjoining Brooklyn Animal Resource Coalition, which has been taking in strays since 1987. Those who own pets with special needs should make a beeline here for over-the-counter prescriptions, Dogswell Happy Hips chicken sticks designed to soothe the aching joints of senior canines ($9) and a selection of plush Wilson doughnut beds ($25–$46). If you love your mutt but are stumped as to what breed he is, pick up a BioPet DNA test ($65), swab his mouth and send it into the lab for evaluation; within two weeks, results will arrive in the mail. Mystery solved!

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Williamsburg

The Hamilton Dog House

This six-year-old neighborhood supply shop is next door to its sister adoption center for the Sean Casey Animal Rescue, which takes in unwanted animals of nearly every species. In keeping with this mission, the Hamilton Dog House hawks supplies for practically every pet imaginable, including reptiles, mice and birds. Make this your go-to place for T-Rex cypress mulch reptile bedding (ten-quart bag $11) and Lazy Dog Cookie Co. organic carob bonbons ($2). Store proceeds help staff visit schools for animal education talks, offer outreach programs to neighborhood children and hold adoption events.

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Flatbush

Kiki's Pet Spa & Boutique

Gone are the days of a simple wash ’n’ fluff for Lassie: At both locations of this full-service groomer, not only can your canine get bathed and brushed ($20–$45), she can also score a “pawdicure” (pedicure) with polish ($15) and color highlights ($15) to soften her aging mug. While she’s getting the five-star treatment, duck into the well-organized, exposed-brick boutique to pick up a Natural Balance lamb roll ($9) for your mini gourmand.

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Williamsburg

Love Thy Pet

Dogs and cats get equal attention at this family-run store, which provides holistic and healthy food options for both—in the words of owner Chris Smith, there’s “no supermarket food here!” As such, canines will go nuts for Love Thy Pet’s blueberry antioxidant and peanut butter crunch cookies ($8), while kitties will purr for WildSide Salmon’s freeze-dried Alaskan salmon pieces ($9). Smith frequently collaborates with local shelter Sean Casey Animal Rescue to hold adoption events outside the store, and provides plenty of holiday cheer with seasonal events like Halloween pet costume parties and free photos with Santa at Christmastime.

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Carroll Gardens

Muddy Paws

After an intense game of fetch at nearby McCarren Park, locals hit up this holistic pet supply emporium to take advantage of the self-service dog wash, a machine that squirts eco-friendly shampoo, conditioner, and water onto your pet ($15–$25). Clean-up is included, and your furball has the option to shake it, get wrapped up in a towel or dry off with a blast of warm air. Distract him during the process with Planet Dog Orbee-Tuff heavy-duty rubber balls ($8–$16), or save those for your next jaunt in the grass.

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Williamsburg

PS9 Pets

This spacious shop is like Toys “R” Us for pets: Find furball-approved knickknacks such as a Cheerful Pet boiled-wool toys ($5) and Animal Sounds’ touch-triggered Babble Ball ($10), which emits coyote, lion and frog sounds and is sure to keep your pet—though maybe not your neighbors—amused while you’re out. It’s not all play, though: Utilitarian finds include colorful carriers ($90–$175) and slings ($40) from local brands BK Atelier and Gangs of New Yorkie, training aids like a bitter apple spray ($8) and CatToids breath mints to freshen up kitty’s morning stank ($3).

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Williamsburg

The best pet stores in Queens

The Jumping Bulldog

Tania Firrigno’s chic, inviting boutique is dedicated to her French bulldog Oskar, who “in reality, is the one who runs the show,” says Firrigno. Pick up luxury products typical of Manhattan pet stores, sans the inflated prices. No time to give Fido a bath? Pat him down with Earthbath Green Tea wipes (100 for $15), infused with Hawaiian awapuhi extract, aloe vera and vitamin E. If he’s good, reward him with a locally baked Robbie Dawg organic biscuit ($7) in flavors like Brooklyn pizza and honey BBQ chicken. Entertainment comes easy with a Simply Fido plush lamb toy ($15), which is Chinese-made and certified organic.

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Astoria

Whiskers Holistic Pet Care

Think of Randy Klein’s holistic shop as a Whole Foods for dogs, cats, birds and other small animals, complete with organic skin-care products and high-quality munchies. But it’s not just the comestibles that are socially conscious: Whiskers donates a portion of its proceeds to local shelters and offers in-store cat adoptions. Calm Fluffy’s nerves by following the instructions on a Whiskers pet reflexology chart ($1) and make bathtime chemical-free with Dr. Shawn’s organic itch-relief shampoo ($23). And if a certain kitty is obsessed with treats, she’ll go wild for Kookamunga catnip blowing bubbles ($6).

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Astoria

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