Best pet stores

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

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Manhattan | Brooklyn | Queens

 

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. Librowski special-orders items for customers on a daily basis, so don't be shy about requesting birthday cakes, rawhides or biscuits for your furry friend—just give her one week's notice. 153 Prospect Park Southwest between Seeley and Vanderbilt Sts, Prospect Park (718-853-5664)

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), as well as 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! 253 Wythe Ave at North 1st St, Williamsburg (718-486-7489, barcshelter.org)

Buttercup's Paw-tisserie
If your pooch is a finicky eater like owner Betty Wong's cocker spaniel, for whom this all-natural bakery and boutique is named, the human-grade peanut butter pupcakes ($2), turkey-bacon-topped pizza slices ($1) and candies ($1) should appeal to his or her sophisticated palate. In addition to such edible luxuries, Buttercup's carries canine spa products such as a hemp-and-shea-laden paw moisture butter ($5) and a Sparkle & Shine shimmering mist ($16) that gets coats positively radiant. When it comes time to celebrate Fluffy's birthday, surprise her with a special-order banana fudge cake with yogurt and granola ($22) and a Casual Canine terrycloth bathrobe with gingham trim ($16)—she'll need a bath after dipping those paws into pure doggie indulgence treats. 63 Fifth Ave at St. Mark's Pl, Park Slope (718-399-2228, buttercupspaw.com)

The Hamilton Dog House This three-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. 155 E 3rd St at Fort Hamilton Pkwy, Flatbush (718-436-7387, thehamiltondoghouse.com)

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. 239 DeKalb Ave between Clermont and Vanderbilt Aves, Fort Greene (718-857-7272, kikispetspa.com) * 60 Broadway between Wythe Ave and Berry St, Williamsburg (347-725-4027)

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. 164 Union St between Henry and Hicks Sts, Carroll Gardens (718-596-2399, lovethypetbklyn.com)

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. 447 Graham Ave at Richardson St, Williamsburg (718-349-3647, muddypawsny.com)

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). 169 North 9th St between Bedford and Driggs Aves, Williamsburg (718-486-6465, ps9pets.com)

 

Manhattan | Brooklyn | Queens

 

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