Offbeat dog services
Spoil your canine companion with massage, reiki and classical music.
Fri Mar 30 2012
Photograph: Marshall S. Boprey
For fashion-forward canines:
The Salty Paw
Ever since Isaac Mizrahi commissioned this doggie daycare center, spa and boutique to dye poodles for his fall 2011 show, calls have been pouring in from owners looking to add a little hue to their hounds. But as manager Janet Carhuayano explains, not all requests are practical: “This is New York City, where people’s dogs are an extension of themselves, so we get a lot of vanity calls. But this isn’t a magical fix—we can’t restore a dog’s original color if it’s getting old.” For haircuts, owners should be ready to provide as many details as possible (breed, hair type, hair color) when they call. Recently performed treatments include dyed mohawks, zebra stripes and painted nails. 38 Peck Slip at Front St (212-732-2275, thesaltypaw.com). Grooming services start at $35, depending on the breed.
For posh pooches:
Ritzy Canine Carriage House
In addition to regular services like grooming, daycare and boarding (starting at $60 per night), this upscale boutique offers an extra level of pampering. Dogs who lodge in the Windsor Suite ($175 per night) will dine on George Foreman Grilled chicken with rice and mixed vegetables (served in a pewter bowl). You can also schedule a session for your dog with trained massage therapist John Larson, who offers a complete head-to-tail massage (15mins $40, 30mins $55, 60mins $70). According to back-house manager Karen Dorner, “People want their dogs to feel good. After their massages, they come down with their tongues hanging out—they’re so happy and relaxed.” 148 E 40th St between Lexington and Third Aves (212-949-1818, ritzycanine.com).
For artsy hounds:
Owner Taryn Adrian Harris, who opened her Williamsburg grooming, training and daycare center in December 2011, got into the dog-walking business while recovering from an injury; she found that the canines made her feel useful again. This sense of healing permeates the daycare services offered at Eco Dog, where Harris has noticed that the animals react particularly well to classical music. “During the day, when the dogs get a little rowdy, we lower the lights and put on 105.9 FM—it’s amazing how well they respond. Music is very healing to the soul, not just for humans but also for animals.” Couch potatoes have the option of hanging out in the “blue green room,” where a 40-inch TV broadcasts Animal Planet all day long. 10 North 5th St at Kent Ave, Williamsburg, Brooklyn (718-218-9326, ecodognyc.com). Daycare rates start at $34 per day and $23 per half day.
For aqua-loving pups:
Water 4 Dogs
This animal rehab center boasts an 8,000-gallon, 18-foot-long, custom-made pool where trained hydrotherapists work with postsurgical and overweight dogs. But if your furry friend is fit as a fiddle and just likes to splash around, that’s fine too. At the open swim sessions (Fri–Sun noon–1pm; Wed 5:30–7:30pm; 30mins $30, 60mins $40), owners can paddle with their dogs, toss a ball from the sidelines or let their pets try out the center’s unique water treadmill. Though Labs and golden retrievers are traditionally the best swimmers, beagles, dachshunds and bulldogs frequently attend the sessions as well. 77 Worth St between Broadway and Church St (212-285-4900, water4dogs.com).
For New Age dogs:
New York Dog Nanny
At this midtown daycare and grooming center, owner Cynthia Okimoto draws on her holistic pet-care training to offer alternative treatments like reiki (30mins $40) and aromatherapy (30mins $75). The therapies can be great for dogs coming out of surgery (reiki supposedly accelerates the healing process) and may help with separation anxiety. “For aromatherapy, we try out a few different scents like eucalyptus or rose,” says Okimoto. “We also teach clients where the dog’s pressure points are so they can do it at home.” 126 Lexington Ave between 28th and 29th Sts (917-261-7333, newyorkdognanny.com).