|The Balloon Dog Sculpture by Jeff Koons at the Met, circa 2012 –credit|
Doggy dwellers in New York City have been gaining a slow but steady presence over the years. According to the New York City Economic Development Corporation, NYC is now home to 600,000 pooches, or one for every three households. In addition, the pet service industry grew over 30 percent between 2000 and 2010 both here and nationwide, indicating growth in pet popularity and pet-related spending. So, for New York’s expanding demographic of pooch lovers, we have our top picks for places you and your dog will love.
|Dogs are part of the NYC landscape –credit|
For splurging and special occasions (attention, holiday shoppers!) head to Doggy Style, on University Place between 9th and 10th Streets. An eclectic purveyor of raw and grain-free foods, upholstered beds, fresh-baked biscuits, and designer gear from retailers like Bella Bean, Doggy Style has everything in stock for the ultimate cosmopolitan canine.
|Outside Doggy Style –credit|
Once you have your dog outfitted in city swag, visit Central Park any given day before 9 am for off-leash hours. For night owls, pups can also roam free from 9 p.m. until closing (generally midnight or 1 a.m.). Just be mindful where you unleash Fido, as dogs are not allowed to roam in certain areas like Strawberry Field, the Turtle Pond, and the Bridle Path.
|Central Park is great for all kind of dogs… –credit|
Of course, not all of us can make it to Central Park before or after work, and most of us relish the luxury of sleeping in on the weekends. For scheduled doggy recreation instead, check out Running Paws Athletic Club, on First Avenue between 60th and 61st Streets. This all-in-one facility offers grooming, boarding, daycare, in-home dog sitting, physical fitness (one-hour jog sessions), and training. They also do pickup/drop-off transfers by foot for nearby clients. Dogs can even drop in for an hour during their complimentary Sunday playgroups.
Brooklynites wishing to pamper their best friends close to home can visit The Pawlour, on Sixth Avenue at 22nd Street. With grooming by appointment only, Pawlour staff can accommodate your schedule with customized salon hours. They cater to all breeds, and like any good hairdresser, work and talk with you so that your pet gets an ideal cut and style.
|A happy day at the Pawlour –credit|
Another perk for NYC pet owners are all the transportation options. While public transit can be unreliable, pet taxis can be trusted to get you to the vet, the airport, or anywhere else on time. One of the best, Pet Taxi New York, operates 24/7 and lists their reasonable flat rates right on their website. As a bonus, their all-minivan fleet with the backseats removed ensures that animals of all sizes can relax and cruise to their destination in comfort.
|Take a ride in the pet taxi –credit|
For those traveling to the big city with pooch in tow, no other place will make all species of guests feel welcome like The Muse Hotel in Midtown with amenities like water/food bowls, waste bags, and luxurious pet beds during your stay. Boutique services like walking, sitting, grooming, massage, and acupuncture can even be booked for your best friend through the hotel. Doggy moms and dads can really feel like they’ve traveled to New York City on a family vacation!
|Dogs love the Muse Hotel –credit|
As a pet owner too, I love being able to take my dog for a quick walk twice a day, or run to the local pet store if I run out of kibble. I cannot give her acres of woods or miles of trails, but with a little time and research, I can find ways to bring almost all of NYC right to her paws.