When looking for a boarding service, ask about feeding and exercise schedules, vaccination requirements, and night staffing. Also, look for a boarding service or kennel that is accredited by the Pet Care Services Association (formerly the American Boarding Kennel Association).
Individual dogs and cats are about as different as their owners are, so it’s important to keep that in mind when leaving your precious pet with someone. Some dogs may not be comfortable in a kennel with other dogs, so a pet hotel or resort may be a better option for the high-maintenance pooch.
260 6th St, Verplanck
(914) 739-7877; caninekindergarten.com
Animals Boarded: Dogs. Rates: $21/night; $18/night for regular clients; exclusive of daycare fee The Scoop: This cage-free boarding facility is an alternative to traditional kennels. Dogs sleep in a group lounge on couches, chairs, and dog beds with a human companion. Individual crates are available and owners are asked to provide their own food to maintain each dog’s diet. Dogs must have spent some time in Canine Kindergarten’s daycare facility before being allowed to spend the night.
46 Grace Ln, Ossining
(914) 762-6188; gracelane.com
Animals Boarded: Cats and dogs. Rates: Dogs begin at $25/night; cats begin at $20/night. The Scoop: Founded in 1911, Gracelane is one of the oldest boarding kennels in the country. Owners Bob and Chris Gatti live on the grounds. Each dog stays in a private stall with his or her own run. Got more than one pet? Larger accommodations are available for pets to share. Cats are housed in a separate cat sanctuary.
Ludworth Kennels of Westchester
150 Jackson Ave, Hastings-on-Hudson
(914) 478-1633; ludworthkennels.net
Animals Boarded: Dogs, cats, and any other domesticated animal. (Ludworth even housed a tiger and her cubs!) Rates: Cats $15/night; dogs $30/night. The Scoop: Tom and Mary Braig’s “old country boarding” kennel was the site of a former horse farm. This facility accommodates 55 dogs and 13 cats. Dogs can play on grass and stone runs (no cement!), while cats lounge in an indoor and outdoor “catery” and sun porch.
The Pet Resort
649 W Boston Post Rd, Mamaroneck
Animals Boarded: Cats, dogs, birds, reptiles, and other domestics. Rates: Cats $26/night; dogs $42-$70/night. The Scoop: The Pet Resort is a retreat for cats and dogs with a variety of accommodations, including luxury suites with ergonomic mattresses and background music. It has indoor and outdoor play areas and a swimming pool. Grooming, training, transportation, and dog walking also are offered. In addition to offering a boarding service, The Pet Resort is a veterinary clinic with medical staff on-site at all times, so owners who have pets with medical conditions should feel especially comfortable boarding their animals here.
[DOGGIE DAYCARE/ PET SITTING/DOG WALKING]
There are many daycares, pet sitters, and dog walkers to make sure that your pets is comfortable, safe, and cared for when you’re not there to shower them with affection. However, beware: there are no required occupational licenses for pet sitters, but look for one who is a member of the National Association of Professional Pet Sitters or accredited by Pet Sitters International. Also, make sure he or she has liability or bonding insurance.
9 Hobby St, Pleasantville
(914) 773-2020; caninecompanionsinc.com
Rates: Full Day (12 hours), $37; half day (up to 6 hours), $28. The Scoop: While you are hard at work, your dog is hard at play. Canine Companions keeps your dog occupied throughout the day with exercise and group play time on gym equipment and in a doggie pool. Boarding services also are offered; $50 for each overnight stay.
Pets a Go Go
72 N State Rd #162, Briarcliff Manor
(914) 458-4181; clawznpaws.com
Rates: 30-minute walk, $22; 1-hour hike, $32; 2-hour ride-along, $42. The Scoop: Home visits up to four times a day at 30 minutes each, when a caregiver will feed your animal, change the water, clean up litter boxes, administer medicine, and take your dog for a walk. As a courtesy, the caregiver will bring in your mail and rotate your home lights. For an additional fee, your dog can also go for a hike or a ride-along. Overnight services are also available for a minimum of 10 hours.
3 Campus Pl, Scarsdale
(914) 282-2866; mysmoochiepoochies.com
Rates: Home visits, 30-minute session, $25; weekly package, $95; monthly package, $350; yearly package, $3,850. The Scoop: Special daycare options beyond “relief walks.” A pet sitter can visit your dog for socialization, play, and check-ins on puppies and sick dogs (as well as those with special needs or separation anxiety). The sitters even perform some basic training. Most sitters visit three to five times per week for two to four hours.
There are also kennel-free boarding services—dogs will stay at one of the owners’ or walkers’ homes. Jenn Valentin, one of the owners, recommends booking early, particularly around the holidays, when the company is especially busy. “In-home boarding is a niche; after you book your flight, book your pet.”
Wipe Your Paws
255 N Bedford Rd, Mount Kisco
(914) 242-7297; wipeyourpawsny.com
Rates: $14-$40/day, depending on the length of the stay. The Scoop: All dogs must be fully vaccinated and have passed an evaluation to participate in daycare here. To avoid allergies, this service will not give your dog any food or treats unless provided. Dogs are walked outside at least once every two hours. Grooming and training also are offered.
Even animals have a bad hair day every once in a while and, if just the thought of wrestling your dog into the shower makes your arms hurt, then it may be time to find a groomer. While your pampered pet may be used to a life of luxury, you don’t need to spend as much on his or her haircuts as you do on yours.
FYI: a pet groomer doesn’t need to be licensed. Anyone with shampoo and a pair of scissors can call himself or herself a groomer. So ask around for recommendations—other pet owners, veterinarians, and trainers are good sources. Here are some that were recommended to us.
822 Mamaroneck Ave, Mamaroneck
(914) 472-5407; crittercomfort.net
Rates: Prices vary depending on the size of the animal, condition, length of hair. An average grooming runs $55-$85
1005 Boston Post Rd, Rye
Rates: $35 – $150, depending on size of the dog or cat. Services: Before washing, a groomer will assess your pet’s condition (skin issues, allergies, etc.) to determine what kind of products will be needed. Medicated baths and all-natural shampoos also are offered.
Woof ‘n’ Wash
251 E Main St, Mount Kisco
(914) 358-4295; woofandwash.net
Rates: Bathe your own dog in one of its stalls (includes, shampoo, conditioner, and blow dryer) for $29, or have a groomer do it (includes hand-drying and brush-out) for $45. Prices for full groomings, trimming, shavings, etc., are based on the individual dog. Services: Custom-built stalls are disinfected after each bath. Sensitive skin options, brightening treatments, spa packages, de-skunking treatments, and de-shedding treatments also are offered.
Pets can be our best friends, but when they are chewing and scratching everything in sight, they are anything but. A good trainer can work wonders on your relationship with your pet and teach him or her proper behavior, inside your home and out. (Sorry, this service is strictly for your four-legged children.)
Like other pet services, there is no certification or license necessary to call yourself a dog trainer or behavior counselor. But look for a dog trainer certified through the International Association of Canine Professionals or a knowledge-assessed professional dog trainer credentialed through the Certification Council for Professional Dog Trainers.
(914) 909-2788; dogcommander.com
Rates: Depends on location and amount of travel. Method: 80 percent body language, 20 percent verbal; physical training and ball rewards—no treat training. The Scoop: Dog Commander Robert Kornfeld is a former police-dog trainer. He opines that most behavioral problems stem from the owner’s inconsistency. “I train people,” he says, “not dogs.” He offers only private, individual training.
Dog Training by Bob Maida
(914) 395-3647; dogtrainingbybobmaida.com
Rates: $550 (includes a three-hour, in-home workshop and follow-up visit). Method: Positive reinforcement (and how not to use it), body language. The Scoop: Accredited by the International Association of Canine Professionals and the Association of Pet Dog Trainers, Bob Maida primarily works with problem dogs and puppies—only on an individual basis; no classes. “You don’t get the best reading of a dog in a class with all those distractions,” he says.
Peter Lynn, Canine Counselor
(914) 271-2525; caninecounselor.com
Rates: In-home lessons—$120/60 minutes; $160/ 90 minutes. Classes—$300/six-week session (75 minutes each). Method: By offering patient and practical measures to solve behavior problems and socialize dogs, Lynn, a former high school teacher, instructs people how to treat their dogs well. “It doesn’t mean we don’t set limits,” says Lynn, who has 14 years of experience as a trainer, “but we recognize their dogs’ needs to explore, go for walks, say hello to people and other dogs, and to play with you and their toys.” The Scoop: Private, in-home training and group classes.
The Cultured Canine, LLC
(914) 288-0020; theculturedcanine.com
Rates: $700/five-session package; in-home training $700. Method: Trainer Diane Podolsky firmly believes in dog-friendly, humane training techniques through positive reinforcement. “You positively motivate the dog to do what you want her to do instead of focusing on suppressing behaviors that you do not want.” The Scoop: Podolsky specializes in toy breeds. She has two professional certifications, Certified Professional Dog Trainer-Knowledge Assessed (CPDT-KA) and a Certificate in Training and Counseling (CTC) from the San Francisco SPCA Academy for Dog Trainers. She also offers cage-free boarding for toy breed dogs in her home ($150-$300 per day), although Podolsky only boards one to two dogs at a time.
Cleaning up after your pet is probably not your favorite part of being a pet owner. Luckily for you, there is someone that will come to your house and do the dirty deed for you!
487 E Main St, Mount Kisco
(800) 366-3922; doodycalls.com
Rates: $25 for one to two dogs on one acre of land; kitty litter service, $15. The Scoop: Owners George and Audra Sichler have been keeping Westchester homes and yards clean for almost 10 years. They’ll deodorize your deck or patio; clean kennels and dog runs; and install, service, and maintain pet waste stations in condos and apartment complexes. They also clean kitty litter boxes, replacing the lining and filling your cat’s box with fresh litter. The Sichlers also run a non-profit charity organization that buys bullet-resistant vests for canines around the country: policek9foundation.org
Doggie Doo Not
(203) 323-2284; doggiedoonot.com
Rates: Based on the size of area, the number and size of dogs, and travel time ($15-$30; spring cleanups more). The Scoop: Using a dustpan, rake, shovel, disinfectant, and gloves, these folks will haul off your pet’s waste and deposit it in a local landfill. Appointments can be made daily, weekly, monthly, or annually.
Animals have a sixth sense when it comes to danger or trouble, but it’s even more heightened when they know it’s time to go to the vet, or worse, the groomer. So what could be better than having these services come to you?
Bark Bathe and Beyond
(914) 450-6573; barkbathebeyond.com
Rates: Groomers set individual prices depending on the size, temperament, and condition of the dog. The Scoop: Dogs only; oatmeal baths, nail clipping, and fluff-drying only (no cage drying).
Richard Goldstein, Mobile Vet Squad
(914) 575-1943; mobilevetsquad.com
Rates: Depends on the service, but comparable to the top veterinarians in the county. The Scoop: Run by Richard Goldstein, DVM, this 26-foot-long mobile veterinary hospital cares for both dogs and cats. It offers full medical services including spaying and neutering, digital X-rays, general surgery, vaccinations, critical care, routine cleanings, and much more. This service is ideal for pets who hate getting into the car or owners who don’t have the time or ability to do so. “We do what we need to do for the animals, and then they go back inside—it’s less stress on the animal” says Dr. Goldstein. “A large percentage of our clients haven’t taken their pets to the vet in a long time because it’s so stressful. Now, they can get the care they need without leaving their home.”
Pawlished Pets, Inc.
(914) 803-2903; pawlishedpetsny.com
Rates: $75-$85. The Scoop: This groomer on wheels works only with toy breed dogs less than 20 pounds and does everything from washing to fluff-drying and nail clipping. Perfect for nervous or older dogs, the service, says owner and groomer Danielle St. Louis, “is less stressful on the dogs because they aren’t waiting in a cage all day. They actually get excited to see me.” St. Louis is a member of New England Pet Grooming Professionals and is certified in animal first aid and CPR.
It’s a beautiful day and there is only one thing your dog wants to do: play. Dog parks are a great place to take your dog to get some exercise, expend some energy, and play with other dogs.
Many parks are dog-friendly, but check out these parks that come equipped with fenced-in areas (for small and large breeds), dog runs, and tools for you to clean up after your dog.
Canine Commons at Beaver Dam Park
Beaver Dam Rd between Harris Rd and Jay St Katonah (914) 666-4534
Open from 7 am to dusk, the park has areas for small and large breeds and a canine agility course. The park is open to Bedford residents only, and owners must have a New York State dog license and a Town of Bedford permit. For licenses or permit information, contact the Town Clerk’s office.
Peekskill Dog Park
Tompkins Park off Main St (Rte 6), Peekskill
Dog Park Volunteer Group: (914) 297-6656
This dog park, open from dawn to dusk, features separate fenced and gated areas for small and large dogs, benches, plastic-bag dispensers, and a restroom.
Village of Elmsford Dog Park
Corner of North Everts and Winthrop Aves, Elmsford
This is an off-leash, fenced-in dog park with two separate run areas over a quarter-acre. Like most dog parks, the small and large dogs are separate. Waste bags are available and all dogs must be vaccinated.
Ward Acres Park
Between Broadfield Rd and Pinebrook Blvd, just north of Quaker Ridge Rd, New Rochelle
Dogs are allowed access to a three-acre, fenced-in area. A smaller area within the three acres is available for smaller dogs. Hours are from dawn to dusk. Fees are $50/year for residents and $100/year for non-residents per year.
Elana Krasner was born in New York City and raised in Ardsley. Growing up, she had a pet parakeet, Lucky. While attending Binghamton University, she rescued a two-year-old street cat named Aloysius, who now lives like a prince in a Manhattan apartment with a friend. Elana currently has no pets but hopes to adopt a cat from an animal shelter soon.
How Much Is That Doggie in the Window?
If you have to ask, you probably can’t afford it.
Bulldog and French Mastiff
$2,500 – $4,000*
$1,000 – $2,500
$1,200 – $2,500
$1,250 – $2,750
$750 – $2,000
$1,300 – $1,750
$900 – $1,450
$400 – $1,250
*Stu Zuckerman of Pleasant Grooming in Armonk helped ascertain puppy prices.