In the old days, man’s best friend could hope for little more than a chewed-up broken stick and another hackneyed game of fetch. In recent years, pet care has graduated from bags of mystery-meat foods and untidy once-a-year groomings to everything from pet bakeries and boutiques to spas, day cares and specialty foods. Pets now have the ability to enjoy the same luxuries as their owners, thanks to entrepreneurs who think that if your spoiled sibling deserves a birthday cake, shouldn’t your dachshund? After all, your dachshund has never called you names or sabotaged your sleepover.

Pet Foods & Products

Petcetera (3205 Magazine St., 269-8711, PetceteraNewOrleans.com), a locally owned, full-service pet boutique, offers everything from natural foods, clothing and collars, to services such as portraits, grooming and custom baking. Bakery treats such as “pupcakes,” “pet me fours” and “lady paws” are available daily, and custom cakes and cookies can be made to your specification.

“We do birthday cakes, ‘barkmitzvah’ cakes and even wedding cakes,” says owner Diane Lundeen. “The weirdest thing we’ve created was a fish-mold cake for a cat.” With a passion for developing new products and satisfying customers, Lundeen offers something for everyone – from wheat-allergic dogs to bride-to-be cats.

Whether you’re looking for 99-cent toys or eyeing the latest catwalk designs from New York, Lundeen fits it all in her small store. “There’s a misconception that we’re expensive,” she says. “People are surprised at how affordable we are and how we’re competitive with ‘inexpensive’ box stores.”

For over 60 years, New Orleans pet owners have known Jefferson Feed Pet & Garden Center (4421 Jefferson Highway, 733-8572, JeffFeed.com) as a reliable local supplier of pet foods, supplies and grooming services. Additionally, Jefferson Feed works with local animal shelters and rescue groups in offering adoption services weekly for both cats and dogs. With a vast selection of pet food, Jefferson Feed maintains the trust of customers by offering the very best in nutrition.

“The quality of our pet food is exceptional,” says general manager Lynn Morvant. “We have natural and holistic foods that are chemical-free, all natural and much healthier than many common brands.” Popular natural brands include California Natural, Innova and Solid Gold, among others. Premium brands offered include Science Diet, Purina Pro Plan and Nutro.

In addition to their Jefferson location, Jefferson Feed recently opened Neighborhood Pet Market (231 N. Carrollton Ave., 488-8118, NeighborhoodPetMarket.com) in Mid-City.

“I enjoy taking my dog out to City Park and noticed so many other pet lovers walking their dogs in that area of the city,” says Morvant. “We wanted to be a part of that community.” Neighborhood Pet Market has everything you need for your dog or cat and carries the same trusted brands as Jefferson Feed.

“What makes our business special is our personal service,” says Morvant. “We encourage customers to bring their pets and enjoy getting to know them.”    

 

Pet Day cares, Boarding, Spas & Programs

Keeping your dog active while you’re away is easy and affordable. Whether you’re facing an eight-hour workday, a business trip or vacation, Camp Bow Wow New Orleans (2731 Tchoupitoulas St., Camp: 891-3647, Home Buddies: 891-3647, CampBowWow.com/NewOrleans) has you covered with dog day care, overnight boarding and grooming services. During the day, dogs play in spacious indoor and outdoor areas, providing exercise, mental stimulation and socialization, which can improve behavior while reducing stress that may result from being left alone. At overnight camp, dogs enjoy private cabins, “campfire treats” and soothing music – not that he or she will need help sleeping after a full day of play.

“It’s possible that your dog will have more fun than you on your next vacation,” says camp director Deb Lunsford. “It’s a true camp – we specialize in activities, games and all sorts of fun things.” Live web cams let owners in on camp fun. Additional services include grooming, in-home pet sitting and dog training.

Offering day care, boarding and grooming services both Uptown and downtown, Canine Connection (4920 Tchoupitoulas St., 218-4098; 617 S. Claiborne Ave., 304-3844; CanineConnection.com) boasts large suites with outdoor patios, available cage-free boarding, cat condos, curbside drop-off, doggie swimming pools, playrooms, numerous outdoor areas and even coffee and internet for owners. Canine Connection keeps your pet at play while you’re away and offers 24-hour on-site supervision and webcams for added security and peace of mind. Birthday parties and play-area rentals allow pet owners the ability to join in the fun. The front of the Uptown facility houses Canine Culture, the company’s dog-centric retail store, which supplies everything from Saints and LSU dog gear to all-natural food and treats.

New to the Belladonna family, Belladoggie Resort Spa for Dogs (815 Washington Ave., 309-9510, Belladoggie.com) offers a full menu of spa treatments for four-legged friends. In addition to spa services, Belladoggie hosts dogs for day and overnight care, and they also offer fitness regimens for injured or less agile dogs.

“Dogs have their own sets of issues,” says founder and president Kim Dudek. “We took some skin, facial and nail services that we do at Belladonna and worked with experts to coordinate products and treatments that help dog-specific problems.” From dealing with an oily coat to dry skin to matting, Belladoggie has a treatment designed to soothe and improve. Oatmeal baths, shampoos, conditioners and nail clips, colors and coat coloring are just a few of the services offered.

In addition to Belladoggie, Dudek operates Dag’s House (5316 August Ave., Marrero, 218-7271, DagsHouse.com), a provider of housing and rehabilitation for special needs dogs. A sanctuary for the physically and emotionally challenged, Dag’s House also works with and provides boarding for geriatric dogs.

In addition to adoption, the Louisiana SPCA (1700 Mardi Gras Blvd., 368-5191, La-Spca.org) provides a wide range of services to engage the local community that include hosting pet-friendly events, offering youth programs and providing a wealth of information regarding animals and their welfare. Critter Cinema, “a Purrrfect Parents’ Night Out!,” invites children to come out, visit with cats and dogs and enjoy pizza and a movie on a Friday night while Mom and Dad go out. Other programs include “Biggest Loser – Doggy Style,” an exercise class geared towards getting your dog in shape; dog obedience classes; and pet first aid/CPR classes. The upcoming “Pause 4 Dinner,” a one-night-only restaurant event, encourages people to dine out in support of animal welfare while driving new business to local restaurants.

“We look to connect with the community on all levels through innovative programs, educational classes and other offerings that foster the human/animal bond and raise awareness for animal interests,” says Jennifer Abbrecht. In the fall, the Louisiana SPCA will be hosting “New Orleans on Tap,” their dog-friendly beer festival and fundraiser, as well as the 34th annual “Howling Success Gala.”

Local Fun for Four-Legged Friends

Veterinary Services

The French Quarter Vet (922 Royal St., 322-7030, TheFrenchQuarterVet.com), the veterinary hospital of Dr. Scott Griffith, provides medical services in preventive medicine, internal medicine, dentistry, dermatology, digital radiology, surgery and emergency services, while utilizing an in-house laboratory and an in-house and online pharmacy. Dr. Griffith maintains a philosophy that a great record, years of experience and availability are key in a good veterinary practice.

“You should go with someone with experience and who is available after hours. I try to take care of my clients on a personal level by giving them my cell phone and communicating through calls, texting and email,” says Griffith. His after-hours availability helps eliminate the guesswork when pet owners feel they’re in a potential emergency.

With a strict focus on medicine, The French Quarter Vet does not offer hotel, salon or retail services and instead refers clients to local professionals. This allows Dr. Griffith to keep prices competitive and provide unmatched service for pets and owners. The practice offers free parking for clients.