Pets: 7 Philly Pet Pros Who Take Canine Care to New Levels

Chez Bow Wow | Photograph by Christopher Leaman

Chez Bow Wow | Photograph by Christopher Leaman

High-tech Personal Trainer
Would you describe your dog as “energetic” and maybe also “a handful”? Philly Fit Dog provides both exercise and an outlet for your pup’s, ahem, excess enthusiasm, coming to your home and running with your dog for 20-, 30- or 45-minute sessions. Bonus: Via “Pet Check Technology,” you’re notified at the end of each session and get a GPS map of their route — a nice perk for the slightly obsessive pet owner. Rates: $18 to $35 per run. 215-787-0370.

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Pets: The Urban Dog Owners’ Guide to Philadelphia

A dog walker at Mario Lanza Park | Photography by Christopher Leaman

A dog walker at Mario Lanza Park | Photography by Christopher Leaman

We’re not exactly sure when it happened. First your neighbor got a puppy, then you thought about adopting a rescue. You’ve seen them in the park, on the sidewalks, and eventually in your favorite restaurant. You’ve stopped to pet them. You’ve stepped in their business. With roughly one canine for every four people in the city, there’s no denying it — Philadelphia is officially dog-crazy. It might seem tough to care for anything bigger than a shih tzu in a town that’s among the nation’s worst for yard space. But take a walk through any neighborhood or open your window, and you’ll see and hear proof that Philly is practically overrun by pooches. So whether you’re a proud (perhaps obsessive) owner, thinking of joining the club, or just fascinated by our growing canine culture, you’ll love this guide to the Philly dog experience — fun, fresh activities, the best parks and essential services, etiquette advice to keep your dog (and its owner) from infuriating everyone around you, and more. (Tip number one: Always watch where you’re walking.)

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Pets: 9 Ways to Bond With Your Dog in Philadelphia

Cantina Los Caballitos | Photo by Christopher Leaman

Cantina Los Caballitos | Photo by Christopher Leaman

Drink with your dog at Cantina Los Caballitos • When you’ve got a bowl of guac on the table, a margarita in your hand and your BFF (yes, that would be your dog) by your side, what more do you need? This South Philly watering hole offers dog-friendly seating all around its outdoor tented area. Pooches ready to party can expect a complimentary cold bowl of water. (It’s no mango margarita, but it’ll do.) 1651 East Passyunk Avenue, East Passyunk, 215-755-3550.

See a psychic with your dog at New Age Psychic • Wondering if your four-legged pal will be rich or find the bitch of his dreams? This psychic specializes in reading your pet’s paw and energy to tell you things he might not be able to express by way of a simple bark. Hey, if nothing else, it makes for a good dog-park story. 1000 Pine Street, Washington Square West, 610-931-8896.

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Pets: The Complete Guide to Philly’s Best Dog Parks

Schuylkill River Park Dog Run | Photograph by Christopher Leaman

Schuylkill River Park Dog Run | Photograph by Christopher Leaman

East Passyunk: Columbus Square Dog Park
The vibe: A huge fenced-in gravel square with tree stumps for climbing and picnic tables for owners. A renovation is planned for 2017. Best for: Friendly types, of the human and canine varieties. Regulars organized two pool parties last year and are big on community involvement. The scoop: If your dog is shy, head over between 10 a.m. and noon or after 8 p.m., when it’s noticeably less crowded and frantic. 12th Street between Reed and Wharton.

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Pets: The Dos and Don’ts of Owning a Dog in Philly

A dog walker at Mario Lanza Park | Photography by Christopher Leaman

A dog walker at Mario Lanza Park | Photography by Christopher Leaman

Q: My dog’s a yapper. What should I do so my neighbors won’t hate me?
Most people say Philadelphians are (surprisingly) polite about yippy neighbors. Still, tension can arise, especially when no one’s warned. Matt Schimsky, head trainer at Tuff Pup Training, suggests that new dog owners leave notes on doors saying they understand there’s a barking problem and they’re working on it. Wouldn’t hurt to attach that note to a bottle of whiskey.

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PHOTOS: Le Cat Café is Finally Open — We Checked it Out

Le Cat Café | By Mariam Dembele

Le Cat Café. Photo | Mariam Dembele

Are you a cat lover? Do their little paws and furry tails overload your cuteness receptors? Do you secretly follow multiple cat blogs on Instagram — and find yourself liking every pic? If so Le Cat Café at 2713 W. Girard Ave. is the spot for you. By now you’ve probably heard the spiel: cats and cappuccinos. But were you wondering what it’s like to be surrounded by eight of the furry felines? We were, too, so we stopped by Wednesday last week on their first day of appointments (the grand opening was Sunday, March 6th) to check it out. We were not disappointed.

As Philly Mag’s Sandy Hingston had previously hypothesized, this is not the right place to compose a formal email or leisurely drink a glass of water — in fact I would strike getting any work done from your agenda. However, I would argue that it’s a pretty enjoyable place. We stopped by last Wednesday around 2 p.m. — after the cats were tired out from playing and were in the mood to snooze — making it the perfect spot for cat cuddles and photo ops. Read more »

It’s Cold. Make Sure Your Pets Are Warm.

Shutterstock.com

Shutterstock.com

Here’s a reminder as the Philadelphia region waits to be pummeled by a blizzard: Your pets want to stay warm, too.

That lesson has been learned the hard way in Atlantic County, where CBS3 reports that a puppy was found this week, frozen to death. A second dog found at the same location died later, after being taken to the vet. Both dogs’ water bowls had been filled with ice. Charges may be brought against the owner, several outlets reported.

“Please bring your animals indoors,” Atlantic County SPCA Humane Law Enforcement Agent Kate Warden told NBC10. “There is no excuse to have more animals dying in this extreme cold weather.” Read more »

Where to Get Your Pet’s Photo Taken With Santa

santa-paws-palomar-hotel

This Christmas, even your furry babies can visit with Saint Nick. The annual Santa Paws event returns to Palomar Hotel on December 12th, for pets to meet Santa Claus and bring him their holiday wish lists. Your little one will get his or her picture taken and receive a bag of treats from local pet boutique Doggie Style. Next-door eatery Square 1682 will also provide holiday refreshments, like cookies and hot cocoa for both humans and their companions.

Donations will be accepted for Saved Me, an adoption center that rescues dogs and cats from shelter euthanasia to find them loving homes. Representatives and some of the animals from the center in need of holiday homes will also be at the event if you’re looking for a new addition to the family.

For that perfect final touch to your holiday card this year, you can visit the hotel living room on December 12th from 1 to 4 pm for a photo.

Keep up to date with our local arts and events coverage. Here’s how:

Love in the Time of Dog DNA Testing

Birdie. Photograph by Claudia Gavin

Birdie. Photograph by Claudia Gavin

This is my third Chihuahua. That’s what I used to say about my dog, Birdie, until this summer, when I got her DNA tested. That’s right — I paid nearly a hundred dollars to ship some glorified Q-tips to a laboratory in Lincoln, Nebraska, so that Science could tell me who my dog really is, deep down in her soul. I wouldn’t have done it 10 years ago, but then, no one did. In 2015, though, this is where we are: Dog DNA testing is so common, its popularity was spoofed in a Funny or Die video in which a dog owner is peer-pressured into the test. Some people do the test for pragmatic reasons — pertaining to health or behavior — and some people do it for fun, as a novelty. Me? I did it for love. But I’m getting ahead of myself.

Let me start at the beginning. Read more »

We Have a Halloween Pet Costume Problem

Right on cue, I woke up yesterday wondering if I might have a problem. Yes, the signs have been there day in and day out, week after week, month to month. But every year, it’s Halloween that really makes me look around my living room — at the cardboard and spray paint and hot glue guns and industrial-size tub of glitter — and think, “Hm.”

I devoted Sunday to drawing up plans for Murphy’s Halloween costume, and I’ll spend every night this week putting the finishing touches on his top-secret get-up. I’ve set aside one evening for tailoring, one for mobility troubleshooting, and another for rebuilding the portions that Murphy will inevitably maul during his many fit sessions.

Murphy, you see, is a dog. Murphy, unlike myself, has very little interest in what he’s being for Halloween this year or who wins the office costume contest. Read more »

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