8 New Ways to Pamper Your Philly Pets

From doggy brunch to tribute tattoos, here are the latest ideas for living your best life with your furry friends.

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A weekend Barking Brunch at Salty Paws is just one new way to pamper your Philly pets. / Photograph by Theresa Regan

Barking Brunch at Salty Paws


Salty Paws, the adorable ice-cream parlor and bakery just for dogs that opened on 17th Street in 2022, is now even better thanks to its new weekend brunch service. Think sausages, “doggie lattes” (caffeine-free, of course), breakfast-food-shaped cookies, and free coffee for pet parents.

Get a Gato Cafe

Bella Vista

Jackie Starker’s nonprofit space is a Colombian cafe in the front and a cat-adoption lounge in the back — through an airlock, to comply with health-department standards. Get a Gato partners with Fishtails Animal Rescue to bring in the kitties, which you can play with after booking a $15 time slot. (Kids aged nine and older can visit, too.) Those who fall in love can adopt a kitty — then buy toys in the cafe’s shop.

Pawtrait Pet Pop-Up’s “Trust the Pawcess” Sessions

On location

Puppies and kittens and bunnies … they grow up so fast. So photographer Matt Caserta and his partner, Mary Sweeney, began offering private packages to document your pet’s journey over three separate photo shoots.

philly pet resources

From a “Trust the Pawcess” photo session by Pawtrait Pet Pop-Up / Photograph by Matthew Caserta, Pawtrait Pet Pop-Up

Vanity Tintype


Want to take your pet photo sessions to the next level? How about back to the 1800s? Maurene Cooper has revived the wet-collodion process to create black-and-white heirloom photos. Images are made on tin plates placed in a 19th-century-style camera and developed before your eyes in a chemical bath. Cooper holds open-studio pet sessions twice a year at her Fishtown space, or you can request a longer private session anytime. Her subjects: all animals and their humans. Check her Instagram, @vanitytintype, for announcements.

Rachael Shelly at Forever Valentine Tattoo

South Philly

Immortalize your beloved critter in ink by booking this artist at the Bok’s appointment-only tattoo studio. From dogs and cats to birds and snakes, Shelly’s dreamy full-color pet-portrait tattoos are intricate and deeply personal.

The Boozy Mutt and Bark Social

Brewerytown and Manayunk

This has been a fantastic year for the social lives of four-legged friends. Not one but two dog-centric bars recently opened in Philly: Bark Social in Manayunk, followed by the Boozy Mutt in Brewerytown. Both have ample space for running around, dog menus, and special events. (We’ve even heard tell of a bark mitzvah. L’chaim!) There’s plenty to eat and drink for the humans, too, but this isn’t about you.

Photograph courtesy of Bark Social

Sally’s Paw Spaw

East Passyunk

This posh grooming spot has been a hit since debuting three years ago, largely for the excellent care the team takes of your pooch, not to mention the over-the-top offerings. Case in point: You can add on a pedicure (complete with nail polish), fur styling, even a dye job.

James Pet Beds by Jimmy DeLaurentis

Center City

Interior designer Jimmy DeLaurentis’s first brick-and-mortar isn’t just a destination for decor; it’s a go-to for scooping up gifts for your posh pets. In addition to Pawda and Pawtier plushies, you’ll find pet sofas that mimic his luxurious Italian-inspired private-label furniture collection, with commercial-grade hardwood frames and durable indoor/outdoor fabrics. What better place to let sleeping dogs, cats, ferrets and rabbits lie?

Published as “Vanity Fur” in the May 2024 issue of Philadelphia magazine.