Ask any leash-clutching pedestrian in New York City what the pet-friendliest city is and you are bound to get only one answer: The Big Apple, and our readers agreed! While some cities may say a dog’s place is in the home, New York City embraces four-legged friends in the true spirit of Lady Liberty. New York City is so pet-friendly that parents rarely leave their dogs home alone, and this is just one of the many reasons why our readers at Animal Fair have awarded this city the Cesar® Five Dog Bone Pet-Friendliest Destination honor!
When traveling to New York City, it would be passй to leave your pet behind. Just ask Dominique Piquemal, the general manager at The London NYC Hotel (TheLondonNYC.com) on West 54th Street. Piquemal lives in the hotel along with his two English Bulldogs, Lily and Bentley. The two pups are regulars in the hotel’s lobby, but don’t feel obligated to tip them, they are just a friendly reminder that dogs will be treated like any other guest at the hotel. Make sure your pooch is not afraid of heights, the London NYC is the tallest hotel in Manhattan that provides spectacular views citywide. In your room, you and your dog will find a comfortable bed for each of you and your dog will find dishes for food and tons of treats to munch on. If you are hungry, all of the London NYC Hotel’s dining is overseen by Chef Gordon Ramsey so you can get a five-star meal and save the scraps for your dog.
New York City offers scores of hotels that provide pet accommodations in almost every neighborhood. Forget to bring your treats? The bellboys at the elegant SoHo Grand Hotel carry treats on hand and pets can choose from a custom-made room service menu. Guests at the SoHo Grand Hotel will delight in the interior design of the beautiful downtown Mecca, with dog-inspired artwork littering the hotel. Both the SoHo and Tribeca Grand Hotels (grandhospitality.com) provide excellent service to the guest and their pet with amenities that include a personal catered pet-menu, bowls, treats and most definitely a friendly pat, as long as no one bites. Even Hollywood’s hottest celebri-dogs enjoy the luxury and style of the SoHo Grand, with a list of celebrity pet sightings that includes the dogs of Christina Aguilera, Nicole Richie, Paris Hilton and Jessica Simpson.
Other hotels in New York City that welcome pets include the Waldorf Towers (waldorftowers.com), The Carlyle (thecarlyle.com), The Hilton Times Square (hilton.com), 70 Park Avenue Hotel (70parkave.com) and Loews Regency New York (loewshotels.com), but when your dog needs a true getaway, the New York Dog Spa and Hotel (dogspa.com) offers a place to unwind. Amenities include massage therapy, grooming, training, day care, boarding and veterinary services with a second Upper East Side location opening soon. At the New York Dog Spa and Hotel your dog can get refurbished with an East coast look. The Dog Spa will “pamper your dog with a refreshing bath, optional skin conditioner, and blow dry … cut the nails and clean the ears.” Their “groomers are expert in hand-scissoring and are familiar with the standards for most breeds” so your dog can compete with the chic, avant-garde pups of Manhattan. If your pet would rather have an authentic, charming and quiet stay in a New York City kennel, check out the Ritzy Canine Carriage House (ritzycanine.com). The Ritzy Canine is “New York City’s preeminent luxury quarters, day care and veterinary facility for dogs and cats.” With a classical design, pets are housed in their own “private suites” but can also play in the “indoor playroom” or “the outdoor skytop play solarium.” Stopping by the Ritzy Canine’s boutique you and your pet will relish in the incomparable selection that is “unparalleled anywhere.”
If you are visiting “The Big Apple” and you hate shopping alone, bring your dog along! If your pup is well behaved, they are welcome. ?Tiffany’s (tiffanys.com), Bergdorf Goodman’s (bergdorfgoodman.com), and Bloomingdale’s (bloomingdales.com) all greet pets with open arms. As the New York Times reports, “if you ask nicely, you have a pretty good chance of entering most stores.” Saks Fifth Avenue (saksfifthavenue.com) loves dogs and even decorates their famous windows every year for the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show. Want to make a big New York City change of your own? Stop by renowned hairstylist and pioneer Mark Garrison’s salon. Garrison is a progressive hairstylist whose advice has changed looks in magazines from Vogue to InStyle. At Mark Garrison Salon (markgarrisonsalon.com) you can bring your pooch in while you get your hair done, and if your dog is lucky, maybe Garrison will have time give them a hip look to match. In New York City, most places celebrate canine arrivals.
The mega cultural shopping center, Time Warner Center at Columbus Circle, is exceptionally pet-inviting! There you’ll find Bouchon Bakery (ph: 212.823.9366), an authentic French Boulangerie, that uniquely offers gourmet beribboned bags of foie gra-enriched doggie biscuits, sure to make your dog’s tail wag. Need to get your eyes checked, or fitted for glasses? Morgenthal Frederics Eyewear (ph: 212.838.3090) located in the center will treat you to exceptional eye-care service and per request will even fit your pooch with a small pair of children’s glasses.
The zenith of pet-friendly stores in Manhattan, however, happen to be the over 700 licensed pet retailers in the city (that’s four times as many Starbucks in Manhattan!) Le Chien (lechiennyc.com) on Third Avenue boasts that they “stand out among them all.” With high ceilings, chandeliers, white pedestals and an extensive variety of products (that range from bones, to fragrances, to pearls,) Le Chien provides an atmosphere that any chic dog deserves. With a twenty-eight year history, Le Chien has earned a stellar reputation. The store “is a favorite of the beautiful people and stands ready to give any teacup toy poodle or muscular Great Dane a personalized hairdo and grooming.” Nobody does it like Le Chien.
Want to stop for a bite with your pooch after all that shopping? While it may be regulation to keep pets from coming into restaurants, some places do bend the laws to allow your pet the utmost comfort. The Animal Fair reports that historic Chumley’s (ph: 212. 675.4449) on Bedford, Fat Cat Billiards (ph: 212.675.6056) in the West Village and The Cherry Tavern (ph: 212.777.1448) in the East Village have all welcomed pets indoors. Otherwise, dogs are usually welcome to eat outside many restaurants alongside their parents, just make sure to ask first. If you search hard enough, you may find specialty restaurants like Barking Dog Luncheonette (ph: 212.861.3600) that are both dog-themed and dog-friendly. Barking Dog believes in helping out all pooches, which is why they offer a trough of water outside their store year round. Fetch Bar & Grill (fetchbarandgrill.com) on Third Avenue interiors are decorated ceiling to floor with pet photos. The restaurant also provides information to its patrons about pet adoptions and other pet charities.
If you want to walk (or run) off your meal, New York City has over two dozen off-leash dog runs. Union Square, Madison Square, Washington Square and Central Parks (nycgovparks.org) all have dog runs built in. There’s even a newly renovated dog run behind the American Museum of Natural History. Pug parents delight in their official Pug-only society at Pug Hill (pughill.org) at 74th Street and 5th Avenue. Founder John Jeannopoulos is reticent and strict about his society, founded in 1994 to “bring people together with one sole love – the love of Pugs.” If your dog likes the water, Prospect Park developed it’s own canine beach where human swimmers are not allowed. Dogs are also welcome, with leash, at a number of other local beaches between October and April. For more information on New York City’s dog parks, refer to Animal Fair’s Guide to NYC Dog Parks (pages 30-31).
When it comes to nightlife, Brooklyn is a definite option if you want to take your dog out for a drink. Bar Great Harry (bargreatharry.com) is one bar that will sneak dogs in as if they were moon shiners during the Prohibition. Bar Great Harry also has quite a reputation for low-key celebrity appearances by stars such as Dave Matthews and Ryan Gosling. At the Brooklyn Ale House (brooklynalehouse.com) your dog can sit at your feet while you have a drink, just make sure they are not licking up any sudsy puddles. At the Brooklyn Ale House they say “Welcome to the Dog House!” Need a ride home from the bar, or just need a ride? While some cabbies may snub a rider if a pooch is in sight, there are no worries with New York’s Pet Taxi (pettaxi.com or ph: 212.757.1757). The Pet Taxi will transport pets anywhere “with or without you.” They also offer pet relocation services with all amenities included.
Year round, New York City is filled with pet-friendly activities to allow exciting opportunities for you and your four-legged friends to pound pavement in the Big Apple. The William Secord Gallery (dogpainting.com) on East 76th Street, for instance, is a pet welcoming gallery specializing in 19th century dog paintings, sculptures and sketches. The gallery also refers pet lovers to skilled painters who have been commissioned to do portraits for celebrities like Oprah Winfrey. Take your dog on a downtown walking tour with Art Zuckerman, or in a carriage ride through Central Park. Annual events include the New York Mets Dog Day Event at Shea Stadium (five dollar admission for pets, proceeds supporting North Shore Animal League), and of course Animal Fair’s annual Paws for Style charity fashion show. Wherever you turn, New York City thinks outside the box (or in this case, the fire hydrant), and when it comes to being the home of outstanding animal activities and establishments, the “city that never sleeps” is no doubt the ultimate pet-friendly destination.