Best of NoVA 2018 Pets

Best of NoVA 2018

Looking for a place that will pamper and care for your furry friend? From the kennels and sitters to groomers and trainers, here are your fellow Northern Virginians’ favorites.


All Friends Pet Care
Since 1998, the professional pet sitters at All Friends Pet Care have been caring for pets big and small throughout the area. Co-owners Pam Ahart-Steward and Beth Greenberg Cotell have been best friends since 1973 and share a passion and dedication to the care of pets. AFPC offers many services to fit your pets’ needs—and your wallet—including midday dog walks, vacation pet sitting visits and overnight stays. You choose the length of each visit and meet your assigned pet sitter prior to service beginning, enabling you to create a relationship built to last.
–LN // allfriendspetcare.com


No matter where you live in Northern Virginia, there is sure to be a Dogtopia nearby. Since 2002, Dogtopia locations have put the focus on modernizing kenneling for dogs. Gone are the days of pens. Dogtopia opened with the concept that a kennel should be a vacation for a dog too. They get a day of play with other pups and then can rest in their own home-style crate. They can even bring their favorite blanket, pillow or non-squeak toy to help them relax. –LN // Multiple locations; dogtopia.com


Healthy Hound Playground
Don’t let the name fool you. Yes, Healthy Hound Playground is a great place to have your pup stay happy while you’re away for the day or while on vacation, but their grooming services are worth a look at. Indulge your dog with a blueberry facial or a shea butter and argan oil conditioning treatment. Or go for grooming services that range from basic bathing (shampoo, dry and brushing) to extravagances like a spa bath (basic bath plus nail trim, anal gland expression and ear cleaning) and expert grooming (spa bath plus haircut and style). There are also add-on services such as de-shedding and de-frizzing treatments, whitening and brightening shampoo and medical shampooing to relieve itchiness. –LN // 45910 Transamerica Plaza, Suite 109, Sterling; healthyhoundplayground.com


Wholistic Hound Academy
This training center for people and their dogs may be new, opened in May 2017, but Sandy Modell has been in the business of training dogs for over 20 years. For over 16 years, she taught group training classes through the City of Alexandria Recreation Department. Modell focuses on reward-based positive reinforcement methods to help humans teach their dogs to make the right behavior choices without fear or force, and to help build a partnership based on trust and cooperation, whether it’s working on good manners and life skills, behavior modification, puppy socialization or dog sports and canine fitness. –LN // 18 Roth St., Alexandria; wholistichound.com


Becky’s Pet Care
We all know that sometimes getting home to let the dog out is a feat. Becky’s Pet Care takes this task off your hands, even if it’s a last-minute dog walker you need. Becky’s Pet Care employs more than 140 trained professionals who are available for scheduled walks and for last-minute help. Their online client portal allows you to login and request on-demand care. Within an hour someone will head to your home to walk your pup, between the hours of 8 a.m.-7 p.m., and if they need medications, they can take care of that too. All walking services, which are real-time GPS tracked, are available from 6 a.m.-10 p.m., seven days a week, and provide free medication administration. There are no additional fees for multiple pets and clients receive instant feedback from each visit, with photos. –LN // beckyspetcare.com

Day care

A Dog’s Day Out
Day care for a dog is all about getting to play all day, take a nap and then play some more. At A Dog’s Day Out, one of the largest dog day care spaces in Northern Virginia, dogs get to romp around in the cage-free atmosphere and hang out with dogs their own size (playgroups are broken up into small, medium and large dog spaces). Dogs are supervised at all times by trained staff and have a multitude of open area and play equipment to play on. –LN // adogsdayout.com


Dogma Bakery and Boutique
The health of a pet has always been top of mind for Dogma Bakery, which has been in operation for almost 18 years. Focusing on the healthiest foods possible, they work with pet nutrition consultants to ensure they carry the best options of food for your pet. Then they got into baking their own treats, which use human-grade ingredients and are made fresh each day. But food isn’t their only focus. They carry many products for all of your pets and focus on advocating for all animals by working with local shelters and rescues for weekly adoption events and hold fundraisers on a regular basis in support of their efforts. –LN // Shirlington and Arlington; dogmabakery.com

Dog Park

Shirlington Dog Park
There has never been a dog park in Northern Virginia that stands up to Shirlington Dog Park. This is a bit of utopia for dogs and their humans that is tucked into Shirlington alongside Four Mile Run. Dogs have 2.4 acres to run about and a creek to jump into when days get hot. Last year, there was a question of the county reworking the park as they work on the Four Mile Run Valley plan, but massive public outcry has, for now, kept the entire area intact with only minor changes to improve erosion and water quality issues. –LN // 2710 S. Oakland St., Arlington; parks.arlingtonva.us/locations/shirlington-dog-park

Food Store

Kriser’s Natural Pet
Kriser’s acquired Wylie Wagg in late 2016, but has kept the feel of a neighborhood pet store. With a focus on all natural pet food, any time you shop you don’t have to worry about checking the labels. They carry over 25 brands for food and even more for treats and wellness products. –LN // Multiple locations; krisers.com

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