Dogs in Orlando don't live the 'ruff' life

Where to pamper your pup

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  • | 7:27 a.m. July 21, 2016
Photo by: Isaac Babcock - Looking for where to get that comfy new harness or maybe take your dog for a spa day? Winter Park and beyond are a mecca for pet pampering, offering extravagances your pets will drool over.
Photo by: Isaac Babcock - Looking for where to get that comfy new harness or maybe take your dog for a spa day? Winter Park and beyond are a mecca for pet pampering, offering extravagances your pets will drool over.
  • Winter Park - Maitland Observer
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The dog days are here as the summer heat is in full force, but life doesn’t need to be ruff on our four-legged friends. Our furry friends who are lucky enough to call the Orlando area home are in good company.

When the dogs are ready to pamper their paws and go to the spa, eat a pupcake, are in need of some acupressure, or ready to spend a few days at the dog lodge with a chauffer service they are lucky enough to have owners who live in the right place.

Not your average day at camp

Upon entering D Dog’s Lodge, located at 240 Circle Drive in Maitland, you are greeted with a welcome desk similar to a concierge desk you would see at a hotel. The doors opened in March and the dogs are strolling in.

“We don’t leave the dogs in cages, they are free to walk around. It’s like a hotel,” owner Katia Marques said. “They can stay for a few hours or a few days.”

D Dog’s Lodge has its own transportation service that can pick up and drop off the dog if the owner is unable too. The Lodge also offers a video monitoring system so owners can see their dogs at all times.

Rocky’s Retreat Canine & Fitness Center, located at 2826 Shader Road in Orlando, is a gym, spa and boarding facility all in one. Offering services such as hydrotherapy, acupressure and massages at the spa, and a dog treadmill and fitness balls at the gym, the variety of services is nothing to bark at. The most popular service is the boarding, said owner Sherri Cappabianca, but the one that has the biggest impact is the hydrotherapy.

“We have saved dogs from euthanasia, surgery and dogs that have trouble walking start walking again,” Cappabianca said.

“The hydrotherapy really helps them.”

Gifts for all dogs

For the past 17 years, The Doggie Door, located at 329 Park Ave. in Winter Park, has been a staple on the Avenue, offering everything from wagging-tail dog clocks to dog treats, collars, clothes and cards.

“We have the largest selection of collars and leashes in Central Florida and we help in the community by hosting events,” The Doggie Door owner – and Baldwin Park resident – Brian Wettstein said. “The pet business has changed considerably. We make sure to go to trade shows and continue to carry the things people want and are custom to getting when they get here and we also carry a lot of things for humans which makes us different from other pet boutiques.”

Emphasis of the growing pet industry is also visible on New Broad Street at Magic Pet. The Baldwin Park storefront is the second of two Magic Pet locations, the other in Oviedo. The store offers premium quality dog and cat food, pet supplies, and grooming services. Magic Pets specializes in top brands of food, including grain-free kibble and raw or dehydrated doggie dining options.

If you’re interested in Magic Pet’s products, but don’t have time to stop by the store, they offer online ordering and free delivery on orders of $45 and more, specially for Baldwin Park residents.

With a major emphasis on nutrition, Pookie’s Pet Nutrition & Bow Wow Bakery, located at 1500 W. Fairbanks Ave. in Winter Park, is another option for pet parents looking for high-quality dog food that is not filled with chemicals. All the “pawty” essentials can be found here too, as they are one of the few retail bakeries left in the area making everything from pupcakes to grain-free treats.

“What we do is concentrate on foods that are made in the USA and ingredients that are high quality. There is a big difference between in mass market and specialty stores,” Pookie’s Pet Nutrition & Bow Wow Bakery owner Marcia Sunberg said. “We talk to the customers to see if they have a specific problem and try to address it. In the last five to 10 years we have seen a dramatic increase in how dogs are being treated and dog-friendly establishments.”

For those dog owners who are interested in the holistic and alternative heath care approach, Hounds & Kitties Pet Health Food Market, located at 144 Lake Ave. in Maitland, is your one-stop shop. No chemicals or by products make their way into these doors.

“We carry holistic and organic and raw and a lot of products you can’t get at the big box stores at very competitive prices,” Hound & Kitties Pet Health Food Market owner Kerry Elliot said. “If it’s not a dire situation with your dog or cat we probably have a cure for them — fleas, itchy skin, worms, anxiety, etc. you may save a trip to the vet by using homeopathic remedies. It’s the same with humans as it is with dogs — if you eat good food you will feel better and live longer.”


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