If you are like most people, your pet is your best friend, and there is no better way to keep your four-legged companion looking and feeling good than by taking him or her to the Dog ’N Cat House Salon in Ozone Park.
There they can get a full spa treatment in the grooming area, grab a snazzy new outfit and food bowl in the boutique and polish their manners by taking a training class. It’s one-stop shopping for people who want to pamper their pet.
The spa treatment for cats and dogs includes a comfort bath, massage, fresh blueberry facial scrub, ear cleaning and paw-ticure. They have a variety of bandanas, bows, colognes and perfumes for that extra added touch of elegance.
They can also bathe rabbits, guinea pigs and ferrets and clip their nails.
“It really makes them feel good,” said owner Christina Di Toro. “After the pets are done, they look so different and just to see the smiles on the customers’ faces is really rewarding.
“Sometimes the whole family comes in to pick them up,” she continued. “They scream. They cry. It’s funny.”
The grooming prices vary depending on breed, coat type and condition. The shop specializes in difficult pets and employees do their best to make each animal feel as relaxed as possible.
“Sometimes cats are hard to handle,” Di Toro said. “It takes a skilled person to perform those kinds of services.”
When grooming cats, Di Toro makes sure it is later in the day when the store is quiet and less crowded. They also approach the animal slowly and try to gain its trust before proceeding.
“We massage them a little,” Di Toro said. “We evaluate their demeanor. Sometimes we try to do their nails first.”
The store gives discounts on grooming to seniors and for rescued animals. They also perform the services on special needs pets like those who are older or have difficulty standing.
The establishment offers several dog training courses including rally beginner, intermediate and advanced obedience instruction and conformation breed handling classes, which are taught by skilled instructors with decades of experience.
The beginner’s course is eight weeks long and includes learning basic commands such as sit, stay and down. The dogs also learn how to socialize with people and other animals, pack hierarchy, communication and nutrition.
The intermediate course is also eight weeks long and is specifically geared toward getting the dog to pass the American Kennel Club Canine Good Citizen test. The advanced course offers group and individual instruction to prepare for competing in AKC shows.
The conformation course helps all age groups from puppies to full grown dogs prepare to participate in AKC competitions, and is taught by an AKC judge. The Dog ’N Cat House Salon also offers private individual home instruction to troubleshoot specific problems.
The most popular items in the boutique include pet carriers and raincoats. But there are also a myriad of collars, designer clothing and dresses, pet beds and food bowls. The styles and types available are not usually carried by major retail chains like Petsmart and Petco and a portion of the proceeds goes to the Morris Cancer Campaign.
Di Toro has been a groomer for more than 40 years, a veterinary assistant for over 30 years and is a member of the Long Island Bulldog Club. She considers herself an animal person and knows how important pets are to their owners.
“They make you feel better when you’re stressed or upset,” Di Toro said. “I don’t even like to use the word pet. They are my children, my best friends.”
The Dog ’N Cat House Salon is located at 91-16 101 Ave. in Ozone Park. It is open Monday through Saturday from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. and can be reached at (718) 529-1697.