Best of Manhattan 2023: Pets

| 12 Dec 2023 | 12:14



Bark Place NYC

1404 1st Ave


Upper East Siders—and their pets—are very particular about their grooming. Enter Bark Place, where more than forty years of accolades haven’t lessened their dedication to providing careful, empathetic attention to our four-legged hirsute friends. For cats, there are full groom, nail, bath and shaving services. For dogs with wiry coats, consider handstripping, which removes excess hair and includes a bath, blueberry facial, blow out, cologne spritz, teeth brushing, nail trimming and ear cleaning. Anal gland expression is available upon request. Besides its devotion to tonsorial excellence, Bark Place also offers doggie daycare, training and can serve as an event space for pet party planning too.


D Is For Doggy

575 Amsterdam Avenue New York,

(347) 474-4407

One of the city’s leading full-service dog emporiums, has five Manhattan locations, including this one on the Upper West Side. On the grooming side, each dog gets treated one at a time, and are never left alone. For dogs who are also getting baths, their treatment includes a nail trim, blow dry, ear cleaning, paw trimming and, if desired, expression of the anal glands. D is for Doggy also offers highly praised training, walking, boarding and daycare—the latter two includes free live puppy cams to reassure protective dog parents that their fur baby is in the best of paws.


Towne House Grooming & Pet Supplies

288 8th Ave


Serving Chelsea and beyond for over forty years, Town House Grooming & Pet Supplies is, as its name indicates, a highly praised combination pet store and grooming salon. For dogs, this includes breed-specific styling and hand stripping, as well a bath, brush out, nail trimming, ear cleaning and a sanitary clip. For cats, there’s bath and brush, lion cuts, teeth cleaning, coat buttering, nail clipping or filing, and more.




Andrew Haswell Green Park

East 63rd Street at East River

Located just north of the Queensboro Bridge, this is an unfancy but highly functional dog run featuring a fine gravel surface that is a delight for both canines and their human caretakers. The view, of course, is wonderful, as is the chance to meditate on the park’s namesake, Andrew Haswell Green (1820-1903), one of New York’s most important civic advocates and one of the primary persons responsible for the creation of Central Park, the American Museum of Natural History, the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Bronx Zoo, among other projects. If out with children, the nearby Twenty-Four Sycamores Park is a bonus, though of course there all dogs must remain leashed.


West 87th Street Dog Run

West 87th Street at Riverside Park

The middle of three dog wonderful runs marking this stretch of Riverside Park—the others are at West 72nd and West 105th Streets, respectively—is a such a pleasurable spot to visit, even dog-less walkers and runners are delighted when they come by. As for the pups themselves, both small and large varieties delight in the dirt and, if their parents are somewhat less excited when rain makes mud, such are the burdens our rambunctious fur babies place upon us.


Stuyvesant SquareDog Park

2nd Avenue and 17th Street

While Washington Square and Tompkins Square Parks are both justly popular, they can sometimes be a little stressful for people and pooches alike. If you can get to Stuyvesant Square, things are usually quieter and more bucolic feeling. It should be noted that the surface here is pavement and cobblestone. This has advantages for cleanliness, and disadvantages for sliding, rolling and kicking up a dust storm in general. Complementing the general good spirits of this padded paws paradise is the park’s statue great Czech composer, Antonín Dvořák, who in the mid-1890s lived at 327 E. 17th Street and wrote both his cello concerto and 9th (New World) Symphony there.




At Home Veterinary


While there are any number of respected veterinarians on the Upper East Side, for certain people and certain pets, the advantages of a vet who makes house calls are manifold. It takes less time, there’s a lot less stress and the cost is usually only slightly more than going to an office. Enter Dr. Jonathan Leshanski, who’s been zig-zagging the neighborhood—and other parts of Manhattan, Brooklyn, and Queens—caring for cats and dogs since 1997. With his bag of equipment and the experience of treating more than 15,000 animals, Leshanski can perform wellness and illness examinations, diagnostic testing, vaccinations, and microchipping. For treatment, Leshanki offers both western and alternative medicine based on traditional Chinese medicine, including acupuncture and herbalism.


Westside Veterinary Center

220 West 83rd Street


Opened since 1985 and located in a cute, inviting two story building, the Westside Veterinary Center is a highly praised full-service pet care medical facility and an accredited member of the Animals Hospital Association. It’s not just dogs and cats here either—birds, rabbits and other, more exotic pets are also welcome. (Not even a baby elephant would fit through the door, however.) Hospital director Karen Cantor is a member of the Association of Avian Veterinarians; while others on her staff include an acupuncturist, a surgeon, and a specialist in internal medicine.


The Cat Practice

145 West 24th Street


It’s called The Cat Practice because that’s exactly what it is: not just the first cats-only veterinarian in Chelsea, or Manhattan, but the entire country. Founded in the 1970s, its medical director is Dr. Eric Daughtry, a Brooklyn-native who’s been with the practice since 2011. For cats and cat owners who consider themselves peculiar or both, there is no better destination. For those who need it, the Cat Practice also offers boarding and prescription diet food for felines.





424 East 92nd Street


Founded in in 1866 by Henry Bergh—whose pyramid-shaped tomb with attendant animal sculptures is among the most impressive burial sites in Brooklyn’s historic Greenwood Cemetery—the ASCPA remains a standard bearer in the animal advocacy movement. In New York, this means several things, including mobile adoption events and a dedicated pet adoption center in Yorkville. Visits to the 92nd Street location are by appointment only, so call or e-mail first.


Muddy Paws Rescue


Founded by Rachael Ziering in 2016, Muddy Paws is a non-profit, fostering-based dog rescue operation with no single shelter location. While this does mean that Upper West Siders can’t just walk into a building for a bounding, barking meet and greet, regular adoption events held at a PetSmart store in Flatiron and the organization’s reputation is such that any prospective foster pet parent or adoptee should talk to the Muddy Paws team and see what’s going on. Ample volunteer opportunities for dog lovers are also available.



152 West 24th Street


Founded in 1903 by Mrs. Flora D’Auby Jenkins Kibbe, Bideawee—which means “stay a while” in Scottish—is among Manhattan’s most highly regarded no-kill animal shelters. Dogs and cats are available for both adoption and fostering. For those who adopt certain dogs who have been difficult to place because they are shy or were reactive to an adoptee’s other pets, Bideawee offers a free training package they call the Oh, Behave! Training Academy. For those who spend time on Long Island, Bideawee also has operations in Wantagh and Westhampton.