From Chewy Vuittons to Barkberries; Paw Paw gourmet pet baskets to Snow Dog Sundaes; pawdicurists who come to your door to holistic vets who make house calls; boarders with chauffeur service, indoor heated pools, and Presidential Suites fit for a king (or a King Charles Spaniel) we’ve combed the North Shore to find everything you need to spoil the deserving four-legged friend in your life.
Best Place to Pick Up a Marc Jacobs Bag for Your Dog
Noah’s Ark Pet Supply
831 Elm Street, Winnetka
Not only will you find plush Marc Jacobs “bags” at Noah’s Ark, you can also pamper your pet with “Chewy” Vuittons, Prada “chews,” “i-Paws, “Barkberries,” and “Barkin Bags.” But this pet store offers more than just adorable designer toys. Celebrating its 10th anniversary this year, Noah’s Ark is committed to rescuing pets, especially kittens, which are available for adoption or temporary foster placement through PAWS Chicago.
Best “Whole Foods” Experience
1017 Davis Street, Evanston
Offering more than 30 different brands of organic dog and cat food, a huge variety of pet vitamins, wild salmon and fish oil supplements, and natural flea treatments—all displayed attractively on natural wood shelving—Fit+Frisky is like a Whole Foods for pets. In addition to food, the store carries interactive pet toys that encourage bonding as well as leashes, raingear, and a full line of boots for dogs.
Best Place for Yappy Hour + Shopping
Thee Fish Bowl
600 Dempster Street, Evanston
Thursday is “Yappy Hour” at Thee Fish Bowl, a family-owned pet store that’s been keeping North Shore pets happy and healthy for more than 45 years. Bring your pup and your questions—a licensed trainer is always on hand to answer socialization questions.
Best Place to Adopt a New Best Friend
Wilmette Pet Center
625 Green Bay Road, Wilmette / 847-251-6750 / wilmettepetcenter.com
A true pet store for pet lovers, Wilmette Pet Center helped place more than 100 dogs and cats in homes on the North Shore last year through its partnership with Adopt–A-Pet, a not-for-profit animal shelter and adoption agency. The pet center will not only guide you through the adoption process, making sure you find the pet that’s right for you and your family, they’ll help you stock up on everything you’ll need to take care of your new best friend.
Best Place for a Sundae Stroll
Happy Husky Bakery
2601 Prairie Avenue, Evanston
Upon entering Happy Husky Bakery, you will be greeted by Ginger and Astaire, the resident Husky mascots of this charming Evanston bakery. Using only the finest ingredients (and constantly seeking feedback from their four-legged customers), Happy Husky offers doggie treats, custom birthday cakes, and “Snow Dog Sundaes,” a pet-friendly soft serve treat complete with fresh waffle bowl and optional healthy toppings, including a sprinkle of probiotics. Sit back and relax with Happy Husky’s outdoor seating while your pup cools off with his treat.
Best Place for a Bottle of Chardognay
Paw Paw Baskets
1541 W. Cortez Street, Chicago
Survive the dog days of summer with Paw Paw Basket’s “Picnic with Your Pooch” gift basket, featuring a bottle of “Chardognay,” doggie goodies, Frisbee, and checked bandana—perfect for the dog park. If your pup is new to the family, Paw Paw offers a “Welcome Home, Puppy” basket with treats (blueberry cobbler and peanut butter and jelly biscuits) and teething toys to distract your new housemate from those Louboutin heels. All of Paw Paw’s baskets are carefully curated to fit specific needs and are filled with quality treats and products.
Best Place for a Gourmutt
Fido To Go
Fido to Go zips around Chicago in a bright yellow truck equipped with freshly baked treats, cakes, and frozen yogurt. Their baked goods even include gluten-free options. You can find Fido to Go at local dog parks, beaches, and dog-friendly events, but if you’re looking for something more exact, follow them on Twitter—they tweet their current location and upcoming event appearances. If you can’t make it to them, never fear, Fido to Go can come to you. In addition to catering services for doggie birthdays and celebrations, they provide activities for four-legged guests, including bobbing for hot dogs and decorating your own “pup” cake.
HOTELS FOR DOGS
Best Place to Take a Dip:
Carriage Hills Kennels
2218 Waukegan Road, Glenview / 847-724-0270 / carriagehillskennels.com
In addition to comfy accommodations, Carriage Hill Kennels offers an indoor, heated pool for your pup’s use. The chemical-free, 800-square-foot aquatic center is the perfect activity for your pet while you’re away. Trained staff members always supervise the pool, and each dog receives a doggie life vest to wear while swimming. Carriage Hill also offers private and group swim classes. Knowing that your pet will be lounging poolside, too, makes saying “Bon Voyage” a little easier.
Best Place for a Chauffeured Ride:
Bark N’ Park
14100 W. Lambs Lane, Green Oaks / 847-367-0364 / barkandpark.com
Getting out of town can be a logistical nightmare, which is why Bark n’ Park offers scheduled pickup and drop-off for your dog, giving you one less thing to worry about. Featuring a state-of-the-art indoor and outdoor facility with custom-cushioned flooring, Bark n’ Park supervises each play area and separates dogs both by size and temperament. The large and small dog kennels are equipped with every amenity needed, but Bark n’ Park encourages you to send your little guy’s favorite bed and toy to make him feel more at home.
Best Place to Skype with Your Dog:
Wiggly Tails Doggie Daycare
1915 Holste Road, Northbrook / 847-272-4141 / wigglytails.com
Wiggly Tails can literally offer a “home away from home” for you pooch. The Northbrook-based day care and kennel facility offers accommodations that can include a bedroom suite with a window and toddler bed for your wiggly-tailed friend. Included with the bedroom suite is access to a 24/7 webcam that allows you to check in and see what your pooch has been up to. Wiggly Field is Wiggly Tails’ supervised outdoor activity area, where dogs (weather permitting) spend most of their day, guaranteeing a long, deep sleep during daily naptime.
Best Presidential Suite:
Paradise 4 Paws
10516 United Parkway, Schiller Park / 847-678-1200 / paradise4paws.com
The Presidential Suite is not just for humans anymore. Paradise 4 Paws offers accommodations fit for a king. Amenities include a flat screen TV, premium bedding, private patio, and bone-shaped pool. All of the boarding options include a nightly tuck-in service as well as numerous a-la-carte services, including massage therapy and “pawdicures.” Paradise 4 Paws is conveniently located near O’Hare, making drop-off and pickup a breeze.
Best Place for Critical Care
Veterinary Specialty Center
1515 Busch Parkway
Pets, like people, need emergency care. When illness strikes after hours, Veterinary Specialty Center’s 26,000–square-foot hospital with six operating rooms and a caring emergency room staff—just pull up, and they’ll help you get your pet out of the car if needed—is a godsend.
Best At-Home Holistic Health Care
Creature Comforts Home Veterinary Care
Not only does Dr. Olivia Harris-Barkoff make house calls all over the North Shore, she offers a unique holistic approach to veterinary medicine that includes acupuncture, homeopathy, nutraceuticals, vitamins, and nutritional supplements, not to mention plenty of personalized time and attention.
Best Way to Say Good-bye
Pet Loss At Home
Pet Loss At Home, a mobile network of specialized euthanasia only veterinarians, allows pet owners to say good-bye in the comfort and privacy of their own homes. Available from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., seven days a week, Pet Loss At Home works with families to create personalized endings, whether at home, at a park, or at the beach.
PARKS FOR POOCHES
Location: 1 E. Center Street
Hours: sunrise to sunset
Fees: Residents, free with beach pass and dog sticker; non-residents, $150 plus pass and sticker.
Prairie Wolf Dog Exercise Area
Location: East side of Waukegan Road (Route 43) just south of Old Mill Road
Hours: 8 a.m. to sunset
Fees: Residents, $44 per year and
$18 for each additional dog; non-residents, $120 per year and $56
for each additional dog.
Moraine Park and Beach
Location: 2501 Sheridan Road
Hours: sunrise to sunset
Fees: Residents, $40 per dog;
non-residents, $120 per dog.
Centennial Park Dog Beach
Location: one driveway south
of Elder Land
Hours: 6:30 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Fees: Residents, $30 per year and $10 for each additional dog; non-residents, $160 per year and $35 for each additional dog. (Non-residents must also purchase a $100 parking sticker).
Gillson Park Dog beach
Location: Southeast corner of Gillson Park, east of Sheridan Road, north of Linden Avenue
Hours: vary by season
Fees: Residents, $25 per year and
$5 for each additional dog; non-
residents, $150 per year and $50
for each additional dog.
Evanston Dog Beach
Location: At Church and Davis Streets by the lake
Hours: 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.
May 1 through October 31
Fees: Evanston residents, $40 per
season; non-residents, $80 per season. Tokens are required to enter the beach and may be purchased at the Dempster Street Beach Office, where Dempster meets the lake.
Best Place for a Pawdicure
Aussie Pet Mobile
Not only is Aussie Pet Mobile extremely convenient (they come right to your door!), its groomers will pamper your dog with Aussie’s “pawdicure” for special occasions. They also offer de-shedding treatments and use natural, eco-friendly cleansing products such as oatmeal, hypoallergenic, or tea tree shampoos. And, should your furry friend encounter a skunk, Aussie Pet Mobile can take care of the stink in no time.
Best Place for a Sophisticated ’Do
The Dog Wash
340 Linden Avenue,
When your dog needs to look his absolute best, a precision cut from The Dog Wash is hard to beat. The groomers use a hand-scissoring technique to give the fur a refined, “sculpted” look. A dog’s fur is his “outfit” for each day—why shouldn’t it look fabulous?
Best Place for a Bubble Bath
729 Ridge Road, Wilmette
If you want your pet to have a comfortable, homelike feeling at the groomer, The LaundryMutt is the perfect choice. At this cage-free facility, dogs lounge on couches and beds as they wait for their owners to return and are treated to baths in a vintage claw-foot tub.
Best Self-Serve Dog Wash
Yuppy Puppy, Inc.
970 North Shore Drive,
When Fido runs through the mud for the third time this month, you might want to use Yuppy Puppy’s self-serve option, which allows you to wash him using their equipment. Yuppy Puppy offers a full range of grooming services, plus day care and boarding.