How to be the Ultimate Southern Pet Owner
Because the best Southern pets deserve the best Southern treats, training and tech, we’ve compiled the quintessential guide to showing your furry friend some love.
They slobber all over your Sunday best, leave little treasures of the mouse variety on your welcome mat, and do their business on the living room floor. They ruin the furniture, chew the shoes, and knock over Grandma’s antique vase. But if you’re a dog mom or a cat dad, or even one of those iguana people (we won’t judge), you know it’s all worth it for their welcome home at the end of a long day, for their purring snuggle when you need it most, for… whatever iguanas do (maybe we’ll judge a little, but if you own an iguana we trust you can handle it).
In honor of the fur babies (and scale babies?) of the South and their doting parents, we put together some of the best resources we know to help you become the ultimate Southern pet owner. Let’s face it, Fido is a member of the family and you’d take out a second mortgage on the house to care for him. So go ahead and indulge him with the best treats, training and technology out there. And while you’re at it, check some of the best events, grooming, vets, rescues and even a pet cafe.
Let’s face it — nobody likes feeling guilty about abandoning their pet to some prison-like kennel while they leave on holiday. Leave your pet in the swankiest pet hotel of them all, at Catnip-n-Biscuits. They offer many options for daycare and overnight lodging, such as luxury suites, private care rooms and VIP day care — including a number of activities to keep your pets occupied and healthy. Catnip-n-Biscuits is the premier pet hotel and day care center in the South — the perfect place to send your pet for their own vacation.
We know your pet is the king of the castle or queen of your heart. Treat them that way at Canine Palace. This store on the corner of Victory and Bull in Savannah provides treats, toys and tools of the pet trade including dog beds, shampoos, collars and leashes, plus lots of accessories in case your pup needs a crown or scepter.
Find something for all of your dogs wants (ahem, needs), and feel free to bring your little pupperino into the store to check things out. Owner Sara Portman and her staff love to meet your pets.
Caninepalacesavannah.com / 2805 Bull Street / 912.234.3336
When it’s 95 degrees with a heat index of 103, head to Pelican’s Snoballs to treat your pup and yourself. Pelican’s Snoballs offer their special “Pup Cup,” a shaved ice treat topped with chicken broth rather than your typical cherry or lime flavor. A dog bone is the icing on this savory cake.
While you’re at it, scoop up one of their Avalanche Cups for yourself in a variety of gourmet snoball flavors like carrot cake, pink champagne and dill pickle. Yes, dill pickle. Don’t knock it till you try it.
Pelicanssnoballs.com / 609 E Montgomery Cross Road
Don’t think we forgot about our feline friends. Treat your kitty to one of the kooshiest beds in the industry from Sushi Cat in Charleston, South Carolina. Suzanne Smith’s Sushi Cat beds are the Tempur-Pedics of the cat bed world — the softest, smooshiest, most cat-pleasing snooze pads around.
“What started as a quest to find a larger/wider collar for my pleasantly plump cat, Sushi, quickly turned into a hobby which now has become a very large part of my life,” says Suzanne. First came the collars, then the bow ties, and finally, her smash-hit Sushi Beds.
You can find Suzanne’s Sushi Cat beds, collars and accessories on Etsy @sushicatstyle. etsy.com/shop/sushicatstyle
K9 Fit Club
BYOD (bring your own dog) to a K9 Fit Club class and get in shape together. “As we’ve become unhealthier as a nation, our dogs have gone the same way. People work so much, then they’re forced to make the decision to leave their dog at home to work out. We are the pioneer and leader in human and K9 fitness,” says instructor Tricia Montgomery. “Working out is not so ‘ruff’ when you’re with your best friend.”
Tricia loves a good puppy pun. Some of the classes you can take at K9 Fit Club include NamaSitStay, Pupilaties and the Bow Wow Bootcamp. All K9 Fit Club instructors are certified personal trainers and certified K9 trainers as well. They have a pay-per-class model with “pup-up” classes in 53 locations around the U.S. and Canada. K9fitclub.com
Rover connects pet walkers and sitters with pet owners. Can’t get enough face licks and tail wags? Create an account on the app to sign up as a walker or sitter. Need help taking Spot out every day while you travel or work? Sign up to find an expert dog walker. You can search, book, and pay all through the app or the website.
Rover offers boarding, house sitting, walking, day care or just drop-in visits for a mid-day belly rub. They are pet people who know pets are family, and they are committed to a safe, stress-free, reasonably priced experience for both pet owners and sitters, alike. Rover.com
Wondering if a restaurant, hotel or store is pet-friendly? BringFido knows. This website and mobile app aggregates information on businesses worldwide into a directory of pet-friendly places — more than 250,000 of them. Find dog parks, hiking trails, breweries and lodging along with local veterinarians, pet sitters, daycares and groomers wherever you are — on vacation, on the road or even in your hometown.
BringFido also staffs a team of travel experts available by phone or online chat to help with pet-friendly travel planning and hotel booking. Bringfido.com
Events and Hangouts
Dress your little princess up like a real Cinderella and bring her down to Wag-O-Ween, a day-long festival that gives our furry best friends a chance to trick-or-treat for bones and biscuits. Sponsored by Savannah’s Canine Palace, Wag-O-Ween raises funds for pet rescues through a suggested donation of $5 per person, all of which goes to rescues.
Attendees get a map and trick-or-treat bag, then set off through Savannah to participating businesses. The event culminates with a festival in Forsyth Park and a costume contest. Bring your jailbirds and flying monkeys and compete to win.
Now in its 14th year, Wag-O-Ween takes place from 12-5 p.m. on October 26, 2019 in Forsyth Park. Check it out on Facebook for festival updates. facebook.com/wagoween.savannah.ga
Sip a cabernet with your calico or a tipple with your tabby at Pounce, the South’s first cat cafe. Pounce has locations in Savannah and Charleston where you can enjoy an adult beverage, indulge in a sweet treat from Le Café Gourmet, and give all the snuggles to some friendly felines. “We are just a massive foster home until they get adopted,” says Savannah Assistant Manager, Jacquie Price. “By the time they leave us, they are lap babies — super friendly and socialized.”
Pounce partners with The Humane Society of Greater Savannah to provide cat companions, allowing the Humane Society to dedicate their time to helping other animals.
Pouncecatcafe.com / 912.777.6181 / 404 West Broughton Street
The Posh Pet
Give your little gentleman or lady a very special spa day right at home. Valerie Beckwith, owner of The Posh Pet, comes from a family of groomers with a long history. Her mother had a grooming school, and Valerie grew up under a grooming table. Today, she provides one-on-one grooming that helps pets feel their best in the comfort of their driveway.
Valerie travels to Tybee, Wilmington and Whitemarsh Islands, as well as downtown Savannah and The Landings, in her mobile pet grooming station. She comes straight to you in her converted van, a grooming station on wheels equipped with everything she needs to have your pet looking and feeling their best. facebook.com/theposhpet / 912.495.5209
There are so many fur babies out there without good homes and loving families. If you’re looking for your first pet or introducing a second or third into your pack, check out these pet rescues in Savannah. They partner with other shelters, foster parents and fur-ever parents to find safe, loving homes for abused, neglected and abandoned pets.
One Love Animal Rescue, oneloveanimalrescue.com / Email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information on adoption. Coastal Pet Rescue, coastalpetrescue.org / 7430 Thomas Avenue, shelter open to the public by appointment only.