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Places to Pamper Pets

Alexandria offers many options for pet services.

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Elmer watches over the four-footed traffic in the Royal Pet Kennel.

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Alexandria resident Bailey Rosenberg.

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Pet Sage owner Terri Grow talks to Dempsey at the shop on Dove Street.

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Emerson keeps a nose on the employee entrance at For Pets Sake.

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Dogs and Cats are groomed at For Pets Sake in the Fairlington Shopping Center.

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Nature’s Nibbles provides a self-service doggie wash for customers.

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Nature’s Nibbles owner Chris Gabriel.

Alexandrians love their animals. Few other communities are so dog friendly, and very few other places can support such a wide range of pet specialty shops. These local stores have everything your pet could want or even dream of, and they offer services to make every owner happy.

<ro>For Pet’s Sake

<bt>1537 N. Quaker Lane, Alexandria, 703-931-2600; Open Tuesdays-Fridays until 6 p.m., Saturdays until 5 p.m.; opens at 7 a.m. on Wednesdays so customers can come before work

For Pet’s Sake groomers groom all types of dogs and cats. There are nine groomers on staff, making it much easier to arrange appointments. The different groomers specialize in different sizes of animal and hair types. The store also sells food, treats, leashes and shampoos.

<ro>Royal Pet Kennel

<bt>5916 North Kings Hwy., Alexandria; royalpetkennel.com; 703-354-7222; kennel drop-off Mondays-Fridays 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., Saturdays 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., Sundays 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Royal Pet Kennel was once a full-service pet shop. Although it now sticks to just running a kennel, the store’s days as a pet shop have left the staff experienced with all varieties of pets. While many boarding facilities serve just dogs and cats, this kennel boards dogs, cats, birds, rabbits, and other exotic animals — including one gecko that they board twice a year. "If it’s your pet, we board it," they say.

The family-owned business also sells some pet supplies, but most of the sales are to their boarding customers. The store is most concerned with being a high-quality kennel.

<ro>Pet Sage

<bt>2391 S. Dove St., Alexandria; petsage.com; 703-299-5044; Open Mondays-Fridays 10 a.m.-6 p.m., Thursdays until 8 p.m., Saturdays 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Open since 1995, Pet Sage is best described as a "health-food store for animals," primarily dogs and cats. The store sells natural and organic pet foods and treats, raw foods, and also the ingredient for owners that want to prepare their own pet food. Other health-related offerings include herbal therapies for pet’s health problems, such as arthritis, and botanical skin care products for dogs.

It also sells pet store basics like toys, bedding, and kitty litter, except that in this store those products are more eco-friendly than most of the products on the market.

<ro>Dogtopia

<bt>3121 Colvin St., Alexandria; dogdaycare.com/alexandria; 703-751-PETS;

Open Weekdays 7 a.m.-7 p.m., Saturdays 10 a.m.-5 p.m., Sundays, for boarding only, 11 a.m.-2 p.m.

After taking their own dog to Dogtopia’s Tysons Corner location for several years, Jeff and Sandy Lutton decided to open a Dogtopia in Alexandria.

Dogtopia is an open facility, which means that rather than being kept in their own pens, the dogs can be out playing with other dogs. They are put into groups based on their sizes and temperaments, and there are even Webcams so that owners can peek in on their dogs and see if they’re happy. The facility also has groomers on site so that boarded dogs can be groomed, without their owners having to make appointments on their own time.

<ro>Chateau Animaux

<bt>101 S. St. Asaph St., Alexandria; chateau-animaux.com; 703-518-5188; Open Mondays-Fridays 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., Saturdays 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. (7 p.m. in Summer), Sundays 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. (6 p.m. in Summer)

Chateau-Animaux is a specialty pet bakery, serving "the best treats in the DC area." Treats are sold by the pound, in varieties that put basic milkbones to shame. Some treats come frosted and in shapes, including some varieties that sound just like human treats — like doughnuts, animal crackers and bar cookies.

Still, this bakery is health conscious, offering treats free of soy, corn, and wheat, to which many dogs have allergies or sensitivities. It also has a section for cats, as well as basic pet products, like leashes and collars.

<ro>Old Town School for Dogs

<bt>529 Oronoco St., Alexandria; otsfd.com; 703-836-7643; Open Weekdays 7:30 a.m. to 7 p.m., Saturdays 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Sundays 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

At dog daycares, dogs can burn off extra energy, but at Old Town School for Dogs, the animals actually learn to become better behaved. The school has classes during the day, as well as offering private one-on-one lessons for dogs and their owners. Day classes also include head-start for puppies.

Along with training, there is also walk-in nail clipping and a selection of basic and variety dog and cat supplies.

<ro>Barkley Square Bakery and Boutique

<bt>2006 Mt Vernon Ave., Alexandria; barkleysquarebakery.com; 703-548-DOGG; Open Weekdays 12 p.m. to 5 p.m., Saturdays 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., Sundays 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Described as a "one-stop shop," Barkley Square Bakery and Boutique has on-site grooming and pet-sitting services attached to the bakery and retail. The shop also offers Old Town Excursions and dog walking for tourists. For local dogs, the bakery also caters dog birthday parties, complete with cake (pupcakes) and ice cream that can be enjoyed by both dogs and humans.

Treat offerings include all-natural bakery fresh cheese, peanut butter, chicken, or beef-based treats, as well as longer-lasting boxed treats.

<ro>Old Town Doggie Wash

<bt>105 Moncure Dr., Alexandria; oldtowndoggiewash.com; 703-566-1111; Open Mondays, Thursdays, and Fridays 4 p.m. to 7 p.m., Saturdays 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Sundays 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

The Old Town Doggie Wash is perfect for owners that don’t want the mess of bathing their dogs in their own homes and for dogs that don’t want the stress of being groomed by an unfamiliar person. This dog salon is self-service. Owners can bring their dogs to use the deep sinks to wash their dogs, and are provided with brushes, shampoos and hair dryers.

<ro>Nature’s Nibbles

<bt>2601 Mt. Vernon Ave., Alexandria; naturesnibbles.com; 701-931-5241; Open Tuesdays-Fridays 11 a.m. to 7:30 p.m., Saturdays 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., Sundays 12 p.m. to 5 p.m.

Nature’s Nibbles sells only all-natural dog and cat food and treats. All-natural means that the food is human-grade and does not include byproducts, wheat, corn, soy, or gluten. "We don’t believe all-natural has to be more expensive," says the store’s owner, who also believes that dogs and cats on all-natural diets will need to eat less, shed less, and visit the veterinarian less.

It sells dry foods, canned foods, and frozen, freeze-dried, and dehydrated raw foods. It also has all-natural treats and raw bones, which help to keep dogs’ teeth clean. Foods, treats, beds, collars, toys, and leashes are sold for both dogs and cats. There is also an on-site, do-it-yourself dog wash open during good weather.

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If you don’t currently share your life and home with a four-legged friend, but want some canine, feline, or other pet companionship, contact:

* The Animal Welfare League of Alexandria, 4101 Eisenhower Ave., Alexandria; alexandriaanimals.org; 703-838-4774; Open Weekdays 1-8 p.m., Weekends 12 p.m. to 5 p.m.

* King Street Cats, 25 Dove St., Alexandria; kingstreetcats.org; 703-231-7199