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BIFF! BAM! POW! HERE WE COME TO SAVE THE DAY! OUR INTREPID TEAM OF WRITERS AND EDITORS HAVE SLEUTHED OUT THE BEST OF THE BEST IN DENVER TO CREATE 5280'S MUST-HAVE GUIDE TO THE MILE-HIGH CITY.
By
July 2007
Shop! | Play! | Kids! | Primp! | Pets! | People! | Eat!

PETS

For Denverites, pets are part of the family. Our picks for how to pamper the pooch/ parakeet/potbelly pig properly.

Pet Groomer

EDITORS' CHOICE Muddy Paws
4902 W. 38th Ave., 303-433-4642
Consider yourself warned: Muddy Paws is no Vanity Fur. But know that at Muddy Paws, groomer Tricia Sanchez and owner Zia Meranto (a prof at Metro State) will bathe, cut, style, clip, and express (look it up) your dog with love—at a price that won't make you howl (starting at $15). Once primped, Fido gets to hang, cage-free, in the waiting area with Dali, the terrier mix/house mascot. Bonus: Meranto just moved the biz to dishier new digs, and has even been known to take the doggie customers out for walks.

READERS' CHOICE Vanity Fur
5075 Leetsdale Drive, 720-974-5064, www.vanityfurpetsalon.com
Michelle Caster (owner) and Donna Cool (head groomer) started this first-class Hilltop operation back in '05 and have managed to stay busy no matter the season. The place is tidy and tightly run, with plenty of shopping opportunities—beds, toys, treats—to help run up your tab. Class comes at a price. Grooming prices start at $38 (for small dogs). Ask about the "Furminator"—an anti-shedding treatment.

Self-Serve Dog Wash

EDITORS' CHOICE U-Shampooch Dog Washing
7474 E. 29th Ave., 303-321-5353, www.u-shampooch.net
It's peak shedding season. Let your dog's hair clog someone else's drains. U-Shampooch will provide the tubs, brushes, towels, shampoo, blow dryer, and even ear wipes. But if you want every ear, tooth, and paw to pass extensive inspection, schedule an appointment with veteran groomer Jennifer Bell.

READERS' CHOICE The Wag Shop
1222 E. Sixth Ave., 303-282-1894, www.thewagshop.com
Owners Deidre and Dave Hered hired a friendly and knowledgeable staff of dog lovers to help you through the grooming process, offering shampoo advice (anti-tick vs. anti-itch?) or picking a color-enhancing shampoo to make your pooch shine.

Dog Boarding

EDITORS' CHOICE Animal Lodge at Alameda East Veterinary Hospital
9870 E. Alameda Ave., 303-366-2639, www.aevh.com/AnimalLodge
Dog heaven on earth. This east Denver outpost is the most ably staffed, kind-hearted venue that you (or your four-legged child) could imagine. Some suites even offer an in-room television for your dog to enjoy doggie DVDs.

READERS' CHOICE Deer Creek Animal Hospital
10148 W. Chatfield Ave., Littleton, 303-973-4200, www.dcah.com
These folks are disarmingly friendly, attentive, and entirely professional when Baxter checks in for a stay.

Doggie Daycare

EDITORS' CHOICE City Bark
370 Kalamath St., 303-573-9400 (also locations in LoDo and Englewood), www.citybark.com
You wouldn't put your kids in just any old daycare, so why subject your dog to one? City Bark gets that. An upscale pet center offering top-notch doggie daycare and other services to pets and pet owners, services include daycare, boarding, training, grooming, self-wash tubs, pet sitting, dog walking, and more. After all, even pets need to get social. And we can't forget to mention the doggie cams, for checking in on your pup online as he frolics in the indoor play area and pool.

READERS' CHOICE Camp Bow Wow
Multiple locations, 1-866-358-2267, www.campbowwowusa.com
You remember summer camp, right? Fun outdoor activities, new friends, great snacks, and afternoon naps. Well that's what your pooch has to look forward to at Camp Bow Wow—right down to the doggie-size, climate-controlled cozy cabins and comfy cots.

Dog Park

EDITORS' CHOICE West Arvada Dog Park
17975 W. 64th Parkway, Arvada
Four-legged friends from Arvada, Golden, Wheat Ridge, and other Front Range communities gather inside this fenced-in, five-acre park for off-the-leash frolicking, sniffing, and socializing. Now two years old, this volunteer-run puppy playground offers rugged, grassy terrain, two small-dog areas, faux fire hydrants, benches, poop-bag dispensers, trash cans, hooks for hanging leashes, water bowls (B.Y.O. water) and idyllic views of the foothills. And this is just phase one—plans call for an additional 15 acres to be completed when funding allows.

READERS' CHOICE Chatfield State Park
11500 N. Roxborough Park Road, Littleton
This state park has set aside 75 acres of trails, open space, and water holes for dogs and their owners to have some off-leash fun. For optimal mingling and stick retrieving, head to one of the area's two ponds. But, beware: The dog park is not fenced in, so Fido should be trained to come when called. Also note the $6 daily fee (or pay for an annual state parks' pass).

Veterinary Clinic

EDITORS' CHOICE Broadview Animal Clinic
10300 E. Evans Ave., 303-755-1424, www.broadviewanimalclinic.com
We love our pets. Heck, we even let them sleep with us. And we want what's best for them, which means great vet care. But here's where love has its limits: Pet owners often complain that competent animal care is way too expensive. Honestly, should it really cost $240 to get your dog's teeth cleaned? We don't think so, and neither do the vets at Aurora's Broadview Animal Clinic, a full-service vet hospital specializing in small animals. Service fees are super-reasonable—$31 for an exam, $7 for a nail trim, $98 for a dog neuter ($50 for cats). Broadview's also there for allergic reactions or broken legs.

READERS' CHOICE Deer Creek Animal Hospital
10148 W. Chatfield Ave., Littleton, 303-973-4200, www.dcah.com
For 23 years, Deer Creek Animal Hospital has been caring for Littleton's four-legged friends. With 12 vets on staff, one of them is bound to have the expertise your chocolate lab needs, whether its ophthalmology, critical care, or even veterinary acupuncture. As an added bonus, Deer Creek has received the highest accreditation by the American Animal Hospital Association, an honor bestowed on only 18 percent of small-animal hospitals in the United States.

Pet Boutique

EDITORS' CHOICE Muttropolis
29th Street Mall, 1855 29th St., Boulder, 303-545-6888, www.muttropolis.com
OK, so not everything is diamond-studded, but that doesn't mean you won't find the most hip and happening items for your pet—from print leather collars to cushy doggie beds (like the retro espresso dutchie pillow). And while you're there, pick up a bag of gourmet Mutt Munchers dog treats. Bonus: Muttropolis also hosts a variety of fun in-store events for pets and their parents, like the Howl-O-Ween costume party in October, Smooch A Pooch in February, and the Mutt Mingle (non-purebreeds only) the third Thursday of every month.

READERS' CHOICE Dog Savvy
1402 Larimer St., 303-623-5200, www.dogsavvy.com
You might be jealous of the exceptional treatment your pooch receives at this luxury doggie boutique and day spa. That is, until you make yourself at home shopping for organic treats and high-fashion puppy sweaters as Fido gets pampered with a bath, brush, fluff, and even a "blueberry facial." You'll both leave feeling relaxed and ready to face the day—with a new blinged-out collar to boot!

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