Numerous pet owners view their pets as part of the family. And, with increasing numbers of people heading back to the office, many are worried about how they will make the transition back to “normal” life easier for their pets.

While many pets became accustomed to their owners being home for the majority of the day, beginning in the fall, they will need some extra care as they adjust to their owners going back to work.

So, if you need a pet care company to aid with dog walking, pet boarding, sitting or daycare, there are several experienced small businesses in the North Brooklyn area that are eager to meet your four or otherwise-legged companion.


Christine and Timothy Cluff, owners of Ridgewalks. (Ridgewalks)

Ridgewalks specializes in custom daily dog walking and cat sitting services in the Ridgewood area. 

Ridgewood residents Christine and Timothy Cluff, owners of Ridgewalks, share over 10 years of professional pet care experience in the New York area. They are dedicated to providing hands-on, transparent and consistent service.

Ridgewalks uses the Time to Pet app, which allows clients to track walks via GPS, receive daily photos and updates, schedule services and access billing. Ridgewalks is fully bonded, licensed, insured, and trained in pet first aid and CPR, as well as a member of Pet Sitters International. 

Christine and Timothy Cluff say they have seen separation anxiety in both dogs and cats and shared the following tips:

  1. Create a safe space for your pet, either in a sectioned-off portion of a room or their crate, and add their favorite toys for comfort.
  2. Start with short absences and build up to longer periods over time to allow your pup time to adjust.
  3. Practice low-key behavior when leaving the house, and incorporate leaving routines into your day.
  4. Leave out high-value toys or treated Kongs as distractions. Lots of clients ask that their pup or kitty receive special treats as their caretakers leave to reduce stress.
  5. Close blinds and curtains to reduce visual triggers, and play soothing music or keep the TV on a dog- or kitty-friendly channel.
  6. Be patient and consistent. Behavior changes take time, and your pet will adjust to your new schedule at their own pace

Ridgewalks is open seven days a week, 365 days a year from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. 

Strutting Mutts

Another small business providing quality care is Strutting Mutts, which was established in 2014 and serves the Williamsburg and Greenpoint neighborhoods. Services include daycare, walking and overnight boarding for dogs. 

Strutting Mutts provides two to three free walks at dog daycare and ensure that their daycare is not overcrowded. 

Their dog walking services range from a half-hour to an hour and communication is promptly provided with daily notes before and after walks.

If needing overnight care, dog boarding is available at the Strutting Mutts location or can be provided in your own home. 

Strutting Mutts is located at 624 Grand St.

Dog daycare and walking hours are Monday through Friday 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday from 9:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Dog walking hours on Saturday and Sunday are 8 a.m. to 11 p.m.

What’s Up Dog

A happy canine customer from What’s Up Dog. (What’s Up Dog)

Serving Bushwick and surrounding neighborhoods, What’s Up Dog provides dog daycare, overnight boarding, dog walking and 15-minute check-ins for other pets.

There is both an indoor space with AC and heat as well as an 800-square-foot backyard that is open for the pups to use at any time. During the hot summer days, a small pool is utilized to keep the dogs cool. As an added treat, a bubble machine is sometimes used with bacon-flavored bubbles. 

All dogs must have up-to-date vaccines for rabies, distemper and bordetella, as well as pass a temperament test. Dogs with aggressive behaviors towards other dogs are not permitted in the space. 

Overnight boarding can take place in your own home, at the home of a qualified employee or at the daycare location where someone will stay overnight with the dogs to ensure that they are not alone. 

Dog walking ranges from relief walks of 10 to 15 minutes to hour-long walks, and at an additional charge another dog can be added to the walk. Detailed updates are provided to owners, which include a map of the area walked, the length of the walk and if food and water were provided. 

In addition to dog care services, What’s Up Dog also provides pet visits of 10 to 15 minutes to check in on cats, rabbits, turtles, fish or birds. 

What’s Up Dog is located at 175 Knickerbocker Ave., and dog daycare is open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. with dog boarding continuing through the weekend.

Bushwick Pet Care

A powerful squad of dogs on a walk with Bushwick Pet Care (Bushwick Pet Care)

Also serving Bushwick is Bushwick Pet Care which provides dog walking, in-home dog-sitting services with at least three walks per day, cat visits and grooming services

Dog walks range between 30 and 60 minutes.

Bushwick Pet Care was founded by Stephanie Riservato, who is known for providing personal, quality pet care for pet owners — she once saved a client’s dog from an attack by a larger dog, rushing it to the animal hospital.

Riservato has over 10 years of full-time experience in the pet care industry, starting in Long Island where she grew up. When she moved to Brooklyn five years ago, she began pursuing pet care in the area, while still commuting back to Long Island for her gig there.  

To learn more about Bushwick Pet Care’s services and to make an appointment email [email protected]

Editor’s note: This article was updated to reflect the hours at What’s Up Dog.

Top image courtesy of Ridgewalks. 

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