Bringing up Fido today is almost as complex as raising human babies, if the websites devoted to dogs are any indication. How does the pooch parent know what’s what? Fortunately there are people willing to share their experiences, with websites, blogs, and product reviews related to dog care. All you need is Internet access and free time to dawdle through the data.
Check out Wet Nose Guide which caters to canines. The site opens with New York City as its base, but links to more cities from Austin, Texas to Washington, DC, if you and your pup are frequent travelers to other parts. A guide to canine-centric services on the left of the site catalogs the basics you might be seeking, noting the number of items under each category. Even 24/7 Emergency Dog Care, at the top of the list, has 22 entries. From A to Z, the list notes the services provided by each business, their location, street address and phone number. Select an entry, and you’ll have access to more details: business hours, a link to the service’s web site, user reviews (with a rating scale of 1 to 5 bones, 5 being best) plus a map linked to Google Maps. The same goes for other services: Dog Adoptions, Dog Bakeries, Dog Boarding, Boutiques, Day Care, Grooming and Spas, and more.
Say you’re on the Lower East Side and your dog needs to stretch and play a bit. Just flip your cellphone’s web browser to the Wet Nose Guide, click on the map and choose your location. There are some other dog-related services here, but no dog runs or parks are listed. Just a few blocks north in the East Village is Tompkins Square Park where there’s a dog run on 10th St. Double click on the park name and it gives more details: a phone number, dog run hours and a link to www.firstrunfriends.org, the web address of the Tompkins Square Park Dog Run. There you’ll find details about the park, how to volunteer, and how to make a donation.
Incidentally, the Tompkins Square Park Dog Run makes other dog runs pale by comparison — it is the city’s first and largest dog run, guided by a community of dog-lovers and volunteers who have found a creative way to share fun with their pets and other pet owners. The dog run even has a group blog on Yahoo.com where members can keep up-to-date on dog run activities.
If you fear that you’ll miss some news on the four-footed front, subscribe to Sweetie’s web blog, named for the 2-year-old Papillion who inspired the Wet Nose Guide. You’ll then get updates delivered right to your e-mail. Like many other sites, you can also follow the guide on Facebook, Twitter or through RSS feed.
If there is anything you can’t find on the guide, there are links that may help you. Or if you’re the one with the nose for news, you can request to become a blog contributor and develop your own following amongst the canine crowd, or at least with the humans who love them and take care of them.
Dog-doting people have a great friend in this resource. Raising a puppy in an urban setting would seem less daunting if the Wet Nose Guide is there to give you tips.