Sources and supplies for Atlanta pet owners that respect your gay sense and sensibilities

By Mike Fleming

As the Atlanta guys in this month’s dog-owner feature can attest, gay men wouldn’t trade our pets for the world. They’re our cuddle buddies, best friends and kids for life all rolled into one. That’s why we spare no expense on excellent vets, grooming, daycare, boarding and everything else it takes to keep them playing and snuggling for years to come. The American Humane Society has tips for choosing the right resources for your needs and your lifestyle. Here are a few considerations to keep in mind.

Find out whether your state requires boarding kennel inspections. If it does, make sure the kennel you are considering displays a license or certificate showing that the kennel meets mandated standards. After selecting a few kennels, confirm that they can accommodate your pet for specific dates and can address your pet’s special needs, if any. If satisfied, schedule a visit.

Does the facility look and smell clean? Is there sufficient ventilation and light? Is a comfortable temperature maintained? Does the staff seem knowledgeable and caring? Are animals required to be current on vaccinations? Does each dog have his own adequately sized indoor-outdoor run or an indoor run and a schedule for exercise? Are resting boards and bedding provided to allow dogs to rest off the concrete floor? Are cats housed away from dogs? How often are pets fed? What veterinary services are available?

Start with a recommendation from a friend, veterinarian, boarding kennel, dog trainer, pet supply store or animal shelter.

Some groomers are registered or certified by a grooming school or professional association, but no government agency regulates or licenses pet groomers. Check with your local Better Business Bureau to see if any complaints have been lodged against a grooming facility. After narrowing your search, call groomers to ask about services, costs and hours of operation. Also request the names of a few current clients to interview.

Is the facility well-lit? Does it look and smell clean? Does the staff handle pets gently? Are cages the appropriate size? Are pets monitored regularly to prevent overheating during blow-drying?

The best way to find a good veterinarian is to ask people who have the same approach to pet care as you. Start with a recommendation. If you’re looking for a specialist, ask about board certification. This means the vet has studied an additional two to four years in the specialty area and passed a rigorous exam. Once you’ve narrowed your search, schedule a visit to meet the staff, tour the facility and learn about the hospital’s philosophy and policies.

Is the facility clean, comfortable and well-organized? Are appointments required? How many veterinarians are in the practice? Are there technicians or other professional staff members? Are dog and cat cages in separate areas? Is the staff caring, calm, competent and courteous, and do they communicate effectively? Do the veterinarians have special interests such as geriatrics or behavior? Are X-rays, ultrasound, bloodwork, EKG, endoscopy and other diagnostics done in-house or referred to a specialist? Which emergency services are available?

We can get you started. Of course, our pet resource recommendations come with a gay-friendly and community minded seal of approval as well.

All Provide National Pet Food
Mail-order, grain-free foods, treats and bones with your animal’s health as a top priority.

Ansley Animal Clinic
593 Dutch Valley Rd NE

Barking Hound Village
Boarding, Bday parties, Daycare, Grooming, Training, Supplies
1918 Cheshire Bridge Road NE

Toys and accessories
1510 Piedmont Ave. NE

Glamour Paws
Daycare, Salon & Spa, Hotel
776 North Highland Ave. NE

Intown Animal Hospital
1402 N. Highland Ave. NE

The Pet Set
976 Piedmont Ave, NE
2480 Briarcliff Road NE

Piedmont Bark
Boarding, daycare, grooming
501 Amsterdam Ave NE

VCA Animal Hospital
More than a dozen locations including
1911 Piedmont Cir NE
1510 Piedmont Ave NE
4839 Peachtree Road

Source: American Humane Society