The Real Deal New York

Nannies and personal trainers — for the dog

Related is betting that residents at its newest tower will sign on for a pre-recession amenity
By Kaitlin Ugolik | May 01, 2011 02:02PM

Dog City
What a dog at Related’s spa might look like after pampering.

Those who thought that pet spas went out with the economic bust can think again. Residents in the luxury apartments at the Related Companies’ new residential building, MiMA, at 450-460 West 42nd Street, can now have all of their doggie needs met by Dog City, a full-service dog spa located on MiMA’s third floor.

Not only does the spa provide the standard doggie spa fare, like grooming, walking and veterinary services, but it also offers doggie nanny and personal training sessions for owners who don’t have time to help their pups get svelte themselves.

Leya Ogihara, manager of Dog City, which opened late last month, said it’s the first dog spa of its kind in New York.

Still, the question remains: Will it be a hit in these stable-but-still-tough economic times?

Residents in the building will be paying a pretty penny to live there. As of late last month, real estate data website StreetEasy showed rental units in the building listed for anywhere from $3,300 to $9,495 a month. Related’s website said it was offering a month of free rent at the building. Sales listings were not yet online as of press time.

Ogihara, a dog walker herself, said she’s confident that residents in the 63-story, mixed-used building — which includes a hotel and retail along with 151 condos and 500 rentals — will take advantage of what she says is a unique service.

The starting membership fee at Dog City, which is only available to MiMA residents, is $500, and additional services can be added à la carte. The basic membership includes access to play areas, a self-serve dog-wash facility, supervised play dates with other dogs and 10 free emergency walks a year, among other features.

There are four additional tiers of membership — Bronze Bone, Silver Bone, Gold Bone and Platinum Bone.

“It’s a total difference from having to send your dog to a dog day care all day, which is a higher cost, or just spending half an hour outside with the dog walker,” Ogihara said.

Ogihara and staff veterinarians assess each dog’s physical fitness and create an exercise regimen to match. “If a dog is stimulated by socializing with other dogs and is well-exercised and gets to run around, a lot of behavioral problems we see with dogs in the city can be easily diminished,” she said.

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