What’s in Store: Animal Instinct

Bring home a new furry friend over the holidays? From all-natural cat food to plush dog beds, these pet shops make it easy to care for your four-legged pals.

Tails’ serene J.P. daycare-and-boarding facility. / Photograph by Emily Sotomayor


Spending every waking moment with our pets is a luxury most of us don’t have. That’s where Tails comes in. Open since 2012, the family-owned company provides a roster of daycare services for pups of all ages and sizes, deftly soothing any separation anxiety at its Jamaica Plain facility with a strict no-cage policy, peaceful tunes, and a well-appointed doggy playground.

Must-Buy: Boarding, starting at $60 per night.

385 Centre St., Jamaica Plain, 617-942-7400, tailsboston.com.

The “Fair Isle” sweater at Fish & Bone. / Photograph by Toan Trinh

Fish & Bone

Your favorite place to shop is Newbury Street—why not outfit your pup while you’re there? At this stylish European-inspired boutique, fashion-obsessed pet parents will find a refined selection of cozy (but washable) beds in a range of colors and styles, paw-protecting deerskin moccasins, and fleece-lined coats for those inevitable walks in the snow.

Must-Buy: Chilly Dog “Fair Isle” wool sweater, starting at $33.

217 Newbury St., Boston, 857-753-4176, thefishandbone.com.


Whipped up in a Southie kitchen, Polkadog’s small-batch canine snacks run the gamut from crunchy cod and salmon chips—made from wild-caught fish, naturally—to bite-size nuggets flavored with Teddie peanut butter. Bonus: Each of the company’s five brick-and-mortar shops are dog-friendly, so your pooch can literally sniff out his favorite goodies.

Must-Buy: Cod skins, $11 for 2.5 ounces.

256 Shawmut Ave., Boston, 617-338-5155; and other locations; polkadog.com.

Courtesy photo

The Pet Cabaret

This 15-year-old Roslindale shop specializes in organic pet foods, offering a wide range of healthful canned, dry, and raw varieties for cats, dogs, and even smaller animals like birds and turtles (yes, turtles). What’s more? Owners Lisa Di Pietro and Lisa Schlossberg (affectionately known as “the Lisas”) work closely with manufacturers to vet each item before it hits store shelves, so they can easily answer questions about their products and make recommendations.

Must-Buy: Fresh Is Best duck-heart bites, $15.

4404 Washington St., Roslindale, 617-323-7387, thepetcabaret.com.

Bark Place

Wrangling Fido for bath time can be tricky: Leave it to the pros at Bark Place, where grooming services include everything from shampooing and conditioning to ear cleaning, nail trimming, and tooth brushing. Prefer to pamper your pet yourself? Check out the salon’s five DIY washing stations, equipped with combs, all-natural bath products, and soft towels.

Must-Buy: Standard dog grooming, starting at $50.

1721 Washington St., Boston, 857-362-7494, barkplacesouthend.com.