Innovative treatments, pricey purses, and luxe doggie resorts are just a few of the pet care crazes trending right now

by Jessica Jones-Gorman

NorthStar VETS, a nationally recognized emergency, trauma, and specialty veterinary hospital, is now offering a groundbreaking minimally invasive procedure at its Mercer County practice.
Percutaneous Laser Disc Ablation (PLDA), a procedure for preventing thoracolumbar intervertebral disc herniation in dogs, is ideal for dwarf breeds like Dachshunds, Beagles, Bassett Hounds, and French Bulldogs predisposed to disc herniations, and has been shown to significantly reduce the chance of future injury. Only four hospitals in the country offer this procedure, and Dr. Gaemia Tracy of NorthStar VETS is the only doctor on the East Coast trained to perform it.


“The procedure is an important treatment option because it decreases the likelihood of dogs having a slipped disc and prevents them from enduring an invasive surgical procedure,” Tracy noted. Dogs eligible for the treatment must be an at-risk breed and pain free for two weeks. The procedure can be done prophylactically, so a prior diagnosis of back pain is not necessary. 315 Robbinsville Allentown Road, Robbinsville and 2834 Route 73N, Maple Shade,

Since 1970, more than 500,000 clients have relied on Purr’n Pooch Pet Resorts, including making use of the business’s pet lodging and group and private dog training services. Even as the family-owned operation approaches its 50th year, owners continue to add new items to its roster of services.

“We have gone through generations of pets with clients, and our guests are just amazing,” noted Betsy Palazzo-Dudick, who owns and operates the company with her parents and sister, Koren Palazzo-Spadavecchia. “We’re very proud that people entrust their pets to us. It’s a responsibility that we take very seriously.”

Offering reiki massage, indoor and outdoor pool time, playgrounds, grooming, yoga, and private pet parties, the center, which has locations in both Tinton Falls and Wall, is staffed 24 hours a day and was built specifically for the lodging, recreation, and training of beloved animals.

Nicole Spread

“We have experienced pet care technicians, pet nutrition and animal behavior training experts, pet sitters and dog and cat groomers, and spa professionals,” Palazzo-Dudick said. “Many of our employees are certified in pet first aid and CPR, and a number have been with Purr’n Pooch for 20 years or longer.”

More than a decade ago, the Palazzo family launched the Purr’n Pooch Foundation for Animals, a 501(c)(3) organization that raises funds for other non-profits. It has donated thousands of pet supplies and food to animal charities, canine law enforcement teams, military k9 units, and sea life mammal rescue and rehabilitation groups.

“We host a summer gala every year to raise money for the foundation,” Palazzo-Dudick said. “It’s an important part of Purr’n Pooch and a testament to the love we have for animals and this community.” 86 Gilbert Street West, Tinton Falls and 2424 Highway 35, Wall Township,

There is a panoply of dog and kitty accessories on the market, but few (OK, virtually none) as chic or pricey as this Louis Vuitton Dog Carrier. Available in two sizes, the spacious satchel is resistant to water and scratches and comes equipped with a double zip-around closure, breathable mesh window, and a washable lining. With natural cowhide leather handles. $2,690,

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