Only the best treatment for man’s best friend

Becky and Philip Putter didn’t feel comfortable leaving their dog at an overnight facility. 

“I would have guilt when I’d leave, honestly,” Philip says. “I didn’t want to go on vacation.”

As a veterinarian who served as the medical director for animal hospitals in Ohio, New York and Connecticut — having held positions at a shark lab research station in Bimini, Bahamas, and an animal rescue preserve in South Africa — Philip had certain expectations for care. He didn’t want to leave their precious pup, Ticket, a rescue from the Caribbean, at an establishment with poor surveillance, a stiff atmosphere or one that lacked an on-site doctor. 

Included in the reception area is a station for coffee, tea, and champagne, as well as doggie treats and accessories for purchase. Photograph by Amanda Jones.

After several dissatisfying experiences, the Nyack couple decided to open their own facility.

The result is Spot On Veterinary Hospital & Hotel, a new state-of-the-art establishment in Stamford offering services for dogs and cats, including a hospital, pharmacy, hotel, day care, spa, chauffeur and animal training. The facility also includes on-site cat and dog adoption centers, both of which are funded and run by private donors. 

“I think one of the things that was really important to us and our mission is that not only are we spoiling the (pets) and spoiling their owners, but…we’re going to treat their animal just like we’re going to treat our own,” says Becky, who serves as the director of operations.  

The idea behind Spot On is that services are based on each pet’s personality and needs. 

“We can sort of do whatever that individual pet is used to,” Philip says with a smile — whether it’s sleeping on a bed versus the floor, spending time alone instead of being with other animals, or participating in active play rather than resting.

The staff, which includes 18 experts that were handpicked from a pool of 300 applicants, makes the transition between home and home away from home a smooth ride — literally.

“We can come to your house and pick them up,” Philip says. “We can do house calls for veterinary services or valet. We make it as easy as possible for you to leave your pet with us and know exactly what’s going on with no stress.” 

A group of dogs play in one of the three designated play areas at Spot On. Photograph by Amanda Jones.

To further ease owners, Spot On has placed cameras throughout, which clients (and animal lovers) can access via the website to view live group play.

“We’re an open book,” Philip says.

The hospital area is equipped with six exam rooms, two full-time doctors and two part-time doctors, one of whom specializes in acupuncture and traditional Chinese veterinary medicine. If needed, specialists and surgeons can be brought in for specific cases. A separate entrance isolates skittish or aggressive animals from the general population, and another isolates animals with contagious diseases. 

For all pets, the first exam is free.

The treatment room includes dedicated areas for dental procedures, which are conducted on an adjustable table with a silent motor that levels with the floor for easy transfer. Mobile ultrasound, digital X-ray and digital dental radiography machines stand ready for use.

“We use nothing but the best,” says Becky, who explains that meticulous planning was involved in every detail of Spot On.

The surgery suite includes a CO2 laser, which, Philip says, allows for bloodless surgery that yields little trauma and a speedy recovery. 

The hotel portion is divided into four tiers — the junior suite, park view, grand premier and penthouse — which include different room sizes and services ($52 to $125 per night). The penthouse suite — a 75-square-foot space — features an all-glass front door with a spacious, wrought-iron toddler bed and ultra-plush bedding, as well as a dazzling chandelier, a 40-inch flat-screen TV with animal programming and a personal web cam for owners to check on their pet, as desired.

Certainly, there’s no “ruff”-ing it around there.

The amenities are equally impressive, with à la carte options, including personal training, storytime before bed, a puppy birthday party, medication administration, a frozen Kong (a hollow toy) with peanut butter, the option to upgrade to a personal web cam, and a car ride to Starbucks for a “Pupaccino” (a frothy treat of almond or rice milk).

The daycare facility (starting at $22 per day) is equipped with three indoor play areas — park-, tree- and beach-themed — and four outdoor play areas, with a puppy pool in the works. WAG was lucky enough to observe an indoor play session — which was guided by a trained professional — that featured a dozen well-groomed pups, whose faces wore the sweetest smiles. We could’ve watched them all day.

“All of the play groups are grouped by either size or temperament,” Becky says. “They’re grouped because they’re going to get along and they’re going to play safely and happily together.”

And safe and happy, they were.

Spot On Veterinary Hospital & Hotel is at 184 Selleck St. in Stamford. For more, visit spotonvet.com or call 203-973-7768. 

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