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Zoom Room’s dog training facilities have one cardinal rule: owners must be present during class. This is because humans need just as much training as their canine companions when building confidence and communication, and it’s important that owners learn the best positive-reinforcement techniques from the knowledgeable staff. Group classes cover topics ranging from general obedience and agility training to more specific needs such as overcoming shyness. Other classes include Urban Herding, where dogs herd exercise balls into soccer goals indoors, Scent Work, where dogs learn to sniff out missing car keys or the TV remote, and Pup-lates, which is geared toward overweight or senior dogs, or those recovering from an injury.
In fact, improving canine social skills is one of Zoom Room’s missions, as evidenced by the regularly hosted fundraiser events and Doggy Disco parties, which give dogs a chance to meet other dogs and expand away from their inner circle of fire hydrants. This combination of training and fun, in addition to the facility’s selection of solution-oriented training gear, natural dog treats, and functional dog accessories, has garnered an array of local and national press.
Ten thousand square feet is plenty of space for dogs to run, play, and relax. At Bark Park, dogs play both indoors and outdoors, romping onto play structures, catching balls between their teeth, and discussing alternate endings for Homeward Bound as they sunbathe on the grass. The staff supervises its canine charges 24 hours a day, even during overnight stays, and owners can take advantage of other services such as grooming and training sessions.
Though online reviews for 3A Pet Sitting are still growing, four Yelpers award it a perfect five stars:
Fluff and Puff Dog Wash mirrors a human spa in that it strives to pamper, not merely clean, its clients. Groomers consult with owners before they brandish scissors, designing custom haircuts for each animal. Staff members also double as cleanup crews at self-service tubs. After owners bathe their dogs with specialized shampoos for puppies, parasite prevention, and dogs with dry skin, the cleaners sop up residual grime.
When owners are too busy to clean their own pups, these crews intervene with pickup and drop-off services. During daycare visits, supervisors stand by as dogs cavort through an indoor playground, rescue children from local wells, or recline on couches in front of dog-oriented movies.
Sacred Cross Horse Services founder Ashley Mason has transformed her extensive background in horseback riding and show jumping into a unique training program. At stables tucked away in redwood forests, students attend English-style riding lessons that focus on basic fundamentals such as grooming, tacking, and learning how to bond with horses. The lessons cater to students' individual needs and skill levels while simultaneously prioritizing their education and enjoyment. Sacred Cross also leads horse camps for children, as well as lessons designed to impart a sense of responsibility, teach empathy, and stop them from trying to lead the dog into a canter. Students are required to wear long pants and heeled shoes while riding.
As the sun shines down, Santa Cruz Pet Resort’s four-legged charges scamper around on the fake turf of its outdoor yards. Broken into groups based on size and temperament, the pups leap on a trampoline, challenge each other to games of Tug of War, cool off in the kiddie pool, or hold poker tournaments inside the house play set. At night, dogs bunk down in clean and heated kennels and can share a family-sized chamber with their brothers and sisters by request. Felines enjoy playtime in the resort's Kitty Cabana, as well as one-on-one attention from staffers. Family-style care is also available, in which pets stay in the resort owner’s home and get first dibs on the remote control.
Animals are fed Eukanuba or Iams food during their stay, and owners can also schedule grooming appointments for their pets with an experienced groomer. With advanced notice, the staffers can also board other domestic pets, such as rabbits, hamsters, or imaginary twins.
At the Animal Hospital of Soquel, the dedicated staff of veterinarians and vet technicians provide medical, surgical, and preventative care, and commit themselves to receiving continuous education. The animal hospital also offers animal dentistry and grooming services through its onsite pet spa. The hospitable groomers grant the furriest members of the family undivided attention while performing pelt-perfecting services for dogs and cats of all breeds and sizes. By providing regular grooming treatments, the team works to prevent issues such as excessive shedding, skin and paw disorders, painful matting, and the smell of last week's forgotten egg salad on the animal's breath.
Digital x-rays, blood transfusions, and stem-cell therapy sound like treatments ordered by doctors on medical dramas. The treatments, however, are all available for critters at Capitola Veterinary Hospital. At the vet’s modern facility, which is outfitted to provide medical, dental, dermatological, and surgical services, veterinary doctors River May and Katie Volat apply their years of training and affection for pets. At the hands of a friendly staff, critters are given a custom health-care plan that can include microchipping, nutritional counseling, and tests to see how many orphans the pet has saved from wells. The onsite pharmacy provides an array of veterinary drugs, and the team always keeps owners in the loop and provides them with current information so that they can decide on the best treatment for furry friends.
Dr. May and Dr. Volat also go above and beyond to keep animals healthy by regularly conversing with top veterinarians across the nation to ensure the best treatment. The hospital is also certified by the Monterey Bay Green Business Program, in part because of digital record keeping, low-radiation digital x-rays, and biodegradable soaps.
Brittany of Dog Fit Unlimited professes a lifelong love of animals, which is what prompted her to begin her own dog-walking business. During each 30-minute walk), she and her canine charge explore neighborhood parks and hiking trails and take in the sights while the pooch meets other dogs and sniffs the grass for lost jewelry. She fortifies each pup with slurps of water and treats and takes photos so owners can check out their pooches' big smiles.
Rick DuBois left a career in the cutthroat corporate world in favor of his current and more humane profession as the owner and resident "pack leader" at You Luckie Dog! The lifelong pooch aficionado brings more than 20 years of dog expertise—including a stint as a chow-chow breeder and trainer—to his canine daycare, boarding, and grooming spa. "Pretty much whatever a traditional kennel does, we do the opposite," says Rick, who personally groups his tenants into amiable playgroups according to size, temperament, and fastest time swimming the 300-meter dog paddle. The canine resort rejuvenates man’s best stressed friend with physical exercise and socialization, with stays ranging from day-long excursions to overnight boarding. The popular daycare service allows early morning drop-off and pickup as late as 8 p.m., and Rick makes a point of never smacking his customers with dollar-per-minute fees for late pickups. "I know what it's like to have meetings run long while people drone on. I want people to know I'm not trying to nickel-and-dime them."
Adam and Marisa Beck love their pets almost as much as each other. First meeting as teachers, the couple decided early on that they'd follow their dreams and open a pet facility that educates pooches as they play and mingle under the watchful gaze of an experienced staff. In addition to grooming services, Barkley Square also boards cats and dogs overnight, protecting the health of each pup in their care by requiring tests for DH2PP, giardia, and bordetella. Every overnight stay comes with a full day of play, where dogs can learn the basics of social interaction, such as not pushing other dogs off the monkey bars.
Glynis Dewing and her fellow caretakers at Lucky Pawz Pet Services look after clients' best nonhuman friends with services that include walking, in-home visits, pet-sitting, taxiing, and helping pets finish their first novels. Their quality of care has kept Lucky Pawz in good standing with Pet Sitters International.