The Barking Lot's doggy-sitters understand that canine parents like to check in on their pups throughout the day. Six days a week, they post Facebook photos of day-care dogs romping around the 8,000-square-foot, climate-controlled playground. Three days a week, they post YouTube videos of especially exciting moments, such as a game of chase in the large dog play area or a round of Red Rover in the small pooch zone. Dogs who spend the night snuggle into a comfortable kennel outfitted in fleecy bedding. Calming music plays as pooches snooze, and optional play times, cuddling, and even bedtime stories can keep pups from feeling homesick.
In addition to providing a fun place to play and spend the night, pet- care techs ensure pets are safe: rubber floors cushion joints, and workers are certified in pet first aid and CPR. Select staffers also use their canine knowledge to teach training classes or groom pups and cats from nose to tail.
Boasting indoor and outdoor play areas in a safe, entertaining, and well-monitored space, Ocean Dog Club presents social pups ages 4 months or older with a bevy of new playmates. Canines of all sizes and personalities band together in strategically tailored play groups, fostering a comfortable environment for exercise and carefree romping. A temperature-controlled indoor area claims a hefty 6,000 square feet sheltered from the elements, and an easy-to-clean, dog-specific turf covers 3,000 outdoor square feet of prime training grounds for biathletes to train for both tail-chasing and rollover events. Pups always happily mingle under the watchful eye of a professional daycare coach, who keeps four-leggers safe while their busy two-legged owners are away. Ocean Dog Club is open from 6:45 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.
Norman Bird Sanctuary spans more than 300 acres and seven miles of hiking trails where binoculared bird lovers can spy on local and migratory birds. Hikers can explore the woods or climb Hanging Rock to feast on views of the ocean. In addition, the Sanctuary organizes public programs such as hands-on educational events for children and evening lectures for adults.
Coated in eco-friendly and hygienic astro turf and dotted with jungle gyms and mini pools, Camp Canine’s yard stays open to dogs no matter the season or weather. That’s because Camp Canine’s believe that dogs thrive on fresh air regardless of temperature, and strive to make their playground hospitable even in the winter. Dogs that aren’t interested in tromping through the snow can cavort indoors, in Camp Canine’s climate-controlled play spaces supervised by dog caretakers who are trained in all size and demeanor of dog. These experts separate dogs based on size to ensure teacup poodle gangs leave the big breeds in peace, and encourage as much exercise as possible. During overnight boarding sessions, dogs spend their nights in cozy kennels, drifting off as classical music plays and owners gaze lovingly at their sleeping hound from the password-protected Snout Cam.
A Tails Readers’ Choice Award winner, Tail Waggerz accommodates canines with a 7,500-square-foot pet daycare facility, cage-free boarding, and grooming services. The caretakers devote their indoor and outdoor spaces to keeping guests stimulated with social games of fetch, hide-and-seek, and Texas hold'em. Dogs are invited for crate-free boarding after a personality analysis to make sure they'll get along with other dogs. Seven nights a week, caretakers sleep in the same room as four-legged guests that curl up on pillows or futons.
Bentley is a poodle–shih tzu mix with hair flowing down the floor. His distrust of strangers was so intense that he couldn't even go into a PetSmart without getting kicked out. The same story applied to Brodie, a rescued poodle, who snapped at every groomer he ever had. But because she was a certified trainer before becoming a groomer, Mandi Gorton could read their signals and knew when they just needed to chill out and when they needed to know they were safe. Now the two dogs are among the most well-behaved clients of The Green Paw Spa. As Gorton observes, dogs—like people—are just more agreeable when they know cookies and massages are coming.
When Gorton describes The Green Paw Spa as a "holistic pet salon," she means every word. Each appointment begins with Gorton bringing the furry client to a relaxed state. Then she starts pampering with organic, biodegradable shampoos and conditioners. Her own dog, a border collie mix named Wamba, has allergies so intense that just the air of a traditional grooming salon causes her to break out in hives. So to help keep her and all dogs healthy, Gorton bans harsh chemicals from the spa, right down to the furniture, which is made of recycled materials. In fact, the South Bark blueberry facial she uses is so pure that it's edible, which probably explains why most dogs don't mind having it worked into their snouts. Further eco-friendly touches include a bathing system that uses approximately 2 gallons of water to wash a dog, compared to the 10–15 gallons used by traditional baths, and a pet taxi that carpools companions back and forth from their homes to save owners gas and let dogs brag to their friends about having a chauffer.