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.
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.
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.
When on vacation, sometimes all you want to do—after taking a dip in a heated indoor pool and receiving a reiki massage—is call your room and order up some kibble. Luckily, at Red Dog Pet Resort & Spa, there is always a staff member onsite, just in case the pets staying overnight need extra attention in the middle of the night. While staying in the private suites, dogs enjoy the luxury of their own comfortable bedding and flat-screen TVs, while cats lounge in sunbeams and relax to soothing music.
Not content to simply let the animals relax after a hard day's scratch, Red Dog also keeps pets active with indoor and outdoor play areas, as well as an aquatic center where dogs can swim in a safe environment. The resort also partners with veterinarians and groomers to keep companions healthy, whether by conducting regular checkups or by relieving older dogs' arthritis or other ailments via services such as doggy massage. They also offer raw-frozen food and about 40 different brands of dog food. Click here for a Google tour of the pet center and spa.
All posh dogs love shopping along Newbury Street – or at least their owners do. But when the pooches get dirty, it’s time to book an appointment at Pawsh Dog Boutique & Salon. Located in the Back Bay, just steps from Newbury Street’s glitz, the trained professionals on staff carefully trim each dog’s nails, clean their ears and even brush their teeth following the full-service grooming. This by-appointment-only salon also sells carry-on bags for small pups, haute collars, stylish jackets, comfortable dog beds, conditioning shampoo and a selection of natural foods, which is helpful for owners with finicky or allergic pets. After all that, your dog will still love the doggie treats on the counter most of all.
Crate Escape owes its existence to a 10-year-old jack russell terrier named Ernestine Hastings. Ernestine's owners, Bradley and Stephanie, loved their pooch so much that they decided to spread this affection to other dogs by opening a spacious boarding and grooming facility. Pet owners can drop off their furry friends for daycare or overnight boarding services, letting pups gambol about in a 17,000-square-foot play space. Groomers tackle matted fur and tails caked in cake by scrubbing coats with hypoallergenic shampoo.