Freshly back from vacation, a customer walks expectantly into the room. A golden retriever bounds clumsily up, its tongue flapping a rosy greeting and mouth stretched far back into a smile. When the dog’s owner takes up the leash, thanks the staff for caring for her energetic pup, and turns to leave, she feels a tug on the leash. Her dog has planted his feet firmly, trying to back into a sitting position—clearly, he wants them both to stay put.
According to proprietor Lisa Schettino, this is an everyday occurrence at Camp Canine. After a difficult experience finding pet care for her own dog, Lisa set out to create an environment that would not only keep critters safe, but make them want to stay. Now, each Camp Canine location has a resort-style atmosphere sprawled over 9,000–15,000 square feet.
Stressed four-legged friends wiggle with glee during massages, shedding stress from squeaky toys giving them the silent treatment. Against a bass rumble of purring, punctuated by canine yips, green-tea and chamomile facials drive dirt from wrinkled faces and soften wiry fur. As they wait for their next spa appointment, dogs can roam freely in a fenced-in play lot. After tearing through a maze of tunnels and obstacles, they splash into the pool and emerge to toss their cool, wet fur, bejeweling the air with spray. An air-conditioned indoor play area shelters pets from extreme heat and teenagers listening to vacuums at high volume..
Owners too can rest at ease during their pets’ vacation, knowing their animals lounge in private rooms with plush bedding and staff watching 24 hours a day. They check up on their furry friends via scheduled Skype sessions and various webcams set up throughout the Boca Raton and Fort Lauderdale facilities. Those locations also pick up and drop off pets that haven’t yet learned how to operate a manual transmission.
After hearing some of the services he provides—laser therapy, hormone replacement therapy, and stem cell therapy—one might be surprised to learn that Dr. David Bieber's patients aren't people. They're pets. Dr. Bieber has been researching the use of testosterone for restoring mobility in geriatric pups since 2008 and has developed an injection therapy known as Dogosterone. He and his team at Sheridan West Animal Clinic also care for furry friends with regular check-ups, vaccines, and complimentary scratches behind the ears.
When a pet goes missing, many owners rely on ID collars and microchips— which are merely identification devices and not GPS-capable—to lead them to their lost companion. But of all the animals reunited with their families, 90% were found via word of mouth and fliers plastered around the neighborhood, according to Pet Locator USA. So the staff at Pet Locator USA works to expedite these processes in an effort to more effectively reconnect pets and their human counterparts.
When owners register for Pet Locator USA’s services, they provide photographs of their pet, their contact information, and any special-care instructions. If the furry friend is reported missing, Pet Locator USA immediately distributes a PDF of this information to vets, shelters, animal-control units, and known dog-food speakeasies within a 25-mile radius of the owner’s home or the location where the pet was last seen. Owners can also distribute the fliers themselves via text and social-media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter.
At Miami Doggy Style, master groomer Jose Coraspe primps pups of all breeds and sizes in a full-service dog spa and training facility. Jose carries out basic grooming, such as washes and shampoos with hypoallergenic products, hand drying each pooch’s coat until it’s fluffy and shiny. He also performs specialty services such as ear cleaning, teeth brushing, Pet-i-cures, and hand stripping—the process of removing dead hair by hand, rather than clippers or scissors, to promote new hair growth and a healthy coat. In the training facility, Jose’s fellow staffers help to domesticate dogs by teaching them social skills, obedience commands, and how to tie a tie.
Under the umbrella of Pet Medical Centers, nine Miami-Dade and Broward-area veterinary hospitals provide sophisticated healthcare for furry, feathered, and scaly family members. The hospitals’ specialty services include nonanesthetic dental care, ultrasounds, radiology, and endoscopies. All locations boast surgical operating rooms equipped with windows and cameras to give owners peace of mind, and many of the clinics are equipped with lasers for blade-free incisions. Besides emergency care, the doctors and technicians—some of whom have appeared as specialists on Univision and Animal Planet—perform general wellness examinations and informative nutritional consultations.
Although medical care provides what pets need, boarding services treat pets to what they want. Most locations double as cat and dog hotels, but only one deserves the title of pet resort—at Coral Springs Pet Resort and Medical Center, animals enjoy a climate-controlled dog park with a pool, baths with massaging jets, and expansive canine suites with window views.
Enrique Fuster and the team at Le Chien Pet Spa believe pets deserve the same treatment as humans, which is why they provide animals with the hospitality one would expect from a hotel—which makes it even more convenient that Enrique has a degree in hotel management from Penn State University. Enrique and his crew primp pups with full grooming and haircuts and keep safe watch over them as they stay for overnight boarding or daycare.