After canceling a vacation because no one could care for their beloved Saint Bernards, the owners of Just Like Home Doggie Hotel and Grooming decided to help fellow pet owners by creating a friendly, open environment for dogs to stay while their people are away. Upon entering the 2,800-square-foot facility, one may have to step over a sleeping mutt or two, as the cage-free space lets dogs come and go as they please. Couches nestled under sunny windows provide comfy places to nap, and a half-acre grassy play yard provides a space for games of Red Rover. During especially hot days, dogs can cool off in the bone-shaped splash park that features waterspouts, waterfalls, purposefully leaky fire hydrants, and shallow pools perfect for canine cannonballs. After tangling their fur during rambunctious romps outside, the facility's groomers can make over manes with various grooming services performed in a cage-free environment.
A nautical treasure trove of exotic fish and aquarium supplies, Atlantis Tropical Fish outfits aquatic admirers with all the gear necessary to create and maintain their own miniature marine ecosystems. The friendly staff helps fish enthusiasts navigate through the food, chemicals, pumps, and lighting equipment needed to keep fish healthy and less likely to throw stones in their new glass houses. A large selection of tanks ($19.99–$1,600) are shaped and sized to contain all manner of the freshwater and tropical fish ($1.25–$499) kept in stock.
At Paradise Ranch—an equine educational center that specializes in horse-assisted therapy sessions—expertly trained steeds help students learn techniques to tackle developmental difficulties, boost communication skills, and strengthen their bodies. Children can spend time with Luna, the notorious ranch troublemaker, or Spiritt, who loves to mug for the camera. While they may be confused for the children of Hollywood celebrities, these guys are actually two of the seven therapy horses at the ranch. Specially designed courses take place inside a sprawling, climate-controlled arena, which grants students a comfortable place to learn and helps horses avoid embarrassing underarm sweat stains.
Doggie District Pet Resort treats canines not as pets, but as welcomed guests of its boarding and grooming facility that doubles as an oversized doghouse. A groomer with over 20 years of experience can snip and style canine hair in a calm, spa-like environment. During overnight stays, dogs relax on personal beds and enjoy the comforts of home with their favorite toys or pinup calendars of giant bones. Four-legged friends can roam safely in the 10,000-square-foot outdoor play area, where a closed-circuit camera system that monitors the lot at all times.
The mural in the play space at A Puppy Paradise imagines what an idyllic dog haven might look like. Sunflowers are in bloom, frisbees are in flight, and puppies play in the fountain without getting yelled at by the park inspector. Though the daycare's indoor areas are less grassy, they are rife with toys, soft beds, and the chance for canine guests to socialize. In three play spaces, pet-loving staff pair dogs with equally-sized playmates before doling out treats and making sure everyone gets along. In the evenings, overnight boarders snuggle up with cozy blankets, while owners sleep soundly in the knowledge that someone is keeping an eye on their pups.
A live webcam keeps an eye on the canine antics at Hot Diggity Dog Daycare, allowing owners to remotely check up on pets via a video stream broadcast to their computer or iPhone. They won't be the only ones watching, though; trained caregivers tend to dogs 24 hours a day, taking each dog out for one-on-one playtime as well as multiple bathroom breaks throughout the night. The 5,000-square-foot facility dedicates three separate play areas to large, medium, and small dogs where they can socialize with other pouches, perhaps even meeting one with similar political views. For a pampering pause, the caregivers groom dogs with shampoo, toothbrushes, and nail clippers, and allow owners to use the supplies to groom their own pets. While away, owners can rest easy knowing that a behavioral evaluation and vaccine requirement ensures friendly and healthy company.