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.
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.
Outfitted with spas and treadmills, Pooch Hotels are nearly the same as human accommodations, with one key difference: your dog might get a tummy-rub with their turndown service. These venues were all designed by dog-lovers whose main priority was canine comfort, regardless of the length of each guest's stay.
Dogs on daycare visits, for example, are sorted by size and temperament before entering one of multiple play areas. Monitored by human "Pack Leaders," they socialize amidst toys, treats, and wading pools at select locations, or run outside if the weather and facilities permit. Those who have booked a room for the night can relax in a private suite, outfitted with a glass door rather than bars. These range from standard to presidential and even palace suites?rooms outfitted with luxury bedding and flat-screen televisions tuned to dog-friendly programming. Customers might also schedule a spa appointment for their pooch, choosing from services such as baths, "pawdicures," and even facials.
The hotels pursue peace of mind for owners as actively as they pamper their dogs. Certain locations have installed web cameras in the play areas and suites, enabling people to check in on their pets and guilt them about the time they napped instead of writing a postcard. Staff remain on-hand at all times to welcome newcomers and care for already-snoozing pups.
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.
Boston Phoenix and Boston Magazine both agree that the off-leash adventures led by Doggie Daytrippers are an upgrade from leaving pups at home. The rationale behind the unique form of doggy daycare? A tired dog is a happy dog. Tiring activities look a bit different for each dog, which is why doggy field trips involve swimming and snowshoeing at local parks and beaches, whereas daycare includes hours of open play at each pooch's pace. Dogs can also pal around with new friends if owners sign them up for a city hike, which means two hours at a nearby dog park, including pickup and drop off at home.