The canine caretakers at Lucky Dog Daycare & Resort of South Tampa act as dog-sitting concierges during a pup's private or social boarding. During private stays, shy, aggressive, or hypoallergenic pets pair with a kennel counselor for individual playtime, four to six walks a day, and free use of the outdoor romping grounds. Pets can carouse with packs of friendly canines during a social stay, frolicking with like-sized pals in the grassy play area, relaxing in the expansive Astroturf sunning spots, or swan-diving into the heat-beating water park complete with pools and mist sprayers. The air-conditioned interior offers a weather-friendly alternative to the outdoors, with a team of dog enthusiasts constantly supervising the pet playtime. Owners can virtually check-in with best friends over the live feed that streams across the Internet from 16 cameras on constant alert. Lucky Dog’s boarding aficionados hire sheep barbershop quartets to softly bleat lullabies, ensuring all pups snooze comfortably, either in a single room for the private stay or in a softly snoring dog pile.
Boasting a 1.5-acre fenced-in yard and 11 boarding suites, The Dog House keeps pets comfortable and safe during daycare and boarding sessions. The attentive staff separates dogs by size for supervised daytime play sessions and also offers bathing and training services.
The fur-friendly staff at Four Paws Only lavishes animal companions with lovingly attentive grooming services using high-quality products. Bring in your Jack Russell terrier or your chihuahua ($35 each) for its diminutive preening session, readying it for family portraits or the all-canine junior prom. Bernese mountain pooches in need of gussying up after days spent leading rugged hikes can procure a large-dog grooming ($60), as can Irish setters ($45+) and bearded collies ($50+) looking for a clean shave.
This fur-friendly retreat rejects the image of endless rows of cramped cages that traditional animal boarding usually conjures. Upon entering their pet resort, clients find a 1/2 acre of land, 5,000 square feet of indoor play areas, and spacious doggie suites stocked with toys and soft bedding under skylights. Before each visit begins, canine guests undergo a temperament assessment where caretakers study their play styles, food or toy aggressions, and any fear toward new people in order to gauge their unique personalities. Pooches then join up with peers of a similar size and demeanor in one of eight separate play areas featuring wading pools, digging pits, and a fully stocked shoe store. Dogs looking for some down time can recline on comfy beds and couches while enjoying their regular eating schedules courtesy of a 24 hour staff.
The thoughtful dog-whisperers will also board pets from the same household in a family suite and can administer any medications as directed by the client. Grooming services and photo sessions ensure four-legged friends stay front-page ready. Downtown Doggie Center also specializes in finding homes for orphaned pups with their adoption services.
Crowned with a bright pink pompadour and sporting stenciled spots on its legs, another "creative grooming” client emerges from Beach Groomers Pet Salon & Boutique. Some of these sessions are inspired by trends in Japan, and they’re not for the meek—they give dogs and cats a look as bold as football jerseys with comic sans font. The groomings are a special endeavor for owner Danielle Moyse, a dog owner herself whose core competency is traditional grooming services. Danielle can perform a standard bath and trim hair and nails, and she can add a spritz of cologne and tie a jaunty bandana around her canine or feline client’s neck. She and her staff also pamper pets with spa treatments, such as facials that lift dirt and cupcake sprinkles embedded around mouths and sugar scrubs that exfoliate.
The staff members at Cattitude by Unleashed Pet Spa specialize in cat care services. Certified feline master groomer, Lisa, wields feline-specific grooming tools and products for each full grooming session of nail trimming, ear cleaning, and bathing. For overnight boarding, the staff members place each cat in a clean, private room outfitted with cat-sized ledges for lounging and napping.