Rick DuBois left a career in the cutthroat corporate world in favor of his current and more humane profession as the owner and resident "pack leader" at You Luckie Dog! The lifelong pooch aficionado brings more than 20 years of dog expertise—including a stint as a chow-chow breeder and trainer—to his canine daycare, boarding, and grooming spa. "Pretty much whatever a traditional kennel does, we do the opposite," says Rick, who personally groups his tenants into amiable playgroups according to size, temperament, and fastest time swimming the 300-meter dog paddle. The canine resort rejuvenates man’s best stressed friend with physical exercise and socialization, with stays ranging from day-long excursions to overnight boarding. The popular daycare service allows early morning drop-off and pickup as late as 8 p.m., and Rick makes a point of never smacking his customers with dollar-per-minute fees for late pickups. "I know what it's like to have meetings run long while people drone on. I want people to know I'm not trying to nickel-and-dime them."
Whether your dog needs a walk, your cat needs some cuddling, or your houseplants need water, Little Green Dog is there to lend a hand. The pet specialists cater their services to each individual animal, providing longer walks for energetic pups and shorter stints if the weather is bad. They also care for homes while owners are away, taking in mail and petting the gutters regularly.
A cage-less doggy day care and grooming facility, AlphaDog pampers pooches with outdoor frolicking and sudsy shampoos. Before their stay at AlphaDog, all dogs must take part in a one- to four-hour temperament trial. Customers with crowded schedules can drop off their loyal labradoodles at 7 a.m. for a full-day stay that keeps them out of harm's way as their owners attend to important workday business, such as fomenting against widespread usage of split infinitives. As the dogs bound around the springy turf of the day care's 5,000-square-foot outdoor play area, canine companions can sample carefully selected crunchy treats and make new friends before the 7 p.m. pickup time.
With a stylish expanse of brand name products, Proof Lab outfits aspiring boarders with all they need to dexterously maneuver decks around watery and cement-covered bodies. Prepare for a day of carving through waves with rental of a surfboard and wetsuit ($40), or flex bristling arm muscles without swapping bodies with Mr. Universe by renting a standup paddleboard ($40). Proof Labs' surf and skate swamis carry threads from Patagonia, Volcom, Quiksilver, RVCA, Hurley, and Billabong, as well as designer shades to shield eyes from half-dressed pipes. Equip surfboards for the fall swell season with a new traction pad ($22–$38), and keep toes toasty with an aquaiferous pair of O'Neill or Xcel surf booties ($40). In addition to hosting regular demos and outdoor events, Proof Lab makes connections with local skating societies by granting budding sky artists free access to their indoor skate park to test new boards, practice tricks, or recreate scenes from Xanadu.
Combining personal training with play-care, The Grateful Dog caters to canines with an active and stimulating schedule plus a 1:6 handler-to-dog ratio. Over the course of each 12-hour play-care session, day-tripping doggies will enjoy two to three walks, including jaunts to breezy Fort Mason, as well as one-on-one time with a trainer and play time with a handler. The Grateful Dog also pampers pups with organic treats, filtered water, and mini massages before letting them loose to run in circles and bark at invisible aliens free of guilt or any sense of propriety.
With up to 1,100 square feet of outdoor space, private suites, and splash pools, Wag Hotels would be a swanky destination for any human. But as much as they might want to—and as much press as they might have read about the hotels—bipeds aren't welcome to spend the night at either of the hotel's locations. Instead, cats and dogs rule the roost at these luxury pet resorts.
All locations are open 24/7 and offer more than 10,000 square feet of indoor playrooms where pups romp around. Spacious boarding rooms with flat screen TVs await canines spending the night while two-level kitty condos keep cats entertained with built-in exotic fish tanks. And for top dogs, Wags offers Ultra suites outfitted with raised Queen beds and in-room aromatherapy dispensed by employees. Animals can even indulge in the hotel's spa, which offers such grooming services as oatmeal shampoos and pet tattoos.
To ensure each four-legged guest's visit is comfortable, Wag's team employs the Wag Care 360 approach. This approach includes sanitizing the facility regularly and allowing owners to check in on their pets via the hotel's web cams. Wag also provides dog training courses.