Different from the average pet-boarding facility, Paradise 4 Paws has a bone-shaped pool surrounded by more than 20,000 square feet of indoor play area, plush accommodations, and comfy boarding suites. Staff members roam the facility 24/7, playing with animals during the day, tucking them in at night, and performing à la carte services such as grooming, obedience training, health checkups, and canine massage therapy. Paradise 4 Paws has its own training academy, and its pet-care professionals have received pet-first-aid certification from the American Red Cross.
The pet-minded staff cares about pet owners, as well, granting access to the play area’s real-time webcams and offering airport parking and transportation.
According to Buffalo Grove Countryside, Candy Oppman trained her first dog when she was only 9 years old. Like many people, she grew up and started a family—only her family turned out to be a combination of kids and rescue dogs. After founding her own pet-sitting business, Candy went on to learn about training and animal behavior. These skills would prove useful for her next endeavor: Bark University, Inc.
Inside Bark University's 3,500-square-foot facility, trainers rear canines through a method called "pack leadership"; or as Candy puts it, "training them as a mother dog trains her puppies, in a language they understand." The full-service facility is also open to daycare, where supervised dogs can frolic along the 5,000-square-foot fenced backyard and in the rubber-matted playroom in groups separated by size, temperament, and playing style. They round out their services with grooming sessions and overnight stays—wherein a staffer remains on premises to keep pets safe and see if they start to talk.
The Dog Lounge is a one-stop shop for man’s best friend. In addition to grooming, the pooch-friendly salon also provides doggy daycare and dog-walking services, sells natural pet-care products, and hosts obedience training with experienced trainer Maria Betlinski.
Over the past quarter century, Serpent Safari's indoor zoo has amassed a collection of rare reptiles that have appeared in publications such as National Geographic. Animals of impressive age, unusual coloring (such as an albino alligator), and Guinness World Record-holding weight have all called the Safari their home. Originally founded as a reptile adoption and education center, the Safari now runs guided tours and birthday parties that usher children through the world of scaly, cold-blooded creatures known as bankers into the diverse realm of reptiles. Following the tours, patrons can partake in photo opportunities with giant snakes, or take home a friend from the pet store.