Inside Planet Canine’s 1,400-square-foot converted warehouse and outside in its spacious, fenced-in yard, the happy sounds of frolicking dogs can be heard as animal-loving staffers supervise up to nine hours of daily outdoor playtime. Led by canine enthusiast Kate Marden, the staff watches over pups as they cavort on play structures and splash in shallow pools during the hot summer months. After playtime, dogs rush indoors to be fed Merrick wheat- and corn-free food before bedding down on blankets and bath rugs. Each canine lounges in his or her own area on overnight stays, for naptime, and during writing sessions for poetry composed entirely of panting and barking noises.
At AlphaDog, leash-less pups romp freely through 5,000 square feet of outdoor astroturf while their human companions are working or vacationing. Before basking in the sunny lawn, four-pawed friends undergo a temperament trial (a waived $25 value) to ensure they can politely cavort with others and won't affix Kick Me signs to unsuspecting playmates. Starting at 7 a.m., owners can drop off their furry friends for 12 hours of daycare or 24 hours of boarding. Puppies and small breeds caper about in a separate small-dog yard, and all pups pile into separate beds for rest time, drifting into squirrel-populated dreamscapes.
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."
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.
When a haggard, helpless stray pup wandered into the backyard of Mrs. Carter H. Downing house in 1940, he had no idea he was about to trigger the creation of one of San Francisco's most respected animal hospitals and shelters. After searching fruitlessly for a safe shelter for the dog, the determined Carter Downing took the frightened animal home with her, along with all of the other pets caged up in the local pound. After setting up her own impromptu pet adoption agency, Downing proved to be successful at connecting stray and homeless pets with loving families. More than 65 years later, Pets Unlimited carries on Downing's vision, maintaining a network of foster care, community education programs, and a 24-hour veterinary center. The work of the dedicated staff keeps dogs and cats off the streets and puts them right where they belong⎯in the loving arms of humans and Sesame Street characters.
To support their work, a portion of the proceeds from their top-notch veterinary center goes to support Pets Unlimited's charitable vet care, shelter programs, and adoption services. Doting pet parents can bring in their pets for routine checkups, dental cleanings, and boarding, all the while supporting the noble causes of connecting abandoned cats and dogs with nurturing homes.
You won’t see cages line the walls at K9 Playtime. Instead, you’ll notice an open indoor environment where dogs can romp, sip from fountains burbling with fresh water, and socialize with other canines and friendly staffers. To make their stay even more accommodating, the facility installed certain zones with K9 grass, a durable artificial sod specifically designed for dogs to aid in proper outdoor potty training. In addition to keeping them happy and active, this social environment makes dogs more receptive to behavior training. Using positive methods, K9's pet experts can correct issues such as separation anxiety and fear- and insecurity-based aggression toward strangers, as well as help potty train them.
At the end of the day, furry visitors either go home or stay overnight for boarding, sleeping on comfortable beds. Staff members are always present to ensure safety and security.
With a 10,000 square foot roof deck, private suites, and indoor 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.
Both locations are open 24/7 and offer more than 5,000 square feet of playrooms where pups romp around. Spacious boarding rooms with flat screen TVs await canines spending the night while two-level kitty condos—designed by feline specialists at UC Davis—keep cats entertained with built-in exotic fish tanks. And for top dogs, Wags offers Golden Gate and Presidio suites, both outfitted with raised Cal King beds and in-room aromatherapy dispensed by employees or a tower of devious cats wearing a trench coat to look like an employee. Animals can even indulge in the hotel's spa, which offers such grooming services as oatmeal shampoos and puppy pedicures.
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 and pet CPR classes.