Though boarding a pet can be an unnerving experience for both human and animal, the credentials of the pros at Bluebonnet Bunk’n Biscuit should put everyone at ease—the team includes certified vet technicians and staff from the San Antonio Zoo. In addition to the peace of mind provided by handlers’ collective curricula vitae, webcams mounted throughout Bluebonnet’s facilities as well as inside individual suites to give pet parents a glimpse of their furry companion’s stay. Clients might find their dogs romping around during open play (where they’re matched up by size and temperament), napping in their 4’x6’ bunks, or eating their own food brought from home. For cats, Raintree cat condos with vertically and horizontally connecting chambers give felines plenty of room to climb and explore. They’re housed separately from dogs, ensuring the cats can relax during their stay and don’t come home meowing with a canine accent.
At Bluebonnet’s sister business, Cathy's Critter Care, team members can also come to clients’ homes for walks, daily medicine administration, or even overnight stays. The insured-and-bonded staffers have gone through full criminal background checks, and bring programmable lockboxes for clients’ keys instead of making copies of their own.
Located on 12 acres of Texas hill country, Hill Country Pet Ranch is a pet resort offering doggy daycare, dog training, grooming, and pet boarding. The experienced, pet-loving staff provides everything from mealtimes to exercise time for each clients’ pet. Outdoor spaces, nature trails for romping, and a dock for swimming and diving make this pet hotel a doggy heaven.
Bobbi Colorado and her husband Ken Beggs watched as their sly raccoon prot?g? crept across the room just as they had taught him. Having reached the whirring treadmill's power source, he yanked the cord out of the wall, sending actor Brendan Fraser flying over the top of the machine mid-sprint. The raccoon?who filmed this scene for 2010's Furry Vengeance ?is just one of many animal actors mentored by the husband-and-wife team, who have been training domestic and exotic critters for more than 35 years through their business The Wild Bunch.
Often disappointed by the kennels they visited to find dogs for their projects, the pair decided that they would open a better one themselves. They soon set up Bobbi Colorado's Canine Camp on their 10-acre property, building six spacious tree-shaded play yards and large sleeping quarters. The camp is designed to be "a safe, fun, happy place, so when you go away, it's your dog's vacation too," says Colorado. During stays, canines play together outside or nap in the sun while under 24-hour-a-day supervision. The staff members also post photos and videos of the frolicking pooches online so that their owners can check up on them. In addition to boarding, the camp also offers training classes to teach dogs basic obedience or train them for work in movies, commercials, and print ads.
Besides their pet boarding business, Colorado and Beggs' love for animals drives them to train rescue animals for roles, often saving them from euthanization. For the movie Secondhand Lions, for instance, Colorado recruited pigs from a slaughterhouse, and afterward sent them on to work with autistic children through an animal-therapy program.
One of the hardest parts of going on vacation is worrying about your pets at home. The trained staff members at Happy Mailman Kennel work to allay this fear with a whole menu of services that keep pups safe, entertained, and socialized while you’re away during long holiday trips or just days at the office. Their indoor and outdoor facility allows pets to roam around throughout the day with dogs matched according to their size, temperament, and ability to find loopholes in basketball rule books that allow dogs to play. Owners can rest easy knowing that every canine in the facility has been screened to make sure play time is safe and fun. Customers can provide their own bedding and food or opt for the facility’s twice-daily feedings with Flint River Ranch all-natural dog food.
Happy Mailman Kennel’s professional dog walkers slip out of the shop to exercise pets left at home during the day. The staff also includes a groomer with 20 years of experience who can scrub down dirty pets, cut hair, and trim nails in house. Happy yips drift from a self-service grooming station stocked with all the supplies needed to keep dogs clean.
For four decades, the family-owned Cactus Pryor's Canine Hilton Boarding Kennel has lodged and pampered pets on a six-acre spread of land. Accredited by the Pet Care Services Association for going above and beyond the role of gracious host, the kennel accommodates its guests with climate-controlled indoor and outdoor suites, blankets, organic food (including homegrown catnip for felines), and continuously monitored water bowls. Classical music piped into the kennels puts cats and dogs at ease, and a 15,000-square-foot play yard permits canines to romp among a selection of toys.
The animal-loving technicians interact with their charges regularly to keep them from growing bored, and can administer grooming services to prevent pets from growing soul patches and starting blues bands. Obedience training and daycare visits also ensure that pups remain active, yet aware of social etiquette.
The trained and certified specialists at Camp Bow Wow tend to tail-waggers at their 10,000-square-foot, log-cabin-themed facility. It's equipped with three indoor play yards that are accessible to fenced outdoor play areas. Dogs staying overnight get tucked into individual cabins with a fleece blanket and a treat. Humans can keep tabs on their pups via an app that connects to Camp Bow Wow's live webcams. When staff members aren't keeping pooches company, they're involved in charitable endeavors, such as helping foster pets find permanent homes.