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."
Aiming to keep the friendship between man and man’s best friend as fresh as possible, SplashHound is home to an easy and fun dog-washing system that helps your favorite canine companion stay clean without splashing your home bathroom in eau de dirt. With the self-serve dog wash (a $12–$15 value), owners don’t need appointments to completely cleanse their dirty pooch, and the only clock they’ll be racing is a broken one. Standing in a well-spaced and waist-high line, six large metal washtubs allow walk-in entry for the biggest dogs while leaving plenty of room for complicated pre-bath exercise routines. After donning a waterproof apron, parents purge impurities from their animal children with SplashHound’s special bathing wand, which conquers the thickest of coats with cleansing hypo-aloe and hypo-watermelon shampoos while also administering a satisfying massage to worn-out cat-catching muscles. After the bath, dogs are blow-dried and pampered at the grooming station.
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.
"I like to say that I traded four wheels for four paws," says Pamela, who left behind a career in the auto industry to found Launder Dog. She made the decision after her german shepherd developed health problems and she found a vitamin regimen that successfully treated the dog's condition. Focusing on healthy and natural products, Pamela assembled a supply of specialty foods and medications for cats and dogs to fill her new shop.
The addition of self-service washtubs has helped the pet haven build a loyal cast of regulars since its founding in 1996. "We are like Cheers, but for cats and dogs," Pamela says. Owners come in to socialize, chat with staff members about proper pet care, and exchange fashion tips with the shop's resident cat, Ben. His eyes cruise lazily across the shop as Pamela and her team stay close by to assist patrons as they check out supplies ranging from colorful doggie bags to canine arthritis medication. Staff can also custom-order products and rare colognes that smell like the mailman.
ChaCha's Doggie Day Care keeps dogs frolicking most of the day before letting them pass out in private suites equipped with bedding, chew toys, and relaxing music. Encouraging canine exercise, the cage-free facility features climate-controlled indoor and outdoor play areas equipped with pools, hoses, snuggle blankets, balls, and hand-shaped seats large enough to make mastiffs imagine life as a chihuahua. Thanks to a 24-hour webcam system, owners can watch as their pooches play, eat, and sleep. ChaCha's Doggie Day Care adamantly adheres to rules and regulations in place to protect the safety and health of both workers and furry guests.