When dog lovers travel, DogVacay keeps their pups out of impersonal kennels and connects them with responsible canine hosts in their city. Instead of awaiting their owner's return in a kennel cage, dogs get the run of the house along with daily walks, challenging games of Scrabble, and playtime with well-socialized animals. Owners can browse thousands of profiles from professional pet-sitters, retired veterinarians, and fellow dog lovers based on location, home size, and family pets. Each host undergoes a five-step vetting process that includes an online application, reference checks, a phone interview, online training, and community reviews. Dog sitters also offer day care, walking, and training, and some claim professional credentials such as training expertise or pet CPR. To ensure peace of mind, DogVacay provides insurance and emergency vet services as well as photo updates of the dog’s stay.
Specializing in APHA and AQHA horses, the breeders at Coquat Ranch extend their equine knowledge to the general public through lessons, birthday parties, and trail rides across their wildlife-rich property. Beginner lessons acquaint novices with safe practices and the essentials of riding, centering on mounting, grooming, walking, and other basic topics. Building on this foundation, intermediate and advanced lessons delve into more advanced activities, such as moving laterally and riding around obstacles.
Once comfortable in the saddle, rider can sign up for a trail ride across the ranch's hundreds of acres, where they can spot wildlife ranging from deer and wild hogs to sandhill cranes amid the salt water marshes and brush country. Young riders can also enjoy time with animals through birthday and pony painting parties, when they'll have the chance to cover horses in non-toxic paint and ask for their definition of art.
Bruno’s Bath House elevates the dog-boarding experience by housing pups inside plush suites that will remind them of home. Two times a day, room service peeks in, checking to make sure beds are comfy and bowls are brimming with filtered water. Dog-loving caregivers oversee dogs so that each pet receives ample attention as they gambol across the indoor and outdoor play areas or nap on communal couches. This attentive treatment carries over into Bruno’s Spaw, where dogs receive baths with plush add-ons such as aromatherapy, massage, and Pawdicures. Edible and wearable doggie accessories are also available at Bruno’s Bistro and Boutique.
If you can't already tell by the name, Pup-A-Palooza is dedicated to one thing: the well-being of your pup. At the self-service wash station, owners can wash and fluff dog coats, a much easier alternative than training pooches to run through the neighbor's sprinkler on command. Owners, meanwhile, can browse the aisles of pet accoutrements, which range from gourmet treats to custom-made beds and gleaming dog bowls adorned with fleurs de lis or spikes.
A parade of customers saunters out of Kit + Kaboodle's Austin and Lockhart locations donning edgy mohawks, neon hair color, and sassy tattoos. This is not a group of teenagers from an ’80s flick, though. It's a pack of leashed corgis and everything about their look, including the hair dye and temporary tattoos, is nontoxic and tear-free. The technicians at Kit + Kaboodle love adorning pooches in such details. They groom dogs with organic and natural products and augment treatments with quirky trim such as handmade pup feathers. Their pet-sitting services include drop-ins and daily dog walks to exercise canines, administer medication, or refill food bowls while owners are at work or visiting their secret dogs.
Even pets that brush their teeth twice daily are prone to health issues—that’s where Friendship Pet Hospital and Wellness Center steps in. The caring staff at this AAHA-certified clinic helps keep furry companions in peak physical shape with comprehensive checkups. Veterinarians inspect teeth to root out dental disease and administer vaccinations to prevent common maladies in cats and dogs. A focus on breed-specific healthcare helps vets stay aware of which ailments most commonly afflict which pets, saving the trouble of testing Sphynx cats for hair loss. As pets visit with the doctors, complimentary cookies and beverages keep owners satiated.