A lush lawn and garden center teems with trees, flowers, and fragrant mulches, inspiring homeowners to create cozy stomping grounds for their farm animals and household pets. Inside Gulf Coast Equine and Pet Center, bags of feed from brands such as Purina and Nutrena await trips to swine troughs, dog dishes, and the Triple Crown trophies from which the coolest horses eat their meals. An onsite pet salon grooms dogs large and small, paying close attention to families' and pets' personal tastes as groomers create each dog's new 'do.
If a pet can’t stay at home while its owner is at work, its days can be just as comfortable and fun-filled at Gimmie a Bark’s elegantly homey facilities. Here, beloved pooches 25 pounds or less lounge on comfy blankets in well-kept kennels or frolic in the secure outdoor confines. Once their humans come to retrieve them, they can peruse the multihued doggy boutique together for gourmet treats, handpicked dog food products from brands such as Acana, or debonair attire for doggy prom.
At Bay Area Equestrian Center, riders can advance from basic lessons all the way up to horse ownership and national-level competition on the Arabian show circuit. They do so under the guidance of Lynn Almond, who founded Friendswood Riding School in 1990 and turned it into BAEC in 1995. A member of the horse community her entire life, Lynn has used her wisdom to vault students to national championships in Western, Hunter, and Sidesaddle riding styles. Today, the center's visitors can learn from Lynn and her team during private and group lessons, which provide more detailed instruction than the riding directions scrawled across the belly of every domesticated horse.
Across the street from the Red Bluff Animal Hospital sits a large house surrounded by green lawns and fenced-in outdoor play areas. Inside, Red Bluff Pet Resort’s licensed trainers and behavior therapists see to their tail-wagging and nose-nuzzling guests’ every need with daycare, lodging, grooming, and training. Their dog suites feature large beds and Skype-enabled computer screens so that owners can digitally visit their pets. Alternatively, their multilevel kitty condos allow independent pets to enjoy a relaxing stay without being bothered by dogs or chairmen of neighborhood committees. Their training options range from puppy classes and obedience lessons to one-on-one lodge-and-learn packages for when owners are on vacation.
Bay Area Pet Adoptions/SPCA was founded in 1967 to care for homeless, abandoned, and abused companion animals; today, it is still the only no-kill shelter in its area. Adoption counselors rescue dogs and cats from animal-control facilities that euthanize and individuals who are unable to care for them. Bay Area Pet Adoptions/SPCA’s adoption program provides each animal with medical care and socialization skills to increase the chances of a successful adoption. Each animal is vaccinated, sterilized, dewormed, microchipped, and checked for diseases such as FIV or canine heartworm disease. From there, adoption counselors help place pets with a family that has a similar lifestyle and activity level. Bay Area Pet Adoptions/SPCA also works within the community to prevent animals from being abandoned and euthanized through educational campaigns and spaying or neutering programs.
Hotel guests don't often get free hugs and head-pats from the staff during their stay. That service is unique to Meadowlake Pet Resort. Helmed by a team of experienced animal enthusiasts, the pet hotel cares for dogs and cats with private, climate-controlled suites and a panoply of animal-friendly activities. Canines and felines alike get to spend the night in rooms and condos outfitted with amenities such as high windows for natural light, flat-screen TVs and outdoor patios, and soothing music as each pet dreams about finally chasing down that mail carrier.
The resort's specially trained staff escort dogs outside, where they can play on four acres of green space, walk down nature paths, and dip in an outdoor diving pool. Cats, meanwhile, are set free to frolic or lounge in a screened-in porch with tiered climbing platforms and a selection of fine toys. These staff members also perform healthcare services such as daily five-point wellness checks, and they monitor daily feedings using NutriSource Super Premium food. To keep suites clean, staff scour each room with hospital-grade cleaning systems. To keep pets clean, they lather coats with specialty shampoos at an on-site pet spa.