Four-legged friends—and pet parents—turn to Pou Veterinary Group for high-tech treatments and expert care. The clinic's two veterinarians welcome cats, dogs, and lizards dressed in dog suits for a slew of services, including preventative care, dentistry, dermatology, and radiology. They also groom pets take care of them for out-of-town owners.
Under the umbrella of Pet Medical Centers, nine Miami-Dade and Broward-area veterinary hospitals provide sophisticated healthcare for furry, feathered, and scaly family members. The hospitals’ specialty services include nonanesthetic dental care, ultrasounds, radiology, and endoscopies. All locations boast surgical operating rooms equipped with windows and cameras to give owners peace of mind, and many of the clinics are equipped with lasers for blade-free incisions. Besides emergency care, the doctors and technicians—some of whom have appeared as specialists on Univision and Animal Planet—perform general wellness examinations and informative nutritional consultations.
Although medical care provides what pets need, boarding services treat pets to what they want. Most locations double as cat and dog hotels, but only one deserves the title of pet resort—at Coral Springs Pet Resort and Medical Center, animals enjoy a climate-controlled dog park with a pool, baths with massaging jets, and expansive canine suites with window views.
Perched on the floor, a dog cocks his head, listening intently to his owner's voice, which is filtering through the telephone a worker holds patiently next to his ear. Though it's not clear whether the pup understood, when the staff member returns to the call, the owner seems more at ease. According to hospital manager Nicole Pierre, putting four-legged friends on the phone is just one way the crew at Homestead Animal Hospital comforts guests and patients—and their owners.
The kennel staff escorts overnight guests to the boarding area, which was recently expanded and renovated to look like a cartoon town. Each private dog condo has its own mailbox and welcome mat, letting pooches continue to feel at home. Cat condos are two levels tall, with window perches that allow felines to observe one another as they lounge. As staff members supervise, all guests romp in species-specific play areas with obstacles that challenge all four legs, soft areas to wrestle upon, and perches to perfect pouncing postures.
Veterinarians employ technologically advanced tools to foster good health among furry companions. Digital x-rays impart almost immediate images, and laser-assisted surgeries minimize discomfort and healing times. Techs walk from an in-house lab, which shortens the waiting time for test results, past an x-ray machine for analyzing pups’ internal health and a high-tech bandanna for analyzing external cuteness.
The scene is a familiar one: hotel guests lounge beside the outdoor pool as staff members filter around, offering refreshments or collecting clients for a spa treatment. However, at Pet Paradise, the pool is bone shaped and all the guests are dogs. This luxurious scene is one cat and dog owners can find at this boarding and daycare facility that has been owner Fred Goldsmith's pride and joy for a decade. The animal lover was inspired to start his own pet hotel when he simply couldn’t find a place he was comfortable leaving his bichon frise when he went on vacation.
Fred made Pet Paradise to his exact specifications, and the pet hotel's amenities reflect the loving care he lavishes on his own beloved pup. Dogs and cats can luxuriate in spa-quality grooming treatments or burn off some energy during group playtime. In the evening, pets can settle into plush bedding and feel safe knowing that the dedicated live-in staff resides just a bark away. Nocturnal kitties spend the night exploring their own private six-level cat condos while gentle spa music fills the air to keep them entertained. In case of any emergencies, Pet Paradise keeps veterinarians on-call, and in the event of a snack emergency, each staff member is a certified bacon cook.
Knowing the oft-contentious relationship between dogs and cats, Lakeside Animal Hospital keeps entirely separate entrances, lobbies, and exam rooms for felines and canines. It’s one way the animal hospital’s staff shows its deep understanding and passion for four-legged guests. Dr. Monica Fernandez’s team of veterinarians and staff treat animals with a roster of wellness services. These services include laser therapy to reduce pain and accelerate healing time from injury and surgery, as well as ultrasounds to detect whether a pup is pregnant or if it just swallowed the remote control. The hospital staff also keeps pets safe with boarding services, and can help them look their best with expert grooming sessions.
Freshly back from vacation, a customer walks expectantly into the room. A golden retriever bounds clumsily up, its tongue flapping a rosy greeting and mouth stretched far back into a smile. When the dog’s owner takes up the leash, thanks the staff for caring for her energetic pup, and turns to leave, she feels a tug on the leash. Her dog has planted his feet firmly, trying to back into a sitting position—clearly, he wants them both to stay put.
According to proprietor Lisa Schettino, this is an everyday occurrence at Camp Canine. After a difficult experience finding pet care for her own dog, Lisa set out to create an environment that would not only keep critters safe, but make them want to stay. Now, each Camp Canine location has a resort-style atmosphere sprawled over 9,000–15,000 square feet.
Stressed four-legged friends wiggle with glee during massages, shedding stress from squeaky toys giving them the silent treatment. Against a bass rumble of purring, punctuated by canine yips, green-tea and chamomile facials drive dirt from wrinkled faces and soften wiry fur. As they wait for their next spa appointment, dogs can roam freely in a fenced-in play lot. After tearing through a maze of tunnels and obstacles, they splash into the pool and emerge to toss their cool, wet fur, bejeweling the air with spray. An air-conditioned indoor play area shelters pets from extreme heat and teenagers listening to vacuums at high volume..
Owners too can rest at ease during their pets’ vacation, knowing their animals lounge in private rooms with plush bedding and staff watching 24 hours a day. They check up on their furry friends via scheduled Skype sessions and various webcams set up throughout the Boca Raton and Fort Lauderdale facilities. Those locations also pick up and drop off pets that haven’t yet learned how to operate a manual transmission.