A winner in Vancouver magazine's Best of Vancouver 2010, West Coast Tails professional pet service is the brainchild of Candace Herrod, a former veterinary worker who grew up surrounded by pets. With the help of her husband, Ryan, she expanded her small pet-sitting business to include 16 bonded, insured, and pet-first-aid-trained attendants who perform services where pets are at their happiest—at home. When customers are away for extended periods of time, staff members stop by homes to give love and attention to dogs and cats that have grown bored of their toys and already plowed through the complete oeuvre of Dostoyevsky. They also walk dogs in private 30-minute sessions, brush up pets' manners with obedience training, and cart them around town with pet taxi services. For owners’ peace of mind, attendants care for pets seven days a week, including holidays, and field both special and last-minute requests. The company recently started offering equine care, during which attendants arrive at stables to pamper horses with grooming, lunging, and road walks.
As one of the first veterinary practices in Canada to install an underwater treadmill and therapy pool, Aldergrove Animal Hospital gives pets care that rivals what their owners get. In tandem with The SPAW Canine Sports Medicine and Rehabilitation, therapists heal dogs with aquatic care that ranges from therapeutic ultrasounds to non-impact water exercise. Of course, Drs. Jeff Bowra and Sharon Moloney and their team of animal-care specialists would prefer that dogs never need physical therapy, which is why they provide preventative and emergency veterinary care tailored for puppies and kittens through senior animals. They also strive to take care of animals beyond the hospital's facilities, giving owners online care guides on topics such as parasite prevention and how to save for dog college.
The dog-loving instructors at Q-Ball Agility—each possessing up to two decades of experience—take canine obedience to a whole new level. The experts go beyond standard sit and stay commands to bring out dogs' natural athleticism, teaching them and their owners to compete on agility courses punctuated by jumps, tunnels, climbing frames, and other obstacles. Dogs of any breed and nearly any age can bask in the fun, exercise, and social bonding that these and the centre's other canine-centred sports—such as flyball and rally obedience—provide. Of course, these feats of fitness can only be achieved with an understanding between each dog and its owner, so the centre also offers basic obedience classes to help pets learn the skills in sitting, heeling, and end-zone dancing that are essential on the agility course.
Master dog trainer Adam Smith transforms aggressive, fearful, and hyperactive dogs into well-adjusted companions. Eschewing treat-based reward training, Adam instead focuses on earning the trust of his canine students with positive energy and open communication. He then leads dogs through a training regimen designed to develop their minds, bodies, and ability to speak in a human voice. Working from the training centre at Anacare Kennels, Adam offers services that include short- and long-term care and training, stand-alone mini lectures and board-and-train boot camps.
Since 1969, dog-loving groomers at Tiffany?s Grooming Salon have served the area's pets with baths, trims, and even hand-scissored specialty cuts. Their doggy paradise is outfitted with specialty shampoos for all types of hair and skin, custom safety equipment, and hydraulic tables to accommodate larger breeds or older pets. To thoroughly pamper and calm canines, they can treat dogs to a four- to six-hour spa day complete with a massaging bath, blow-dry, pedicure, and custom hairstyle that suits their needs.
Like many dog owners in a two-worker household, Russell Simpson had to figure out how to best take care of his chocolate labrador, Riley, when no one was home. A growing pup with lots of energy, Riley soon left the house torn apart and riddled with evidence of poker parties. Then Simpson took his dog to daycare and something miraculous happened: Riley started coming home content, relaxed, and manageable. But even with this improvement in Riley's behaviour, Simpson couldn't help but look around his dog's daycare and see an opportunity to make it even better. So he found a warehouse and applied his construction skills to a redesign.
Today, Simpson and his team—along with Riley and regulars such as Lucy—welcome clients and their four-legged friends to We Care Dog Daycare. Together they elevate the dog-daycare experience by rotating the dogs hourly—while some play indoors, the others are taken out on walks, which are included as standard. They also offer owners premium services, such as taking active dogs out on two-hour adventure hikes, or older dogs out on one-hour leisure walks. Further services include grooming, a dog taxi, and training with an accredited dog trainer. We Care's staff also runs a dog-of-the-month program, which recognizes especially well-behaved dogs with rewards such as an adventure walk or a five-album record deal.