Leaving your pet behind when you go on vacation can be a decision fraught with uncertainty. After all, who will take care of your furry friend as well as you? If you’ve been to standard kennels before, you’re no doubt worried about the rows of cages, tiny outdoor enclosures that are barely big enough for one animal to play, much less several, and of course, the proximity to other pets. As a result you might prefer to leave your pet at home in the care of a professional sitter, but this could require you to open your home to a stranger, and the cost of this personal service can be pretty steep.
It seems like there’s just no way to win, and if you don’t have a trusted, local family member or friend to help you out when you travel, you might find yourself sitting at home when you should be on your vacay. However, there is one new option springing up in many communities: pet hotels. And there are a lot of things to love about these posh pet palaces. Here are a few perks that could make you a lot more comfortable with leaving your best friend behind for a few days.
1. Suites. Whereas the average kennel might board visitors in tiny cages, pet hotels offer their animal guests the same level of service as their human owners might expect at a premiere hotel. Each pet that checks in gets his own “suite”, a private room that is often furnished with various beds, plenty of toys, and even options for soothing music and climate controls in some cases. Pets are also given access to group play areas (outdoor play yards for dogs, indoor sanctuaries for cats, and so on), providing they are socialized, and they are generally given individual attention as well, with dogs getting “personal exercise”, i.e. walks, throughout the day. In short, your pets are treated like royalty. They may get more perks than you while you’re on vacation!
2. Organic food and treats. Pet hotels are particularly careful about the food they serve man’s best friend, and while many owners will provide their own food, these fancy establishments also tend to offer fresh and organic options for pet owners who only want the best for their furry friends. Special requests like additional feeding times and the delivery of medications are also met with ease.
3. Grooming services. If you want to return from your trip to find that your pet has had a bath, a haircut, and nails trimmed, not to mention spa treatments like a milk bath, teeth brushing, and even a paw-dicure (yes, painted nails on your pets), then you’ll be glad to hear that ritzy pet hotels offer these grooming extras. Bows and bandanas are often included.
4. Training services. It’s strange to think that you could leave your pet at an animal hotel for a few days and return to find him better behaved than when you left, but many of these facilities offer training courses that will have your pet heeling, sitting, and staying by the time you return from your trip. Of course, you’ll have to continue with the lessons in order to ensure that they stick, but the process can start while you’re away. Not every dog resort can offer this kind of service, but the right pet hotels provide you with all kinds of extras.
5. Webcams. If you’re worried about the state of your pet while you’re away, you may be able to find a pet hotel that offers 24/7 surveillance thanks to access to a webcam in your pet’s suite or cameras placed in public play areas. That way you can be sure your pal is having just as much fun while you’re traveling as you are.