If you really want to give your dog a wonderful treat that provides pampering, luxury and a bit of overindulgence you may well want to consider a doggy spa or a stay in a doggy hotel. There are several different very high class spas and hotels, sometimes in combination, that offer everything from designer rooms with dog friendly furniture and dinning menus through to dog massage therapists, doggy hot tubs and of course doggy beauty treatments and coat care.
Dog hotels are definitely not the same as dog boarding kennels. While kennels are great for keeping your dogs in safe, clean and in very professionally run facilities, a doggy hotel literally caters to everything canine. Typically the sleeping area is known as the dog's room and may literally put some of the cheaper human hotels to shame. Luxury dog hotels offer designer furniture, linens and full sized beds for dogs to stretch out on and enjoy. Each dog is in his or her own room that can vary in size from a standard room to a king or queen sized facility. Some will have access to outdoor runs that are also designed with both visual appeal as well as doggy comfort in mind.
Many of the luxury dog hotels provide other options in the rooms that are really amazing. Some offer flat screen TV's in each room with options of several different channels including in-house channels showing dog movies or specific movies at the owner's request. Many also have piped in music of the owners choosing into the private rooms with classical music, jazz or instrumental music played throughout the rest of the facility.
Some of the more upscale doggy hotels also offer private dog walkers for individual dogs that will take the dogs on specific types of walks based on the owner's request. There may be walks through the woods, walks by the seashore or even walks through parks and flower garden areas. These walks are just one option for exercise for the dog, there are also playgroups that owners can opt to have their dog participate in for socialization as well as a chance to get out and just have some fun. Some hotels allow more than one dog in a room, but this is only done by owner request and typically with dogs from the same family.
Day spas with doggy hotels or run privately from the accommodation are a wonderful opportunity for owners to really pamper their pets. Different than going to the groomers, spas tend to be more concerned about a holistic approach to caring for the dog's appearance and emotional level. Many of the doggy spas use only natural or herbal products and offer their own line of spa products for use at home.
Some spas may also have indoor heated swimming pools for dogs and therapeutic whirlpool or hot tub type facilities. These can be terrific for dogs that have arthritis or other muscular or skeletal problems or for dogs that just need a chance to unwind. Dog massage, which is becoming a more standardized practice for helping with muscle problems and recovery from injury, may also be offered through the doggy spa program.
Many dog spas offer full grooming services that range from bathing, clipping and styling through to just a standard grooming. If you are using the spa grooming professional for the first time be sure to bring a picture or have a clear understanding of how you want the dog's hair to look after the grooming or clipping is completed. Most doggy spa groomers will be very up to date on any requirements for showing dogs but it is still important to confirm that you are on the same page with the groomer before leaving your pet.
Addition features for different spas and dog hotels may include pedicures for your dogs, aromatherapy for dogs, facials and coat treatments to help with hair conditioning and even specialized diets and exercise programs. Hotels may also offer specialized diets and menu options or provide owners the opportunity to supply their own food for their pet while he or she is a guest.
If you are planning on leaving your dog at a doggy hotel with or without a spa it is important to take a tour of the facility and ensure that it meets your pets needs. In most cases the staff is able to make adjustments to standard packages to accommodate any needs you may have. You will also need to provide proof of vaccination, in most cases that will include DHPP shot (which your vet will give annually) plus a current rabies vaccination, at least within countries that still require rabies shots. In addition most of the luxury dog hotels and spas will also require that the dog have a current Bordetella vaccination. This vaccination has to be given at least two weeks before the dog is left at the facility because it is not fully active until approximately 12 days after being administered. Most show dogs or dogs that travel or stay at a kennel will already have the Bordetella vaccination, which treats the very common condition of kennel cough. Vaccination can be through injection or by nasal spray, depending on the preference of the dog owner and the vet.
There are also some very luxurious hotels that are a combination of a dog and human hotels. These are more than just pet friendly rooms in your local hotel, they are actual accommodations for owners and their pets to enjoy a vacation together. The spas and boutiques in the hotel facility cater to both humans and dogs and dogs are welcome in their own group play area, on the grounds and even in the specially designed dog swimming areas. Many of these luxury resorts are located in major cities such as New York, Los Angeles, Seattle and Las Vegas. While the people enjoy taking in the sights and sounds of the areas they can rest assured that their dogs are being pampered and cared for back at the hotel. Often with both people and dogs staying at the facilities the cost really isn't that much higher than boarding the dog at a kennel, plus you get to spend time with your pet while away on vacation.