What do pets do at a pet hotel?
by Bob Richard
When you’re planning a holiday, and you know you can’t take your pet with you, you’ll want to choose the best place possible for your companion. While some hotels are pet-friendly, your friend can do things at a special pet hotel that they wouldn’t be able to access in a ‘human hotel’ that accepts animals.
A pet hotel is one kind of boarding facility, and things have changed from the days of booking your pet into the vet’s, where cages were the only option.
Today, you wouldn’t believe the range of activities and facilities on offer! Pet hotels can be basic or luxurious, with something for everyone.
Accommodations at a pet motel
The type of accommodation your pet will have can vary widely from one venue to another. While there are places still using cages or kennels, there are also more ‘upmarket’ options.
Your pet can enjoy any of the following in their room:
- A flat-screen TV with pet-themed programming
- A special pet bed, Sherpa wool bedding, a canvas wool cot, or a premium daybed
- A nightly ‘tuck-in’ service by a dedicated member of staff that your pet will be familiar with
- A large frame with a picture of their family (you!)
- Pet-specific music that is soothing
- A ceiling fan to stay comfortable in warmer weather
- Secure glass doors where they can watch the world go by at any time
Depending on the facility, you may also be able to bring a favorite item from home for your pet, like a blanket or preferred toy. Some places also have special anxiety-reducing toys. Your pet may make new discoveries to keep them entertained.
Meals at a pet hotel
Some places will have dedicated chefs for preparing meals for your pet. Your dog or cat could be dining on specially composed, protein-rich, warm foods.
Usually, pet hotels will also offer premium pet food if your pet prefers his or her familiar food.
Trained staff are on hand throughout to ensure that your pet is eating heartily and enjoying their food.
Most venues offer delicious pet treats, too, so your friend may discover some new favorites while you’re away.
Some places offer room service menus where chefs can prepare your pet’s favorite foods – for example, scrambled egg whites with veggies, burger patties, or chicken hash.
Playtime at a pet motel
Playtime facilities vary widely, but here are some of the things your pet might get up to, depending on your pet hotel:
- Getting a massage (from a doggie specialist, of course! Your pet might receive a deep tissue massage or gland expression to get out those toxins)
- Being groomed and brushed (getting a new hairdo, a trimmed coat, a bath, or perhaps a pawdicure)
- Playing in a dedicated pet pool with their pet friends
- Personal playtime (with a dedicated carer and regular toilet breaks). Playtimes for dogs are usually organized while keeping in mind each dog’s personality, breed, and size
- Daily walks, either one-on-one or in a group
- Organized games with staff and other animals
- Pet parties and get-togethers (socializing with lots of other animal friends. And if it’s your pet’s birthday, they may get a special cake to share, too. Some places even do pet painting sessions)
- Park visits and adventure hiking trips
- Trips to the beach (and playing in the surf!)
Learning at a pet motel
Your pet may pick up some new tricks while you’re gone! Many venues offer dog training to cover things like:
- Impulse control
- Obedience training
- Leash walking
- Behavioral challenges
- Off-leash control
Because training is delivered by expert staff, your pet has a stronger chance of learning well without you having to become a dog trainer overnight. The training procedures are usually kept fun and positive, with lots of reinforcement when your pet does well.
You may be able to get an in-depth consultation before you go on your holiday so that the pet hotel trainers know exactly how to help you and your friend best. Whether you’ve got a bouncy puppy, an older dog with ingrained habits, or a fearful rescue, most staff have a lot of experience and can save you time and effort. Your dog will most likely enjoy it, too!
In case you aren’t sure what your pet will get up to while you’re away, check if your venue offers webcam services. Some places will have webcams throughout the facility. You’ll be able to see what your friend is up to at any moment of the day. Other locations will even take pictures of your friend and post them on social media for you to see and share.