by Natalie Finn | Tue., Oct. 25, 2016 8:00 AM
Raise your hand if you treat your dog better than you treat yourself.
You might not regularly splurge on therapeutic body wraps and facials, shell out for a personal trainer or dare order surf 'n' turf up to the room, let alone spring for five-star accommodations when you're on the go or demand house calls from your personal doctor.
But none of those things sound too extravagant when it comes to our four-legged best friends, who more than ever these days have the opportunity to live the sweet life on Cloud Canine, thanks to an increasing number of options for grooming, luxury boarding, training, fitness and pampering around the globe.
The humanization of our pets "is no longer the trend, it's the norm," Janene Zakrajsek, owner of Pussy & Pooch, a lifestyle boutique catering to cats and dogs with four locations in the Los Angeles area, tells E! News. "What comes along with that is why you see anything and everything for pets—a product, a service or an idea that basically supports your pet doing everything you can do."
And though the cost of such a lifestyle can add up, particularly if you've enlisted a small village to help care for your dog, you don't have to be a celebrity or even in the 1 percent to afford some really nice perks for your pooch. That being said, wouldn't it be nice if a Black Amex was the limit all the time for your fur baby…
Four Paws Up
First of all, full-service grooming and boarding doesn't mean just a bath and kennel for the night anymore. If you book the 50,000-square-foot Barkley Pet Hotel & Day Spa (locations in Westlake Village, Calif., Cleveland and Mumbai), for example, than your dog can ruff it in the Director's Suite (starting at a reasonable $88/night), which is tricked out with leather furniture and Hollywood decor. Spa services include a scrubbing with Tropical Passion shampoo and conditioner, a relaxing head and body massage, a spritz of Tropical Passion or Coconut Cabana Cologne and a bow or bandana for looking spiffy.
Add the Celebrity Package for teeth brushing, a mineral mud mask and a... wait for it... a pawdicure. (Which, we've learned, is common terminology.)
If you want to arrange a field trip for your dog to the beach, board him at Wagville in L.A.'s Glassell Park, where the specialty is holistic pet care. The mantra at Wagville, which in addition to outings features a 14,000-square-foot play area to run and splash around, is that minimizing stress in your dog's life will bolster his immune system, lessen his chances of getting sick and otherwise positively affect behavior.
Yes, just like people.
Speaking of which, after checking out Canyon View Ranch in Topanga, near Malibu...we want to go to there.
A photo posted by Canyon View Ranch for Dogs (@canyonviewranch) on
The sprawling 5-acre ranch, complete with a signature bone-shaped pool and a 35-foot-long canine cave maze, is a favorite among the famous set for boarding ($70/night, all-inclusive), grooming and training. Celeb pet-owner clients over the years have included Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen, Vin Diesel, Denise Richards, Charlie Sheen, Pamela Anderson and Drew Barrymore.
With the Blue Bone Lagoon, waterfalls, tunnels, "rock climbing" and a daily schedule that includes a pre-dinner siesta, Canyon View is basically summer camp for dogs, whatever the season. Better yet, there's a Munchkinland for littler dogs, separate from Wonderland, for the bigger kids.
Paradise Ranch Pet Resort/Instagram
About 45 minutes away near Burbank, it's also vacay all day at Paradise Ranch Pet Resort, where pups can swim in the custom island-themed water park and frolic in a massive play area, and then sleep slumber-party style in cage-free quarters.
Webcams set up around the resort ensure that you can check in and keep tabs on your pet while you're away.
A Dog's Life
Also known for being a go-to, one-stop-shop, the first of its 24/7 kind in the city, LA Dogworks—home of the trés-L.A.-sounding Zen Den (grooming) and Canine Enrichment Center (training)—has hosted a who's who list of celeb "kids." Minka Kelly, Jewel, Nicole Richie, Kimberly Stewart, Kirsten Dunst and Jake Gyllenhaalhave all taken their pups to be pampered, exercised and otherwise cared for at owner Andrew Rosenthal's doggie mecca.
Hey, a workout followed by a massage, apple-oat body wrap and aromatherapy oil treatment sounds like an ideal day to us. Maybe a little shopping at the on-site boutique too...
Basically, whatever sort of treatment you want for your BFF, from the basic pampering to the more luxurious and everything in between, Los Angeles has it all.
There's Euphuria in North Hollywood, where your hipster pup can get a faux-hawk, chill out with some sweet plum aromatherapy and leave sporting a mood collar. Sparky's in Beverly Hills, the first pet salon in the city after it finally relaxed an ordinance in 2005 that prevented no more than four dogs from being within 50 feet of a residence), provides pastries and deep muscle massage. Grab a Bella Bean collar and a Gooby memory foam harness at the full-service Chateau Marmutt.
The human-canine line is further blurred at Bark Williams in Santa Monica, where groomers go the extra mile with biodegradable shampoo and conditioner and you can order up an entire, always-fresh raw food menu for home delivery.
And say you'd rather socialize with your pup for the evening, that's where Pussy & Pooch comes in. The full-service groomer, trainer and social club—whose in-house amenities include the cheekily named Meat Market, the Bathhouse, the Pawbar® café and, in Beverly Hills, the Champagne Room—holds regular events for dogs, cats and owners, and is going all out this year for Howl-O-Ween.
Dress your pup up to the nines, because there will be a costume contest in addition to cocktails. Resting bitch face is welcome.
Pussy & Pooch
To ensure that your dog is ready for prime-time partying, celebs swear by The Loved Dog's Tamar Gellar, trainer to the stars—or at least the pets of the likes of Oprah Winfrey, Ben Affleck, Carrie Fisher, Jennifer Aniston, Courteney Cox, Ellen DeGeneres and Portia De Rossi, Ryan Seacrest, Charlie Theron and Natalie Portman.
Gellar, author of The Loved Dog and 30 Days to a Well-Mannered Dog, runs a cage-free facility in L.A. and she has a series of online training videos, so you can school your dog from home. Or, you can pay for the extra-personal touch too—Gellar also hosts private daycare and training at her own home in the hills, and she'll even help train your dog personally via Skype.
Of course, L.A. hasn't cornered the entire market when it comes to the good doggy life.
In New York, Running Paws will make sure your dog gets all the exercise he can handle, with the most athletic trainers in Manhattan taking no more than two dogs at a time on walks and jogs—all forms of active motion, that is—around the city. So Spot may end up knowing the city even better than you do...
Down the road, the franchise have have sprouted in Hollywood, but D Pet Hotels have now became celeb-favorite boarding spots for the well-heeled in Scottsdale, Ariz., and NYC's always-trendy Chelsea neighborhood as well.
D Pet Hotels
Not only can you arrange for pickup in a Ferrari, Bentley or Rolls (or a jet), but once your dog is checked in, he's chilling in a queen-size bed watching Homeward Bound on a flat-screen TV.
That's after the personal training session, the vitamin bath and the body wrap, however. In Chelsea, choose from a grooming look book that includes the Don Draper (tie included), the Suri Cruise (bangs and a bob) and the "rich bitch" (for the top-knot lovers among us).
Moreover, there's a private chef that can accommodate any of your pal's dietary needs, and if you're wondering why it smells so darn good, that's because they're continuously piping in scented air. Yes, your dog is breathing rarefied air!
K-9 Resorts Daycare & Luxury Hotel
A short ride away in New Jersey, the Garden State-based K-9 Resorts Daycare & Luxury Hotel chain has been welcoming four-legged guests since 2005. Executive suites feature TVs tuned to Animal Planet and open-air play areas and swimming pools ensure your pet gets plenty of exercise too.
Oh, and no request is too extravagant for K-9, even if it's that your dog can't fall asleep unless someone sings her a John Mayer song before bed.
LV Dog Resort
In Las Vegas and you may be...indisposed for a few days? Whatever condition you're in at the end of your trip, the Las Vegas Dog Resort will make sure your little fella or lady is in top-notch shape after a stay at their all-suite hotel.
Book early, because there's only one Palace Suite—600 square feet (i.e. bigger than most human apartments in New York), a queen-size bed, a 46-inch flat-screen and a view of the outdoor area, starting at $180/night.
Hook south and if you happen to be in Fort Worth, Texas, you can't miss (literally, it's humongous) Spa Paws, a sprawling hotel-and-everything-else complex for the pampered Lone Star State pooch.
Named 2016's Most Luxurious Pet Spa in Texas by LUX Magazine, the one-stop shop for boarding, grooming, food, wellness, training, shopping, events, photo shoots and more can run up to $200/night, but that's for hands-on, 24-hour care with a holistic focus, custom bedding and nightly tuck-ins and everything else you'd want in a five-star experience for your dog.
Plus, not only can you throw your mutt a birthday party on the premises, canine weddings have been known to take place there too.
The Paws Wellness Center, one of 10 on-site business, specializes in the TCVM (Traditional Chinese Veterinary Medicine) Method, and treatments include acupuncture, acupressure, herbal medicines and massage therapy.
Canines who've landed on the north side of Chicago can stay in a 160-square-foot glass-door suite with a toy chest and art work at Stay, where recreation time can include a swim or a nature walk in Horner Park, and dogs are treated to cuddle time and lots of good old-fashioned TLC in a stylish, contemporary setting.
Stay Dog Hotel
Dogs are also living it up, meanwhile, in Grand Rapids, Mich., home of Whiskers Resort and Pet Spa. The spacious suburban digs host "yappy hour" for their four-legged clientele, and the room service menu includes "pupsicles," "Beggo waffles" and "Frosty Paws ice cream." Does your pup need an education? Enroll him in Whiskers University for obedience training!
Your pup can beat the heat in Pompano Beach, Fla., at Chateau Poochie, where dogs kick back in suites with king-size sleigh beds and flat-screen TVs, enjoy the treats of an on-site gourmet chef and the attention of a personal attendant. Guests in the Royal Suite can enjoy services including blueberry facials, pawticures, movie nights and "extreme makeovers."
Going to Disney World? Your other child can stay at Best Friends Pet Care, where the Super Luxury Suite comes with a personal concierge and a complimentary bath at the end of a long weekend.
For the international set, posh pooches in London get more bang for your pound at The Pet Spa, also home of a modeling agency that works with dogs, cats, horses, rabbits, rats—any animal, basically, that is needed for magazines, TV, advertisement, etc.
Spa services include a blueberry and vanilla facial, the John Paul Pet Tea Tree conditioning treatment, a Thalassotherapy mud bath, the Sparkle Treatment and—memo to L.A. groomers—a Super Sunscreen application. Because we all need protection from the sun's harmful rays!
For les chiens in France, Paris is home of luxury hotel Actuel Dogs, the first-ever dog hotel in Europe when it opened in 2011. Situated next to Bois de Vincennes park, the establishment prides itself on keeping pets as active as their walk-everywhere owners, offering jogs, hikes and "doggy vélo" (running alongside a bike).
Munich is going to the hunde too, with the Canis Resort providing individual cabins for its guests upon request in addition to the usual spa and daycare services.
Not as usual (though it is Germany, home of the famous thermal waters of Baden-Baden), Canis also has a wellness program that offers active and passive movement therapy, thermotherapy, magnetic field therapy, and color and light therapy in order to treat your dog inside and out.
Surely Freud would approve!
Miriam Kuenzli/Canis Resort
For those whose dog may need round-the-clock medical care, or if you're otherwise concerned about your pup's health, help is in the air!
Blue Star Jets is not only a pet-friendly airline, but it is also is the home of JetSetVets, the brainchild of NYC-based vet Dr. Cindy Bressler, a devoted doc already used to making house calls to the Hamptons and beyond. Celeb clients over the years have included Donna Karan, Jake Gyllenhaal, Demi Moore and Kate Hudson, and Jill Zarin has booked in-flight care.
For every vet service booked through Blue Star, part of the fee is donated to animal charities.
Doggy & Me
When boarding just won't do, more and more people hotels have you covered.
In L.A., the Peninsula, Hotel Palomar, Lowes Santa Monica Beach, Fairmont Miramar and The Standard Downtown, to name just a few, are pet-friendly.
Beverly Hills Hotel
At the Beverly Hills Hotel, for $35 a day, four-legged guests get a fresh-baked bone-shaped cookie with their name frosted in icing, a hotel-branded bed and bowl and signature pink tennis balls.
Over at the Viceroy L'Ermitage Beverly Hills, the doggy room service menu includes a Surf 'N Turf Dinner of farm-raised beef, plus fruits and veggies, and Alaskan salmon. The hotel supplies bowls, beds, leashes and treats, and staff is happy to recommend nearby groomers, provide a list of pet-friendly restaurants and arrange dog sitters or walkers, as well as advise you on pleasant dog-walking routes in the neighborhood (spoiler alert: they're pretty much all nice, though some sidewalks are better than others). The hotel also has a vet on call.
New York too has some famously pet-friendly spots for the urbane owner and his equally urbane dog.
The Benjamin's renowned goodDOG program is pricey, $60 a day, but $10 from every stay is donated to the Animal League and your dog is set. The package includes a BarkBox (like a BirchBox or FabFitFun, for dogs!) packed with size-specific treats, toys and hygiene products; a BarkBox collapsible water bowl, paw wipes and a roll of baggies to use on the go; a Mungo & Maud bowl and bed for the duration of the stay and a pet mini-bar stocked with treats from Bocce's Bakery and non-alcoholic Bowser Beer.
Courtesy The Benjamin
And how could The Algonquin, home of the Algonquin Cat, not be a premiere destination for pets?
You have to sign a waiver in case your animal throws a party for the Vicious Circle, but otherwise they stay for free, just like Matilda III, the 11th Algonquin Cat (all females are Matilda, all males Hamlet) in a tradition that goes back more than 94 years at the historic hotel. Guests will find their suites stocked with food and water bowls, a floor mat, a litter box if needed, gloves and waste bags ahead of time.
The Algonquin Hotel
All told, it's easier than ever before to not have to travel, eat, shop and play without your pet, and the lines continue to blur.
But there are also now more places than ever that will make you feel a lot better about having to leave your pet behind, whether it's for work, a trip or just so you can have some "me time" for a few hours.
About five years ago, "pet hotels" were looked at as oddities, over-the-top extravagances for those who confused their dogs for humans. But oh, how the world has since learned—and those who have dogs have always known—just how far pet owners are willing to go, and how much they're willing to spend, to ensure that their pups are getting the best possible care, both at home and when they're out of their hands.
Be it training, a vet appointment, a walk, boarding, food or just a bath (ha, as if there's such a thing as just a bath anymore!), there are a litany of options, from standard quality care to a level—five-star, VIP, "palace," "royal," "ambassador"—that most humans rarely enjoy.
Of course, even if you don't spring for pawdicures and Thalassotherapy, your dogs know you love them.
But so long as people are into facials, body wraps, aromatherapy, happy hour, cocktail hour, the raw food movement and traveling in style, so such luxuries will go the dogs.
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