Kennel Confidential: Doggy Day Care at Any Budget

Doggy day care amenities can include salon quality services and ample accommodations that even humans would admire.

The good news is that such perks are actually (relatively) affordable.

So if you’re going to spring for your dog’s care during your next vacation instead of leaving him bored at a relative’s house, dropping your pup off at a kennel may actually get you more for your money.

Paying a trustworthy pet sitter can cost $30 per day or more and may only mean a couple visits per day for walking and feeding.  For active and social dogs, kennels offer services that include the basic playtime, boarding, brushing as well as nail clippings and massages.  And they aren’t just for the rich.

Pricing often depends on the location of the kennel, but unlike hotels for humans, kennels in more rural areas might actually be more expensive.  Here’s a look at some options from basic to luxurious.

Options for City Dogs
At Monster Mutt in Brooklyn, N.Y. for example, boarding your pup would run you $47 per night and give your dog a chance to stay active, social and happy while you’re away.

“Dogs really love it, it’s much more fun than to hang around the house,” says Monster Mutt owner Hannah Koltuv, who is also a certified canine behavior therapist. “It’s a lot of running around but it’s also a fair bit of mental stimulation,” says Koltuv, adding that her clients aren’t looking for lavish treatments. They’re looking for a safe fun place for their dogs to stay.

Monster Mutt charges $19 and up for baths, depending on the weight of your dog.  Doggy day care costs $30 for a full day, and obedience, agility and other classes can range from $199 to $299 for six one-hour classes.  The most budget-friendly deal here is the puppy playgroup, where your dog can socialize and play with other dogs at Monster Mutt’s 2,000-square-foot location for $10 a day. 

The very best part? Doggie videos! Hey, if you are going to pay to be away from your best friend, you deserve to be able to keep in touch. Owners won't miss a single canine caper thanks to Monster Mutt's special camera set-up. Videos of precious dog moments are captured and posted for owners on Blip.tv. Sharing with friends and family is a must!


Some Rural Paws-abilities
Country dogs have options, too.

WoofGang, based in Carrollton, Tex., for example, has a 7,100-square-foot, climate controlled, park-like environment for dogs and charges $38 per night for boarding.  Day care costs $24 per day, and obedience and trick classes start at $85.  Prices for grooming services,  including baths, haircuts, de-mattings, flea and tick shampoos and toenail painting vary depending on your dog’s size and breed.

Boarding at Lansing, Mich.-based Doggy Daycare and Spa costs $33 per night at a facility that includes a 4,000-square-foot dog gymnasium and a 4,000-square-foot outdoor playground.

"Parents are welcome and encouraged to call anytime while their dog is attending, whether it be for day care or boarding,” says owner Janice Milligan, who adds that photos of your pup on "vacation" can be emailed on request.  Day care at Doggy Daycare and Spa costs $28.



High End Options
If you really want to go all out, The Farm at Natchez Trace in Franklin, Tenn., offers massages ($40), nature walks ($11), Frisbee fetch ($11) and a bedtime rub down and treat ($5) for dogs staying at the luxury boarding facility.

“Our staff interacts with each dog a minimum of nine times a day including five walks outdoors, and notes from each interaction are entered on the dog’s daily chart,” says Cogie Clarke Smeeton, guest services manager at The Farm. Boarding costs $52 per night. 

The farm, which sits on 18 acres of wooded walking trails, play and training fields, a wading creek and barnyard, also has a wing devoted to “special needs guests” including epileptic dogs, geriatric dogs, those with separation anxiety and those recovering from surgery. The staff sends email updates and photos to owners.

Another farm kennel, Dogs on the Farm in Atlantic Highlands, N.J., has four feet by four feet accommodations starting at $40 a night.  If you want to check on your dog down doing on the farm, web cam "hotel rooms" start at $55 a night.  Lavish 20-foot by 20-foot "Doggie Suites" are $70 a night.

Among its salon offerings, Dogs on the Farm has treatments that reduce shedding for $18 to $48-plus and Soft Paws plastic nail coverings to prevent scratching, which cost $30 for front and rear nails.  A regular trim costs $10.

At each of these facilities, discounts may be available depending on the duration of your dog’s stay. And you’ll definitely save some money if your dog brings another canine friend.  Boarding fees are lower when two pups are boarded together.

Looking to board your dog? The Pet Care Services Organization (formerly the American Boarding Kennel Association) is a good place to start.

 

 

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