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Finding the best pet hotels in California isn’t always the most straightforward task, especially if you haven’t had to leave your fur baby before. When you’re trying to make things as comfortable for your cat or dog as possible, making the right decision can make all the difference in their stay (and your peace of mind). Rather than trying to choose blindly, here are the top 8 amenities to look for before booking your next pet hotel:
1) Private Rooms for Your Pets
Most pet hotels are known for offering their private spaces, but it comes down to the quality of rooms. Make sure you look for a boarding facility with physical walls and a door (instead of gating material) to separate the animals. Physical walls will reduce the sights, sounds, and stimulation throughout the stay, an essential feature if your animal is easily startled or distracted. It also allows your pet to relax and unwind after a busy day playing.
2) A La Carte Services
Whether your dog enjoys human interaction or wants to spend his day playing with other pups, having a la carte services allows you to tailor his vacation to his needs. Many high-quality pet hotels will provide additional walks, water play (in streams, lakes, or pools), play sessions, or handmade treats for your pup daily. Although this can be costly, purchasing services above and beyond standard care is always a nice feature to have.
3) Low Pet to Staff Ratio
The lower the number of animals to staff, the higher the probability your pet will receive quality attention during their stay. You’ll want to find pet boarding facilities that aim to keep their staff attentive and caring throughout their shift, especially if your dog enjoys human interaction. If you are touring the boarding facility, monitor how the team interacts with the animals on site.
4) Indoor and Outdoor Play Areas
While many facilities will have outdoor areas for the dogs to roam, it’s vital that a dog’s play sessions can happen during the rainiest of days too. So look for facilities that have large, open, indoor areas for the dogs to play – preferably in groups of their size and weight. Having segregated groups based on size makes it less likely that the pets will be trampled or injured during play, particularly with small or young dogs.
5) Homemade Baked Treats
All of the best hotels offer room service, and your pet’s hotel should be no different. As such, make sure you look for establishments that provide nightly treats (whether dog-friendly iced cream or baked cookies) to give your dog the royal treatment while you’re away. For cat owners, activity balls filled with catnip can be a great distraction to any feline wanting something to do.
6) Comfortable Room Accommodations
Your pet is a family member, which means they need to be treated as such even on vacation. Always look for facilities that offer high-quality beds or comfortable sleeping arrangements for your furry friends while you’re away. These may include beds, chairs, or multi-level cat houses for adventurous kittens. You’ll always want to confirm that the rooms are climate-controlled, particularly in California (where the weather can reach scorching hot temperatures). Air conditioning throughout the facility and in private rooms is essential for both comfort and safety.
7) Home Style Features
So many pet owners leave the television on or some gentle music playing for our dogs when they leave the house, providing comfort in our absence. Thankfully, many of the best pet hotels will do the same. They will have music or television available and playing consistently to help calm your pet and keep distractions to a minimum. So whether you think your pup may enjoy a program on the television or you like knowing your cat is hanging out with Mozart in the background, it’s a wonderful feature for experienced and novice borders.
8) Grooming Services on Site
After your time away, there’s nothing better than returning home to a clean, happy pet – which is why grooming is an essential service to add to your pet hotel. Whether your cat may need her matted fur clipped or your pup needs his nails trimmed, a grooming add-on is a fantastic feature to have. Most grooming facilities are familiar with breed-specific trims and use high-quality products to keep your pet healthy, clean, and smelling fabulous at the end of their stay.