This holiday season, The Paw Resort and Wellness Centre is making sure that while the owners are away, the dogs will play.
"She loves it here," said Nathan Novak while picking up his french bulldog cross Mya from the resort.
The 7,000-square-foot facility — built on 80 acres of farmland off Grand Valley Road about five kilometres west of 18th Street North — has been operating in its new location for 16 months now and the holiday season has once again proved to be one of the busiest times of the year.
Novak, who drops Mya off in the morning, said she starts getting excited as soon as he turns onto the gravel road to go to the resort.
"She is full of energy and when she is here she gets to play in the play room and there is so much room for her to play here," he said.
He also loves the social interaction Mya gets with the other dogs.
"She likes to interact with the other dogs too," Novak said. "When she gets home she’s usually pretty played out. She’ll sleep all night after coming."
The resort, which is ran by Joanne and Frank Nichols and family, could double in size during the holiday season and they’d still be full according to Joanne Nichols.
"Christmas is the peak season," Nichols said.
And who doesn’t want to spoil the family pet during the holidays?
"A lot of people are travelling to visit family during the holidays so there are a lot of different reasons that people will board their animals," Nichols said. "Some people can’t fly with them, for some there might be allergies in the family, some too much commotion so there are a lot of reasons and our clientele want the best for their dog. They don’t want to have to feel guilty so they can enjoy their own Christmas."
Guests of the resort are welcome to stroll the farmland that surrounds the complex or stay trim using the wellness room, which has a walk-on scale and treadmill.
They can exercise in the 3,000-square-foot zoom room, where they can run or clamber on, or over, structures and agility equipment to the tune of upbeat music.
For dogs, accommodations range from "studio" kennels for $20 per day to eight-foot by eight-foot rooms with glass doors and plush designer beds available for $31 per day.
And dogs don’t have to be guests to enjoy the resort, as the zoom room is available as part of a dog day camp or for themed parties.
Or they can stop by for a grooming session, which takes pampering pooches to a new level.
"We want them smelling good and looking pretty for all the pictures," said Nichols about the grooming which includes scented shampoos. "The animals are part of the family and if they can’t be there for the holidays owners want the best for them."
For Nichols, who also lives on location to ensure the animals get any extra care and attention they may need, it’s all about ensuring the animal leaves with a proverbial wag of the tail.
"We try really hard to make sure it’s a positive experience," Nichols said. "We stress quality care versus quantity."
To get to The Paw Resort, drive west on Grand Valley Road and then north on Gray Road.