all for the pet

“I know when I drop him off, they’ll take care of him better than I would, ” he said. “They give him a lot of attention. They all know him by name. He runs up to them. It’s that kind of interaction that I’m looking for.”


The cost? About $1, 000 for the eight-day stay. “It’s a lot of money when I think about it, ” he said. “But it’s a certain type of expense that I’ll pay for.”

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The lobby at Olde Towne Pet Resort in Rockville, the spa’s third location in the Washington area. It can accommodate about 200 dogs.
Credit
Justin T. Gellerson for The New York Times

If people are splurging on a relaxing resort vacation for themselves this summer, then why not do the same for their dog or cat? While most people are fine sending Fido or Fifi to the neighborhood kennel, others are choosing high-end pet hotels and spas that aim to match the service and amenities of a Ritz-Carlton or Four Seasons. For the four-legged set, that degree of luxury is very hands — or paws — on.

“We do a very intensive interview with people so we understand their dogs and what they need, ” said Leah Fried Sedwick, the owner of Olde Towne Pet Resort, where Dr. Clemson’s dog stays. “We have dog swimming, an indoor track, cardio-joggers for dogs. We have an agility field that may look like serious playground equipment. We’ll cater to whatever their meal interests are. We do massages if you have an older dog.”

Amenities can be added à la carte. For $40, a dog can have a “water workout and lap swim.” The more strenuous Iron Dog workout — jog, swim and field play — costs $80. A sports massage afterward is $35. Photos for owners are $10, for four pictures.

The cost for dogs to be fluffed and powdered varies by their size and weight. But there are extras here, too, like a blueberry facial, mud bath treatment ( to ), “pawicure” (, though nail polish is an additional ) and “ear cleaning and hand-plucking of the hair”.

Ms. Sedwick recently opened a third resort in the Washington area to keep up with demand. The location, in Rockville, Md., cost $9 million to build, from buying the land to developing the site, and can accommodate about 200 dogs.

One of the biggest criteria for these hotels is a high-end air filtration system so there is no smell.

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Regina Moye, a staff member at Olde Towne Pet Resort, reading to a group of dogs in the resort’s Villa Suite.
Credit
Justin T. Gellerson for The New York Times

All of this may seem a bit much, if not for Americans’ penchant to pamper their pets. Last year, Americans spent nearly $6 billion on pet grooming and boarding, which is separate from the nearly $16 billion they spent on veterinarian care, according to the American Pet Products Association. The trade group projects that the number will grow by some $350 million in 2017.


It’s not always about the extra walks, snuggle time and massages. Sometimes it’s a room with a view, a television tuned to Animal Planet and a camera so pet parents can keep tabs on their fur friends.

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