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When I scroll through the vibrant social media posts for pet resorts in Arkansas, I find photo after photo of pampered dogs who are living a far better life than I am. Dogs who lounge, dogs who play, dogs who nap: these pets are putting forth their best, most authentic selves.
It’s hard not to be a little jealous.
Pet resorts embody the idea of quality pet care that goes beyond the traditional idea of doggie daycare. Rather than being restricted to small cages for hours in kennels, dogs are provided with what they need most: lots of outdoor play and humans who love them. Owners take their pets to these facilities for the love and individual attention provided by staff who accommodate canines in a variety of ways. Pet resorts have couches and soft furniture to replicate a feeling of home. Dogs can experience baths, grooming services and even private rooms.
Conway, Jonesboro and Rogers
Hounds’ Hideaway says they have everything needed to “pamper your pup.” They mean it. Owner and head human over the business, Conway resident Lacey Vance, was a self-proclaimed “animal rescue nut” who researched the way to provide the best care for dogs while their pet parent was away. With the help of business students at Arkansas State University, she found that her community could indeed benefit from the pet care services she wanted to offer.
Her Conway location opened its doors in December 2015.
Vance says her pet resorts stand out from traditional kennels mostly because they provide consistent, daily opportunities for dogs to socialize and spend their days playing. If the dogs’ behavior upon entering is any indication, they are certainly eager.
“My staff actually laughs at me because I refuse to paint over the scratches in the paint on our front door, but I love seeing that evidence every day of dogs so excited to be here that they’re pawing at the door to get in!”
When Russellville resident Jorista Garrie brings her dog, Shaka, to the facility in Conway, she does so with peace of mind. She regularly travels over an hour to take the yellow Lab for care and says it’s the only place she’ll use.
“The special attention that each dog gets from the moment they are greeted until the time pet parents get a report card on how they did points to the dedication of the pack leaders. The staff also invests in workshops and other social events aimed at improving human-dog relationships.”
Jake Scoggins works at the Hounds’ Hideaway in Rogers and took me on a tour to the play areas and private suites. It is as clean and organized a building as I’ve seen for pets or humans. With cameras, door locks and an attentive staff, it’s clear they take the security and care of dogs seriously. I peeked at the spacious yard where multiple dogs roamed and ran under human supervision; a few came to the fence for their due attention and received acknowledgment from Scoggins, who greeted each one by name.
“We provide mental and physical stimulation for dogs while they are with us. They are outside most of the day.”
The pet care resort also provides a list of pampering services that include baths and privacy. Each month, Hounds’ Hideaway sets up a new theme in their photoshoot room resulting in expertly-staged backdrops and vibrant pictures of beloved pets.
Photo courtesy Hounds’ Hideaway
Emily McClain, operations manager at the Rogers location, emphasizes the individual attention they offer to dogs. In addition to a section of organized leashes and cubby spaces for each dog’s belongings, they are meticulous about safety with food and any medical or allergy-related concerns. They also work with dogs who need a little extra attention to stay healthy and play well with others.
“We work with dogs on a variety of behavioral and feeding issues. Everyone here is all-in on caring for these dogs. We love them like their parents do.”
In central Arkansas, the staff at Chenal Pet Palace provide daycare and boarding services for both dogs and cats. They have individual, private rooms for dogs staying for daycare or while boarding. Services include grooming, nail clipping, and toothbrushing.
One of the managers confirms that the main difference from regular kennels is that the animals are not confined to pens or cages throughout the day, but given space to move and enjoy their time.
This pet resort displays their excitement and love for pets by offering rooms with themes that include Disney, Sponge Bob and yes: a Razorback Room. All rooms come complete with televisions so the dogs can relax and watch “Animal Planet” in privacy or with family pets from the same household.
Cat condos are available for feline friends. Chenal Pet Palace boasts one of the best cat play areas where the animals can frolic on bridges, take naps in their beds and play with other cats.
Chenal is the original location of this locally-owned business, with their sister location in Maumelle. The website for Arkansas Pet Resort shows dog tails wagging and puppies rolling on their backs as well as options for private suites and deluxe bathing options. The view at the cat condo comes complete with apparatus for climbing and plenty of material for scratching.
Little Rock and Fayetteville
“No pup deserves to be stuck in a kennel all day.” This pet resort joins in with the theme of allowing a true pet-friendly space.
According to its website, Hounds’ Lounge has four locations in Arkansas. The business has received repeated awards from the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette and CitiScapes magazine, a tribute from happy customers.
Pet parents interested in this venue’s services can take a look at options for a spa day for their pup that include baths, full-service grooming, blueberry facials and vanilla and oatmeal “pawdicures.” Boarded animals who stay at Hounds’ Lounge do so in luxury suites with raised beds and turn-down service.
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