Amazing and Lavish Ways Pets Are Pampered
Being a well-loved pet is a pretty good gig: Life is a parade of playing, eating, sleeping and cuddling — without any pesky work to interrupt.
Add upscale pampering to the mix, and that cushy reality becomes like an episode of Lifestyles of the Rich & Furry. Of course, before indulging your pet, check with your vet to make sure that any luxury foods, treatments or wearables aren’t potentially harmful for your pet and if your pet is going to be around other animals it is especially important to keep him up-to-date on vaccinations.
And read on for some of the more interesting deluxe offerings available right now.
A Trend Years in the Making
“Some people may think Paris Hilton started this whole pampered pooch thing, but it predates her,” says Kelly E. Carter, author of The Dog Lover’s Guide to Travel and founder of thejetsetpets.com. “Animal activist and actress Doris Day has co-owned pet-friendly hotel Cypress Inn in Carmel-by-the-Sea for more than 20 years. And in 1968, Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton famously rented a 120-foot yacht to house their four pooches while Burton was shooting a movie near London. This isn’t a trend; it’s here to stay.” And when health experts began emphasizing the mental and physical benefits of owning pets about two decades ago, more and more people began adopting — and pampering — their animals.
As Carter says, pets are family members. So if you have the means, why not treat them to the kind of pampering you’d want for yourself and your loved ones? “Especially for people who haven’t yet had kids or whose kids have left for college, pets become like children,” says Andrea C., general manager at luxury dog retreat D Pet Hotels Hollywood.
Doggie Day Care, Hollywood Style
All over the country, you’ll find paradise-style resorts for pets with rolling grounds for romping, but D Pet Hotels Hollywood also offers door-to-door service — and much more — while owners are at work or traveling. The pet hotel’s luxurious urban-chic vibe (reflected in details like chocolate brown silk sheets and platform beds) is like a W Hotel for the four-legged set, and “we chauffeur within 3 miles,” says Andrea C., who cites one pup who gets picked up and dropped off every day. “Our most basic car is a Honda Element, but we also offer luxury vehicles like a Lamborghini.” (Chauffeur prices start at around $30 a ride.)
The doggie resort and spa — which also has New York City and Scottsdale, Arizona, locations — offers suites (ranging from $90 to $110 a night) with twin- and queen-size beds and flat-screen TVs showing animal-themed movies such as Hotel for Dogs and 101 Dalmatians. Services include boarding, day care ($35 for six hours; $45 for longer), grooming ($35 to $95) and spa treatments like the Classic Pawdicure ($50 to $70).
Clients range from hush-hush celebrities to regular folks, many of whom have specific requests. “People come in with Gucci collars on their dogs and other expensive accessories,” Andrea C. says. One pet owner requested a pink room because the dog loved pink. “We don’t have a pink room, but honestly the suites are nicer than my bedroom at home.”
Spas for Pets
Private hot spots like New York City’s Fetch Club are also an option for those who want to drop their pets off for luxurious days and nights of exercise and pampering on a regular schedule. Offerings include a day club with lounge time and guided walking tours at $45 a day; a private night club (for socializing until midnight); a hotel with stays in the community penthouse or private suites complete with toys, room service, movie screenings, and Jax & Bones beds at $75 per night; spa treatments like aromatherapy massage (starting at $90) with add-ons like a blueberry facial ($40); and obedience education and fitness offerings, including weight training. Annual membership is $300, which includes discounts, exclusives such as VIP admission to the night club, and guaranteed space during holidays and busy times.
Pets Like Vacations, Too
If a pampered pet needs an escape from napping, eating and playing at home, the exclusive experiential website veryfirstto.com offers a two-week animal escape in Bristol, England, including everything from surfing to Reiki treatments. There’s even a session with a famed “dog-listener,” so your furry friend can work out his issues. All this can be had for just under $74,000.
On the Road and in the Air
Affluent people who want to travel with pets but who are worried about their animal’s safety on commercial aircraft often turn to private jets. But the lavishness doesn’t end there: You can hire pet-specific flight attendants and in-flight sitters. “This is, hands down, the most extravagant lifestyle option I’ve seen that can be used regularly,” Carter says. “People hire trained flight attendants to do nothing but take care of ‘pawsengers’ on board private planes.”
Sit ’n Stay Global even offers something it calls FURst Class service in the air. Flight attendants are trained in flight and animal safety, and some even study at The Corporate School of Etiquette in Long Beach, California. The company also offers pet nannies once clients have arrived at their destinations. Sit ’n Stay Global provides the specially trained flight crews beginning at $500 a day. The private jet is extra.
Jewelry, Clothing and More
Of course, a pet can hardly participate in such high-end experiences without the right wardrobe, which can range from couture clothing to jeweled collars.
Designer offerings for pooches are extensive, including lines from the likes of Roberto Cavalli and Goyard. Carter notes that Ralph Lauren recently offered an $18,000 dog carrier, and Weizhi featured a $30,000 dog collar.
But I Love Dogs Diamonds has made even more extravagant pet accessories, including a 52-carat diamond, white gold and crocodile leather necklace/collar — yours for only $3.2 million.
After flying the friendly skies, a precious pet can hardly be expected to eat common dog food. Fortunately, canine-specific room service menus are available at places such as the Towers of the Waldorf Astoria where, with the special Fido-Friendly package, pets’ meals are served on china with crisp white linens and a personal concierge can help assist with grooming and pet spa appointments, dog shopping, and the other pressing needs of a globe trotting pet.
But why be stuck eating in the room when there are restaurants that cater to canines? Carter recommends Dining Dog Cafe & Bakery in Edmonds, Washington. There, four-course meals are served on gold platters, and pets can enjoy special drinks and treats. Over the holidays, the restaurant even offered photos with Santa. In Miami, Doggie Bag Cafe has a menu geared toward pups, hosts dog parties and offers booster seats for smaller patrons.
It is, after all, a dog’s life.