Back in the day, when a family headed off on vacation, Fido either stayed with friends or checked into a bare-bones kennel with wire-mesh cages, concrete floors and three bathroom breaks a day. Nowadays, though, plenty of ritzy establishments will pamper your pooch while you're away -- often at a level of luxury that rivals your own vacation destination.
Baseline costs at some of the swankier kennels range from $30 to $70 a night, but you'll have to fork over extra if you want Spot to enjoy the perks, such as the following.
MassagesWe'd all like to think our canines will get some personal attention when they stay overnight at a kennel. After all, most dogs enjoy a good scratch behind the ears or a belly rub. But for an additional $30 -- on top of the $18-a-day base boarding rate -- your pampered pooch can get a 30-minute massage from a certified canine massage therapist at the Wag'en Tail Ranch in Valley Center, Kan.
Even better, at the Cozy Inn Pet Resort in Pittsburgh, Pa., you can choose between an all-over body massage, a Swedish massage and an athletic massage. The daily boarding rate ranges from $26 to $61, depending on the type of room and the size of your dog, and massages are an extra $48 for a full hour or $12 for a 15-minute session.
Swimming PoolsIf your pooch enjoys splashing around in a pool, you're in luck. Many boarding establishments offer some form of pool time, either one-on-one with a trainer or as a group activity with other dogs. For instance, the Countryside Kennels Pet Resort in Owings, Md., offers 20 minutes of pool time for $12, in addition to the $25 to $32 base boarding rate.
Similarly, Paws Pets Resorts, at two locations in San Clemente and Lake Forest, Calif., charges $10 for 30 minutes of pool time on top of the $45- to $60-a-day rates. If undirected water play isn't enough for your dog, you can schedule an additional session of therapeutic muscle strengthening in the Wag'en Tail Ranch's heated pool for $30.