Hotel for Dogs – This five-paw resort is a bark above the rest.

By Jennifer Kent  |  August 25, 2009 3:59PM

Montreal natives, Suzie and Molly, are all about haute couture. Sporting designer sequinned accessories and expensive French pedicures, these two attractive blonds have made New Brunswick their summer vacation destination for the past five years. But don’t expect these two French divas to go without the finer things in life, even if they are on vacation. And what’s a vacation without a stint in a luxury spa?

Welcome to the 4 Paws Pet Resort, situated just outside Moncton, New Brunswick, and a favourite retreat of Poodle sisters, Molly and Suzie. The girls come here every summer for some R&R while their human counterparts tour the Maritimes. 4 Paws has everything you’d expect in a luxury resort: manicured grounds, lush, ornamental gardens (complete with fire hydrant), recreation areas, pools, a spa and grooming salon, climate controlled facilities (including heated floors for winter vacations), a full-service staff, state-of-the-art security and, of course, fine dining. Founded six years ago by husband and wife team Dave and Joanne LeBlanc, 4 Paws Pet Resort takes pet care and boarding to a whole new level.

“We’re probably the only place like it in Eastern Canada, if not the country,” says Dave. The facility comprises 4800 sq. feet situated on four and a half country acres. The building is equipped with an air exchange system and climate control, ensuring that canine clients are comfortable at all times, in all seasons.There are four spacious outdoor play areas where doggy guests are invited to mingle and socialize, as well as on-site grooming facilities. Video cameras monitor each outdoor play area so all the dogs are visible at all times from the reception area.

The common outdoor play areas are something new and relatively uncommon in the dog-kennelling industry. (Of course, 4 Paws can hardly be called a “kennel.”) While most dog boarding facilities keep individual animals separated and confined to one small run or kennel, 4 Paws permits what Dave calls “freeplay” during which time the dogs are allowed out together to romp and play. (The small dogs, do, however, have their own area.) Freeplay in a pack environment, says Dave, dramatically decreases the potential for loneliness and boredom.

“Out of an eight-hour day, they might be outside playing for six of those hours, depending on the weather and temperature. They’re out more than they’re in, which reduces stress,” says Dave. By the end of the day, Fido is worn out and more than happy to settle down for some sleep.

Are there any dogs that aren’t welcome at this posh resort?

“We don’t breed discriminate,” Dave answers firmly. “Some of our best behaved clients have been pit bulls and Rottweilers.”

“Even the geriatrics are taken care of here,” adds his wife, Joanne, pointing out Gizmo, a happy but toothless 10-year-old Pomeranian tottering around the reception area.

But as anyone in the service industry knows, catering to needs of a high-class clientele is not without its challenges; and Dave and Joanne admit that they do get some high-maintenance guests from time to time. Take, for example, the Hairless Chinese Crested who arrived with a full wardrobe of outfits, including striped pyjamas. Or the Italian owner who stipulated that her pooch dine on spaghetti in her absence. Another owner provided individual portions of quiche to be fed to his dog.

And the French poodle sisters?

“Carrot cake dessert every night at bed-time,” confides Dave, with a smile.Room to Roam: 4 Paws Pet Resort sits on 4.5 acres of rural woodland just outside Moncton, New Brunswick. The entire facility is secured by fencing, and the four outdoor play areas encompass over two acres of land, shaded by trees.

Ambiance: Cleanliness is next to dogliness at the 4 Paws Pet Resort. The facility employs a rigorous sanitization program, ensuring that everything is spotless. The facilities are bright, airy and climate controlled. Beds, bowls and toys are provided, with music in the suites.

Guests: The pampered pooches who stay here come in every imaginable shape and size, from designer dogs to “All-Canadian” classics. But a wagging tail and a lolling grin seems to be the common denominator of all the 4 Paw’s canine guests.

Food & Drink: Water bowls abound in every area of the resort ensuring that the canine clientele never goes thirsty. Breakfast is served promptly at 7:30, with a snack at noon and supper at 5:00. Like any quality hotel, the 4 Paws Pet Resort happily accommodates the unique dietary needs of each guest. Owners, however, are asked to bring their pet’s preferred food when they come.

At Your Service: The 4 Paws Pet Resort is well-staffed with a full complement of experienced animal lovers, certified in various fields of the animal care industry.

Do Not Disturb: The bright 4’x8′ rooms leave lots of room for stretching out and are furnished with elevated beds and heated ceramic floors.

Extras: The on-site La Spaw salon offers one-on-one grooming with a range of high-quality shampoos, conditioners, flea and skunk treatments and special treatments for those with dry skin and shedding issues. A customized walk-in shower reduces stress during the bathing process, making it easier to bathe and pamper your pooch. Belly rubs and ear scratches are complimentary.

The Draw: Most dog owners hate leaving their pets behind when they have to travel but 4 Paws Pet Resort gives owners the added peace of mind of knowing that not only are their dogs safe, secure and well-cared for… but that they are also having fun on their own “doggy vacation.”

Courtesy of AOL Travel
Hotel for Dogs
Posted: 08/25/09 3:59PM