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If you’re a dog owner reading this, we’re guessing you consider your pup to be a valued member of your family. So why not treat your furry friend to the finer things in life like a day at the spa, a personalized photo shoot with a professional pet photographer or a stay at a luxury boarding facility?
Extreme Hound Makeover
Fido and Stitch, a one-stop shop for pet supplies and grooming services, is located in downtown Grand Rapids. Situated next to CKO Kickboxing, Fido and Stitch offers everything you need to make your pup feel happy and loved. Owner Alli McDonough and her team curate each dog grooming experience to the pet owner’s request and do their best to create a calming environment, which is especially great if your pup suffers from haircut anxiety.
Located on Grand Rapids’ Southeast side, Dirty Hairy’s Pet Spa is a full-service dog groomer run by owner Jenny Landrum and her experienced and compassionate staff. They treat each dog as if it’s their own and make certain that your pet’s health and comfort are their top priority.
If you’re on the Lakeshore, stop by Decadent Dogs in Holland for all the fun stuff. Roxanne Leder and her welcoming staff can help you find just about anything you might need for your favorite K-9 including collars, toys, food and even breed-specific gifts. They have a second shop in South Haven where you can drop by and pick up a new harness, leash or a special treat to reward your best friend for being good in the car.
Any time your pet gets to leave the house, it’s an adventure. But leaving the house for an adventure where he gets to be the center of attention is a dream come true. Endless treats and squeaky toys! Pets are as much family as anyone else and a forever portrait through pet photography is something you will cherish in your home for a lifetime.
“Plan on bringing extra patience for your pet’s new modeling gig,” said Sara Lowthian of Buddies Pet Photography. Buddies focuses on capturing your pet’s life behind the lens. And that isn’t just dogs. Geckos, lizards, cats and pigs — any animal is worthy of a photo shoot! But you’ll need to do your best to keep them relaxed. “I like to photograph pets wherever they are comfortable, whether that is at your home or their favorite park,” Lowthian said. Pro tip: Wherever you go, bring their favorite toys to keep them alert and interested so each photo shows off their best personality.
Another excellent pet photography option is Green Dog Photography. Owner Nidal Kanaan captures candid moments that transform into stunning images that you will cherish forever. Nidal’s mission, though, is to use his photography to help shelter dogs find forever homes. Volunteering his time at local shelters, Nidal photographs animals so the organizations can post them to social media in hopes of catching the eye of a potential match. To date, proceeds from Nidal’s 2017 ArtPrize entry, Nike, have helped sponsor more than two-dozen adoptions.
If you’re like many dog owners, you work outside of the home for at least eight hours a day. Rather than caging your dog during all that time, consider taking your pup to a dog daycare center. Not only is it a great way to socialize your dog, it’s also a great way for high-energy dogs to get their wiggles out!
Whiskers Resort & Pet Spa on Grand Rapids’ Southeast side is where dogs can enjoy a day of luxury. Doggie Daycare at Whiskers includes ample time for indoor and outdoor play as well as the option for in-room dining. Whiskers can accommodate almost any temperament and offers group or individual play. Going out of town? Look no further than Whiskers for a luxury canine (or feline!) boarding experience. Your dog will feel right at home in Whiskers’ Penthouse, a 10’ x 10’ room complete with a daybed, couch and a flat-screen TV. Other services include a pet salon and spa and dog training at Whiskers University.
Have an older dog that might need daycare at a slower pace? Be sure to check out The Dog Dive in Kalamazoo, where your senior dog will be pampered with age and physically appropriate activities in the Grey Paws program. Activities include individualized walks, games for stimulating mental agility and can even include time with a certified massage therapist. Dogs of any age can also take part in swimming at The Dog Dive. Lessons, free play and WaterWork hydrotherapy are all offered in a warm water pool specifically for canine enjoyment.
Classes with the experienced and passionate trainers at TipTopTails Dog Training, located at The Knoll in Kalamazoo, are a great way for your newly adopted pup to learn good manners and obedience through positive reinforcement. The trainers are seasoned pros that can assist you in showing your new pet how to behave all while having tons of fun.
Check out TipTopTails’ dog sports classes including agility, nosework and disc (Frisbee). Small group classes offer plenty of individual attention, but if you prefer to train in the comfort of your home, one-on-one coaching is available as well.
While at The Knoll, drop off your pup at Camp Fido Dog Daycare on those days you’d rather not leave your best friend alone for hours on end. Don’t forget, your dog can have a social life too! And be sure to stop in to The Thirsty Hound, a dog-friendly tavern that welcomes your well-behaved K-9 companion. Before you leave, let your dog run free in Meadow Run Dog Park’s 26-acres of lush, rolling meadows.