Give your furry friends a staycation while you’re out for the summer.
Before traveling for the summer, the dreaded question occurs: what do we do with our pets? It’s a common scenario—many of us find ourselves lounging on the beach, drink in hand, trying to relax while secretly worrying about our pets’ well-being. But fret no more. Olde Towne Pet Resort is here to take the stress out of pet boarding, and give your animals some rest and relaxation of their own. I stopped by the expansive Rockville location to check it out for myself.
“There was no good place for me to put my dog where I felt safe,” said Leah Fried Sedwick who opened her first location in Springfield in 2002, with the help of her late father, Mark Fried. “My family was in real estate development and had built a hotel for people, so I thought, why not a hotel for dogs? I’m always traveling and there’s no place to keep them, no safe place that I would trust.”
Olde Towne Pet Resort has quickly earned the trust of pet owners. It now boasts three locations, including the sleek, $9 million, 22,000 square foot Rockville oasis that more closely resembles an upscale hotel than a kennel. The posh havens offer grooming services (including pooch pedicures and blueberry facials), swim classes, training, day camp and boarding options at surprisingly affordable rates.
Remarkably, I detected no pet odors in the air once entering the facility, and no sounds of dogs barking. The light splashing of an eager pooch taking a swim lesson was the only noise I heard. It was immediately peaceful, for pet owners and (I imagine) for their four-legged friends as well. This is thanks to sound proofing and an advanced air filtration system that brings in fresh air every three to four minutes.
Pets are kept active, with dogs getting a minimum of three walks a day. Fitness activities include a 20-foot-long indoor heated lap pool, DogPacer treadmills and pilates for older dogs who need to stretch their joints. Fitness routines are adapted for the needs of each pet, just like every aspect of an animal’s stay at Olde Towne Pet Resort. With a dog-to-staff ratio of “roughly ten staff to one dog,” Fried Sedwick says pets are able to get the “attention that they need and deserve. Plus, it’s kind of dangerous without it.”
Each luxury suite has a flat-screen TV that’s usually playing Animal Planet unless another preference is expressed. Report cards are written up daily, with every detail of a pet’s stay outlined including what they ate, behavior nuances, etc. Anxious parents can also follow along on webcams (“Basically it’s Puppy Bowl every day,” Fried Sedwick quips).
“People worry about separation anxiety, but the truth is a lot of the dogs run to come back here, especially the ones that play in day camp,” Fried Sedwick says. They love the exercise and are probably eager to see their friends again. Pets need community as much as people do, and with the resorts’ emphasis on play dates (yes, even cats enjoy them) and individualized attention, canine community and feline friendships are forged.
There is no reason dogs and cats should not be treated with the care that human children are.
“Science proves with each new report what we all know about what a dog and a cat can bring to your life,” Fried Sedwick says, as she stops to pet a perfectly groomed pooch in her resort’s spotless lobby. “It’s a pretty happy place here.”