Pampered Pets

By Mary Beth Schwartz

Families in the United States count more than 78 million dogs as official members of their clans. These canines are part of households that love to pamper their pets with designer clothing, gourmet food and treats, resort boarding with turn-down service, doggy day care, and spa treatments beyond the standard menu. Here in the Lehigh Valley, pet parents have much to choose from when it comes to pampering their pooches.

In Bethlehem, pet owners and their friends will find family-owned and operated Bone Appetit Bakery. This pet boutique features homemade, all-natural, gourmet dog treats baked on premises in flavors of peanut butter, applesauce, pumpkin, molasses, chicken, cinnamon, and beef and garlic. These healthy dog biscuits are offered in different shapes, including frosted bones, and an Easter selection of bunnies, eggs, carrots, Peeps, ducklings and puppy poppies.

They do cakes, too! “Personalized peanut butter celebration cakes can be ordered ahead of time. They are in the shape of a bone and on top is a biscuit with the dog’s name spelled out in biscuits. I also have made edible birthday cards, singing birthday cakes, get well cakes, and even a wedding cake for two dogs that were mating,” says Bone Appetit owner, Jim Hruban.

Along with baked goods, visitors will discover holistic dog food, leashes and collars, toys and treats, breed specific blankets, and doggy sweaters. There also are gift items for cats. “Our goal has been to provide beloved canine and feline friends with the world’s finest treats and accessories. Our baked dog treats are prepared in small batches and are hand cut. They are baked with love and guaranteed 100 percent satisfaction,”
Hruban says.

Over in Macungie is Cloud Nine Country Kennel, a 30-acre country estate offering lodging for dogs, cats, and other small furry and non-furry pets. According to Owner Cyndi Huff-Walters, the veterinarian-recommended company is known for its cleanliness and excellent care. They utilize a healthy air system throughout the facility, air conditioning in warmer months, and heat radiant floors in colder months. Their indoor/outdoor suites are spacious and allow the dogs to get an abundance of fresh country air.

“We are unique in that we offer a variety of pampering packages to fit every customer’s budget. From the most basic to the totally pampered, from the active puppy to the aging senior, we have something for everyone. Playtimes at Cloud Nine can be customized for each dog, and can include individual play with a staff member, group play, and/or a long nature walk around our estate,” Huff-Walters says.

Cloud Nine Country Kennel also offers gourmet treats made fresh daily, that include doggy ice cream, a mashed potato cone, and bedtime cookies. For Thanksgiving and Christmas, holiday meals and snacks are offered. For New Year’s Eve, canine guests receive a muttini to celebrate. Pooches also can take advantage of bathing and grooming services. “These services are for guests, as well as the general pet population. All baths include nail trimming, ear cleaning, a spritz of cologne, and a seasonal bandana,” Huff-Walters says.

Storytime, playtime, tuck-ins, treats, spa treatments – what else could there be? How about a limo ride! The Cloud Nine Country Kennel pet limo is available daily for pick-up and delivery. Transportation fees are determined by total mileage. There also is a Kennel Rewards Program for frequent customers.

“For 2013, we are looking to add some new activities – Friday Night Yappy Hour, Movie Night, Backyard Barbeque, a Super Bowl party, a Halloween costume parade, and pet birthday parties. We also would like to expand our daycare business to include more weekend hours,” Huff-Walters says.

Located in Zionsville is the 32-acre Queen of the Valley Farm – A Pet Resort. This full-service boarding and daycare business is strictly for the dogs. “We specialize in individual and group playtime. We believe that a tired dog is a content dog. All of our guests receive two to three hours of playtime a day, plus individual attention for walking, ball playing, cuddling, and snuggling,” says President Kathy Poole-Price.

At this exclusive dog boarding facility, guests enjoy 30 posh overnight suites. Each temperature-controlled suite has a corresponding outside patio for sunning in good weather. “We give tuck-in service before bed. The dogs sleep on raised platform beds with cuddly fleeces and bedspreads. Soft music is playing in the kennel,”
Poole-Price says.

Canines can enjoy a list of grooming needs at the spa. Advance reservations are advised for such services as massage, shampoo and condition, coat clip, teeth brushing, flea and tick treatment, breath freshening, and
toenail trim.

Training also is important at Queen of the Valley Farm – A Pet Resort. “We do training tune-ups with treats and positive reinforcement. Our dogs always are busy with mental and physical exercises. We also offer AKC Canine Good Citizen (CGC) testing and training classes – the beginning steps toward becoming a certified therapy dog. It really enforces good manners,” Poole-Price says.

Queen of the Valley Farm – A Pet Resort sponsors several community events, including Macungie’s pet fair in May, several local blood drives, and The American Cancer Society’s Bark for Life.

So the next time you drop Fido off at doggy daycare before work or the boarding facility before vacation, think of all the perks he could be enjoying. And if you still feel guilty when you pick him up, plan a trip for some special treats.

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