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Tuesday, Aug 9, 2022
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Dogs Deluxe

 As owners of pandemic puppies approach their third year with their pets, they are turning to daycare, training and overnight boarding services in the Valley region. Some luxury providers are seeing surges in business for puppy parties, playtime services and overnight stays in hotel-style suites, complete with human-size beds and televisions. 

“Everybody got what we call a pandemic puppy. And then it was Christmas. So we’re going to be having our Christmas puppy rush coming up now,” Diego Halac, owner of the Sherman Oaks franchise location of Zoom Room. “We are –  knock on wood – super, super busy. We are actually the busiest store in the chain of 30-plus stores now.”

The Zoom Room offers classroom style and private obedience and agility lessons, as well as socialization time and private pet events, including birthday parties. It offers 12 classes for $349 and an annual pass of up to 20 classes for $549. Business has been so consistent, said Halac, he’s looking to open a second location in the Burbank area.

“We have amazing clients,” Halac said. “Just about everybody who comes here are very responsible dog parents.”

In 2020, U.S. pet owners spent nearly $104 billion on their animals, according to the latest available data from the American Pet Products Association. Services like grooming, training and boarding accounted for an estimated $8.1 billion of the total spending, with the average owners estimating they spend roughly $228 on boarding each year. Some hotel-style accommodations, such as Van Nuys-based SoBe Happy Dog BnB, offer pet-sized couches and cots for overnight stays, priced at $61 per night for a single dog. 

Penthouse package

In the Valley region, at least some are opting for more luxurious choices for thier animals. 

“All of our suites minimum are 9 feet by 4 feet and that’s just for your basic suite and then it goes up from there. We have sensational suites and those come with a twin-size memory foam mattress bed,” Elisabeth King, co-owner of the Encino and Hollywood locations of D Pet Hotels, said. “Then the next size is an Uber which is a queen bed and then we have our penthouse, which is a king bed and somebody actually sleeps in the bed with your dog in the penthouse, and we get custom food from down the street. Netflix and chill session dog massage, free grooming. It’s the works so it’s definitely a high-end hotel even with your basic suite.” 

A basic room at D Pet Hotels is $79 a night and includes a full day of care. Uber suites are $129 per night and the penthouse is $400. While the business caters to some celebrity clientele, King said it serves a typical Los Angeles pet parent who thinks quality pet care is worth the price tag. Over the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays, the 72-room location was booked so full they had to turn people away.

“Regardless of what you can and can’t afford, people always splurge on their dogs, sometimes more so than their children,” King said.

Katherine Tangalakis-Lippert
Katherine Tangalakis-Lippert
Katherine Tangalakis-Lippert is a Los Angeles-based reporter covering retail, hospitality and philanthropy for the San Fernando Valley Business Journal. In addition to her current beat, she is particularly interested in criminal justice topics, health and science stories and investigative journalism. She received her AA in Humanities from Moorpark College in 2016, her BA in Communication from Cal Lutheran University in 2019 and followed it up with a MA in Specialized Journalism from USC in the summer of 2020. Through her work, Katherine aspires to help strengthen the fragile trust between members of the media and the public.
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