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.
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.