LifeStyles

Canine Couture

The ultimate treatments for your pampered pet.

The ultimate treatments for your pampered pet.

A cherished pet truly is a member of the family. This season, give your favorite four-legged friend some TLC at one of San Diego’s premier pet spas. If you would like to go a step further for Fido, treat you and your dog to a pet-friendly vacation-a fun and easy way to salute the end of the summer together.

Not just for humans anymore, full-service salons are now catering solely to canines. Canine day spas offer a range of salon treatments for your four-legged friend that rival offerings at people-only day spas. A session at the canine spa can range from a half to a full day, and will include playtime, exercise, feedings, and a napDog Grooming for your pet. All of this activity will be followed by a professional shampoo and styling by a licensed groomer. When you arrive to pick up your dog, he will be a completely rejuvenated animal.

Most dog spas also offer a self-service option for owners with ultra-finicky pets. Self-service tubs are a wonderful way to keep your high-end bathroom flea-free while giving your animal the lovingly personal attention they crave. Raised tubs and professional spa products make giving your dog a bath quick and easy for both pet and owner. Medicated baths, nail “pawlish” and special treatments like facials are common at luxury pet spas and can be applied by the salon staff after a self-service bath treatment.

To complete the ultimate day of pampering for your pet, consider taking him to Healing Hands for a canine massage. San Diego’s Healing Hands offers a full range of canine massage therapy the likes of which is usually seen at human-only Chinese medicinal centers. According to owner and Registered Nurse Ann Yerevanian, massage therapy can aid with rehabilitation for injured animals and can even provide relaxation for dogs with behavioral issues. Canine massage is most effective for performance or agility dogs, olderDogs With Bags dogs with hip and joint problems, and animals recovering from surgery, but Yerevanian adds, “Really all dogs should come.” Healing Hands massages range from 30 to 60-minute sessions, and house calls can be made by appointment. For more information, visit her website at

HealingHandsCanineMassage.com.

For San Diegans, taking a day trip with your dog is made effortless with the proximity of “dog beaches” around the county. From Del Mar to Ocean Beach, dog owners can relax while taking their pet off the leash at these picturesque shoreline dog parks. Want to take a road trip with your dog? Southern California hotels are beginning to offer rooms to dog lovers who long to take a vacation but dread leaving their pet at home.

Especially in the heart of Los Angeles, where celebrities have made small dogs the accessory du jour, many of the most sought-after room reservations are now pet-friendly. At the Peninsula Beverly Hills, for example, there is no need to call ahead to warn the staff that you will be bringing your four-legged companion. The concierge does request, though, that you provide them with the name and breed of your animal at check-in so that they may also serve to personalize your pet’s stay. Chateau Marmont, the premier Hollywood hidingDog at the Beach place, provides a food dish and treats for your furry friend, regardless if he is a Yorkshire Terrier or a Great Dane. They only ask for a non-refundable $100 deposit and that you sign a waiver to cover any dog-related mishaps during your stay.

From L.A., travel further north to California’s celebrated Napa Valley, famous for its grapes … and its dog-friendly wineries. Dutch Henry and Mumm, both in Napa, and the Sebastiani Winery in Sonoma, are some of the area’s premier vintners to open their tasting rooms to wine enthusiasts of both the two and four-legged varieties. The wine region is also a host to pet-friendly bed and breakfasts, quaint historical inns, and lavish winery accommodations for both you and your dog to enjoy.

Packing for a trip with your pet is just as important as booking the right accommodations. With the frighteningly recent recall of major pet food brands, optimal nutrition for your dog has never been more imperative. Luckily for San Diegans, there is a local company committed to providing healthy food for your pet. The Honest Kitchen is the creator of dehydrated raw pet foods that are made from 100% human-grade ingredients. This means that The Honest Kitchen spares no expense when cooking up delicious dog and cat food in an FDA-approved Southern California facility. The company uses organic grains and hormone-free meats but is careful to leave out any wheat, corn, soy or rice (common allergens for dogs).

The Honest Kitchen’s food is dehydrated before packaging which makes it easily portable, especially when purchased in the 4-oz. travel size. Typical bags come in the 10-pound variety and yield 43 pounds of fresh food when reconstituted. Just add one cup of warm water when your dog is ready to eat, and watch howDog Chilling quickly they’ll beg for a second helping. If your boutique pet store is not yet a retailer for their products, simply order their wholesome foodstuffs online at TheHonestKitchen.com.

Longing to get out of California and take your pet further abroad? Plan ahead for international travel as foreign countries require strict paperwork and vaccination records for your traveling companion. Most European Union countries will ask for a recent Veterinary Certificate including a vaccination record including the animal’s microchip information. When traveling to Asia, or just when expecting a longer stay abroad, a one to six-month quarantine of your dog may be required at your destination.

Wherever you take your pampered pet this summer, do not leave home without their ultimate accessory (and ultimate peace of mind for you, the owner) – their dog collar. Coach’s signature fabric, Louis Vuitton’s fine goatskin, or even a custom-designed Swarovski crystal-studded collar will make your pet one haute dog.

No vacation with your pet is complete without the latest doggy accessories from some of the world’s top designers. Juicy Couture is a leader in the pet products market with a full line of clothing and carriers,Paw Prints including the signature Pet Satchel and rhinestone t-shirts available at fine retailers such as Bloomingdales. Want to make even more of a statement? Visit a local Louis Vuitton store to pick up the simply titled Dog Bag. Available in small and large (the large measures 20x13x9″), the bags are distinctively marked with the French designer’s signature monogram. Starting at $1620, yours is truly a pampered pet when toted around town in one of these. sdp

By Kelly Cochran

San Diego Premier Vol 14 August 2007

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