Going on vacation is supposed to be fun and stress-free: This truism should apply to pet owners, as well. Reality is, there’s an added task—and sometimes stressor—when it comes to our fur babies: It can be hard to find the right place to send those beloved pets, whether for the night or an extended period of time. We compiled a list of great boarding options in the St. Croix Valley that will take care and love your pets almost as much as you do.
Canine Country Care
Canine Country Care is the epitome of a wonderful family-run business. What makes it so wonderful is the personal touch, as the Heintz family runs their business out of their farm in Stillwater. On average, you can board one dog for about $25 and two dogs in the same kennel for $45. However, it can be a bit more to board a puppy or a senior dog, so make sure to check before boarding. When you do decide to board with Canine Country Care, don’t forget to make an appointment to drop off your pet. The Heintzes’ property is huge and has more than enough space to run around.
What makes them unique: “I’m not staffed 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.—I’m the only person,” owner Yvette Heintz says with pride. “I interact with the animals first thing when I wake up, and it’s the last thing I do before I go to bed.”
Paws and Claws Pet Resort
Paws and Claws Pet Resort began in 1997 as a pet-grooming salon but expanded to add a daycare, overnights and training in 2005. Whether you’re looking to lodge your pet for the holidays or during a summer vacation, Paws and Claws Pet Resort is open 365 days a year. The facility has a large variety of options for lodging to choose from, including basic condo, rustic cabin, bunkhouse or luxury villa. Owner Tari Nestrud supplies a lot of toys for the dogs to play with, and your pet will get the opportunity to socialize with a variety of dogs. While she has webcams that allow you to watch your pets during the day, Paws and Claws takes it one step further, sending updates throughout the day on how your dog is doing through whichever medium works best for you—videos, texts or emails.
What makes them unique: “We offer excellent, interactive care, and send pets home happy and tired from camp,” Nestrud says. “Pets get to play and interact with other dogs and people all day, and retire to their own space to eat, sleep and rest to do it all again the next day.”
Family-owned since opening in 2014, K-9 Playtime has won the Hudson Small Business Award for the past two years. The team offers overnight boarding seven days a week for $36.50 per dog per night, with a multi-dog discount for dogs who are from the same family or household. If you’re going away on a long vacation, K-9 Playtime has no limit for how long your pet can stay. K-9 Playtime has two yards to entertain the dogs, which gives your pet tons of space to run around. Along with all that fun, they also have a large paved area used to throw pool parties during the summer.
What makes them unique: “A dog boarding at K-9 Playtime will only spend time in a kennel when he or she is eating,” says office manager Bekah Boddy. “At owner’s request, we gladly allow family dogs to stay together overnight; this gives some dogs a great sense of security while being away from home.”
Animal Inn Pet Resort and Spa
Location: Lake Elmo, Minn.
Animal Inn Pet Resort and Spa has been open since 1966 and expanded in 2000 with another building to create the suites. The price of boarding usually depends on the time of year and the breed of dog, but it can be as low as $29.95. With added bonuses like extra playtime, walks, gourmet treats and bedtime stories, your dog is never going to want to leave. Animal Pet Resort and Spa also offers cat boarding for your other furry friends and grooming for an added price—think: mud baths, hot-oil treatments, blueberry facials, and nose and paw moisturizing. Animal Inn Pet Resort and Spa wants your pets to enjoy their vacation just as much as you’re enjoying yours.
What makes them unique: “We’re family-owned and operated. We currently have three generations who work here,” co-owner Dawn Larson says. “We are also one of the very few that have 24-hour onsite care, so someone is on the premises 24 hours a day. We’ve been here since the ’60s, and we’re one of just two in the entire Twin Cities metro area that can say that.”
Under One Woof Daycare
Location: Oak Park Heights, Minn.
Open seven days a week, Under One Woof allows your dog to participate in fun activities like open play with other dogs. Pooches interact often with the staff and can be found playing fetch, with bubbles and more. Cost is $42 for a 24-hour period; an added $5 will get your dog upgraded services like a Kong treat with peanut butter, Frosty Paws ice cream or a puzzle toy filled with a treat. Under One Woof doesn’t have a limit on how long the dogs stay, and if you’re missing your best friend, the facility hosts four live webcams allowing you to see your dog enjoying their stay. You can pull up the webcams on your phone, tablet or computer. Under One Woof Daycare has been serving the Valley since 2007.
What makes them unique: “We try to keep as many things as possible included in the price of the stay. You want your dog to get an extra nap or an extra walk during the day—no problem. We won’t nickel-and-dime you for all these extra little things,” owner Kristi Sonnee says. “We also have wide-open drop-off and pick-up times; you can come anytime between 6 a.m. and 8 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sundays.”
More Furry Friends
If you’re a cat lover looking to get away for a while, Animal Inn and Pet Resort also offers cat boarding. Prices vary but start as low as $23.95 per cat. Your feline friends will be provided with Sherpa-pad bedding and a fabric igloo-style bed. If you’re worried about dogs interrupting your cat’s fun and peaceful stay, Animal Inn and Pet Resort makes sure to keep them separate. Your cats will enjoy activities like play sessions with a laser light, feather or teaser toy, and yummy treats made just for cats.