At Paws and Claws Pet Resort, dogs are treated not as pets, owner Tari Nestrud says, but as family. Open for 20 years, the facility offers a wide variety of services, including grooming and a pet spa, lodging, private and in-home training, and dog day camp.
Nestrud became owner of the doggie spa in 2005 and transformed the then-grooming salon into a community where dogs can play, socialize and learn, all while their owners are at work. “I would see dogs go to grooming and sit there all day, and I thought, ‘There must be a better way,’” she says.
The Hudson facility sees an average of 50 to 60 dogs a day, most of whom are regulars. The idea of a dog day camp might seem strange to some, but Nestrud believes the services she offers are similar to a child’s day care or playground. “As dogs become more like family members, you can’t leave them alone all day. You wouldn’t do that to your kids,” she says. In fact, in the past decade, similar facilities have cropped up throughout the metro area, proving Nestrud was on the cutting edge of a big idea.
As for the owners, they love that their dogs get to play and are well-exercised when they are picked up. Some report transformations in their pet’s behavior, because of the reinforced manners and rules. Socializing at Paws and Claws also helps dogs with anxiety and fear issues.
In the future, Nestrud hopes to include more enrichment activities for her furry clients and training sessions at the resort. In the meantime, she continues to share her passion for bettering the lives of dogs—and even brings her own pooches, Po, a Heeler-cross, and Grit, a red Heeler, every day.