Pet Palace Hotels

By on 9 July, 2015 in Kate and Stephen, Pets with 0 Comments

IMG_4096We wish that we could stay in Montgomery for Independence Day, but each year there’s a compelling reason to use our vacation time to travel. This Fourth of July weekend we decamped to Panama City Beach to visit family. Although she’s a great travel companion, for this trip, our dog wasn’t going with us. So we thought we’d experiment with a new boarding facility. Usually, for a short trip, we’ll board her at our beloved vet (Montgomery Veterinary Associates). This time, we wanted to try something new — because occasionally when we go for longer trips we want a place for her to run about with other dogs. Montgomery has long lacked a dog-dedicated boarding facility of the kind available in Birmingham – a place where dogs can play inside and out with large rooms, and a sprawling yard.

A friend of ours had tipped us off to a new place in Pike Road called Pet Palace Hotels. We figured we’d try it out on this short trip, thinking that when we’re lucky enough to have a longer adventure, it might be a good fit for our active, large dog to get some good exercise and attention. It’s easy enough to find (basically, take Vaughn out and turn left). The outside looks pretty unremarkable, but it’s a whole different story on the inside. The staff were welcoming and attentive to us and our curious dog. We filled out our paperwork (they’d already called the vet to get the dog’s shot records – a nice touch) and got a tour before we settled the dog into her “suite.”

We were lucky to be dropping our dog off around lunch time, when the dogs were locked up in their respective rooms. This made it easy to walk around for the tour without having 60 dogs swarming around our feet.

It’s a really lovely facility. Our pictures really don’t really do it justice, mostly because we had an excited dog dragging us about, smelling every square inch of the place. There’s a big indoor area for play as well as a spacious, fenced outdoor zone. Because they offer “day care” for local pets as well as boarding, there are different kinds of cages. When you make a reservation, you can choose different sized rooms. We selected a 5×5 suite, which came with a TV and a bed. We’re not sure our dog wanted to have a television on, but we’re also not sure that she minded. She is more reserved with her opinions about TV than her owners.

Everything was exceptionally clean. We’ve visited a lot of boarding facilities over the years (and across the country), and you can really tell a lot about the smell of a place when you walk around. The Pet Palace smells like dogs, sure, but not much else. That means that an attentive staff is there to clean up after the inevitable acts of nature that occur.

Talking to the staff, it was clear that they really loved dogs – and every dog we saw seemed happy and relaxed. A good sign! We felt good about leaving her there, and even better when we picked her up. She was just the right combination of relaxed and excited. We were pleased to note that they seemed to have followed feeding instructions to the letter. Our dog has food allergies, so we are little more specific than the average pet owner about food. We bring our own insanely-priced salmon-based pellets, and were happy with the staff’s precision and attention to detail. We were hoping to see a picture of her on their Facebook page (they seem to post there often, and have a lot of fans – another good sign), but maybe because it was a holiday weekend, we didn’t see one.

There’s a big demand for a place like this in Montgomery. Even though it’s way off in Pike Road, we’d use it again – especially for a longer trip. They offer grooming and other services, too – it’s always nice to bring home a clean dog after a few days of outdoor play with new friends.

Kate and Stephen are Midtown residents with two cats, a dog, ten fish, a garden, an old house and a sense of adventure. They write about life in Midtown here and about life in Montgomery at their blog Lost in Montgomery.

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