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Dog Days of Summer

Posted On July 2, 2022

Pet Boarding Options Offer Vacation for Your Pets


By Meredith Grace Hawcroft

Warm, sunny weather and a break in hectic school schedules make summer a prime time for many families to travel. In fact, according to the U.S. Travel Association, over 60% of Americans are planning at least one trip during summer 2022. While those vacation plans are being finalized, the four-legged members of the family must be taken into special consideration.

As you travel this summer, what do you plan to do with your pets? Perhaps take your dog on vacation with you and be forced to stop at every rest area between your house and the beach when it gets carsick? Or maybe you’ll have that unreliable neighbor kid come over to clean your cat’s litter box and replenish its food and water?

For your own convenience and peace of mind as well as the well-being of your furry friends, consider sending them on a luxurious pet vacation while you go on vacation yourself. There are numerous boarding facilities in the Columbia, SC area that offer state-of-the-art kennels, loving care, and spa-like grooming services.


Carolina Pet Resort

One highly recommended local facility is Carolina Pet Resort, a family-owned and operated small business that has been caring for animals since 2001. Carolina Pet Resort has been a member of the International Boarding and Pet Services Association or its predecessors since opening. Their slogan is “While you’re away, send your pets to play!” The resort is committed to making your pet’s stay safe and fun.

Carolina Pet Resort offers boarding for dogs, cats, other mammals, and birds as well as grooming for dogs. All dogs, unless from the same family, are kept separated to ensure their safety and to give them plenty of individualized attention. There are several half-an-acre fenced areas, which allow the dogs plenty of room to play.

Three different kennel options are available for dogs. The indoor/outdoor kennel lets the dog stay inside the building or go out to their private patio during the day. The indoor kennel provides strictly indoor accommodations. The suite option can accommodate two dogs in separate rooms sharing a TV.  

The Carolina Pet Resort cattery offers a double-decker kennel for cats with plenty of windows throughout the room, a TV, and many cat-climbing options. If the cats get along well with others, they can roam free in the room to have playtime.  

The entire facility has central heating and air conditioning and offers caring supervision. Jeanne Denton is one of their happy customers. She boarded her last dog at Carolina Pet Resort and now uses their services to care for her yellow lab Maggie.

Jeanne recalled the last few visits she took to the facility. “When I make the final turn towards Carolina Pet Resort, Maggie gets so excited and starts jumping up and down. Sometimes I almost think she’d rather go there than stay at my house!”

“I know they love the dogs when they stay there,” Jeanne continued. “Maggie runs right over to the staff and recognizes them. I felt completely comfortable leaving Maggie in their care for eight days while out of town. I know she was happy and got plenty of playtime during her stay.”

Lora Lee Doerring’s golden retriever Sandy was groomed and boarded at Carolina Pet Resort for 13 years from the time she was a puppy. Lora Lee now uses them to care for Libby, her English cream retriever.

“The people who work there are so big-hearted with animals,” she said. “They’re so kind and fun and seem to genuinely love working there. I’ve referred many people to Carolina Pet Resort over the years because I know they’ll love your pets like you do.”

Irmo Pet Resort

Irmo Pet Retreat is another excellent option if you want to send your dog on vacation this summer. This facility is also family-owned and operated with a deep passion for what they do. Their business is based on the belief that your pet's needs are of the utmost importance, and their entire team is committed to meeting those needs. Their staff focuses on the pet guests, ensuring they have a safe, clean, comfortable environment in which to have fun and enjoy their stay.

Casandra White has used Irmo Pet Retreat for the past seven years. “I’m very persnickety about my animals,” she said. “My male dog has a lot of health issues, so it’s critical he stays with the right people. I trust them to give him the right medication and take care of him.”

“The main thing is that our dogs are excited to go there. They wouldn’t act that way if they weren’t treated well. Being born and raised on a farm, I realize it’s important to treat animals with kindness. They focus on relationships not just services.”

Eight-year boarding and daycare client Mike Terry recalled how well they took care of their lab Coco from the time she was a puppy. “When we had to put her down, Irmo Pet Retreat sent us cards and even shed a tear with us.”

Mike has since adopted a mixed terrier who also seems to love staying at Irmo Pet Retreat. Mike said, “The staff knows each dog by name. They send birthday cards and reminders about shots. They really provide a personal touch!”

Beth Cleland has been a boarding and daycare client of Irmo Pet Retreat for the past five years since adopting two lab mixes, siblings Molly and Murphy.

“We found Irmo Pet Retreat through my brother who had boarded dogs there and was very pleased. They’ve been a real blessing for us, too. We never worry about our four-legged babies when they are in their care,” Beth said.

“We left the dogs for 10 days while we took a trip to the Grand Canyon. We came back to find them as happy and sassy as when we left them.”

Brenda Edens, a client for over 10 years, also described her pets as her children and wants only the best for them. She reported that her schnauzers, Beauty and Beast, rush to get into the facility every time they are dropped off because they get so excited to see the caretakers. “They are super friendly, and it’s clear that they truly care about the dogs,” Brenda said.  

In addition to the caring staff, Brenda has been pleased with the facilities themselves, which she described as “super clean.”

Irmo Pet Retreat encourages visits to their facility and take a tour; you can stop by anytime during drop-off and pick-up hours to ask questions or take a tour. They welcome the opportunity to earn your trust by delivering the best care and away-from-home experience for your pet. 

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