The Dog Hotel, in Whepstead, opens its doors to canines
Beautiful countryside, comfortable surroundings and a warm welcome are the hallmarks of any good hotel – and it is no different at Whepstead’s newest hostelry.
But the guests at The Dog Hotel are, as you might guess from its name, not your average two-legged travellers as it caters solely for canine visitors.
Owners Fiona and David Till decided their house and secure 12-acre garden would be the perfect location to offer home-from-home boarding facilities for dogs whose owners were either at work or going on holiday.
And after looking after friends’ pets informally for several months, they decided to get licensed, insured and register with NARPS – the National Association of Pet Sitters and Dog Walkers – to officially open earlier this year.
David, a former investment director in the stock market, said that whenever they had researched home boarding for their own two dogs in the past they had thought they could do better.
“My step-daughters are off at university and we thought we love dogs, we have space and we are near fields where we can go for walks.
"We also thought there was a niche in the market we could fill,” he said.
The couple can cater for a maximum of five dog guests at any one time.
“We have got spare rooms and quite simply we can take them for long walks and feed them and they should be very happy here,” said David.
So far the family dogs – Springer spaniel Monty and Rhodesian Ridgeback Zara – have got on with all the canine guests, helped in part by the fact all dogs and their owners visit the hotel before their first stay to ensure everyone is happy and prepared.
“We have got one dog that gets on so well with our two that he sleeps with them,” added David.
Meanwhile, the new business has also had an unexpected benefit for David, who has lost half a stone through all the extra dog walks.
The Dog Hotel offers day boarding from 8am-6pm and can also offer overnight or holiday boarding.
Owners drop their dogs and food at the Dog Hotel, where they will be provided with comfortable beds, plenty of space, walks and attention, before being collected at the end of the working day or holiday.
For more information, go to www.thedoghotelwhepstead.com or call 01284 735501.
More by this authorCamille Berriman