For Boston dog owners dog day care options are rather limited. I had heard very good things from some of my Beacon Hill friends about Dogwood Cottage, owned by Heidi Barraza (Four Preppy Paws) and managed by Lindsey Chisholm, in the nearby town of Melrose. Dogwood Cottage also offers a pick up drop off service from a few locations around Boston as well as door to door transportation service. In addition to dog day care, they also offer boarding and grooming services. I took the time to go see the facilities myself as I had heard good things about Dogwood Cottage.
It took me about 15 minutes to drive out to Dogwood Cottage in Melrose. From the outside you would never guess there were a bunch of dogs on the inside. When you first walk inside, the lobby and waiting area separates the dog area from the street. One of the first things I had noticed, is that it did not smell like dog inside the facility. From someone who grew up working in dog kennels, this is a good sign.
Throughout Dogwood Cottage you will find rubberized floors or K9 Astroturf. The floors are clean, even in the corners, crevices and under the edges where dirt usually hides. On the inside of Dogwood, there are various playrooms where dogs are put in groups of friends. The staff is continually interacting with the dogs either by playing with them, teaching tricks or basic obedience. There are also areas for dogs to simply take a break when needed.
There is also an outside area at Dogwood Cottage, where groups of dogs take turns playing and romping around. There are even treadmills for the dogs who really need to burn off some energy or get back in shape. Depending on the day, there are also group outings to the nearby woods. It is safe to say, while you are hard at work your dog will be having a much better day than you.
In addition to day-care, you also have the option to take advantage of Dogwood’s pick up and drop off service. Also an option is overnight boarding for when you need a place for your dog to stay while you are out of town – make sure to book ahead as there is limited space. The dogs stay in the rooms, not crates and the Dogwood Cottage staff is always in the building.
On top of it all, Dogwood offers grooming services. The grooming room or boutique looked great on my tour. There was a dog in the process of getting cleaned up, though I was not around to see the finished product. Grooming clients are certainly welcome to comment at the end of this article.
While I was at Dogwood Cottage I saw a very nice, clean place with an enthusiastic and attentive staff. The dogs looked like they were having a blast and might be learning a trick or two during their stay. Everyone I have met has always had great things to say. You can even check out the daily updates on their Facebook Page.