By Jill Fox
A new wilderness-themed lodge has opened in Parkland; however, no hiking boots are necessary. The Big Bear Pet Lodge caters exclusively to those furry friends who need a temporary home-away-from-home.
With a focus on senior care, the lodge is a one-of-a-kind boarding facility for pets ages five and over — and the first in the country.
“Just like an older person, senior dogs need a little extra care,” said Dr. Jeffrey Sands, owner of Parkland Animal Clinic in Parkland Commons, where the lodge is located.
He said the staff is specially trained to handle the dogs and the unique needs they have.
As a veterinarian for close to 40 years, Sands loves what he does, which includes advising the Future Veterinarians Club at Westglades Middle School. He will be offering internship programs at his new facility, where students can shadow, and provide animals with some extra TLC.
Inside the “all-inclusive” resort, pets sleep on orthopedic beds in cabins or large chalets. Dogs will be taken on multiple hikes, including a late evening walk, relax outdoors, snack on fruits and veggies, and listen to music.
Need a massage? No problem. While at the lodge, four-legged friends can participate in additional services, including rehabilitation therapies like water exercise, laser therapy, or massage therapy for an extra fee.
While away, pet owners will receive daily updates on their fur babies and even have the opportunity to Facetime with them. However, Sands believes when people are on vacation, they should relax and know their pets are in good hands.